(Closed) Establishing boundaries

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@keepsmiling19:  So my parents are your DH’s parents.  They are super involved with the grandchildren.  They wouldn’t swoop in like you describe, but they are definitely more interested in spending time, etc. then what my Darling Husband is used to.  This has led to a decent amount of issues between my Darling Husband and I….including some upset when bringing my daughter home.  On the other side, I feel like we have to pull teeth to get my in laws to be interested and, while I know that they love my daughter, they just don’t want to be the type of grandparent that I’m used to.

To me, the issue is to set the boundaries early.  There is no way that you should have visitors like that in the hospital if you don’t want them there.  No way.  The problem is going to be getting your Darling Husband on board, however if you explain that this is a medical situation and is intensely personal, hopefully he’ll come around.  If not, you’ll have to pull the “My vagina, my decision”, which is TOTALLY fair and completely reasonable. I’d say nothing to the in laws until you’re making hospital plans.  Let them know that you will call them when the baby arrives.  Let them know about visiting hours.  If you think that they won’t listen, just get the nurses involved.  They are there to take care of you and the baby.  I can’t say enough how extra stress at that time is not needed.

I have a friend who has a similar problem with her in laws (MIL bathed baby for the first time, for example) and she had to have a conversation with her about it.  To me, the most important thing is to get your Darling Husband onside.  Explain that you are the mom, you want his parents to be involved, but you want to take care of your baby.  He will have to run interference.  They are HIS parents.

Post # 4
Member
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i don’t really have any advice, but i have the same concerns. it’s my husband’s brothers and sisters i worry about. when it comes to discipline and things like that, all the kids are fair game (even my husband over steps his boundaries sometimes). sometimes it’s ok. if the parents aren’t there, then obviously someone should step in if necessary. but sometimes my brother in law will be dealing with his kids and my husband will jump in. i want to tell him/them to back off- they’re not his kids and it’s already being handled by the parents.

we won’t be having kids for another couple of years, but when the time comes i’m hoping we’ll be able to get the message across that our kids are OUR kids and we don’t need everyone’s “help.”

Post # 5
Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@lilchicana:  That’s a good point.

OP: there’s a big difference between being interested and involved and interferring.  I would be furious if my parents disciplined my kids while I was there.  I mean, that’s not their role…I would take it as an attack on my parenting, to be honest.

Is that the kind of “involvement” you’re talking about?  I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that you meant that your in laws just want to be around all the time, etc.

 

Post # 6
Member
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

You might want to mention some of these concerns with your husband since they are his parents. It’s all together possible that your in laws may not be as “interfering” or “swooping” once it is your child because they recognize that as a daughter in law to you their role may have to be somewhat different. Like mothers are oftentimes different in their relationships with their daughters than with their daughters in law. I really think your husband’s input into how he would see handling the situation will be valuable, especially with these being his parents. 

 

 

 

Post # 7
Member
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I think you need to be very clear from the beginning.  When the time comes, sit down and have a good talk about what your rules are and how you see it working out.  You are going to be the mother.  You and your husband will decide what is best for your child, and you will need to enforce this.

 

 

 

I have had the opposite happen with my grandma and my Mother-In-Law who both babied her at times instead of disciplined.  When I give my kid shit for something, don’t say it’s ok in front of her.  It’s not ok, or I wouldn’t be giving her shit.  Because you don’t know what it’s like the other 99% of the time she is alive and breathing, please don’t act as though I’m overreacting to her rudeness or attitude or whatever it is at the time that I’m giving her shit for.  You don’t realize this is the 6th time today that she’s done the same thing. Stay out of it.  If you want to ask me in private afterwards about it, fine.  But don’t undermine my authority in front of my child and make me look like the bad guy.

 

 

 

You will need to talk to your husband about what boundaries you will need for yourself, and explain to him that you need him to back you up on those.  There is nothing worse than someone acting as though your rules or ideas don’t matter when they’re around.  It’s confusing for the kid, and it’s screwing with your authority and parenting with your kid.  Perhaps being straight up with them will make them step back and see you’re serious and they need to back off.  If you let it slide, they’ll think their behaviour is ok, the way they think it is now because no one says anything to them.

 

 

 

Post # 8
Member
7490 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

The Mother-In-Law of my best friend cut her baby’s hair for the first time.  OMG- I thought it was going to be WWIII!

Post # 9
Member
771 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@keepsmiling19:  You really have to wait until the times comes to address the issue with your ILs.  It’s fair to discuss with your husband now, to see what his take is, how he intends to handle, etc.  But don’t talk to your ILs about it now… it will appear that you are passing judgement on their interaction with SILs kids.  And to be honest, that’s none of your concern.  If your SIL has an issue, she will handle it.

