I think I made a mistake (this is very very long, sorry) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a m/c last May at 6.5 weeks. We hadn't told any family because we thought we should wait until the end of the 1st trimester. So about 3 weeks after the fact we told my parents. And then 2 months later we told the rest of my family and my in-laws. It was very hard on us (DH and I) because we were living far from family and had no one to lean on for emotional support during that trying time.

So this time around we had decided to tell our families right away. We told my parents the day after our BFP and all his siblings that week. We told all of them to pray for us and the baby. And in a way warned them to be prepared to support us in case of another m/c. Everyone totally understood. And none of them told another soul that we were expecting since we had also explained how hard it would be to have all of our friends and acquaintances know if something should happen.

This is where I think I made a big mistake. We didn't tell DH's parents at all. My MIL is the worst gossip and we both knew if we told her the whole world would know in a matter of minutes. DH agreed that we would wait to tell them. It would actually be cruel in a way to ask her to keep it a secret when we knew it would just eat her up inside. (And she can't keep a secret anyway.)

So, my whole family and all of DH's siblings and spouses knew about it. Then my belly began to pooch and some people at church began to notice. And then a couple of friends accidentally let it slip to some other friends. DH didn't want his parents to hear it from someone else so he called them (they were on vacation) and told them the news. They weren't as excited as I thought they would be but they did congratulate us. (OT- FIL told DH to "take care of that little girl." And DH said "We don't know if it's a boy or girl yet." FIL was talking about me, in a rather patronizing way I thought. But DH is great and doesn't stand for that sort of thing!)

Fast forward to last night. We saw MIL and FIL at church for the first time since they got back from vacation. FIL gave me a hug and a congrats.

MIL completely ignored me.

She didn't make eye contact or say hi. I was actually really shocked since she is one for keeping up appearances and likes everyone at church to think we are such a lovey dovey family. I know she is mad at me. My SIL said MIL called her immediately after we told them the news. She wanted to know if we had called SIL that day or the day before. SIL said "No, I knew before that." MIL badgered her until SIL told her she had known for a month. I guess MIL stuttered for a bit after that and then abruptly changed the subject. My only guess is that she is furious that she wasn't "in the know." And that there really isn't anyone left for her to tell.

I now realize we should have done this whole thing differently. But I just don't know how. I don't like having someone mad at me, though I'm not terribly broken up about MIL not talking to me. I just feel like there must have been a way to handle this differently and not have anyone with hard feelings.

If you managed to read through all this... thanks! I guess I just needed to vent. I know I can't change what has already happened. But I just hate feeling like a bad guy. (A few years ago I was accused of keeping DH from the in-laws. I wasn't. He just doesn't like his parents. But I'm always the one blamed.) And I guess I wonder if there is something I can do now so everyone can just focus on the positive aspects of my pregnancy instead of when they were told?

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#2 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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First of all, huge hugs. I can totally sympathize as I JUST went through something very similar this past week.

Secondly, this is not about your MIL. She is making it about her, and it just isn't. This is about you, your husband, and your LO on the way! Do not let her steal your excitement, or taint your pregnancy in any way. You did nothing to "ruin" it for her, she is "ruining" it for you! She is acting like a child, and she shouldn't let her feelings get in the way of how exciting a time this is for you and the whole family.

Even if you do feel like you did something "wrong" (which, you didn't, by the way) do not let it eat at you. You did what you needed to do to protect your heart during the first couple of weeks of your pregnancy - which you had every right in the world to do.

My advice to you is to call her up (or have your husband call her), and just point blank ask if she is upset with you guys about how you told the news. This may catch her off guard, and she might just tell you the truth and say yes. Then it can be hashed out. If she denies it and says absolutely not, everything is fine, then you all MOVE ON. Let her carry her grudge and let it be her cross to bear.

Good luck, you can get through this and your family will be fine! You are strong and are a bigger person that she is!

Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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#3 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 08:16 PM
 
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Darn. That's tough. Try to remember that it's your news to share and she's not entitled to it until you decide she should know.

My estranged father called and lectured my brother about not telling him that I was expecting and wanted to know ALL the details. He told him he didn't know any and cut the call short. It's hard though when people feel like they should have all the info, up front. I can sort of relate- that was my point there. Except I didn't want him to know like, ever.
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#4 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks Baby_Cakes! I really appreciate your words of encouragement and comfort. From an intellectual standpoint I know she is just being childish, but then emotionally I'm the one who feels petty and childish. But thanks again. I'm sure I'll be re-reading your post in the future so I don't forget that I really am the bigger person!

