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Backstory: (sorry this is sooo long!)<br>
I don't have a great relationship with my inlaws. They don't understand social norms and have hurt me many times by acting very inappropriately. DH insists that this is out of ignorance and not unkindness, and at this stage I want to believe him. That said, I don't jump at chances to see them because I have a hard time dealing with it all. (examples include yelling at me in the middle of the Christmas gift exchange, inviting dh and my then newborn son out to dinner and specifying that I wasn't welcome and specifically undermining my parenting choices as soon as I leave the room) In spite of all of this, I want my kids to have a relationship with them and my DS has always seen plenty of them.<br><br>
DD has been a different story. She seven months old. She's seen them probably a dozen or more times, (they live an hour away) but she is a very high needs baby and pretty much only wants mama, which means she's been in the sling or attached to my breast most of the time. She won't go to sleep anywhere except for my bed, no matter how hard I've tried. When we are out past bedtime she screams inconsolably until we get her home. At home, she is asleep by 6:00pm most nights. DS naps until about 3:30 most afternoons. We don't have a lot of time in the evenings unless it's with angry children and they pretty much exclusively want to do things in the evenings.<br><br>
Also of concern is that DS has many allergies and we don't yet have them all figured out. <b>Every single time</b> he is at my inlaw's he breaks out. Every time. His skin reacts so badly to whatever it is that he gets these eczema like patches that seep blood. First I thought it was that they were sneaking him treats when we weren't looking, but twice DH has monitored him the whole time he's there and he is still breaking out. So I don't really want him in their house until we can get it pegged down as to what it is what is causing that... DH has been taking DS there a lot without me or DD so they can see DS and dd won't freak.<br><br>
So MIL has been so upset that she hasn't seen DD enough, she's apparently spending her evenings crying. I feel bad about this of course and I want to try and help with that, but there's only so much I can do if they are not willing to work with us.<br><br>
The other issues is that Christmas is coming. We traditionally have dinner at their house for Christmas. They eat late, last year we at at seven, opened gifts at eight. DS was a wreck by the end of it last year, but any attempt to speed things up has only been viewed as me trying to not spend time with them. (IE suggesting at 6:00 that we should eat dinner.) This year, to avoid dd being unhappy for hours, just this once, I'd like to have dinner at my house so that when it's time, I can just excuse myself and put dd to bed and it's easier for me to control the schedule so that DS isn't crabby for the gift exchange and won't have bleeding welts the next day. I don't think it's too much to ask, though I fear asking will create yet more family drama.<br><br>
So here's the email I plan on sending to address all of these issues. Please help me to make it sound as non-confrontational as possible. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/help.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="help"><br><br>
Hi MIL,<br>
I hope you guys are doing well. Keagan had a great time with you guys the other day and was just asking me to "See Grandpa D soon soon!" In other Keagan news, he read the word ball today! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I heard that you're really upset about not having seen much of Eden. I am really sorry that it's been that way. Eden is a really high needs baby and she really is not happy in the evenings. We have a pretty small window from the time Keagan gets up from his nap to the time she needs to start getting ready for bed. She is usually fussy and wanting to nurse by about 5:30 and asleep by 6:00. She's not a good sleeper and has problems falling asleep away from home. Basically, I haven't really gone out in the past seven months hardly at all because it's just too hard on the whole family. I don't know if Nick or Matt were anything like this at all as babies, I know Keagan surely wasn't. Keagan would go to sleep anywhere and it made it easy for us to go on outings, but Eden is just not that way at all. I really hope you don't think that I'm trying to keep you away from your granddaughter. I'd never do that- you are a loving person and I want my kids to know you and D well.<br><br>
We'd love to have you over soon so that you can see both kids. I'd love to come there, but that small window gets even smaller when we have to travel and you'll get more time with the kids if you come here. Plus, Keagan keeps having some sort of reaction from being in your home. Sometimes his welts even bleed after being in your home. We're going to get allergy testing done as he's finally old enough for it, but until that's all straightened out it's best to have you spend time with Keagan somewhere else. It's bad for his immune system to be exposed to his allergens and in this cold and flu season I just don't want to make his weak immune system any worse. If you don't want to just see him here at our home I am sure we could work out some fun outings such as the zoo on a clear day, the Children's Museum etc.<br><br>
In light of all of that, I was wondering if it would be possible to have you come to us for Christmas dinner. We could do our gift exchange, I could put Eden to sleep in her own bed, and then we could eat dinner together. I'm afraid if we come for dinner at your house, Eden will lose it while we're opening gifts or eating dinner and I'll spend the rest of the evening trying unsuccessfully to keep her calm in some far off corner of the house. After a certain time, the only place she will calm down is our bed. I've tried other places and I've never been successful, I just have a baby who screams until we get her home and it's a long drive for her to scream for that long.<br><br>
Anyway, I know travel isn't easy for you either, but I was hoping that maybe just for this one year we could to things a bit differently so that Eden and I can enjoy the holiday with the family and her screaming doesn't disrupt everyone's holiday. I'm sure when she's another year older, she will be more flexible.<br><br>
Please let me know how you feel about this all soon. I hope that we can work something out that works for everyone!<br>
Stephenie<br>
___________<br><br>
So please, please help me to avoid more drama! Thanks!
 

