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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess I am asking what you would do...or for help for me to work through this and figure it out..

We have two children, both UP/UC...extremely intelligent, beautiful, wonderful kids...and are expecting our third.

When I was pregnant with ds, dh was so excited about our birth plans, that he told his parents we were planning a homebirth. He didn't even mention that we were planning a UC at that point. That came out later to one of his brothers. Anyway, they called us and attacked us multiple times. They called all of the extended relatives and had THEM attack us. We almost cut off all contact with them permanently because of this treatment (we've never had a great relationship with them).

They have been unsupportive of all of our parenting decisions. Our kids are great IN SPITE of our parenting decisions, according to their thoughts.

We were going to wait to tell them with dd, but we were going to be seeing them when I was around 4 months pregnant so we decided to tell them. Actually, FIL wasn't going to be there, so dh called and told him to make it special for him (he isn't too bad if MIL isn't with him). Then we ended up not making the trip, but we had already told FIL, so we had to tell MIL and everyone else at that point.

We are expecting #3. We now live within 45 minutes of the ILs rather than 20+ hours. Dh's oldest brother just had his first baby the "right" way - hospital, epidural, drugs, incubator, etc. and it raising it the "right" way - crib, pacifier, passing off to relatives, electronic toys, and everything completely mainstream. There are also issues concerning dh's cousins who are having babies the "right" way and a comment made by his aunt about how our son should have been the one to die - well, things that should never be said and we can't forgive.

We haven't told any of dh's family. In fact, when the ILs came over a couple of weeks ago to give ds a birthday gift, I made sure to wear a T-shirt rather than a more fitting shirt, just in case they might notice my expanding waistline.

I don't like hiding the fact that I am pregnant. We have come so close to cutting out the ILs SO many times. However, I am having a hard time distinguishing whether we are not telling in order to protect our family or to hurt them. The first is a valid reason for me. The second is not. I guess it could be both. I really just don't want to deal with them. I wouldn't mind telling dh's grandmother. She doesn't agree with our birth choices, but she keeps it to her self and would be happy about another great-grandchild. However, that would mean all of the extended family would know.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What would you do? At this point we are just waiting for enough time to pass for them to have the audacity to ask if I am pregnant or fat or for one of the kids to say something about it. I'm not too worried about my two year old saying anything and I explained to my 4 year old that we weren't ready to tell them. He agreed because "they aren't very respectful of our family."
 

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my situation is somewhat similar. we do not have children (yet), and we plan on UCing, etc. my ILs are much more 'mainstream' and my MIL prefers the concept of an elective c-section for birth rather than any form of natural birth. her's was painful, she says, and 'no woman should go through that.' so, she sees the elective c-section as the right choice for women!

what she also likes about the elective c-section is that, as in the cases of her friends who are now grandmothers, the grandmother's get to hold the baby first. in most of the c-sections around here, the mother is so out-of-it that she cannot hold her own baby. sometimes, she's completely unconscious for the surgery to remove the baby from her body. so, the baby gets bathed, nurseried, etc, and then brought out to the father of the baby and the grandparents. my MIL's one friend ws the first family member to hold the baby! this is what my MIL wants.

so, when we told them about homebirthing (not UCing) she was very upset. When we told her about 'babymooning,' she came unhinged. she said that it was "very mean and unfair" for us to do these things 'to her.'

while we will live across the country from them in a few months so proximity won't be an issue, our current plan is to not tell them when we're pregnant until we're 6 or more months along, and then not give them an EDD so that they don't show up on our doorstep. we'll have the baby when we have it, do our baby moon, and then tell them when it's appropriate to come out to see us and the baby.

this is mostly to avoid grief--but also because we're both rather private people. so, this is our current, working plan.
 

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Toxic In laws. I'd cut them out. If that isn't an option for you I understand but that IS what *I* would do. What does anyone get out of having unsupportive people in their life?
So sorry you have to deal with this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We required a one month babymoon with ds. They were NOT happy. Since he was born a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, they decided that if they called us from a hotel in our town, we would HAVE to let them come see the baby. Luckily FIL slipped to dh, who promptly sent a very polite preemptive strike e-mail, thanking them for their understanding and listing all of the reasons why we were having a babymoon. We moved here in the middle of my second pregnancy, but we still said 6 weeks with dd. Dh says we will just add 2 more weeks for every baby.

Although, they got to be in the delivery room for our new nephew, so they will probably bring that up. Too bad. FIL was mad because we had taken our kids out in public long before we let them come see them. Um....in public they are in the sling - not being expected to be held by unknown relatives....

