Post # 1
I am 39 and overjoyed with the birth of my first child two weeks ago. While I appreciate my MIL’s enthusiasm for her first grandchild, she does not seem to respect the boundaries we discussed a couple months before my due date. She is retired and has the freedom to make the 5 hour drive to see us at her leisure. I discussed boundaries for all grandparents with my husband, then relayed what my husband and I agreed on, telling my MIL we welcome her visit at our baby’s birth and she could stay a few days at our house while I’m in the hospital, then to give us another couple weeks to bond as a family before returning for a visit. <br /><br />What she says and what she does are two different things…she stayed a week after our daughter’s birth, and then invited her husband (my step-FIL) to visit the first weekend we were home. I had to nicely say that I am recovering from a C-section, and after non-stop visitors in the hospital, I was looking forward to a quiet weekend at home with my husband and daughter.<br /><br />When my SIL planned to stay with us the following weekend, and my MIL and FIL would need to stay in a hotel, I kindly asked that they not stay at the local casino due to the second-hand smoke that gets in clothing & hair and would be harmful to an infant. But out of 30 reasonably priced hotels in our town, where did they choose to stay…at the casino. She apologized but assured me their room was non-smoking (which doesn’t solve the issue of walking through the smokey lobby).<br /><br />She seems to have her own agenda with our daughter…for example, after my first day home of adapting to the eat-sleep-diaper change routine, we emerged from our room at 5PM, and she exclaimed how SHE needed some baby time. I felt like I had the right to bond with my baby on my first day home! Also, my husband and I said several times through my pregnancy that we don’t want valances in the nursery, but she told me she was planning to use some scrap fabric to make valances. My husband put a stop to that…but I have to be careful about how much I complain about her to him (hence my venting here!).<br /><br />While I used to get along great with her, I am now completely annoyed by her…from her silly baby talk (“wook at yer wittle toes!”) to how she clearly walks away from me when my daughter cries so I won’t take her away to breastfeed. Perhaps my sleep deprivation drained my patience, but she seems clueless about life with a newborn – my first two nights at home, she would yawn and say she’s tired…even though she slept from 11PM-9AM and napped!<br /><br />Since she clearly has not respected my wishes, and seems to be all about fulfilling her own role as a grandmother, I am concerned about how the relationship will develop going forward. Any advice on how to establish better boundaries to make the relationship more respectful of one another?
Post # 2
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
1) Congratulations on the new baby!
2) I’m on the couch next to FI (we’re both playing on the computer) and I asked without context, “What do you do about MILs who are awful with boundaries?” He responded without looking up, “Bear mace.” I laughed. Hard. Probably wouldn’t work in your situation, though!
3) The baby-talk thing is a very “pick your battles” issue; may not be worth it. As for the rest, I’m sorry! That sounds dreadfully stressful. Your FI is going to have to take the lead on this one, lay out very clear expectations, and if she violates them (tries to show up unannounced for a stay etc) you’ll just have to follow up with the consequences – up to and including saying “I’m really sorry Gertie [or whomever], but we discussed this before, and the baby is sleeping. Come back [name another time] and we can visit.” Then shut the door, if you have to. It’ll only get worse.
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Why do you have to watch how much you complain about MIL to your SO? It’s his Mother, so it’s his problem to fix. Tell him how you feel and let him remind his Mother about the boundaries. For goodness sake, make her go home. Make everyone go home. You are recovering from surgery and getting used to life with a newborn. You don;t need other people around stressing you out. That will negatively impact your recovery, your milk production, and your newborn’s wellbeing. I don’t care what anyone says, babies can sense your stress and it’s not good for them. It’s time for your SO to twll your stress-inducing MIL that she needs to give you guys space by going home. You’ll call when you are ready for her to visit for a few days.
Post # 4
I can only agree with lovekiss on this one, your SO needs to set the boundaries with his mum and he has to do that with you and your daughters well being first in mind. I totally get that some men aren’t great with putting down their foot when it comes to their mums, but I think this is the time to do so. You need to recover from the surgery and bond with your daughter. From what I get from your post she’s not really interested in anything else than what makes her happy – or is she spending all the “non baby” time trying to make your life easier (cooking, cleaning etc.)?
Post # 5
GirlNextDoor: Sounds like you need a very much needed break from her and her visiting, Id talk to your husband about feeling “crowded” and overwhelmed. I wouldnt make it a personal thing by going into the nitty gritty of what she does, just say you need space from your MIL. Having a baby is a life changing event, you need time to adjust and enjoy. You have every single right to feel like your space is being invaded and as a new mom you have every right to defend your space.
Post # 6
Ditto that this is something your DH needs to nip in the bud.
It takes time to get into a “groove” when you have a new baby, and having somone there, interfearing, is only going to complicate an already difficult situation. I know when I had my baby, I just wanted it to be me, DH and baby in our homes, with visitors only staying a short time (like a couple hours). That bonding time is important. Having my MIL or even my mom around constantly would have been enough to send me into an emotional breakdown, and I love both of them like crazy! It just made me really uncomfortable to have other people in my home, interrupting things, or making me concerned with what they ar doing, when I all I needed to be doing was focusing on my baby.
Good luck. I hope that your DH can address this, and get the point across that his mom is just being a bit overbearing right now.
Post # 7
Awe! Congrats on the new baby!!!
I had some trouble with my own mom, albeit more concerning issues with her drinking doing drugs and discussing unhealthy topics with my little one so I know what its like to set boundaries, I had to.
