FMIL VENT! This lady is going to be the death of me!

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I don’t know about the other stuff, but honestly, if you had sent me that text, I would have looked over at FI and labelled it rude. You’re perfectly entitled to want privacy at home, and to want your child free of risk, but to basically tell them firstly – dont come to our house to visit, only come to the hospital and secondly – go get an injection or you can’t come – is so awkward. Of course, that is just me!! It feels a little like saying, ‘thanks for buying me that present but I’m not accepting it in that giftwrap’.

These are things you should say in person, such as ‘MIL, I’m so excited for you to visit us in hospital! The doctors are being really watchful about whooping cough at the moment, so I’ve got some pamphlets about the injection for family members of new borns, can we look through them together?’


I’m sorry it’s been tough with her, and hopefully she’ll listen and behave accordingly!

Post # 4
6448 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Maybe in the future your FI should let his family know what the visiting expectations are. I can see how that text message might be taken the wrong way if things are already tense.

It really seems like you focus quite a bit on the past. How does your FI feel about his relationship with his mom? If he is making it work with her and wants a good relationship than I think you need to stop focusing on his childhood.

Perhaps she is truly excited about having a grand child and wants to shower him with presents. It seems like you are very focused on her only buying them to improve your relationship instead of focusing on her being generous.

There isn’t enough in this post to know how your FI feels about all this but to me it seems like you are overstepping a bit in your judgments.

Post # 6
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

Well your FMIL was definitely overdramatic, but I do think that text comes across rude. A phone call or in person probably would have gone over better. It is frustrating, but I don’t think you’ve been completely blameless. It sounds like your FMIL knows you don’t care for her and is doing whatever she can to get your attention, even though it isn’t what you want.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  kimmo416.
Post # 9
2813 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I can understand that you’re frustrated, but I do think your text sounded a bit rude. There are some conversations that you’re better off having in person, you know? I totally understand wanting to make sure your baby stays healthy and that you and your FI are able to have some time to settle in at home as a family, but there are good ways to phrase that and then there are ways that come off as controlling and a bit rude. You might be better off saying it more like, “FMIL, we are so excited that Baby Cuadrado is going to have such a loving and involved grandmother! Because this is my first time as a mom, FI and I might be a little overwhelmed in the first few days we’re home and we’d really like to have a few days to ourselves to settle in and get used to parenting on our own. We would love to see you in the hospital after Baby is born, and after that first week, we would love to have you over to spend time with Baby, but just so you know, we’d prefer not to have visitors those first few days at home. Also, my OB has said that it’s best for all of Baby’s family members to make sure they get their whooping cough shots before spending time with him. Would you mind making a visit to your doctor before Baby arrives to make sure that’s taken care of?”

As far as the gifts go – some people just express their love through gifts. It’s one of the “love languages” – and while I understand you’d prefer that she express her love another way, you might just have to come to terms with the fact that this is how she shows love. She can’t go back and change the past… but if she is trying to become a part of your FI’s life and your child’s life, you need to try to forgive her for the past. (And really, it’s your FI’s job to decide whether or not he forgives her for that. If he can get past it, you need to support that.) I can relate because my mom’s love language is also gifts – I often wish that we had a different relationship and I could have more “quality time” with her or more “words of affirmation” – but part of being a grownup is accepting that we ALL have limitations, even moms. When my mom buys me lavish gifts even though I want her to just have a heart to heart with me, I’ve come to accept that this is her way of showing me that she loves me. Might not be the way I want, but it’s love all the same. 

It helps to imagine yourself in her shoes. How would you feel if she said, “I feel like you don’t love me because you never give me nice gifts”? You’d be like, “But that’s crazy, I spend lots of time with you and give you compliments and do nice things for you!” Even though you’re showing her love in the way YOU want to be loved, imagine if all of that wasn’t good enough for her because you’re not showing her love in her own love language – you’d be pretty frustrated and feel like she was ungrateful for the love you’ve shown her. That’s probably how she’s feeling.

Your child is your child, but he is also FMIL’s grandson. That’s an important relationship, and if you deny him the chance to have that relationship to spite her or punish her for the past, you are denying him something huge. 

Post # 11
2813 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

eecuadrado:  I hear ya! Just keep in mind that it really only takes thirty seconds to reply to a text and say “Wow, thanks so much!” and it sounds like it would save a lot of drama. Calls take a lot longer, I totally get it. But literally, it’s so easy to just hit reply to a text or email and be like, “Awesome, thanks!” Might be worth trying. 🙂

Post # 12
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

eecuadrado:  Your text was offensive and rude. Frankly, if I were on the receiving end of that I wouldn’t be visiting either and anything nice/generous/helpful I had been thinking of doing would no longer be happening. That baby gift? Returned. That delicious meal I was going to bring over? Nope! That offer to sit with the baby and maybe do some house chores so you could rest, shower, recover? Think I’ll take myself out to lunch instead.

Also, your email wasn’t the start of a conversation, it was issuing a pretty clear directive so what kind of response were you looking for? Acknowledgement that your orders had been received and pledging compliance? 

You and your MIL sound a bit like two peas in a pod. You’re both engaged in a passive aggressive tug-of-war. “How dare her not respond to my text telling her she’s unwelcome meanwhile I’m going to blow off her texts”

I’m not suggesting your MIL isn’t difficult but I’m stumped as to why you found it necessary – let alone a good idea- to send a rude text to several people rather than your husband just mentioning to his Mom that you all want x days of no company and to call before coming over after that.

Post # 13
3769 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

There is a lot going on here:

1. The past between your FI and his mom is between the two of them. Your comments about your mom being there every day of your life was completely out of line. Who knows why things played out the way they did when your FI was young, but his mom is making attempts now and that is all she she can do.

2. If the texts and emails have been overwhelming for months you should have nicely talked to her about it then. It sounds like communication between the two of you is an issue which is making these things even more tough. This also goes along with visitors. Just be clear about what you do expect from her in terms of visitation and have your FI talk to her if you can’t do it.

3. The text you sent out was iffy and I am not suprised you got a bad reaction out of some.


Post # 14
588 posts
Busy bee

This is a hard one. Most new moms I know have similarly struggled with how to to word the “Please don’t come without your shots and give us time to bond with new baby alone” request to family. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anyone really succeed with this in a non-offensive manner.

The vaccination half of the problem can usually be solved by a more tentative approach, something like, “Our doctor has been telling us that whooping cough is going around and says we need to make sure all of baby’s visitors have their vaccination up to date. Would you mind getting a booster? Apparently they wear off every 10 years.”

The other half – the “we don’t want visitors at home” part, unfortunately I just don’t think you can do. People usually want to come by to help early on, and telling them blanketly that you don’t want that help is likely to come across as rude. I know you’ll be tired, but when people come by, you make nice for 10 minutes, then tell them you and baby need a nap and say goodbye and thank them so much for their visit/help.

Now the text. I send text messages to my husband and friends, but only about really casual things like, “What’s your ETA for dinner?” or “Here’s a cute puppy picture.” I would never send a text message about something major like that, and I’d also be surprised to receive one. Some people obviously would feel differently, but texting still has a rather curt and informal feel to a lot of us, and we’d rather important information via other channels.

I know you didn’t want to single FMIL out by giving her a call, but I think a call or face-to-face with her to tell her about the vaccination concerns (and maybe ask her to check with her side of the family whether they’re up to date too) would have been more appropriate.

If FI isn’t resentful towards his mother for their childhood, you shouldn’t be either. If the past is behind them, you need to put it behind you too.

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