Sometimes we come really close to cutting them out. However, we really wish we could find an understanding and have a respectful relationship with them. That will probably never happen, though...I guess we just don't tell about the new baby for now. They will find out eventually and then can wait 8 weeks before seeing the baby....
 

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there is this book--i'll look for the title--that we got my ILs. we gave it to their pastor who read it and then 'passed it along' to them. sometimes, that guy is really nice.


anyway, the book is somehting like "when your kids live alternative" or something like this "Adult children and alternative lifestyles?" that might be it. ah, i can't remember, but i'll look for it.

anyway, it teaches parents to accept differences and let go of their expectations and disappointments.
 

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The best thing to do is not to let them matter...you have no control over what they say or do but you do have control over your reaction to it.

We moved from being 15 hours away to 20 mins away between ds and dd#2 and had a hell of a time explaining to them what boundaries are...the MIL especially. Now she stays out of our life unless we invite her in, OK yes the pendulum has swung the other way but I am sure that eventually we will find an equilibrium.

However, I found that the more power I gave them, the more they used. Now they realize that they make little difference in our lives and say very little about it. BUT when they do make a negative comment, we are right there to correct them firmly!!! We then tell them that will will not stand for their negativity as it affects our children and if they can't respect our decisions then we will not be around them. They come around pretty quickly.
 

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I completely support keeping a pregnancy from those who do not wish to respect your decisions.

MIL had this idea in her head that she would be in the delivery room for dd1's birth, despite us telling her it wasn't going to happen. She seriously burdened us with her constant harassment about wanting to be at the birth. One night we went to a friend's house and forgot our cell phone, MIL called every hospital in our area looking for us, afraid we were having the baby without her.

We never told her about the other pregnancies till after the baby arrived. Made life a LOT easier for us
 

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I'm also sorry you have to deal with those toxic people.
I don't really have any advice, but I did want to say that we like to keep our pregnancies secret from the in-laws for as long as we can because its really not their business and we don't feel obligated to put ourselves under any scrutiny or negativity they'd give us. I don't think there is anything wrong with protecting your family like that.
 

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We have a very similar situation.

We had a lot of issues with our IL's surrounding the birth of our twins and a lot of issues in general and they/we decided to cut ties about 2 years ago.

Recently they've regained contact with my DH a couple of times and he's not mentioned the pregnancy at all. We're not actively hiding it, and we won't actively hide it if asked etc., but otherwise they won't be finding out from us until after we have the baby. We feel it's the best way to avoid a potentially toxic situation.

We're not close with them obviously and honestly not seeing them during that entire time (The rest of the pregnancy.) even though we live in the same town wouldn't be too irregular so we doubt that it would be an issue that would come up.

If they do find out from others (Which they probably have already as my SIL found out from a friend of my hubby's.) they certainly haven't approached us about it and if they did we would be polite but blunt and state that we're trying to avoide any potential negativity with this pregnancy and that it's nothing personal.
 

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I don't think the problem is with telling them about your pg but with what they have to say about it. I would tell them when it is convenient for you but I would not stress myself out needlessly hiding it from them. When they find out, you will just have to be quick to draw the line on what you are willing to take from them. Those lines need to be in place anyway with everything your family decides to do when it comes to people like that. It took us awhile to figure that out (during my pg with my 3rd child as well actually) but once we laid down the law with certain family members they either keep it to themselves or talk about it behind our backs, I guess. FIne with me as long as I don't have to keep defending out decisions or hearing any crap about them. If they can't do that, I would cut off contact until they can. Good luck!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boheime View Post
...and a comment made by his aunt about how our son should have been the one to die - well, things that should never be said and we can't forgive.
That to me says enough, if they can't respect your choices and then say vile things like you mentioned above, they have no right to know anything. Tell them when YOU want them to know and no sooner.
 

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My mum was 17 when her little brother was born, and never knew her mum was pregnant! None of the neighbors knew, either. I used to think grammy was silly and old-fashioned for doing that, but right now she is my hero.

I don't intend to tell anyone I'm pregnant until it becomes obvious. I fantasize that I will call them when the baby is 2 weeks old and invite them to a surprise party to meet her. Meet our new baby, surprise!

It's not even that my family are so bad, I just want to have a peaceful pregnancy, and focus all my energy inward this time.
 

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We had a similar situation.