Two things – 1.  Don’t become emotionally invested in the dynamics of their relationship (i.e. your SIL, her kid, and MIL/FIL).  Don’t get yourself fired up when you see your ILs do something cringe-worthy.  Don’t start with the “I’ll never tolerate that!” stuff.  Your family’s relationship with your ILs is not, and will not, be the same as SILs family’s relationship with them.    2. As long as you anticipate a problem, you will create a problem… in your head.  Plus, you will make yourself and your husband crazy!  You never know, by the time you have kids your ILs might be over the excitement of a new grandkid (that’s what I tell myself anyway, seeing how my parents treat my neices!).

So yeah, I totally understand your concerns.  So discuss with your husband now how you intend to handle those *potential* issues so you know you’re both on board.  Then drop it – and don’t sweat it just yet.

Best of luck with TTC!

Post # 10
Member
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@JemmaWRX:  you hit a nail on the head. Im starting to have huge boundary issues with my FIL’s but technically its just “talk”. Were getting married 4 months from today and hopefully moving into our new home shorty after that and long story short…. FIL’s are having (in my opinion) HUGE issues with the whole letting go of your son thing.

 

They keep insisting on “when you move we’re spending every sunday at your house, we’re never having dinner here again since you’llhave a nice fancy kitchen, WERE GOING TO GET STUCK AT YOUR HOUSE FOR SLEEPOVERS FOR DAYS AND DAYS AND DAYS…..”…… also Mother-In-Law says: well when IM taking care of the babies Im not going to be driving ALL THE WAY HOME….

 

the house will be 19 minutes drive door to door………… um………. ya…..

 

anyways… recently Future Father-In-Law has been starting to become VERY passive agressive towards me and It’s not ok in my books. Fiance said dont mind him, he gets like this the sooner you learn to ignore it the better. Well… sorry… but I dont give a rats ass if “thats just the way he is”. Its to the point I dont even want to go there for dinner.

 

So I told Fiance im working on a document about healthy boundaires, and how were SUPPOSED to separate from our parents in order to form the right bond btw ourselves etc… and I made a list of my personal boundaries in order to feel comfotable…. I wanted to bring all this up ASAP… (because I cant take it anymore) and Fiance said that its best to wait until after the wedding a) because he knows his dad and he will have a huge chip on his shoulder NOW if we bring up all these things that technically havent happened yet. b) if we wait until these things start happening we will have…well basically ammo to say look… this IS happening and we need to sit down and establish boundaires.

 

At first I thought it was best to lay it out now so everyone was on the same page, but now I see his point…. and I also dont want to start a war bfr the wedding :s (especially the way his father is…. he’s old school italian so its either his way or no way)

 

 

 

Post # 11
Member
771 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@shanbp:  Yes, I definitely think it’s best to wait until you’re confronted with those issues.  I have made myself CRAZY over the what-ifs.  My Mother-In-Law said she will quit her job as soon as I get pregnant.  Annoying?  Yup.  Overbearing?  Definitely.  Cringe-worthy?  HELL YES!  BUT – until she puts her money where her mouth is, I’m staying mum.  If she actually ups and quits her job BEFORE discussing child care options with us… well… she has egg on her face.  Not my problem.

Bottom line is – I think it’s imperative that you establish boundaries in any relationship, be it a newly married couple with their respective ILs, a daughter with her own parents, two sisters, etc.  But, I think it’s detrimental to anticipate *potential* problems, even if it’s based on past behaviors.  You never know what’s actually going to happen despite all the talk…

Post # 12
Member
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@JemmaWRX:  this is true….I feel a bit of a weight lifted now that I can rationalize waiting. It does make more sense to have actual proof instead of rattling off “what if’s”! THEN we will have no leg to stand on and they will have the upper hand playing the victim “oh shes so mean….we would never actually_____”

Realistically if I were to get prego right away I know 100% they would not be able to afford to have her quit work. I think its more the fantasy situation shes built up in her mind…. theres a lot of things I know she hasnt considered that I’ve brought up to Fiance. And if she does try to insist then I have a lot of ammo lol

ie: her health…. she has a debilitating back/hip problem in which she has to wear a brace to get through her 7-8 hour workday just sitting as a customer service rep (how the hell does she expect to be able to be running around bending/lifting, getting up and down off the floor constantly all day long….not only that but my and FI’s work days are extended plus our commutes….so 12 hour work day). Her energy levels are garbage! Evertime we see her shes complaining how tired she is…. again taking care of a small child …thats not good, I wouldnt want someone whos just gonna sit on their ass all day or not be able to take them out to the park etc etc….

so In my opinion based on the above alone (but believe me theres more) she is never going to look after my babies on a full time basis, i dont even think thats safe!

 

The topic ‘Establishing boundaries’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors