Strategies for dealing with Overbearing family members — The Bump
December 2015 Moms

Strategies for dealing with Overbearing family members

Hey Ladies,
    I keep reading threads about crazy MILs and family members. I thought it would be a good idea to discuss some stories about this and positive and, not so positive, ways to deal with these situations. Maybe we can help someone with a similar situation that isn't posting...yet. It can also be entertaining. Share away ladies!
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amw2133

Re: Strategies for dealing with Overbearing family members

  • My family is overbearing all of the time but I love it. I love that they care so much. I couldn't imagine going through this without their crazy comments and actions. Lol
    ReedBabyMama
  • My biggest suggestion is to pick your battles and stand your ground on what is most important. My mother and my husband's bio-mom are both overly sensitive and will try to emotionally manipulate us into letting them have their way. A lot of passive aggression in our family. After having a very stressful first birth, we are putting out feet down this time for a more immediate family centered experience.

    Not everything is worth fighting over, so we try to give them small victories, like giving us their input on baby names, etc.
    ChiccoBeanzReedBabyMamakristen2brmarie13
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  • @dec15mum that made me giggle
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    Sunny2015dec15mum
  • Before becoming pregnant, I worried about certain people of my family being overbearing and trying to be too involved. It's actually been just the opposite and I feel alone a lot (Hubby has been great-I'm talking mainly about my mom and his mom. We barely got a Congrats from her and probably wouldn't have gotten that if it weren't in response to a group text revealing the gender). Being that my mom hasn't even called in over a month, she doesn't even know that I don't want anyone at the hospital during labor let alone in the delivery room.
    Lilypie Maternity tickers
  • @GardenMama116 *Hugs you and then sings in my Michael Jackson voice* "You are not alone. I am here with you, although I'm far away. I am here to staaaay!" I hope that made you giggle a little. Life transitions can be rough on everyone sometimes. Maybe they are having a challenge with the change and it hasn't hit them yet. Not to be AWish, but from my experience, it took my mom a little bit of time to warm up. I'm her first kid, this will be her first grand kid, and a lot of stuff has been going on with me, my sibling, my dad, my mom herself...her sister... so it was a little overwhelming and now it has settled in and she is 1 of my top supporters (She always is but now in a fashion I like and understand). Maybe call your mom, see how she's doing and tell her you want her to be more involved and that it would really make you happy to have more of her support. Let her know that you are there for her too, so it's a two way street. You and DH can do this with MIL too. Sometimes people that behave this way aren't aware of the impact it has on others. You may just have to tell them. I hope that helps.
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    GardenMama116
  • I've talked to my boyfriend about my opinions on dealing with family, and he 100% backs me up even when he doesn't really get it so I've just focused on dealing with things as the come and not worrying about pleasing anyone else or being seen as crazy.
    ChiccoBeanz
  • My FIL's new wife keeps calling herself "Mimi", and DH and I will just call her by her first name. No pet grandma-type names. Whenever she says it, we just smile and nod. Fortunately we will be moving about 5-6 hours away as soon as the baby is born, so they probably won't see him more than once a year. :) yay!! DH and FIL have a pretty bad relationship as it is, so I hope this will just be something that distance can solve.
  • My MIL is really awesome, but we live very far away (like two days of driving one way) and that's only going to get stretched longer when we have a baby to stop periodically for feeding and changing. Because of this we don't see them very often. Flying would help with the time issue but neither of us has the money for it since flying in Canada is for some reason extremely expensive.
    Because of all this and the fact that the rest of her family is really spread out she gets really overprotective of family time when everyone gathers en masse. Currently they do one gathering like this every other Christmas and one happens to fall on this year. We have so many issues against us going - for one thing they had a reunion this summer that we used almost all of our vacation time to get to (and the rest was used for my sister's wedding) so we have no vacation time left to work with. For another thing we don't want to go anywhere this Christmas anyway! We want to spend the holiday season nestling into our new routine with baby. For another thing my husband is a pastor of a small church and leaving for Christmas is next to impossible because it is all hands on deck to run our Christmas Eve service and other programs.
    We've stood our ground with what we can and can't be around for, and she says she understands but keeps bringing it up again later or tries to see if 'there isn't a way that we could possibly make it..'.
    To top it all off my family is much closer geographically, and my husband goes back to the seminary my Dad is the president of every couple months for classes and things. So while it seems like we're constantly taking jaunts off to go see my family it's really mostly school stuff. This unfortunately is making her a bit jealous.