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#5 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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You know, sometimes you are in good positions to tell people and sometimes you aren't. It really depends on your circumstances and what has happened in the past. It's hard because people who gossip and can't keep secrets can't be told they are that way. I think you were and are totally in the right to tell whoever whenever you want or wanted. In this case, it's really our relatives and friends who need to support us, especially if you've had a m/c in the past. It's not our jobs to figure out who we are going to offend if we don't tell etc. jmo

I would say to keep the peace you could just call or write her and tell her you are very sorry if her feelings are hurt but you and dh were really unsure as to how and when to tell anyone this time around and you didn't want to tell her yet burden her with not being able to tell anyone etc. Mention the last time and then leave it at that. I think she was TOTALLY in the wrong to ignore you like that. It's her job to swallow her pride and say CONGRATS and give you a big hug for carrying her grandchild for crying out loud. But people who will react like that will never think they are wrong and it could drag out forever. I wouldn't escalate it by not saying anything, you can say it in a matter of fact way so she gets that you weren't being mean trying to leave her out, it's just what you and dh thought was the right thing to do this time around. After that let it go and if she's mature enough she should to, or it's someone else's job to set her straight. Meanwhile enjoy your pregnancy and let her create any drama around it as she sees fit.

And I can relate on the "keeping him from us" thing. I get blamed for that too, I go to the trouble to make sure my kids don't see my dh's parents for more than a few weeks and a few months ago I was told "seeing you and the kids is great and all but don't you think we'd like to see our SON too!". I'm like huh? Did it ever occur to them he really can go a while without seeing them, that's how they've been all their lives with each of thier kids, but of course it's the wife that's doing it! ug!

good luck!
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#6 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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It's hard when you have a MIL who thinks the world revolves around her. I have one too. I'm pretty much a puppeteer in my MIL's eyes and DH is the puppet. But, I've come to realize that the problem isn't mine, it's hers. I think that's all you can do in a situation like this. Like PP have said your DH and you should let her know the reasoning behind why you didn't tell her as soon as everyone else and if she can't except it there's nothing you can do to change it.

Don't let it get to you. I've wasted far too much time worrying about my MIL in my life and I'm not going to let her have so much control over me. The only thing you can to is control your reaction to her. I hope this doesn't cause too much drama for you!
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#7 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 08:51 PM
 
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i just wanted to empathize, and let you know you're not alone.

my MIL is an incredibly difficult, selfish, unhappy person. when she found out we were PG with #1, she completely cut both me and DH off. stopped talking to us, stopped calling, everything. (not that she brought much joy to our lives before that, but it was somewhat devestating to DH, of course). we had our baby, and she actually called DH's friend to ask the details. finally when DS was about 3 months old, DH had a breakdown and just wanted his mom - i told him to go talk to her and it would make him feel so much better. he broke a year of silence by going over and having a 5 hour conversation with her. it did make him feel better, though she brought up the same arguments she always has (#1 is she doesn't like me and never has - that said, she doesn't appear to like ANY other human beings on the face of this earth). so since then, they've kept very sporadic contact. i haven't seen her for 2+ years, and she emails or writes DH and never mentions me at all. he accepts it. i had a hard time, but it is rather peaceful without her stinging words and unkind actions being flung in my face on a regular basis. so this is how it was meant to be. you do not need to feel ANY bad feelings about this - as PP said, it is all her problem and her issue(s) - not yours. i don't disagree with how you approached things at all - if you HAD told your MIL when you told everyone else, you'd just have been suffering 4 extra weeks of feeling crappy about it. you saved yourself a month of grief, the way i see it. this is YOUR baby and your happiness, and if she is not the type to share in it and be joyful about it, then just let her participation be minimal. you cannot do anything to change her behaviors, so don't even try. but don't let yourself fall victim to them either - it will just make you feel awful.

i really do feel for you - best of luck!

Veg mama to DS (6/05) and DD (10/08) :
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#8 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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You did NOTHING wrong. If she's mad, it's *her* problem, not yours.

Maybe this is actually a positive thing. MIL can't keep a secret and for once someone held her accountable for it. If it comes up, I think I'd find a way to gently tell her the reason that she was the last to know. Maybe it will help her to realize that her actions hurt others and learn to keep her trap shut in the future.

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#9 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. We have some pretty smart mamas in this DDC! I'm going to let DH talk to MIL, or not. Anything I say will be held against me!

Why are MILs so difficult?!? It's nice to know pretty much everyone has to deal with some kind of MIL problem.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#10 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 09:39 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it. Tell her THIS is why you didn't tell her. You know she wouldn't be mature enough to deal.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#11 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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My ex MIL was just like this, and I was always at fault for everything under the sun, especially keeping my ex from her.

You did what you needed to do to keep things the way you wanted them. It is HARD not to feel bad when they pull the injured person card, but you had very valid reasons that she'll just have to accept or not accept! In the long run I'm sure she'll come around and be thrilled about your LO.

