Post # 1
Thank you for all of your help, emotional support, etc during the wedding planning. Now I turn to your help for baby advice!!
I have a few questions. First, DH and I are able to start trying for a baby. If successful, we will have the first grandchild for both of our parents. I am EXTREMELY concerned about this. While my parents are very giving, I find my in-laws take. I don’t want to get too specific, but it’s been difficult. Thankfully they live across the country. We live in a 2 bedroom townhouse and I am very concerned about how my MIL will want to be there for the birth and move in with us right after I have the baby “to help” (if they stay in a hotel, we will have to pay for it since they don’t have much money). On top of the fact that we foot the bill for virtually everything (including a vacation home for them), they have awful manners and my DH has been in counseling due to emotional abuse as a child. My MIL also has some major emotional issues. She always has to be the center of attention (she cried at her son’s wedding when the bride didn’t “pay enough attention” to her). Needless to say, I would prefer that they don’t spend much time around our child.
I know that I can’t bar my in-laws from our first baby and I don’t want to do that, but I just really worry about their overbearing nature, their bad relationship, and their financial/ emotional burden on us during my pregnancy/ after the birth. Any advice you have would be really appreciated.
Post # 3
it sounds like you need to set boundaries. for example, why are you paying for their vacation house? that opens the door, in their view, that you’ll be paying for a lot more. tell them they can stay with you one week when the baby comes, no more, and you won’t be paying for their hotel.
you and dh need to have a long talk about what you want your relationship with them to look like, and what you want their relationship with your child to look like. after that, set your boundaries and stick to them. you have to be consistent.
Post # 4
First, I want to say good luck with TTC! We are in the process as well and hopefully we’ll be successful soon!
I also have some of the same fears that you do, but mine are with my own mom. She’s very overbearing, and I’m just very afraid of the stress she’s going to bring me as soon as I get pregnant. She’s going to want things done her way, and I want nothing to do with it. I know it’s extremely difficult to set up boundaries with parents, but it’s something I’m working on as well.
I would maybe start by letting them know that you can’t afford to have them come if they aren’t paying for it themselves. You have a new baby to take care of and that’s expensive in itself. You can’t be footing the bill for everyone once the baby comes. Your husband also needs to set a date for them to leave once you’re ready. This needs to be done before they come so that there’s a point where they will have to leave. You don’t want them over staying their welcome…especially with you just having the baby and being emotionally exhausted from the birth itself.
I hope this works out for you, and any advice anyone else has is greatly welcomed!
Post # 5
I think you simply need to learn how to say “NO”. Boundaries are really, really important with family, especially invasive family. Be firm. Your baby is about you guys, not about what they want. Draw a line, and stick to it.
Post # 6
As the PPs suggested, I think you and your husband need to get together and discuss the money situation as it applies to his parents and decide together how you will deal with that going forward.
As far as when a baby is born, I would manage the in-laws expectations early. Tell them that you want them to meet the baby as soon as possible, but you won’t be able to accomodate them during and for the first week after birth because you want time to yourselves to settle in with the new baby. If they decide to come out anyway, it’ll be annoying but it will be clear that you are not arranging or paying for their hotel.
Post # 7
@Mrs. Louboutin: Yikes! That’s a royal pain in the arse you got there on your hands! I don’t think I have any fantastic advice to offer you, but…in terms of her wanting to “move in and be there for the birth,” you could always bluntly say that’s not possible because your mom will be there (even if she’s not lol). I know typically the wife’s moms come out first because it’s less awkward to have help/learn things from your own mom rather than your MIL. If she counters that argument with asking you to pay for a room for her, you can always say that due to the added cost of having a baby, and the burden of paying for HER vacation home, there just isn’t any money left over for a hotel room.
I truly am sorry you have to go through this. I can’t even imagine. 🙁
Post # 8
Eek, sounds like a tough one. But I agree with some of the posts. You’re going to have to set clearly defined boundaries and not stray. Even when things appear to be going better than you thought (it could just be that they’re playing the role to get in closer, ya know?). I have my limitations with my MIL/FIL, and I found it difficult to bring it up to my hubs. But he’s on the same page, surprisingly, and he has to be the one to enforce the rules. Since it’s his relationship with his parents that is essentially less fragile.
