Post # 1
My husband and I moved to a new city in August last year. We lived in a city where both sets of parents lived and we saw them so often that we felt stifled. We decided to move away to gain control over our time and be able to start a family away from intense meddling.
My mom calls me up oneday and says SURPRISE your dad and I are moving to *insert new home city name * too!! The SAME weekend you are. They essentially followed me. And they guilted my younger brother (who is 24 with an established job and friend circle) into joining them in the move.
The whole point of us moving was to make new friends, get involved in the community etc and that hasn’t happened yet because my parents almost demand all of my free time. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in June and want to establish boundaries NOW so decided that every 3 weeks to a month is ample.
I had them over for dinner on the weekend and 4 DAYS later my mom was inviting us for dinner. When I said we were busy, she got short with me and I felt guilty but I’m not backing down.
She also tries to phone me for at least an hour a day and is already becoming OTT about baby stuff. She tried to force me into buying a baby bath that she likes even though I’ve already decided on one. It became a 2 day drama. Over a baby bath.
I’m fiercely independent and private but they constantly push and pry and it’s just doing my head in. Not to mention that they’re a bit crazy (think extremely right wing Christians, doomsday prepping, homophobic and just generally intolerant). Dad also can barely go an hour without being offensive.
I’m not trying to cut them out completely but ffs. We’ve been here 5 months now and I’ve not made any friends yet. My husband and I aren’t that social so a real effort needs to be made to nurture new relationships here. My parents have friends in this city by the way, so loneliness isn’t the reason. I genuinely feel like they’re obsessed with me and I’m a bit freaked out that they followed us to this city. Wtf.
They currently live about 25 minutes from us and my mom recently said that were looking at houses closer to us. I swear to God I’ll move away!!!!
Anyway, not sure what I want but how often do you see your family?
Post # 2
Wow Bee, this sounds hard. How would they respond to annopen and honest conversation about boundaries? Say “mom & dad, we love you guys and we so appreciate your excitement about the new baby etc but this is a new amd special time for us that we are figuring out and we need time to create a new support network, friends, community etc” Just to help them understand, if they don’t already? Also, you might appreciate the obsession when the baby comes and you need more support? (Just saying it could happen!) 🙂
I would keep calling them out on offensive/intolerant behavior so that thr message is clear and consistent from your side.
I live far away from my family, we used to live in the same city as Dh’s (huge) family. They are very close. We saw someone from the family every week, and would say we saw his parents weekly or once every two weeks, probably.
Post # 3
I’m no help. I see my family 4-5 days a week, every week, for at least a few hours at a time.
BUT my family isn’t overbearing and isn’t demanding of my time. They aren’t controlling and no one is getting upset over stupid shit. My mom is not an “umbilical cord mother.” She loves us kids, but she has no interest in having us be her only lot in life now that we’re grown.
So, for me, it’s different. We have multiple businesses together, and very real, adult relationships. No manipulation, passive aggressive, controlling tendencies. If there was, we wouldn’t be this close. That’s partly the reason we live across the country from DH’s family – no boundaries.
We see my family – a lot – but there are boundaries set and visits respect those boundaries. If they’re ever crossed (which hasn’t happened in years), I’m the first person to ruffle feathers and get shit straightened out.
I’d put your foot down, regardless of the reprocussions that might come (respectfully and calmly of course), if I were you. But I’ve also never been the person afraid to piss people off. Confrontation isn’t something I shy away from, family or otherwise. I firmly believe we teach people how to treat us.
Sorry Bee! I can imagine that it must be frustrating and overwhelming. Hopefully you can get the message across that you want boundaries and space, especially before the little one comes.
Post # 4
I live less than a 10 minute walk from my parents and see them 2-3 times a week on average. They can be frustrating and overbearing at times about some things but I can tell them to back off and they’ll listen. And if I’m really frustrated with them or stressed with life in general then I skip out on one or two days.
Your situation is very different however and if my parents were like yours I would want to get away from them too. Do you think maybe it could work if you set up a regular dinner with them? Once a week or every other week depending on what you can all agree on? That way they always know when they’ll be seeing you next but hopefully not take all your time away from everything else you want to do in life.
Post # 5
tillymac : how often others see their parents isn’t really relevant as their family dynamics may be different, etc. I see my mum about 4 days a week for an hour or so as they live 10 mins walk from where I work, so I pop in after work until my husband finishes work and picks me up (we car share). I see my dad probably once a week/once every two weeks as he still works (my mum is retired) so is usually at work when I visit. I also go to the opera with both my parents once a month.
However, we have a good relationship and they are not overbearing or demanding. My Mother-In-Law is extremely overbearing (narc) and we cut her off a few years ago. Father-In-Law acts as a flying monkey for Mother-In-Law so I have no contact and OH has bkw started seeing him maybe once every couple months after a year of no contact.
Point being, it’s unique to the individuals and the situation. I would suggest joining DWIL for advice. You need to work at setting and maintaining boundaries.
Also, you don’t mention your partner, how does he feel about this?
Post # 6
jezamor : I have tried this! They add another issue because they don’t enjoy ‘planning ahead’. That’s another issue. Is that they always spring plans on us and then get annoyed when we aren’t free.
They’re also not the kind of people who take kindly to criticism. They’ve alienated almost our entire extended family my whole life because of differing views. My own uncle told me they’re the most insufferable, judgemental people he’s ever known… Anyway.
elliebee357 : I have used almost the exact line with my mom before she said she understood but then still asks to do something at least every weekend and seems to get disappointed when I say no.
