2nd Trimester

In-law drama! Need to Vent. Warning: This post is lengthy.

Hey guys, didn't know where to put this, but since this is happening during my 2nd trimester I decided to put it here. 

My mother in law has always had problems getting along with her kids (my husband excluded, for some reason), but I never fully understood why...until now.

We invited her down for our gender reveal party about a month ago and that's where things started going wrong. My sister was in charge of the party because this is her first nephew and she's been super excited since she found out we were expecting. I collected all the addresses from DH's side of the family and since the majority of them live about 6 hours away we didn't expect most of them to show up, but we wanted them to have an invite anyway - as a keepsake if that's what they wanted to do with it.

Well from the moment she found out about the party and that my sister would be the only one who knew the gender in advance (since she was the one planning the surprise) my mother-in-law would often complain and say "well that's not right". She even went as far to accuse my sister of deliberately not sending her an invite because she obviously must not have wanted her at the party when the invite got sent back because the address was wrong. It could very well have been my sister's handwriting or maybe I got part of the address wrong. But to my MIL it's "clear" that my sister has something against her.

And it gets worse. We were counting on my MIL being at the party since DH is her youngest and this is his first child. But up until 2 days before the party she still wasn't sure if she would be there because "you never know what could happen."

Well, the day of the party came and when she got there she didn't say a word to anyone. She even pitched a mini-fit when she found out I dyed my hair (which my doctor assured me was safe in moderation) and was so shocked that I would potentially harm my baby like that. Thank goodness she waited until we were alone before saying that.

Now here's what is really driving me nuts and stressing me out.

Two nights ago my MIL came over to visit because she was going to be leaving in 2 days and wanted to spend some time with us. When we showed her our son's nursery and she saw everything my family had bought for us as gifts she lost it. My cousins had bought us a bassinet and a bouncer and my mom had bought us a baby swing and a change table.

I was then told that she had made arrangements with my mom that everyone on her side (herself included) as well as my mom would pool their money together and buy us our nursery furniture as a shower gift. My mom had bought the change table, used, from my cousin's friend who was going to sell it the next day and we had to make a decision then and there whether or not we wanted it. And seeing as I didn't know about this arrangement my MIL had with my mom I told my mom to go ahead and buy it.

The entire visit all my MIL could keep saying was "I don't get why she would do something like this." and "I called her about this and we were going to go together, I don't understand." despite how many times I tried to explain that my mom was just trying to do something nice and we had no time to discuss it with anyone because we had to make a decision. It was ONE piece of furniture for the actual nursery and my mom hasn't even looked at any other furniture yet. It was only bought because it was a good deal.

I then came home from work yesterday and DH said we needed to talk about something. His mother had called him and told him she doesn't want anything to do with anything my family plans for the baby. She has also unfriended my sister on facebook for an innocent post she made about having a baby nephew on the way, which said "I'm going to have a baby nephew...nanni nanni boo boo." to which my MIL replied with "lol" before unfriending her. The post was only made because the majority of people who knew about my pregnancy thought I was going to have a girl, and my sister isn't one to write harmful things on her facebook. Everything is usually upbeat and about things she does from day to day. 

She also apparently criticized the games my sister had chosen to have everyone play at the gender reveal.....and also criticized the flowers she bought me as a gift.

She took offense to the a comment my aunt had made about having to change the date of our family Christmas party this year since my son is due 5 days before the party, and seeing as this is my first pregnancy, he will probably be late and it would be nice if he could attend his first Christmas party. My MIL took this as rubbing it in her face, even after we invited her to spend Christmas day with us and my parents this year for our son's first Christmas. We wanted all grandparents there.

Up until now she has made no attempt to be part of any baby events with the exception of asking to help with my shower when we first announced we were expecting, to which we answered that we would ask for her help once it got closer. My shower is still 3 months away and no planning has been done yet.

I do NOT feel like my parents have to ask her permission to buy anything to my son and she has been more than welcome to purchase items for him had she wanted to. I have always tried to keep her updated on my pregnancy so she wouldn't feel left out and spoke to her about the shower and told her that it would be nice if she could help out. However, she hasn't mentioned to me, or any of my family any ideas or even wanting to do anything yet.

She does this at every major event. For our engagement party last year she claimed that no one wanted her there (even though she received an invite) and opted not to go. At our wedding last September she made a fuss about her hair and about how her kids (who she never speaks to) didn't talk to her all night even though she had a great time with my uncle and DH's best man's parents and reminds us about how upset she was all the time.

Every time she comes to visit she takes something my parents or sister said or did and finds a way to turn it around to make it look offensive to her. She is always talking about how DH will always be her baby.

I am at my wits end and I cannot handle the stress this is putting on me. I am at the point where I don't want her around when my son is born or after we are home from the hospital. It is too much for me to handle.

Has anyone else had in-laws like this?? How did you handle it??


Re: In-law drama! Need to Vent. Warning: This post is lengthy.