Post # 9
You need to set boundaries. It’s okay to control who enters your home when you have a new baby, even if that means hurting some feelings. You and DH need to call his parents and let them know that you’ve decided you will go through the birth alone and won’t be able to host anyone in your home for at least X amount of months, I would go for at least 6 or even a full year just to buy yourself some time, then if you feel comfortable have them earlier. Tell his parents that you’ve told this to everyone, so you aren’t singling them out – it’s important that you have this alone time as a new family. Also maybe tell them that due to the new baby expenses you aren’t able to pay for their hotel room, making it clear that if they want to come visit earlier they can’t stay with you and aren’t getting a free ride.
But try not to worry about it until the time comes! And lean on your DH to do most of the legwork here – it’s his family so he should do the communicating. You dont’ want to add any unnecessary stress when you’re pregnant or trying to conceive.
Post # 10
Have you heard of the book “Boundaries“? I haven’t read it yet but it is on my list of must-reads because of some of my issues with my mom and work. I believe it does have a Christian slant to it so if that isn’t your thing then it might not be helpful to you but I’ve only heard good things about it. This may be a situation where a book (and associated workbook) like that may be good guidance/preparation for dealing with your MIL.
Something to keep in mind is that though it may not be easy to say, you can say you will not be allowing anyone other than your spouse to be at the birth and you will not be accepting visitors during the first month of baby’s life. It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that you might feel that way. I know my in-laws know they won’t be invited to visit for awhile and they know better than to ask to be at the hospital in any way, shape, or form (granted our baby will be grandchild #10 for them so they get it). My mother won’t even be allowed at the hospital. We’ll call her when I go into labor and she can come visit for one week only after baby is born and then everyone has to go.
It is important that you and your spouse are on the same page and can stand strong against any backlash or hurt feelings that come out of your decisions. It is very difficult to deal with a personality like you’ve described but it is necessary for your own mental health.
Post # 11
First of all, I feel you on the entire difficult in-laws. We also have a very small house so this will be my concern as we are talking about starting a family as well this year. My MIL has already suggested she would come and stay for a month or two when we have a baby. yikes! and not going to happen.
I think your husband really needs to step up to the plate on this one. Once you are pregnant and have a due date. I would cut it to the quick and suggest a time that they could come, maybe a couple of weeks after the baby is born. Have your husband set up the boundaries. I wouldn’t even give them the option to stay with you or for you to pay for them. Simply let them know your plans and if they would like to come for a few days that is on them. You and your husband need to be concentrating on your new baby. Don’t let your MIL’s drama over shaddow this very exciting time!
Post # 12
We told my SIL that we were pregnant this weekend. One of the things she told us was, “You know mom (my MIL) will want to be there right”. I said, well yea, at the hospital? She said, no, like in the room. For all of the grandkids born she has actually been in the room from start to finish.
My husband and I are going to have a talk about how to avoid this one. I think we are going to say either no one is allowed in the room or I would prefer it just be my mother. Maybe we can tell them we are at a different hospital……
Post # 13
Honestly you just have to say NO. There is no other strategy here to pursue. Let me tell you, your MIL will THROW A FIT. No doubt. But you have to stay strong. Set a limit to how long they can stay or have them come later after you have bonded with baby Louboutin (omg how cute!!!) for awhile.
She will be pissed, she will call you names. But trust me she will wanna see that baby and will take what she can get.
Post # 14
To be honest, I’d rather save and put them up in a hotel for the week.
You’re going to be tired and emotional and all sorts of upside down, and having all that walking trauma invade your home at such a special time?
Nope. no way. At least if they’re in a hotel, at some point each evening you can close the door and it’s just you, hubby & baby.
I know it means you might have to cover the cost, but what price your sanity?
ETA: And actually, Aubergold’s totally right. It’d be great if you could put them off for a few days maybe. Maybe blur the due date a little?!
Post # 15
Oh man, good luck. My mom is pretty overbearing and wants to come stay with us when we have kids and it already is making us shake our heads. I refuse to think about it until I’m actually pregnant…cuz it makes me want to curl up into a corner
Post # 16
God i’m realising, reading this again, that I’m blessed with my FMIL – she lives four miles away, and she knows how to stay there lol !
I think if you want to not have them around when you go into hosp, you need to have that out say in the second trimester, when you’re able for it.
Best of luck TTC!