I genuinely do not bank on them being of any real support in any sense when baby is here other than causing more stress through unsolicited advice and pressure to constantly come visit them. My dad is complete shit with children and was practically not there when I was a kid (he was a total workaholic, he’s never even changed a diaper) and my mom claims to have done it all on her own after having c sections and having to return to work very early on. All she ever does is tell me how ‘easy’ it all is. Both of my parents still work full time so other than being pesky on weekends, they won’t be free. Oh and my parents never inconvenience themselves or do anything apart so having mom come to stay and help or do any childcare other than the odd bit of babysitting is out. They raised me and tbh i don’t really want my kid alone with them. My mom doesn’t really believe that children have free thoughts. She read my journals for starters then used what I’d written to punish me. It effed me up a bit. Arg anyway.
What I just did was tell my mom that the next weekend we’re free is 3 weeks from now, does she want to make plans for then? She said no because it’s too far in advance and they don’t know what they’ll be doing then. 😂😂😂
So I’m leaving it there for now. The pressure is off for 3 weeks anyway and I’m going to just keep saying we’re busy until they get weaned off us.
I also told my mom i had to delete Facebook messenger but just blocked her 😂😂
I shouldn’t do the cry laughing emoji but honestly I’m pregnant and idgaf right now.
Post # 7
barbie86 : my husband completely agrees with me. We’ve been together 10 years and has always thought they are nuts but has never pushed his views on me about it. As soon as I’d had enough though, he said he’d felt that way all along but didn’t want to disrespect my family. I told him they’re kinda disrespectful of us. My dad talks down to my husband in OUR house for example. Just enough.
Post # 8
tillymac : well I definitely think distance is needed. How often you want to see them is up to you; if I were you I wouldn’t want to see them probably more than twice a year. I mean, there are people I really like and only see once a year.. Which is a good way to look at it incidentally: think of how much time you spend with people whose company you really enjoy, and then aim to see your parents much less than that given you don’t enjoy their company.
If your mum sulks, who cares? Just ignore her. Put her in a time out if necessary.
Also, I would stop visits at your home if they are disrespectful to your husband. Either go to their home, or, better, meet them in a neutral location. Much easier to leave yourself than to ask someone to leave, and your husband shouldn’t have to entertain people who disrespect him in his own home. On a similar note, your husband down have to see them as often as you do; if he wants to see them once a year or not at all that’s his prerogative, and so I would name sure he knows that. They’re your parents and so your issue.
Post # 9
tillymac : re them not wanting to plan: well that makes it easier easier not to see them. If you offer a date that’s 3 or 4 weeks in advance (which is perfectly reasonable: I know my weekends are almost full now right up until April so I have to plan in advance), give them a deadline to let you know by. If they haven’t let you know by that deadline, the next meeting gets pushed back to 3 or 4 weeks after your previous suggestion. And so on. The fact they won’t make plans is basically saying they a) do not respect you or your time and b) want you to know that should a better offer come up they’ll take it. In other words, it’s a huge slap in the face. Either they currently do not have plans in which case they can see you, or they do in which case they can suggest another date. It really is that simple and their refusal to commit is basically then making sure you know your place in their list of priorities.
The last minute thing is also often a control thing.
So, just don’t play their game. They’re not sure if they can come? ‘Well we will need to know by tomorrow as then we will make other plans’. It gets to the day after tomorrow and they say they can come? ‘We said we needed to know yesterday, we’ve now made other plans. We will let you know when we’re next able.to see you’.
Post # 10
As if they are doing this!! I couldn’t imagine my mum moving to another city just because I’m moving, that’s scary stuff!!
Poor you and your poor husband, I hope the “weaning off” plan works for you, if not maybe it’s time for a very open conversation and be prepared for major major arguments
good luck bee
Post # 11
barbie86 : I just read your response out loud to my husband and he was like YES!!
You’re right, It is a control thing. It’s their way or nothing and I won’t stand for it. God, and we’ve tried the neutral location thing so much. We’re in a new city after all, lots of new places to try. Mom reckons it’s impersonal and a waste of money even to meet for coffee. We go to their house more often than not but dad always ends up showing us his conspiracy theories on YouTube =_= the last time we were there he told us that Christ was coming this year and the we’re all going to die. I’m expecting my first effing baby this year DAD.
The time before that, a BBQ turned into my dad trying to get us to promise him that if we get cancer we’ll refuse chemo.
My husband’s company has offices all over the world and he just told me we can move again if this gets too much to handle. In all honesty I see us moving around anyway as it’s the nature of his job. We lived in 3 cities last year but decided to settle here long term to start our family and buy a house.
I really appreciate the perspectives in the replies. And to have consensus that I’m not nuts in this situation 😂
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre
We live a 5 minute walk from my in laws and a 10 minute drive from my parents we see each set of parents once a month
Post # 13
Our parents are very close to us but we usually see them 1 time a month. And we’re all very close but I don’t need to see them more than that. Sometimes we will see mine 2 weeks in a row and then not again for 2 months. I love my family but I am also fiercely independent and private and need space.
Post # 14
I feel this. If I had to live in the same town as my Mother-In-Law I’d lose my sh*t.
I think the best thing you can do is tackle the “suprise” visit thing. That will create a lot of space.
Post # 15
tillymac : Well – I’m no help here. My parents live 20 minutes from ys. And they have mentioned wanting us to move closer / even asked if we would want to move in (ummm, no thanks). We see each other 1x per week and those are often sleepovers. We talk every day. Depending on how busy we are, that gets adjusted. But, they’re super understanding. They never pressure us. We visit out of our own will. Lol
Just continue to set those boundaries. And if your parents get upset, oh well. I would also have a very stern honest conversation. It couldn’t make the situation any worse than what it already is.