Me: married to my :fireman Mama to my littles: Toby 8/04 and Elina 10/08
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#12 of 26 Old 03-28-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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Miraculously, this time (a first!) MIL was excited when DH told her we were TTC and said she hoped for a girl. It's been really nice to have people at least pretend to be happy for us.
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#13 of 26 Old 03-29-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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We went through something similar except MIL found out literally the DAY AFTER we told my family and FIL! But, of course, she was pissed. I really could've cared less because that is how she gets. Seriously, this will completely blow over. I guess try to involve her in the pregnancy a bit, like call her after an appt and be like "oh wow we just heard the heartbeat" or something like that. but really, I wouldn't stress about it!

Wife & Mama to Two Loving Kids DS1 (7/7/07) DS2 (925/08) and DS3 (6/28/12)! And our new furbaby puppy Koda!

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#14 of 26 Old 03-29-2008, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I told DH he should talk to his mom and make sure everything was okay. His answer was just a bewildered, why? So I guess we are going to ignore this behavior of hers. And I WON'T be involving her in this pregnancy. She is really overbearing and I don't want her injecting her negativity into our happy time. Plus, my SIL (not her daughter) is also pregnant and MIL has enjoyed telling everyone SIL's every pregnancy woe. And even invited herself to her u/s (though she didn't end up going.)

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#15 of 26 Old 03-29-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Oh, family. Gotta love 'em.

My mother was a very difficult person, as is my SIL. I have found sometimes in dealing with them that it helps me to see them as who they really are inside. People who behave like this are rarely self-confident people. She's acting very insecure and selfish, and it's kind of sad to think of a grown woman your MIL's age who still has to deal with such large internal issues as she must be dealing with that cause her to behave like this.

I have to agree with Baby_Cakes, if you can call her and just outright ask if she's upset about that, perhaps it can be brought out and ended. Maybe she'll admit it, you can say that you're sorry she was hurt by your uneven handling of the news and that it was unintentional but you realize it hurt her feelings and you can apologize for her hurt feelings. (Note - you have NO REASON to apologize for how you chose to handle the news.) Hopefully, that'll be it.

or she'll deny it and you can choose, as I have had to do a lot with my passive aggressive mother, to take her at her word and just forget about it.
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#16 of 26 Old 03-31-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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I'm so sorry your having M-I-L problems. I can certainly relate. My only advice (and I know it's easier said then done) is just let it roll off your back. Sometimes I need to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and actually visualize just letting it go. Sometimes my boyfriend has to remind me to let it go cuz I get worked up.

I think we should all try to remember how much it sucks to go through this and try our best not to do it in 20+ years to our little one's significant others when theyre grown up! Break the cycle of abuse!

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Originally Posted by Jörð View Post
Darn. That's tough. Try to remember that it's your news to share and she's not entitled to it until you decide she should know.

My estranged father called and lectured my brother about not telling him that I was expecting and wanted to know ALL the details. He told him he didn't know any and cut the call short. It's hard though when people feel like they should have all the info, up front. I can sort of relate- that was my point there. Except I didn't want him to know like, ever.
I could write a full length novel full of the garbage my "father" has put me/my family through. I found out this week his "girlfriend" (a woman he has began "seeing" not very long ago behind her hubby's back and broke up their marriage & is living in that man's house on that man's money) is due almost the same day as me. He is almost 50!!! I don't have any contact with him but It's a small town & its going to be an obnoxious issue indefinatly.

Good luck to everyone on their parent issues!! I hope we're better when its our turn.
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#17 of 26 Old 03-31-2008, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It turns out MIL is not talking to me OR DH. At church he said hi to her but she pretty much ignored him and only talked to my niece that was hanging off his arm. I didn't even try to make eye contact with her. I was having a bad day Sunday so I was happy not to talk to her.

DH is happy not having his mother talk to us. (She was a horrible mother and neglected him terribly as a child. So not a lot of love lost there.) And we were joking that if all it took to get her to never talk to us was to have kids then we should have had kids years ago!

I just received a card from DH's estranged sister (the same sister MIL was visiting when we told her the news.) And I think we figured out some of the reason behind MIL's stupid attitude. SIL has always hated me. Her card was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. DH's name. And on the inside she misspelled my name. (My name is Angela and she spelled it Anji.) I'm sure MIL and SIL had a nice long talk about me, DH, and our baby. And this childish reaction is the result of that. Oh, well.

We are going to let MIL get over this snit on her own. We are going to ignore all bad behavior and be cordial and friendly towards good behavior. She only gets rewarded by our attention when she is nice!

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#18 of 26 Old 03-31-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Down to Earth - Can you move??! I'm only half joking b/c a person should not have to deal with that kind of behavior on a regular basis in her life. That's my opinion. And the opinion of my therapist!

I think your plan sounds like a good one. You have to set boundaries with your life and what you'll put up with (and won't) from the people in it. You don't have to suffer all the time b/c someone else is immature and has a chip on her shoulder. She doesn't deserve it anyway after the way she treated DH as a child...