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My question is, why isnt your hubby dealing with this? It isnt your job! You deal with your own parents and he deals with his.<br><br>
I have been married for almost 15 years, and that is the ONLY way to keep the peace. I mean there are exceptions, but it doesnt sound like that is your case.<br><br>
Also, my son always breaks out when going to Grandmas, and I think it is her dog, but I have learned to let it go, since it always goes away within a day of being home. Dont let that get to you too much.
 

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I think the letter is great, and says it as nicely as you can. I think if your DH edits it to be from him, and his concern for you/Eden, etc. it might go over even better.<br><br>
Good Luck!
 

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It sounds great, your tone is sweet and friendly and understanding, and clears up the issue about her not seeing DD enough. Any reasonable person would be more than willing to accommodate a family with a high needs infant<br><br>
The only issue I have with the letter is the part about your son's welts. It feels to me like the issues with your daughter are more than plenty, and going into your son's issues after all of that feels like dog-piling. Saying he gets bleeding welts after being in "your home" could be misconstrued by a sensitive person as saying her home is unclean or poorly maintained.<br><br>
I'd say for the first contact, just stick with the issues about your daughter so she doesn't get defensive. And if she's not willing to work with you on this, then I say it's definitely HER problem.<br><br>
Oh, it would be a great idea to slip something in about "I'd love it if you could bring your fabulous pumpkin pie/mashed potatoes/casserole/whatever, since DS and I loved it so much last year!" It kind of softens the blow of losing the hostess position and lets her feel like she is contributing.
 

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The only issue I have with the letter is the part about your son's welts. It feels to me like the issues with your daughter are more than plenty, and going into your son's issues after all of that feels like dog-piling. Saying he gets bleeding welts after being in "your home" could be misconstrued by a sensitive person as saying her home is unclean or poorly maintained.<br></div>
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Yes, I wouldn't bring that up either.<br><br>
Also, when you say you were wondering if it was possible for her to come to your house, you're leaving it open for her to say "No." Then what are you going to do? If you are definitely not willing to travel there, I would just say something like "Things are crazy this year with the baby, etc. so we are going to have Christmas at our home. We'd love it if you could come" and I would add what the PP said about asking her bring some favorite dish or something.<br><br>
Good luck. And actually, I think I would call her (or make DH call her) and tell her rather than emailing.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"> She hit the nail on the head! You could mention your sons allergy issues, but don't mention that they are so bad he bleeds - that can easily be misconstrued. Focus on the time between nap ending and bedtime beginning - thats not anyones fault, and has to do with the kids well being.<br><br>
Good luck! I'm trying to figure out how to come down with the stomach flu on Thanksgiving so I don't have to go to that mess of an event - you at least have very good excuses!
 