We didn't tell any family about our 4th pregnancy until we were well over three months, a huge faux paux with our relatives, who live vicariously through us all. #4 will be the 3rd in 3 years and we didn't want to hear the negativety attached to the comments about, don't you know what causes this? So this is the last one, RIGHT?
: I can't believe how involved other people think they need to be in your decisions. I hear all the time, how can you afford that many kids, I always respond with, easily! In truth we don't use formula, we cloth diaper (and have plenty from previous kiddos), make our own baby food, have all the clothes and paraphanelia any parent could want. And we give birth at home, which besides the cost of plastic sheets and cord clamps is fairly cheap

My advice to you is, try not to cut people out as that can be really hard on the whole family, my dad is estranged from his family and that has been really hard on all of us, but try to turn the other cheek, or just sit them down and tell them, you may be our parents, but you do not make choices for our children. You have already parented us/me and you did a good job. Try complimenting them on raising such obviously smart, well rounded people, not to mention good parents yourself. I find that telling a mother that she did a good job raising her child, even if you are fibbing alittle bit, makes her alot less snarky to you.

If this fails, walk away, you live with the choices you make, and so do they, in the end you are only responsible for your choices, make them well!!!!!1
 

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With our 4th baby we waited till 4-5 mos before telling anyone. It got kind of hard to keep it a secret as my own mom saw me almost every day and well you know how moms can tell.


I'd of prefered to hide out the whole time b/c I swear Dh and I have heard it all from both sides of the family.
I understand rather not wanting to deal with it and go about pregnancy in total peace (as I totally steer to avoid confrontation most of the time too). Good luck!
 

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I really don't think it's healthy to have bad people in our lives-- intentional is different and evil, in my mind where as some people don't mean to be bad- they think they are doing the right thing.
Since it's in-laws, I would ask my dh to call them and say, "I love you, I want you to be part of my growing family, but I need you to respect me and my decisions with my wife- here are the boundaries. If you cannot respect these boundaries do not call or come over."
It's just not acceptable to have them acting such a way that even the children know Grandma and Grandpa aren't nice.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
there is this book--i'll look for the title--that we got my ILs. we gave it to their pastor who read it and then 'passed it along' to them. sometimes, that guy is really nice.


anyway, the book is somehting like "when your kids live alternative" or something like this "Adult children and alternative lifestyles?" that might be it. ah, i can't remember, but i'll look for it.

anyway, it teaches parents to accept differences and let go of their expectations and disappointments.
is it this book??

Quote:
It's not even that my family are so bad, I just want to have a peaceful pregnancy, and focus all my energy inward this time.
: that's as good a reason as any to cut toxic ppl out of your life--there's just not enough energy to deal with petty [email protected] like that


Quote:
It's just not acceptable to have them acting such a way that even the children know Grandma and Grandpa aren't nice
Funny, my kids have known this for quite awhile (well about grandpa anyway--grandma is just wishy-washy and agrees with him so as not to make fights even bigger!), yet due to finances and such, I've pretty much always had to suck it up and continue to be around them. Now I'm getting divorced, am expecting #3 with an amazing wonderful new DP, and my dad is beyond furious. He's not speaking to me unless he's yelling obscenities, and he can't even keep his mouth shut about what a horrible person i am in front of my kids. I am so terribly hurt about all this--my parents are the only family i have, but there comes a point where you just have to say ENOUGH, and go for self-preservation! Even if I end up as a single mama on welfare, that'll be better than enduring my dad's constant verbal/mental abuse. He's never gonna meet this new babe...


anyway, just letting you know, you're not alone--don't let anyone disrespect you or your family, mama!!
 

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I was raised in a "toxic" family...I tried so hard after I became an adult and moved out on my own to keep them in my life because, well, they're family! However, I knew it was futile...I knew that they were draining the life out of me, and if I wanted to be happy and healthy I needed to part ways. Yes, saying goodbye to family is a very difficult thing to do, but what is the definition of family? The literal definition is obviously people who are related, either by blood or marriage. What does it mean to *act* like a family, though? It certainly doesn't mean disrespect, abuse, and making certain family member's lives miserable. In my opinion, the only thing that counts is the way people treat each other, and if more often than not you are being treated with total disrespect then why keep them in your life? Cutting my "family" out of my life was the greatest and hardest thing I've ever done. There are times when I wish I could have them back in my life, but I know that that wouldn't be healthy.

If you think there is a chance that if you or your husband stand up to them and make them respect your boundaries they will listen and change then what's stopping you from trying it? You've got nothing to lose at this point.

Lastly, children typically are very good at reading people. It sounds like your kids know that your in-laws are not worth keeping in your lives.
 