A lot of times people actually respond well to it when you put your foot down!

My 2 cents...
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#19 of 26 Old 03-31-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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I think you're on the right track. Better to make a precedent NOW because I bet this won't be the last time you encounter this type of passive-aggressiveness. Wait till she doesn't like that you breastfeed, or your vax choices or the carseat you've picked out or that you won't let her feed your 2 month old potato chips!

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#20 of 26 Old 03-31-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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Bless your heart! This is your time to be joyful and if your ILs are going to act like children, you don't have to be around them. MIL will change her tune when baby comes...
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#21 of 26 Old 03-31-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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It just gets to me how childish some ppl can be. Like, seriously, wow you didn't tell her first because she has a big mouth. I think your MIL needs to get over it.

Wife & Mama to Two Loving Kids DS1 (7/7/07) DS2 (925/08) and DS3 (6/28/12)! And our new furbaby puppy Koda!

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#22 of 26 Old 04-07-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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I'm sorry you are dealing with this situation. I can see why your MIL was upset that everyone else in the family has known for quite awhile and she did not. She is probably hurt and bewildered why you didn't share the news with them. It sounds like even your "trusted" people started to spill the beans anyway.

Hopefully with a little bit of time, she will work through those feelings and be happy and excited for your pregnancy. Maybe you could send her a card and explain why you didn't tell them right away and apologize for hurting her feelings. That might go a long way in smoothing things over with her.

I hope that you are all able to get past this and enjoy your pregnancy!
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#23 of 26 Old 04-07-2008, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My friend spilled the beans in front of me to another friend. It was an innocent mistake and you should have seen his face! He was so devastated that he was the one to tell someone else. But I told the other friend not to tell anyone and then we told my in-laws that night.

Anyway, MIL is still not talking to me. She has continued to ignore me, won't even say hello or how are you doing. Yesterday, at a large church gathering, DH and I were finally making our way to the restroom (I had to go SO BADLY!) and MIL grabbed DH and said I want to show you something. He told her we were on the way to the restroom, but she didn't care and dragged DH to his uncle. This is one of the weird things she does. I think it makes her feels good to be the one to initiate a conversation between DH and someone else. For example, we were living out of state and came for a visit, instead of hanging out with us, she got one of DH's sisters (who lives in another state) on the phone and made him talk to her. Even though we do own a phone and could have called her when we got back home. Back to the story, she told Uncle that I was 10 weeks pregnant. I was 10 weeks when we originally told her so I corrected and said 12 weeks. She then said, "Finally, after being married for 8 years they are going to have a baby." To me that sounds like we've been TTC for years and had fertility problems. Unlike her, we waited until we felt we were ready for kids. I plan on telling her in a very kind way that that hurt my feelings and to not say it in that way to anyone else. But I'm not going to touch the subject of her hurt feelings, she needs to bring that up, not me.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#24 of 26 Old 04-07-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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I am not in this DDC, I just pop in to stalk people that used to be in our TTC club but graduated, so I am sorry to intrude. But I just wanted to give you another "You are SOOO not alone!" and a

Very long story, but my MIL is horrible as well. Hubby and I and her are basically not on speaking terms. (We have tried to talk it out, but she just started to ignore us years ago.) Most of it is because of me, I am a horrible, liberal democrat and have corrupted and am now controlling her son. She is so hateful that we are actually glad, like you, that we don't have to deal with her! If I get pregnant, she probably won't find out till the baby is in my arms at some family wedding we both happen to be attending. Because if she doesn't want anything to do with us, she doesn't have a right to know, and can face the consequences of cutting us off.

Sounds like you are already in good company here, but just thought I would throw another story on here to make you feel a little bit better. Hubby and I have spent a lot of anguish on the whole thing, it has taken a lot to "let it go" and live our lives.

I hope things turn out better for you, and I wish you a wonderful pregnancy. You totally have the right to tell who you want, when you want. I hope you don't mind me jumping on your post when I am not in the DDC!

April 5th grade teacher and wife to hubby Justin : is expecting her first in April 2010!! Finally!!:
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#25 of 26 Old 04-07-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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My in-laws don't speak to me either, and barely speak to DH. They quit speaking with us when we became pregnant out of wedlock with DS (my FIL is muslim and his step-wife is too, MIL passed away when DH was 12). We were supposed to go see them this summer, but they told DH he had to come alone without me and the kids. They have never met their grandchildren. I know how you feel, but hopefully your situation will resolve soon.

Mandi - Doula/Childbirth Educator, Loving my DH, DS, DD, DD, missing my three (last m/c 4/2010)
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#26 of 26 Old 04-08-2008, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Jump in anytime, aprilgurlie! Thanks for sharing your experience.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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