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Honestly, I think this is a very important and valid issue and it's something that should be done if not in person, then on the phone. By your husband, or both of you. If you are the one they already have a problem with, there is no reason to give them the impression that you made this call.<br><br>
Your son's skin issue would be the deciding factor for ME and I would lean heavily on that - he has skin issues, he's reacting to something, we think we have weeded out all the possibilities AT OUR HOUSE but we don't know exactly what it is so we're staying home a lot till we figure this out. These are our holiday plans, please come, we miss seeing you and the kids are looking forward to it. The end.<br><br>
People who don't have grumpy babies have NO idea why you can't just suck it up for once or think you're exaggerating. Almost no one disagrees with "the ped says we have to be extra super careful till we figure out what this allergy is and get this under control." The doctor said so. Can't argue with that.<br><br>
Good luck. I know it's uncomfortable to deal with these things, but I really think if you and your husband decide on a script ahead of time and keep it short, it'll be better for everyone. A little "Gee, MIL, did Partner have ANY allergies when he was younger? What did you do?" wouldn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmm you've all given me a lot to think about.<br><br>
I think we will mention the allergy because it really does push it over the edge for us. That and it's a current issue that we need to deal with as I'm sure we will be invited there before Christmas. She knows that he breaks out after being there, but was convinced she just wasn't getting all of his food allergies right (as were we.) After two times there without any possible way that he ate something he shouldn't, we're pretty darn sure it's something in their house and I think she'll understand that. I will mention the doctor because it does hold weight with them.<br><br>
I do think calling would normally be better, but she's quite the interrupter and I think it's easier to get it all out this way.<br><br>
We're changing the email to go from dh's account and be signed by both of us, that should help some. He read it over and thought it sounded good.<br><br>
It does seem to make most sense to say "we're doing it this way, please come." It scares me though. I have no backbone <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Off to ask DH what he thinks of that and his favorite dish cooked by his mom.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Stephenie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14671342"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hmm you've all given me a lot to think about.<br><br>
I think we will mention the allergy because it really does push it over the edge for us. That and it's a current issue that we need to deal with as I'm sure we will be invited there before Christmas. She knows that he breaks out after being there, but was convinced she just wasn't getting all of his food allergies right (as were we.) After two times there without any possible way that he ate something he shouldn't, we're pretty darn sure it's something in their house and I think she'll understand that. I will mention the doctor because it does hold weight with them.</div>
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I agree that you need to mention this issue as it really does make spending time at your ILs a bad idea. I think some praise for MIL, thanking her for working with you so hard on serving foods that you son can have and suggesting that perhaps it's something in one of the cleaning products she uses. That way you're blaming a product, not your MIL's housekeeping ablilty.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Stephenie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14671342"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I do think calling would normally be better, but she's quite the interrupter and I think it's easier to get it all out this way.<br><br>
We're changing the email to go from dh's account and be signed by both of us, that should help some. He read it over and thought it sounded good.<br><br>
It does seem to make most sense to say "we're doing it this way, please come." It scares me though. I have no backbone <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Off to ask DH what he thinks of that and his favorite dish cooked by his mom.</div>
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Maybe suck up a bit by saying "Christmas just wouldn't be the same for DH, DS and I with out you being here and DH would really miss your (favorite dish) maybe you could bring some or come over early and prepare it here."<br><br>
Makes her feel valued and wanted and it never hurts to compliment her cooking.<br><br>
Hope you can find a peaceful solution <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I have a good MIL, and holiday plans last year were tense. I can't imagine it with difficult ILs
 

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Sounds pretty good! I'd tweak it like the others said to say something more like "We need to have Christmas at our home this year so the kids can fully enjoy the holiday. It would mean a lot to us if you could join us."<br><br>
My cousin's baby gets pretty bad eczema which they don't have completely figured out. They've eliminated a bunch of foods but he also reacts to their rug and things like fabric softener. It could be your MIL's clothes detergent or some other cleaning product.
 

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1. i think your dh needs to deal with this<br>
2. if ils are not aware of social norms, you providing reasons for x,y, and z is only going to further encourage them to disregard your boundaries- if they can "satisfy" your concerns they can get what the want
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sent out a revised version last night that was more telling a and less asking and mentioned her cooking. We also revised the allergy section to list possibilities in stead of just saying her home. It was reworded to be from "both of us" so hopefully that helps. Pjs, I am worried about your #2 point, but all we can do now is wait and see how they take it. I'm not putting the kids or myself through what a holiday at their house would mean this year.<br><br>
As for his allergies, we've been through so much with him! We do know he's allergic to soy, citrus and peanuts and possibly dairy. We hadn't considered anything environmental until recently because we'd taken care of it so well with food, excluding when he was an IL's house. I wouldn't expect it to be any cleaning product/ detergent because she's not the type to keep using the same ones, she buys what's on sale. I'm wondering if it's their dog as I was reading that some people are only allergic to certain breeds of dogs and he's the only long haired dog ds has contact with.
 

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If I had sent that email to my MIL, it would have only caused more drama. We have discovered with them that it is best for DH to just inform them of how things are going to be with our kids and not provide an explanation. Any explaining we do is seen as an opportunity for debate.<br><br>
Hope your email was well received and you can all spend the holidays together!
 