Telling them won’t work. You HAVE to be stern with everything you say. If you agree to them staying two days, tell them to go on the third. You wanr bonding time with your baby, take it and dont let them have a say. Have your husband to back you up and don’t be swayef or walked all over.
After 27 years I FINALLY set boundaries with my mom. She still tries to ignore them and that’s when I show het I’m serious. I’m 38w and my husband and I agreed no one would be in the delivery room, not even him. He said he wanted to be but respected my decision. I told him he can if he felt it was important but only him. I told my mom the same thing, if my husband can’t be in there no one else can. She insisted I would change my mind and she would be able to sneak her way in but my DH already expects to have to fight this for me and we plan to enlist the help of the hospital staff to make sure she doesn’t cross me.
Be firm, don’t sway. Get your husband to help support and stick by your word and most of sll remember you are being very reasonable, this is your child and it is up to you and your husband to make sure everyone who is in the presence of your child respects and adhetes to your boundaries. Stand strong.
Post # 8
GirlNextDoor: I don’t see why you should limit your venting to your husband – vent away, until he’s forced to take action. He needs to stand up for you, and limit her visits
Post # 9
Agee with others, you need to restate your boundaries, even if it takes you guys saying them 10x.
My SO and I were very firm with our moms regarding our boundaries. Baby talk drives us up the wall. I had to remind my mom a few times. She would even call our son ‘her baby’ and I would absolutely hate that, and remind her that I pushed him out. It took a while but eventually they came around.
My SO’a mom (who is from guyana and supposedly this is normal there) grabbed my baby at a couple weeks (not able to hold his head up yet) layed him down on her lap, grabbed his left leg and arm and like dangled him to ‘stretch him’. I saw this and started freaking out. I grabbed my husbands leg and started squeezing it, repeating over and over and over through clenched teeth “look tell her to stop” until he finally looked over, saw what she was doing and freaked on her as she was about to start with his other side.
I had heard done stories if her doing that before to other babies in the family and told my husband I did not want her doin that to our kids, I didn’t care if she felt like it helped them not be colicky and to stretch, it was good for babies to do stuff like that, when in actuality, it can hurt the babies. And he told her ahead of time not to pick our baby up like that and she did it anyways. She felt that since she had raised 5 kids she knows best. I think a lot of grandmothers are like that. They feel they know best as they’ve been there, done that and seem to forget how they likely were when they first baby was born.
Restate your boundaries (well your husband) and diy feel bad about it. It’s your new family, your new baby, you have the battle scar to prove it. You and your husband deserve this time with your baby that you guys made together an deserve to not have I deal with added stress of ppl not respecting your boundaries. You guys already have enough on your plate to have to deal with that stuff.
Post # 10
Congratulations!! I had exactly the same problem with my future mother in law. I had a bad c section lost a lot of blood & our daughter had an infection so we were in the hospital for 6 days! My FMIL visited every other day, unfortuntely this infection meant that only myself or my SO were allowed to hold her.
the day we were admitted she was waiting for us! I hadnt stepped through the door without her talking the newborn out of my hands! Never mind the fact that the day she was born I was out of the theatre & they ( FMIL- FFIL) we’re already waiting in our room.
anyways my point is that I would make clear boundaries, & explain to her that she can come round on x day at x time & if she turns up invited then you simply will not answer. This is your time to bond with the baby & adjust to your new life as a family. Otherwise she will continue to take advantage, x
Post # 11
Well I think the comment about not complaining too much is the same theory about never running to mommy and daddy to complain about your husband or wife when you have a fight…. or your best friend dissing your SO if you break up… it can make for awkward situations if that person doesnt agree with you, or gets back together etc… or in this case, if your over the top with your complaints it can make your DH DEFENSIVE of his “poor mother”. Should you bring up issues? YES…. should you talk about them rationally? YES….but I do agree you need to be somewhat careful in whats said sometimes.
This IS the husbands problem though….I dont see him inforcing what you talked about. You said she could stay a few days…..by Day 2 your husband should have been asking her about her plans to leave!!! You need to have some firm rules and maybe you can have a nice looooooooooooooooooooong inbetween before she visits again. She needs to be told she overstepped her boundaries. I think sometimes talking about boundaries isnt enough and you may want to talk to your DH about what some consequences you can give. I think new grandparents will always push push to see what they can get away with but if you dont actually act on what you say… they know they will get away with it again!! So the next time she wants to come visit? sorry were busy for the next few weeks…. (please dont tell me she has a key)
GirlNextDoor: sorry OP I meant to tag you before I started typing the above
Post # 12
LOL My DH sent me this meme and I DIED laughing….. its kind of relevant to the “how much you complain about your IL’s to your spouse” thing….. it was an iphone conversation I’ll have to type it out. (warning there are a few crude words bt its funny)
wife: hon my mom is coming over for the weekend 🙂
Husband: shes a f*cking c*nt and I dont want her near me, my house, or my kids
Husband: sorry babe. Autocorrect. I meant great, cant wait.
Wife: NOT FUNNY
LMAO…………………this would be totally me but reversed with me saying it about FIL. Obviously I would never SAY this to my DH 🙂
Post # 13
GirlNextDoor: I’m so sorry. All I can suggest is that you and your H plan a course of action, decide what you will say to her, be firm and stick to it – a united front will be best. Hang in there. *hugs*