Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Not Welcome Here

Posted by Anonymous.

You were not invited. In fact, you were specifically told to wait, perhaps until the holidays when your son could be here to "entertain" you. Because I, I would have a brand new baby and I would need my space. Now was too soon. I have a new baby, later would be better. I was very clear with you - visitors make me uncomfortable, and you especially so because you dislike and are afraid of my dogs, who are my family. You flinch when they brush past you, and you make no secret about how they are "dirty, expensive and time consuming." They are my family, and have been so long before your son was my family. You've never liked them, or me, and you are very clear about that. But now that there is a baby, MY baby - you seem to feel the need to play this grandma gig to the hilt. And yet, you don't like me, and I am her mother. Right now, where she goes, I go. We are still virtually one being, with her wholly dependent on me. You offer to "help" but your idea of helping is sitting on the couch and staring at the wall. You are the most helpless person I've ever met. How do you plan to help me? By telling me what you think I'm doing wrong? I don't need your picking..........

I told you not to come. I told you to wait. To please, give me some time to heal from the ordeal of birth both physically and mentally. How could we have known the baby would be late, I would have a c-section, and that we would both be so so very exhausted? Somehow, I did know. I knew that I would need time to recover and get my feet under me for this "mom thing." I knew that I would need more than three or four weeks to be comfortable enough, healed enough, to have you here. This is why I asked you not to come right away. Because I was having a baby. I knew I would need more time. I would need to be on top of things to deal with you and your dislike and disdain for me and my dogs. Now, I have a three week old baby. I am not on top of anything. It's amazing I showered today. And yet, you are here, in my home, in my personal space. You ignored me, completely blew off my request for space and time and came anyway. You wonder now why I am distant and a touch rude? Perhaps because I have a three week old baby and I'm exhausted. And because you were here, demanding to see and be seen - I missed out on a three hour nap this afternoon. I am exhausted, have I mentioned that I am EXHAUSTED? I'm lacking the ability to cope with normal stress, with everyday activities, let alone the added pressure of having someone in my home who dislikes me so much.

You have begun a battle of wills that I will win. I am her mother, I am his wife. This is MY family and you don't get to say how it is run. You do not get to parade my daughter around like she is some prize pig at a fair. You do not get any credit for who she is. She is mine, not yours. I carried her all these months. I am the one who gets up in the middle of the night to feed her and cuddle her back to sleep. And he may have been yours long ago, but he is mine now. You've never been my friend, have been nothing but judgmental and cruel, and NOW you want to play the doting grandmother? I think not. I feel ignored, manipulated, railroaded, and just plain pissed off. You and I will never see eye to eye, mostly because you see only what you want, and hear only what you want. I will never understand someone who is so very afraid of animals, someone who is so intolerant of other's beliefs. You will never be able to comprehend the depth of the relationships I have with my icky old dogs. How much they bring to our lives and what they mean to us. That they are an integral part of my being. That yes, we are going to let her "get all doggie." You will never understand me, you never even try. Which is fine, because I no longer have any desire to try to create a relationship with you. No desire to do the "family thing" with you, and no desire to listen to your venom. You do, however, have to respect that this is OUR life, not yours, or you will be promptly removed from any aspect of it. I understand you, I just don't like you, but at least I can play nicely with others. I can put on the happy face and pretend that I am not enraged. Most of the time. Not this time. This time I will let you feel my anger and disdain. Because I am tired, so very, very tired - and here you are, in my face.

I told you not to come - because I was having a baby. And you came anyway - because I was having a baby.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel for you! Hard enough to have a baby and then unwanted guests on top of it? No, not cool. If your husband won't explain why you are napping during the day, why she needs to back off, and in general why she is getting the cold shoulder, then I would release all those hormones on her and maybe some on him too. You need support now, not this junk. I hope and pray that you find some peace and that she leaves quickly.

Anonymous said...

Where the h*ll was your husband through all this? If this is what you wanted, and what he agreed with, HE should have been the one to tell HIS mom when it was okay for her to visit. If he couldn't do this for you, I suspect your real problem in future is going to be your husband's failure to step up and 'be' on your side, and to let his mom know it.