  • edited July 2014
    Though I do respect your opinion. I want to clarify. We wanted to have a gender reveal party because we were very excited to share this news with the people we loved and to have this experience together. I do understand that it's a long drive for people to come down for 1 day, however, she doesn't live half as far away as them and we invited her to stay the weekend so she wouldn't have to go back and forth on 1 day.

    Also, there hasn't really been anything to exclude her from. The only event we have had is the reveal party that she seemed ok with when we announced the pregnancy at Easter. 

    She has in fact done a lot for us in the past so I'm in no way ungrateful for things she's done, don't get me wrong. But to act like my mother did something absolutely terrible and unforgivable for purchasing 1 item, to me, is a little dramatic. Apparently they hadn't even discussed it since the first time she mentioned it and according to DH it wasn't a for sure thing.

    Also, to tell us that she's no longer participating in anything to do with the baby that also has to do with my family is a little harsh since they have done nothing but tried to accept her into the family in the past. 

    As for my sister's comment. If she didn't like it, she didn't have to respond with a laugh in the first place. I feel it was hypocritcal to do so and then complain about it. It's also pretty immature of her to post inside jokes about it on her page as well, which I probably should've mentioned before.

    This is the first real issue I've had with her and otherwise have had nothing but good feelings toward her. Her attitude toward me has changed since the wedding and as far I'm told, I wouldn't be the first DIL in her family to experience issues with her since marrying one of her sons.

    Like, I said, I respect your opinion, but I'm entitled to mine as well.
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  • I would love nothing more than for her to be involved, but I'm not going to chase her down to do it. If she feels left out she needs to be an adult about it and speak up instead of going about it this way. It's not helping any one. I feel like I have to tip toe around her any more so as not to offend her in anyway and that I can't share any exciting news because she's going to think my family is doing it to spite her.
  • I would love nothing more than for her to be involved, but I'm not going to chase her down to do it. If she feels left out she needs to be an adult about it and speak up instead of going about it this way. It's not helping any one. I feel like I have to tip toe around her any more so as not to offend her in anyway and that I can't share any exciting news because she's going to think my family is doing it to spite her.

    If you (and her son) haven't already said this, take the opportunity.

    "Mom (or whatever you call her) we'd love nothing more than for you to be an involved grandparent, we will never stop you from seeing the baby.  But the drama needs to end.  We're not going to chase you.  We have no control over what other people do/buy/post on Facebook.  Stop taking things that have nothing whatsoever to do with you personally."

    Then, stop talking about it.  Let her marinate in that and she'll come around, or she'll continue being a thorn in your side and DH is going to have to handle it from there. 

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  • This is exactly why her other kids don't talk to her and why she doesn't have access to half of her grand kids. She has even gone so far as to block my SIL's number on her phone during her last month of pregnancy and my SIL couldn't get a hold of her to tell her she was in labor.

    I really don't want it to go any further, but she continuously plays the victim and it drives me nuts. She makes my family out to be terrible people and takes no responsibility for her reactions to things. I do NOT want to feel this way about her and would LOVE to have her in my son's life, but not if this continues. I don't want to put him through that and it's putting a strain on my marriage because we constantly feel like she's offended by something and we have to wonder if she's telling the truth or exaggerating and twisting things around.
  • I suggest DH handles it.  You'd handle it if one of your family members was causing a problem, this is his job.

    She's probably never going to apologize for any of it but it needs to be clear that her behavior isn't going to be tolerated and if she wants to remain in contact with "her baby" she's going to have to grow up.

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  • He has just about had it with her too. And he's agreed to take care of it. He's had to distance himself from her in the past for this kind of behaviour and would really hate to have to do it again, but as he said "it's the only way she'll learn."
  • Ugh she sounds like a drama queen. My MIL is no saint but I don't have experience with someone quite as "me me me" as yours. Sorry.

    I get your frustration, for sure. She is making this all about her when she should be focused on you guys and the gift of a new grandchild.

    Your DH needs to take the lead on this...I don't know that focusing on her pettiness will help, just remind her that you guys want her in your lives and the life of your baby.
    Married 11/2008. Started TTC January 2014.
    BFP 3/30/14. <3 EDD 12/4/14
    BabyFruit Ticker

  • Totally agree that it shouldn't have to come down to sacrificing a relationship with us or our son. It just makes it hard to look at it from her POV when it happens every single time and honestly, it's exhausting. I do love her very much and have sat and listened to her whenever something is bothering her and have tried to by sympathetic. What I can't stand, though, is constantly making my parents out to be monsters when they're not. That's what is bothering me so much. All she ever thinks is that they are out to make her look bad, which is not the case. And each time I try to explain that to her she doesn't believe me. I've told her countless times that they ask how she is doing and if she's coming to visit soon. She still doesn't believe me. It's so frustrating. I can't listen to it any more. It's not that I want to take her grandson away, because I've told DH from day 1 that I would never want that for our kids. And as much as I may need to pick my battles, it works the other way for her too.
  • Ok, the invite WAS sent, but it was sent back and my sister was accused of deliberately not sending one. I was with her when she went to the post office to deliver them. She was told she would still get her actual invite at the party so she could have it as a keepsake as there was no time to send it back and it probably would've gotten there after it left.