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Maybe its just my personality, but I'm pretty sure both my parents and my IL's understand that it's my family, my children, my body, and my way or the highway if they want to be a part of it. I still get aggravated about how I compromised with the births of my first two.. letting people in too soon, and even then they were bent because no one but my husband was allowed to witness the birth, and no one was allowed to hold my children until I was [email protected] good and ready, etc. The whole family has behaved like they'd cut us out in a heartbeat for not giving in to their wishes, so I'm turning the tables on them next time. I fully intend to keep the next one on the DL until I can't anymore, and NO ONE is coming near me or that baby (no one besides dh and sibs), or even the house for that matter, until a month or so has gone by. With the IL's though, my dh is the only child, and my kids are the only grandchildren, so they tread pretty carefully around their opinionated DIL. That kind of gives me the upper hand, and I'm not above working that angle. Mind you, I put up with a lot too... I like to think we've reached a point of mutual respect.... but I don't know if they'd agree!


It sounds like what you're dealing with is MUCH worse than anything I've endured... to suggest that your son should die because you make informed, concscious decisions about the way you live???? Sounds to me like they *want* something bad to happen to your family so they can tell you how right they are!! That's a horrible thing to have to live under! Really, hon, you won't miss them when they're gone! There's a time for compromise and cheek-turning and a time to set yourself free. I agree with a pp... have dh call and lay it down, and if they can't play by your rules, then they don't get to participate. Maybe if you guys put your collective foot down, they'll reconsider some of their bad behavior. Maybe not. Either way, you do what you have to do to protect your family... that's not being deceptive, that's being honest about how and who they really are. You can't help the choices they've made, but you can control how they affect your family!
and regardless of how you decide to handle it, just take comfort in the fact that it IS your decision to make, and you ARE the ones with the power to control the situation!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We did cut the aunt and uncle out of our lives. We have never said anything official about it, but we no longer send cards and refuse to attend any functions if they will be there. We want absoultely nothing to do with them. I know they were coming from a place of hurt. Their first grandchild had a rare heart defect which was found before he was born. Dh and I actually researched it and the fact is that he was fine while he was still in the womb. Only after birth would there be a problem and he would need surgery. They ended up having an early C-section and the baby didn't weigh the required 5 pounds needed for surgery. They ended up going ahead and doing the surgery because he was dying, but he wasn't big enough to handle it. The comment about our son being the one who should have died came from this. I know they were hurting, but to us, that is inexcusable.

We have stood up to dh's parentes before. MIL throws temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way - which she doesn't really with us. Yes, full fledged temper tantrums - yelling, stomping her feet, etc. They usually will tred lightly for a littl ebit, but then they start pushing again. Even simple things - like asking her not to baby talk to our kids or that they not say "Good Job" to our children. Now that the "favorite" grandchild (BIL's child) is here, it could go either way. Either they will leave us alone more or they will bother us more.

Dh decided that as part of their holiday gift this year, we will give them a copy of Unconditional Parenting and explain that non-coercive parenting is an importnat part of our lives. They may not agree, but they have been given a copy of a book which speaks about it - sort of a warning that we will be calling them on stuff and they shouldn't be surprised. We will also offer to lend them the DVD, if they would prefer to watch it.

We decided not to tell them about the pregnancy. They will find out eventually. We aren't saying anything to them. The kids aren't saying anything. It is their own loss.
 

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krystal:

that's the book! thanks!

boheime:

i completely understand 'cutting out' the aunt and uncle for their cruelty. i also have great sympathy for them and feel that they didn't mean it the way that it came out. it was more like "our kid did everything right in her pregnancy, and it didn't turn out at all. she did everything wrong and got that great kid. it's very unfair." i'm not trying to make light of what was said or how hurtful it was to you. But, i had a friend who grieved his mother and said "i wish your mother was dead!" to me, in front of my mother, and i simply realized he wanted me to understand the extent of his pain and grief. Although i don't think you should or need to resume contact with them, to heal yourself, understanding where they came from will be helpful.

Have you tried utilizing gentle discipline techniques with your MIL when she goes into irrational tantrum mode? It's what i utilize with my family members when they go irrational. The pre-rational distraction technique works well--and then you can utilize other gentle discipline techniques as you go along and when they're more rational. it's amazing how well it works. I started reading those books to learn about gentle discipline for my future children; i find mself using the techniques on a regular basis regarding employers, ILs, and other relatives and relations. It really works.

also, as a total aside, give your parents that book, but not for christmas. give them christmas gifts, and then say "i want you to read this book so that you can udnerstand where we're coming form as parents." it just works out better.
 
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