Anonymous said...

Agreed - your husband should've been the one to speak up for you. I say that, because I often wish my husband had spoken up for me at this same point. His parents visited often early in the baby stages, and his father was so obese that he "couldn't fit" in the guest bed, so we gave up our bed. Healing from childbirth and forced to sleep in the spare room.

I hate it for you so much that I can feel the frustration bubbling in my throat. You deserve better.

Anonymous said...

This sucks big time. Although there's no baby involved, my MIL was widowed two years ago. It was all planned that she would live with her daughter. Turned out that she couldn't stand the daughter's husband so wanted to come live with us. My DH thought it would be a good idea. After many, many times of trying to explain to him why it wouldn't work for her to live here I finally blew my top and TOLD him that she would NOT be living here with us. He didn't speak to me for a week after that but it was so worth it because now all talk of her living with us (or even visiting) has stopped. She visited us once and was there for 6weeks. During that time I had major surgery and asked my DH to send his mother home. He didn't, saying she wanted to "help". She was no help to me, let me tell you. She sat there 'staring at the wall' like she always does and didn't lift a finger to help me. I was exhausted trying to entertain her. I feel for you and the only advice I can give is to stand up for your family and do what you need to do to heal from childbirth and bond with your baby.

Erin W. said...

Ugh. Mother-in-laws and babies... If there is ever a time that issues are going to come up, it's right after you have a baby. I feel for you, dear. How inconsiderate of her! To say the very least. And I know how it is to feel like you have to cater to someone who doesn't like your animals. My MIL is allergic to my cats and refuses to visit unless I put them in the garage while she's here... Works for me - My refusal to put my cats in the garage keeps her at bay. Too bad the same is not the case for you.
Anyway - be strong. If you do end up venting this anger upon her, a bit of advice: try to do so without yelling or getting too worked up (if that's possible) Studies have been shown that venting anger can often times be worse for you than "bottling it up." - But certainly don't sit on it either!

J said...

Ugh, I feel for you. I am having baby #4 this summer and my mother in law is already asking what dates she can come visit. I am already dreading it.

((HUGS)) and congrats on your baby!

Anonymous said...

Like yours, my MIL is a wretched woman who enjoys making me miserable. I am 8 months pregnant, and I am SO DREADING that first (uninvited) visit from my in-laws. I have told them not to come after the birth, that we will let them know when they're welcome to visit. I just know that they will ignore our plea, and show up on our door a few days after I deliver. I've considered not even telling them when the baby is born, but somehow that seems cruel.

I had to put my foot down during the first trimester, and tell my husband that he needed to get her to leave me alone, or I was going to lose it and tell her what I really think of her. The ensuing discussion between my husband and myself wasn't pretty, but I'm convinced that the fallout would have been worse had she kept insisting on insinuating herself into our lives.

If it were me, I would tell your MIL to leave. Not ask her to leave - tell her. Because sometimes MILs don't take hints well. Your sanity and your health (not to mention that of your baby, who is utterly dependent on you at this point) are worth more than her feelings right now. You can always apologize later, and blame it on the postpartum hormones. She's had children, she will understand. And if she doesn't understand, is it really such a big loss?

Anonymous said...

Oh, the husband, right. I forgot about his role in all of this. He was here, and did actually keep her fairly well occupied and out of my hair. Now, after the fact, there are more discussions of her and it turns out there were some serious miscommunications between us regarding that visit. Not surprising, considering we were both running on no sleep and on an emotional roller coaster. She really kind of railroaded us both.

The good news though, he is behind me 100% and will support whatever I tell her. And I have told her not to make any reservations to visit at this time. It felt good. Unfortunately, she's going to be a thorn in my side for, well, forever now. But we are setting boundaries and deciding how involved we are going to let her be since stressing Mommy out is not good for anyone in the family. And since I'm the Mommy here, there ya go.

Thanks for the supportive words all. May we all be nicer MIL's when our babies grow up.

Anonymous said...

