In Laws — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

In Laws

Hi Guys,

This might be long but I would really appreciate some advice about how to handle my MIL at the moment. I have been with my DH for 16 years and my MIL and I have generally got on quite well but she has a history of passive aggressive behaviour towards everyone (including me at various times over the years). For example, my BIL's wife, her sister and her brother all don't speak to her for various reasons and she has a history of saying some very nasty things about her grandchildren which upsets a lot of people. FIL is great, but very much under her thumb. My FIL and her live around 1.5 drive away yet never make the effort to visit us and our first child (now aged 6), they have visited us twice in two years, and we have usually gone to see them every six weeks or so, until I fell pregnant. When I fell pregnant my husband and I decided to renovate and have been very busy, hence we have only seen them 4 times in the last 9 months, which MIL finds unacceptable and of course probably blames me for. This is just the way it has always been with my DH and his parents, he is the 'good child' who puts in the effort and is barely appreciated for it. She has shown minimal interest in our first child which DH finds very upsetting and the last time we were down there was borderline nasty to him, which was confusing for him and which is her passive aggressive way of trying to hurt me. She has not been interested in my pregnancy, not that I expect her to be, but for example when my SIL (who is lovely!) commented on how exciting it was that we were having another baby, MIL just replied coldly 'yep!'. So clearly the opposite of excited and that really hurt.

As we were leaving she hugged and me and said with a big fake smile "I don't know WHAT we're going to do when the baby arrives!" which I took as her way of trying to intimate that she was unsure whether they would be able to come up and see the baby. Now I love my FIL, but there is no way in hell we are driving a newborn baby down to see them when they are perfectly capable of driving up here! I am getting really sick of her silly nastiness and now see what my BIL's wife has had to deal with for so long. I mentioned it to my husband, but he didn't think she meant it that way. If she does try and get out of seeing the baby when he is born, what should I do? This has really been hanging over me the whole pregnancy as I don't deal well with conflict and to be honest has been a huge stress on me. Need some advice on how to either approach it, or let it go! Thanks xxx

Re: In Laws

  • When I had issues with my IL I told my DH he had to deal with it. We generally deal with the issues with out parents ourselves since we have known them longer and know them better. I know it is hard, but you are going to have to do what is best for your family unit and either ignore her or have it out with her...just make sure your DH and you are united on how you plan to deal with it. I know he wants to giver her the benefit of the doubt, but there is not use in trying to change her or your relationship if she isn't going to put forth the effort. Just my opinion. you have to do what you are comfortable with.

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  • I don't know if she meant it that way either. Might be good to have a sit down and work out how the visiting needs to work for the first little bit. Just saying that normally you would love to come up but it's a lot with a new little one and if they would mind making the trek for the first few months. I'm sorry that they aren't super excited that has to be very tough. I find that passive aggressive people do appreciate taking time to go over how you can both be happy. Wishing you all the best with your in laws. :)
  • Thankyou everyone, some very wise advice :-)
  • I second amark's thoughts. You simply can't control other people's actions. We shouldn't be surprised that someone who has maintained the same attitude and behavior for years continues to be that way. We can only control ourselves...he being a PITA should not be your problem.
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  • It's her loss in the end if she decides not to make the trip once the baby comes. She knows where you guys willl be and if she honestly thinks your gonna drive the 1.5 a week or two or three after baby comes cause she won't make the trip to you she's crazy and being selfish. I'm sure she knows the door is open, do what is best for your family and don't feel quilty or bad.
    My mil lives two hours away and the last time she came to visit was end of Nov. Me and my husband saw her for dinner a few months ago cause we were staying close by and last week she made the comment "I guess I won't see you guys till after the baby comes" which my husband said well we can't make the drive with me being this far pregnant per drs orders. But she's always welcomed here and knows that. So it'll be seven months since she's seen our three oldest boys if she comes to visit after he comes. Makes me sad but I can't force others to want to make the effort.
  • Our entire family is like this and they are not quite that far away. We go to church in a city closer to them but are often tired or need to get home to do things on Sunday afternoons, especially now that I'm around 8 months pregnant. The drive to our house isn't that bad for them but I can't feel my feet after being in a car that long. Those who are healthy enough and able always make us feel so bad. I hope we can work something out once baby is here because my in-laws in particular feel a little entitled to their grandkids because of BIL's custody agreement saying he has them 3 weekends a month, but he lives with them for now...

    Anyway, I understand where you're coming from. I have one set of grandparents who definitely cannot make more than a 10 minute trip, so we will have to drive down there when we can, but travelling with a newborn seems like way too much to me.
  • Yeah - you can only control your own actions.  I agree that ou should not have to travel to them with a newborn, so make it known now to your DH that, if they want to see the baby in the first 6/ 8/ 10 weeks, they need to come to you.  And then let him deal with his parents.  We have similar experience ith the passive aggressive behavior and I let my husband manage it. I make it known what I am willing to and not willing to do and then send him to deal with his folks.  Above all, try not to stress about it.  Enjoy your baby. You are never going to prevent your MIL from feeling hurt or mad about something... it sounds like she looks for reason to diapprove.  Sorry girl! 
    • Married 6/1/2012
    • BFP #1 - 11/17/2012 -  MC 12/10/2012
    • BFP #2 - 2/12/2013 - EDD 10/17/2013 - DD Born 10/10/2013
    • BFP #3 - 1/29/2014 - Ectopic pregnancy discovered 1/31/2014
    • BFP #4 - 9/28/2014 - EDD 6/4/2015 - DS Born 5/31/2015

  • I totally see why you're upset over all of this, but you have your own family that you need to concentrate on especially since it seems like she made your current son so uncomfortable the last time he saw her that's not fair to him and not fair to you to have to try to explain mother-in-law's behavior to him. as long as hubby feels the same way as you I think you should let her know how you feel and that she is more than welcome to come visit once the baby is born but you likely won't make the trip to her anytime soon. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this this is supposed to be a happy time for you and your family. hoping you find peace with the situation.
  • Thanks guys, I think you are right, I have decided to let it go and just focus on the joy of the rest of this pregnancy and not even consider her at all. After all, we are young and this baby's life is just beginning, She's 75 and should know better and if she wants to be like that fine, our door is always open.
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