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Sounds like you're making good progress here. I would also be sure your husband was the one dealing with this issue so you aren't seen as the 'bad guy' here forcing him against his will.<br><br>
That said, with tiny kids we don't plan long engagements outside our home, period. Holidays are here, and will continue to be here because we have three kids- two of whom are small enough that they need the familiarity of home to be able to sleep well.<br><br>
I think in your situation I wouldn't have explained anything, I would simply have said 'Christmas dinner will be around X time, and we'd love to have you come spend the day!'
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Stephenie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14672732"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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As for his allergies, we've been through so much with him! We do know he's allergic to soy, citrus and peanuts and possibly dairy. We hadn't considered anything environmental until recently because we'd taken care of it so well with food, excluding when he was an IL's house. I wouldn't expect it to be any cleaning product/ detergent because she's not the type to keep using the same ones, she buys what's on sale. I'm wondering if it's their dog as I was reading that some people are only allergic to certain breeds of dogs and he's the only long haired dog ds has contact with.</div>
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She may buy what's on sale, but does she buy citrus based cleaners? There are many brands who use citrus oils. Perfumes and air fresheners have some nasty chemicals that I react to, and I am not that sensitive. Good luck figuring it out! I have sensitive kiddos too, and it is always a relief once it is all figured out!
 

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On the subject of your DS's welts...is it possible he's reacting to lotion, shampoo, or body wash that your ILs use? My DS is allergic to dairy and I was surprised to find out so many personal care products contain dairy. He was getting mystery hives last year (nothing too bad but still concerning) and I felt terrible when I finally realized my hand lotion contained a milk protein! I know that soy protein and citrus are often used in those kinds of products too.
 

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I'm coming a little late to this conversation, but I think that it should simply suffice to tell your inlaws that you and your husband feel it's best to have them come to you for the holidays now that you have two little ones in the family. We quickly learned just what a pia it was to schlep our two kids all over the place for holiday festivities, and finally told extended family that we would be more than happy to entertain them in our home for the holidays so that the kids (and hubbie and I) wouldn't have to endure the stress and hassle of travelling from family event to family event.<br><br>
It was hard at first for my MIL to go along with it. But when we made it about what was best for the kids she quickly agreed that holidays like Christmas were really more for the kids to enjoy, and that they were pretty miserable after spending much of the day in the car.<br><br>
If your inlaws continue to balk at coming to your home for Christmas I would simply take the position that both your husband and you agree that it's what's best for your two children. I mean seriously, how is a tired and crabby baby and a (rashy) toddler missing his newly received Christmas presents going to make for a fun and festive holiday anyway?<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't know if she buys anything regularly enough for it to have affected him every visit for so long. She is really into candles and lotions and maybe it could be that. His citrus sensitivity is mild (IE no reaction if he eats something with lemon pepper on it, but if he eats an orange, he reacts) and his milk allergy results in ear infections not skin outbreaks. It is possible that some lotion or product has soy in it. There's a lot avenues to pursue.<br><br>
We're going to try and be strong on this one... it just doesn't work for us, but I do fear if she cries to DH that he'll want to cave. If he does, I honestly think I'll tell him he can go alone... that's awful, I don't want to spend Christmas evening without him, but what else am I to do? I really don't want to spend Christmas in their bathroom with a screaming baby <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><br><br>
Still no reply. I'll be glad when I hear back. Even if they get mad it's better than waiting to hear from them!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2cutiekitties</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14671030"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Also, my son always breaks out when going to Grandmas, and I think it is her dog, but I have learned to let it go, since it always goes away within a day of being home. Dont let that get to you too much.</div>
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I really have to strongly disagree with this. Allergies can be extremely serious and debilatating. I have severe allergies to cat dander and visits to my grandmothers house were torture. A few of those visits resulted in trips to the ER for me.<br><br>
My ds also has some severe allergies--food and environmental. His health takes priority always. I don't really understand when you say "Don't let that get to you too much." Bleeding welts are serious business. Allergic reactions can and do escalate--what starts out as hives can progress to breathing problems and/or anaphalysis. I think it is really insensitive to be be so glib about such a serious matter.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Stephenie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14674958"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><span style="color:#0000FF;">We're going to try and be strong on this one.</span>.. it just doesn't work for us, <span style="color:#0000FF;">but I do fear if she cries to DH that he'll want to cave. If he does, I honestly think I'll tell him he can go alone...</span> that's awful, I don't want to spend Christmas evening without him, but what else am I to do? I really don't want to spend Christmas in their bathroom with a screaming baby <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><br><br>
Still no reply. I'll be glad when I hear back. Even if they get mad it's better than waiting to hear from them!</div>
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<span style="color:#000000;">Mama, you WILL be strong! Your babies need you to be their advocate, too bad about grandma's tears. No one is excluding her on Christmas for goodness sake just changing the venue! You should not have to spend Christmas alone OR with your kids upset/rashy/tired. Keep us updated when she responds.</span>
 
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