I could have written this exact post myself. I will be having my next child in a couple of months and MIL will descend upon me. We actively do not get along and her attempts at belittling me, taking over the house, and smothering and spoiling my older children run old. I think it's such hypocrisy that she is coming here to "help" me when we both know that there will be no "help" in sight. I am going to have to take this up with my DH in the next couple of months and am totally dreading it.

Anonymous said...

my own mother did this to me, the day after i had my son. she stayed for a week and that was all i could take... the whole experience accelerated my descent into ppd like a rocket.

your husband needs to stand up to his mother and tell her that enough is enough. period. he needs to suck it up and deal with his own mother. and if he can't see that, you're gonna have to let him know. because, in all honesty, although you COULD lose it on her and tell her all of what you've written here, i can almost guarantee it won't make a lick of difference. however, if she hears it from her own son, it *might* help.

and lastly... i'm sorry. i identify deeply with what you wrote about her being "mine, not yours". my mother's idea of helping was to come and hold the baby, and then act like a martyr if i asked her to do something actually helpful like, say, make a meal. i had a deep need to bond with my child, something she could not understand (and i finally understand why my brother and i do not have a close relationship with her).

Anonymous said...

OH how I can relate. After the birth of my first child my MIL came and stayed with us the day we came home from the hospital and wouldn't give me my child when he cried. I told my husband she would never come that soon for any other child.
Then when I had my dtr, his parents came uninvited and we were under the impression they were staying for one night..they told us the next day that they were staying another night. My own mother was here INVITED, trying to help me, but was not allowed to touch the baby in my MIL's presence. I finally broke and told my husband they had to leave and I didn't care what he told them the reason was.
If I have another child they will be told NOT to come for an extended period of time.

Anonymous said...

My friend married a guy in the summer, this guy wouldn't tell his mother no on anything to do with the wedding. I told and told my friend that if that was getting on her nerves now then just wait til they start having kids.

When my son was born (me and my ex split up before I knew I was preggers.) my ex's mum and his grandma descended on the hospital ONE HOUR after I'd given birth. I was furious, no-one asked me if I wanted them there. I was having my first attempt at breast feeding my first child. Yeah, like his grandma sticking her face in my busom to see the baby wasn't traumatic was it?!

Anonymous said...

I have no MIL, but instead the issues are with my own family. They disowned me when I married my dh, and then while we tried to repair things it went from bad to worse.

Best to lay the law down now when babies are little then to let it go and be doing it when they are older. Much less painful for everyone.

I have vowed to be different with my own son and to listen to him and his future wife. This cycle is NOT going to be repeated.

heels said...

"You have begun a battle of wills that I will win."

Fuck yeah, lady! Thank you. I'm going to have to go through this with MY OWN mother this summer when baby #2 comes. I need this kind of strength.

Anonymous said...

When I was in the hospital delivering our first, my MIL called at 5:30AM to see how I was doing! We requested they not let any phone calls through at night, so she called our cells over and over until we answered. With this first baby, we were naive so we told them they could come any time after she was born. They hopped on a plane that morning and arrived at the hospital while I pushed her out. Literally. Then, my MIL proceeded to try to get the nurses to let her in my room while I delivered the placenta and got stitched up. I DON'T THINK SO!

The second time around, we asked them to please give us some time to settle in. We had twins, so we knew we were going to feel extremely overwhelmed and needed time to get our bearings.

They gave us 4 weeks.

In her defense, she is helpful with meals and cleaning while she's here, but if I have to hear one more time about how she used to run a daycare out of her home when my husband was a baby so she's a baby expert, I will SCREAM! That was almost 40 years ago! Times change.

Anonymous said...

When my water broke t midnight with our first child we called to let everyone know, and MIL announced she was leaving. We were having the baby at home, so if i didn't go into labour and deliver the kid in 10 hours where would she be? How long would my hubby and I have to bond with him before she stuck her nose in there? Ugh. Hubs was railroaded dealing with a wife in labour at the time so he's forgiven. Luckily I'm good at birthin' babies and he arrived before she did. She stayed for 3 days, complained the whole time we were "hogging the baby" crossword puzzles, and sat around. She actually said "I only came to see the baby." My family was here, and my sister's a nurse so they made meals, helped with breastfeeding, walked the dogs, fed the cats, cleaned, and brought my hubby and I healthy foods and whatever we needed to get through and more and let the 3 of us bond.