    I'm not sure how to deal with it all. The pressure I feel from her - and that whole side of the family really - to be at the big family events they hold as frequently as they can really interacts with my pregnancy hormones in an unfortunate way!
    So far we've just tried to be calm and clear about where we're at. We try to make it clear that we love them a lot, but one trip out there per year is really all we can afford financially and with our holiday time. If that's not enough for them I don't know what else we can do!
    kristen2b
  • My MIL is really awesome, but we live very far away (like two days of driving one way) and that's only going to get stretched longer when we have a baby to stop periodically for feeding and changing. Because of this we don't see them very often. Flying would help with the time issue but neither of us has the money for it since flying in Canada is for some reason extremely expensive.
    Because of all this and the fact that the rest of her family is really spread out she gets really overprotective of family time when everyone gathers en masse. Currently they do one gathering like this every other Christmas and one happens to fall on this year. We have so many issues against us going - for one thing they had a reunion this summer that we used almost all of our vacation time to get to (and the rest was used for my sister's wedding) so we have no vacation time left to work with. For another thing we don't want to go anywhere this Christmas anyway! We want to spend the holiday season nestling into our new routine with baby. For another thing my husband is a pastor of a small church and leaving for Christmas is next to impossible because it is all hands on deck to run our Christmas Eve service and other programs.
    We've stood our ground with what we can and can't be around for, and she says she understands but keeps bringing it up again later or tries to see if 'there isn't a way that we could possibly make it..'.
    To top it all off my family is much closer geographically, and my husband goes back to the seminary my Dad is the president of every couple months for classes and things. So while it seems like we're constantly taking jaunts off to go see my family it's really mostly school stuff. This unfortunately is making her a bit jealous.

    I'm not sure how to deal with it all. The pressure I feel from her - and that whole side of the family really - to be at the big family events they hold as frequently as they can really interacts with my pregnancy hormones in an unfortunate way!
    So far we've just tried to be calm and clear about where we're at. We try to make it clear that we love them a lot, but one trip out there per year is really all we can afford financially and with our holiday time. If that's not enough for them I don't know what else we can do!

    The next time your MIL bring up Christmas firmly tell her "as much as we would love to spend the holidays with you it just isn't possible for us this year. I appreciate how badly you want us there but please stop asking, it's becoming bothersome and our answer is not changing, that time will be for us as to get accustom to a newborn and our new roles as parents, I hope you understand and we will be sure to find a way next time."
    kelseyofannekristen2bChiccoBeanz
  • Yes that's pretty much been our strategy so far. It's just emotionally tiring!
    kristen2b
  • Absolutely jumping in on this!!! So excited my BF talked to his mom and explained I'm probably going to have a difficult delivery with my pregnancy problems and please understand and respect my wishes that you will not be in the room. As soon as I'm up for visitors your more than welcome to come. Just found out I'm probably going to need a C Section and than my gallbladder out. Talk about a fun way to join motherhood. Because I'm already in the 3rd trimester and high risk I'm thinking surgery before baby comes is out of the question. His mom has offered to clean and cook when I needed and offered up use of her shower whenever her son wants to take me over there so that I don't have to climb stairs... Just glad his family stopped with the "our baby" thing. No it's mine and his, not yours.... Now to just deal with my sisters insisting I can't have my gallbladder out the day after giving birth because I can't breast feed for a day I'll give the baby "nipple confusion" why do families find pregnancy the perfect time to become extra crazy???
  • Since my MIL lives an hour away she really wants to be at the hospital while I'm in labour. I've been so dead against this that I really needed to compromise to find a solution my DH and MIL thought was fair. That solution is for my MIL to stay in my house as soon as we leave for the hospital. I am hoping she'll find the role of "preparing the home" as a top priority and jump to the idea. And then she's 15 min away when we are ready for visitors.