    My sister's comment may have been immature, but so were inside joke comments about the whole situation. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    To act to dramatically about 1 piece of furniture, to me, was uncalled for. Going on and on for an ENTIRE visit saying "How could she do something like this?" or "Why would she do something like this" is a little much, and I got the point after the first time.
  • I'm not going to turn down gifts. The bassinet and bouncer were my shower gifts from my cousins, which have nothing to do with the nursery. Had my mother thought that it would seem like the end of the world I'm sure she would've called her. She is not a rude person to begin with. Again, I didn't even know about any of it so I gave her the go ahead to get it. I even told my mother in law after I found out about their conversation that I would love to go shopping with her for items that she still wanted to buy me. I see my mom buying the change table as doing something nice to help us out. It was not intended to hurt anyone.
  • I might have been a little hurt, but I wouldn't turn around and then say "well then I don't want anything to do with plans your family has for the baby". This whole weekend was supposed to be a happy time of celebration and it was turned around and made to look like a conspiracy against her. That's what I didn't appreciate and that is what has happened at every major event since our engagement. I'm sure she went all out for her first grand child just like my parents are doing for there's. Like I said, nothing was ever intended to be hurtful. As for my sister knowing the gender before any one else, including my MIL, we wanted to share that moment of surprise WITH her and every one we loved.
  • Not at all what I'm looking for and my family isn't perfect either. And like I said, I haven't always had problems with her in the past and have been grateful for the things she HAS done for us and with us. I'm just saying that this weekend was supposed to be a celebration and it was the wrong time to bring it up right when we were trying to enjoy and be happy with finding out our first child was a boy.
  • Okay. You are entitled to your opinion and I mine.
  • And I keep telling DH that there is no way they are going to be best friends when they don't see each other often. She seems to think that they should've had this perfect relationship right off the bat.
  • Oh yeah, there was definitely miscommunication involved or lack-there-of (sp?). If she had a huge issue with it I don't feel like it was fair to come directly to us while we were still in our stage of euphoria from finding out we were having a boy and maybe should've called my mom and been like "you know, that really bothered me that you bought that, could we maybe agree not to purchase anything else until we can get together?" and let me know about it so if my mother has the urge to buy something I can slow her down a little.
  • I honestly didn't think she would react the way she did because, like I said, I had no idea of any conversation whatsoever. I was just excited to show her everything! This is our first baby and EVERYTHING excites me! And it may seem selfish to want to have a few days to be happy and enjoy the moment, but that's what this whole weekend was for. To be happy and celebrate. I understand that she's allowed to have emotions, but so am I.
  • She has 3 daughters, all of whom have had multiple pregnancies. She was involved in each of them and that's great! My mother has never done this, not once. This is her FIRST experience. She is undoubtedly very excited about this and has voiced over and over again how much she wants to help. I have never once hindered my MIL from being involved and encourage it. She has been invited to Christmases, birthdays, showers...everything. Most things she turns down. She has had the opportunity to get involved if she so desired and has not once spoken up. I love her, I do. I WANT her to be involved. I have expressed numerous times that I want her to be involved. This is a first opportunity for my own mother who has been over the moon about this since the day she found out. Is she supposed to apologize for that?
  • I get apologizing for the furniture. If they had a set in stone deal then yes, she needs to own up. All I've heard from my MIL and DH was that they spoke 1 time right after finding out we were expecting and nothing after that.
  • I don't feel like a parent being excited over their first grand child is an excuse. I'm sure m MIL did every thing she possibly could for hers too. I'm saying that if they had a for sure, set in stone deal, then yes, my mother should own up.
  • The perspective everyone's been talking about. I got some. Yes I see it a little differently. However, I'm allowed to have feelings on the subject too. Do I have to look at the big picture? Yes. Does she need to look at everything other people do as a move against her? No. Maybe we were both in the wrong. I just don't want situations like this to be a regular occurrence. Neither she nor my mother are perfect. They are both excited and showing it in their own way. In a perfect world she would live closer to us and be able to come visit all the time but since she doesn't there is only so much I can do to involve her.
  • Oh gawwwwdddddd.  Girl, ignore anyone who hasn't been in your situation.  You don't need to justify your feelings to anyone, here or your MIL.  No judgement here because I've dealt with a very similar situation with my in-laws (I have a MIL, and SMIL/FIL...twice the MIL joy).  I understand completely why you feel the way you do.  Its like dealing with children!  My DH and I had to deal with the same crap during the wedding planning process.  Your MIL is an adult, yet is acting out for attention like a child.  It gets real old, real quick.  

    My advice to you is to have a very straight-to-the-point adult conversation telling her exactly how you feel (don't sugar coat anything b/c she'll then spin it and make it about her again).  If she doesn't realize she's acting petty, then so be it.  Still invite her to be involved in everything and give her updates, but don't let her stress you out.  Its not your issue, its hers.  Believe me, she'll come around once she realizes you and DH are sticking to your word about no BS.

    BabyFruit Ticker
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