It's his job to deal with his parents, and yours to tell him what doesn't fly in your house. I hope to god I'm nothing like her to whomever my kid has a family with!

Morganna said...

I can hear ya! My MIL is Anti-Cat! When I had my first (D.) She wanted me to get rid of my "baby boy" Oreo, and I refused, she said "it will kill the baby, suck the life out of him" PISSER TO YOU MIL!!! I let the cat sleep with the baby!!! As a child my cat slept with me at nap time and our cat sleeps with our babies at nap time now!! He sleeps with M. at nap and in D.'s bed at night!! She really freaked when we had 4 cats at one point before the found permanent homes! She bought my son a dog for Gods sake, a freakin PUPPY, when M. was 6mths old, so now I have a 5yr old (D) a 1yr old (M) and a freakin 9mth old Yellow Lab PUPPY (Butterball) not to mention a 8yr old cat and a 3 yr old Beta Fighter Fish and a 27yr old Husband to deal with... I love my MIL but sometimes she drives me batty... and than all of a sudden she spoils me rotten, like giving me $100 to go buy all new clothes for Me and a stern order to spend it on me NOT the kids... MIL are just plain ODD!!

Shelbitha said...

Most of this describes me last year, and I have a good relationship with my MIL. I had to have a heart to heart for her to hear me and she did, but boy you hit the nail on the head, especially with the line, "you are lucky I showered today"

You know how the mother-daughter relationship is hard, well, times 50 with the MIL, but it does get better. With time, with LOTS of communication, and lots of letting go.

Shelbitha said...

Oh and I wholeheartedly think you should talk to MIL. Write out exactly what bothers you first before talking. You might be surprised at what comes out of her mouth too, I know I was, and it really and truly helped. My husband felt in the middle, so it really helped that I was the one talking to MIL.

pkzcass said...

For those of you who have in-laws that life out of town, maybe the next time they make plans to visit you could ask them to stay at a motel or something? It would give you all some space, yet there could be visiting and "helping" during the day?

I have a great relationship with my MIL and I vow to be just like her when it comes to my sons. I'm glad I have a good role model, because my mother was no peach.

And HBM, regarding your comment on Twitter about destined to become the same way, I don't think so. Times have really changed, and I think (or at least I really hope) that I'd be more open about my sons and who they choose to spend their lives with. I hope...

Anonymous said...

You just described my MIL to a T! My husband stood up and told her to back off and we havent talked to his family in 2 1/2 years!

Anonymous said...

my MIL came two weeks after # 1 and it was as far as we could push it. she wanted to come right away, and i knew i would want time alone with just me him and dad. i was pretty rude to her when she was here and looking back i think she wasnt as bad as i thought. im so grateful actually since reading everyone elses stories. shes odd but not unbearable, i was 21 and she was 45 and maybe ill be alittle odd by that time too, im already a little odd.

this is one of my biggest fears that i will not get along with my two sons future loves. when i think about the possibility of being an annyoance to her and not being wanted to be part of their life and the babies -my grandbabies- i get panicky. i love my children so much and i dont believe that will fade after another 20 yrs or so. i know by the time they have their own children it will probably have been a long time since i held a precious newborn. that time is sooooo fleeting and i can only think that it must be almost as powerful a feeling as holding your own new children.
family problems make me so sad.

::::wifemothermaniac:::: said...

I agree that i can only imagine how amazing it must be to hold your newborn grandchild...I hope that my children and their spouses will welcome me into that part of their lives. I hope hope hope that my future sons and daughter in awls don't hate me and find me annoying

Anonymous said...

My mom had a sh*tty MIL, and she kept us away from her (and vice versa). In the little time I spent with her, it was clear my mom was protecting me from a lot. Mom's the one who told me: grandparenting is a gift, not a right. It's a good line.