    I'm not 100% thrilled about this plan but I know that it's a plan my DH is really happy about. As long as it keeps my MIL from seeing my vag I'm all good.
  • My MIL is just plain hateful. Before we were married I was actually closer with her than my own mother, but once my bridal shower came around she decided she hated me because my husband made a comment about his little sister's behavior at the shower. Since then she has turned her entire family against me, telling them I don't allow him to visit or call them, when in reality he doesn't want to spend what little bit of free time he has dealing with their drama. His mom has gone as far as telling anybody that would listen including people she didn't even know, horrible lies about me, and the most recent one just a couple weeks ago was my husband has told her he isn't happy in our marriage and we are having problems and I am trapping him with a pregnancy, we have been together for nearly 7 years and happily married for over 4 years. The best part of this one is she said it to my FIL who my husband and I get along great with and she thought it wouldn't get back to us. When we announced that we are having a baby she stormed out of the house bawling and the only thing she said to my husband was "I wish it were under different circumstances" and has not even acknowledged the fact that we are having a baby since that night over 4 months ago, nor has anyone else on her side of the family. My FIL and his side of the family are always checking on how things are going and we even had a family get together with some extended family at my husband's grandparents and my MIL refused to come because she knew everyone there would be talking about baby. 
  • Since my MIL lives an hour away she really wants to be at the hospital while I'm in labour. I've been so dead against this that I really needed to compromise to find a solution my DH and MIL thought was fair. That solution is for my MIL to stay in my house as soon as we leave for the hospital. I am hoping she'll find the role of "preparing the home" as a top priority and jump to the idea. And then she's 15 min away when we are ready for visitors.

    I'm not 100% thrilled about this plan but I know that it's a plan my DH is really happy about. As long as it keeps my MIL from seeing my vag I'm all good.

    Long time lurker here (hi everyone!), but I feel the need to jump in on this. This is literally the EXACT same situation my DH and I are in, and we came up with the EXACT same solution. I'm also not loving this scenario, but it's better than her hovering over me while I'm giving birth.

    MIL happens to be a neat freak, so I plan on leaving the house a mess right around my due date. That way she'll hopefully be so distracted by the way the house looks that she won't feel the need to run to the hospital right away :).
    kristen2bmrs14678dec15mum
  • Since my MIL lives an hour away she really wants to be at the hospital while I'm in labour. I've been so dead against this that I really needed to compromise to find a solution my DH and MIL thought was fair. That solution is for my MIL to stay in my house as soon as we leave for the hospital. I am hoping she'll find the role of "preparing the home" as a top priority and jump to the idea. And then she's 15 min away when we are ready for visitors. I'm not 100% thrilled about this plan but I know that it's a plan my DH is really happy about. As long as it keeps my MIL from seeing my vag I'm all good.
    Long time lurker here (hi everyone!), but I feel the need to jump in on this. This is literally the EXACT same situation my DH and I are in, and we came up with the EXACT same solution. I'm also not loving this scenario, but it's better than her hovering over me while I'm giving birth. MIL happens to be a neat freak, so I plan on leaving the house a mess right around my due date. That way she'll hopefully be so distracted by the way the house looks that she won't feel the need to run to the hospital right away :).
    We have decided not to have anyone with us at all at the hospital, we are still debating if we will tell anyone before we are leaving the hospital to come home or if we will wait til then to announce it to anyone so no one can decide to show up against our wishes. My MIL absolutely will not be allowed at the hospital under any circumstances, not that she would even want to come but my DH completely agrees with me due to her behavior. I guess if you and your MIL get along and the only concern is you don't want her in the room during the birth she could always sit in the waiting room while you give birth and come in when you are ready, if she really wants to be there so badly she won't mind the wait, and if she is an hour away then you could always call her when you go into labor and by the time she gets there it will cut her wait in the waiting room... 
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