My ILs are freaking out ! ! - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-12-2008, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Against my better wishes, DP decided to go ahead and tell ALL of his extended family even though I am only 5 weeks along. Now they are freaking out and buying stuff and... ughh.. My MIL is a neonatal/prenatal nurse so of course she thinks she knows everything there is about pregnancy and while I'm sure I'll be glad for this resource later on, right now I just want to be left alone. Plus the one conversation that seemed ok and I was talking to her, I told her of my wishes to have a homebirth and she freaked out and said too much could go wrong and she "didn't want her first grandkid taking that risk" because she "knows what happens during birth." :

I haven't even told my own mother yet. I wanted to wait until 10 or 12 weeks to tell everybody and DP knows this. I've already talked with him but how do I get the ILs (I'm talking mom, dad, gran, pops, cousins, aunts etc) to back off? What if something bad happens? I am not a huge fan of his family as it because they are very overbearing.

Hellpp I'm going crazy. I've only been awake 20 minutes, and MIL has already called asking how I feel! While I have been talking to midwives, I do have a doctor's apt scheduled (my general practitioner is an OB) but not for 3 weeks and she keeps acting like I need to be at the doctor all the time.

WHAT DO I DO? I am going nuts!

(The one thing she DID tell me is that she thinks I am further along then I am, because my last AF was so light. I have had BFNs in between, of course, but she says that happened to her too, and it moved her EDD from May to March.. ugh more confusion)
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Y'know, if at anytime my mother-in-law knows anything about my AF, I'll know I need some better personal boundaries!

I think you just need to politely, respectfully ask them to let you handle it the way you see fit. Gently, respectfully, and politely remind them that you're an adult, and you and your DP are perfectly capable of making the best choices for yourself and your baby. (Get your DP to back you up on this!) If that doesn't work, be more firm about it!

My sister-in-law's mother-in-law is a NICU nurse, and long before I was pregnant, someone mentioned that I wanted to have my babies at home, to which she replied, "We call that child abuse!" At the time, my sister-in-law was being anesthetized for her second C-section, and it clearly was not the time to have that discussion! I was too shocked to say anything, but someone else wisely said, "Let's not talk about that now."

No one knows I'm pregnant, but when people find out, if similar problems and conversations arise, my DH and I plan on changing the subject or just saying, "This is the decision we have made for ourselves, and we've researched it carefully, so we ask that you respect it."

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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Old 01-12-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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AHHHHH BTDT. My MIL is a tech in a hospital and thinks that makes her a doctor. She was VERY upset when we told her of our plans to homebirth and told me I was "selfish" and it was "dangerous". I was livid and told dh to talk to her and he did. Only after she told us she wrote us a two page letter (which she thought better of and didn't give us- smart idea b/c it would have gone straight to the trash) We also sent her links to statistics about homebirth and that did seem to help a little.
You know them best but I second just changning the subject or telling them that its YOUR decision not THEIRS. Or if you can find a way to say it I would say something like "if you can't be supportive then we just won't be discussing the pregnancy/birth with you at all." And set up those boundaries from the beginning.
I really do love my MIL but it is still a really sore spot for me - remembering some of the hurtful things that she said. I would suggest avoiding those conversations if at all possible. You don't need that stress.

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MissWorld View Post
she "didn't want her first grandkid taking that risk" because she "knows what happens during birth."
You should tell her she gets to see all that stuff because she works in a hospital!

Seriously though, I've found that telling people "I'm grateful for hospital care - if in the small chance I or my baby needed it I'd be very thankful. But since homebirth is accross the board safer for healthy Mom's and Babies I feel really good about our decision. Your support is appreciated!"

Somehow validating their perspective first makes it easier to state your opinion. She might just be looking for a chance to connect with you about something she considers to be "her world"...
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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I know it's irritating now, but try to look at the positive side of it- they really care about you and the baby.
My MIL never calls, nor has she ever asked about my pregnancies. In fact, she's only met DS one time. Now, I don't really like her, so having her be this way is a-ok with me, but still- it's gotta hurt DH and for that I feel bad.

And with other family members- I would keep your decisions (ie homebirth) to yourself. When asked where you are delivering, just say you don't know yet. I find it a lot easier to deal with overbearing people if I just smile and nod and say "I'm still looking into my options." Even if I am dead-set on something. It shuts them up and you aren't put into a defensive position, KWIM?

modern-mama to DS (5.16.05) and DD (9.11.08) and one more (GIRL!) coming in December
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses

I hate to put the blame all on DP but it really is all his doing. He knows his mom is a huge gossip. He told her about our plans to homebirth so of course it is all across the board now. Fortunately I have not had to deal with any of the rest of the family yet just FIL and MIL. For what it's worth, he (DP) also told her about my last AF being so light.

I'm trying really hard to be glad that they are so supportive but it just feels very overbearing at this point. Maybe because I'm young, my mil is taking it upon herself to share her "wisdom", which, she probably has, at least a little. But she and I have never had a very "mother/daughter" relationship and now that's what it feels like she is treating it like. It also kind of feels like she is living vicariously through me. She already put a thousand "Grandma to be/I love my future Grandkid" blinky things on her myspace account. it's funny but annoying because it announces to the world what is going on (her other son is a teenager and no where near having kids yet). Fortunately besides just little snippy comments, she really hasn't laid into me on the homebirth thing.

Is it wrong for me to be so upset?? Maybe I should just embrace her support... I know she is just excited but I still feel like this isn't her journey to make, it's mine, kwim? I know my mom will be happy for us but I am sure she won't react this way... and at least she'll be supportive of HB, haha (6 homebirths, including me ) It just seems kind of out there.............. and annoying....
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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I had to start explicitly telling DH not to share certain things with his family. He's a lot closer to them than I am to mine and I think that's great, but they don't need to know everything in the world. He finally, after 3 years, "gets" most of the stuff I don't think needs sharing.
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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I know she is just excited but I still feel like this isn't her journey to make, it's mine, kwim?
But it is a journey for her, too- she's going to be a first time grandparent. And I imagine that for women that love children and are done raising their own, the prospect of grandchildren is super exciting to them. It's a special time for everyone, IMO. Babies really have a way of changing relationships- maybe you will get a closer one with your MIL... that would be good, right?

Grandparent relationships are pretty special. I have some really fond childhood memories of spending the night at my grandparents' home and I can see my son developing that with my mom, too and it's really sweet.

I don't want you to think I'm saying your feelings aren't valid- they are. I guess I'm a bit jealous really. I'd love to have MIL be interested in our lives and be excited by my pregnancy. I'm lucky that my family and my FIL and stepMIL are wonderful, but it still stings that MIL has so little interest in us. Eh- the grass is always greener though, right?

modern-mama to DS (5.16.05) and DD (9.11.08) and one more (GIRL!) coming in December
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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Is it wrong for me to be so upset?? Maybe I should just embrace her support... I know she is just excited but I still feel like this isn't her journey to make, it's mine, kwim?
I know exactly what you mean. We vacationed with my ILs at their beach condo when I was about 7.5 months pregnant. MIL was so excited about the baby- her first grandchild from her second son- and she would often introduce us to friends and then pat my belly and say "And this is our baby." I bit my tongue about it, but it really bothered me, because I felt like she was overstepping. The little person inside ME wasn't our baby- it was MY baby!

Now is a really good time to set some boundaries. It's a process that has to be maintained throughout the MIL-DIL relationship, I think. I would talk to your DP first, and ask him how to handle the situation with your MIL. It might be the sort of thing you have to handle, or it might be something that only he can bring up without hurt feelings being the result. Whichever the answer is, someone should say "It's great that you are so excited about your grandchild-to-be, but can we please keep our excitement to ourselves, please? You grandchild-to-be's mom isn't ready for the whole world to be sharing her joy yet."
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