Wedding Woes

The birth-giver gets the say

Dear Prudence,
When I had my daughter a few years ago, I invited my mother to visit. She seemed excited to be a grandmother, and even though we’ve had a fraught relationship in the past, I trusted her to help me. She did not. She made very hurtful comments about my weight the day after I gave birth via an emergency C-section (it’s not the first time she’s said cruel things to me). I tried to let it go, but in the week she spent with us afterward, she just got worse. I was feeling emotional from the hormones and the painkillers, so I didn’t want to watch anything violent. She put on an episode of a horror show that showed a baby being dismembered and didn’t turn it off when I asked. We got into a fight, and I asked her to leave. Eventually, we found a way to make peace, but I’ve never really trusted her since. Her behavior since then has been ... OK. I’ve had to draw firm boundaries and vigorously enforce them to keep her from saying cruel things to me or doing things with my daughter that my husband and I do not want, such as getting her ears pierced or cutting her hair without our permission.

Now I’m pregnant again, and everyone, including my husband, expects that I’ll have my mother visit us again to help after the new baby is born. She seems excited to spend time with her grandchildren. But thinking about having her near me while I’m vulnerable makes me feel ill. My husband insists that she’s changed and I’m making a big deal over nothing, but her words hurt and I don’t want to have to defend myself while I’m trying to recover from having a baby. I don’t want her around me until I’ve had some time to recover. My husband thinks I’m being cruel or unfair to her, and that she doesn’t really mean the hurtful things she says. I just don’t trust her, and even if she says cruel things out of carelessness, I don’t think it’s so much to ask people to be kind to me while I’m recovering. I hate the idea of her being around me when I’m hurting and weak, but I don’t know how to say anything to her if my own husband won’t even back me up.
—No Grandma Visits

Re: The birth-giver gets the say

  • I'm guessing the area, but why isn't the husband able to stay home? Or MIL come over? Why does it have to be LW's mother?

    If LW wants to give the mother a chance {I would be hesitant also} I would explain there are strong boundaries, and no matter what if something is gone past that line then she's leaving. No questions asked.


    Also wtf on that horror show!
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  • I'm guessing the area, but why isn't the husband able to stay home? Or MIL come over? Why does it have to be LW's mother?

    If LW wants to give the mother a chance {I would be hesitant also} I would explain there are strong boundaries, and no matter what if something is gone past that line then she's leaving. No questions asked.

    Also wtf on that horror show!
    There are a million reasons why he might not be able to stay home.

    When babybelle was born, DH's company didn't have a paternity leave policy. My company required that I use my PTO down to 5 days while on FMLA. We needed DH to save his PTO days for after my leave in case the baby got sick (which, of course he did as soon as he started daycare).

    I also didn't get paid for half of my leave. DH needed to work if we wanted to maintain our lifestyle. And, for some people, one person needs to work so they can eat. KWIM?
    *********************************************************************************

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    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875
  • Who is this asshole LW is married to? What man supports his dismembered baby watching, body shaming, unhelpful, disrespectful mother-in-law over his WIFE? Does this piece of shit also get to decide whether she gets drugs or not? Whether she breastfeeds or not? Probably.....

    Unhelpful people postpartum are the actual worst. "Oh I want to come help!" often translates into "I want to visit with a sweet baby, not enforce any standards you've set for child rearing, and give it back to you when it cries/needs a diaper/is difficult." So yea, fuck that. By the second kid, you KNOW who helps and who sucks. They had their chance to show which category the fit into. It's too vulnerable and difficult of a time to grant do-overs. Especially to someone who's going to make negative comments on your hours old postpartum body and pierce their grandkid's ears without parental permission. 
    That was pretty much my ILs although I knew that was going to be the case it still surprised me a bit that I did all baby care during that time. Heck they didn't even hold him that much, it was weird. they did cook for us and stuff which was nice and did lots of freezer meal stuff. 
  • Every time I come on here regarding both advice column posts and posts by people complaining about their moms and MILs, I send up a prayer thanking God for the mother and MiL I have. 

    kvrunscharlotte989875MesmrEweLadyCatherineDB
  • LW’s mother sounds bad and her H sounds worse.  I feel so sorry for her.  LW needs to be firm with her mother that she may come visit once she feels up to it (could be a week...could be two months...) and she needs her H to not be a dick who doesn’t listen to her.  And not in that order.
    short+sassy
  • @southernbelle0915 ; @banana468 ; yeh I kind of figured that was why husband couldn't stay home :\ that's awful about those companies! Here, depending on company depends on timeline but most places allow minimum 2 weeks. M's company can allow 4 weeks, and I think he's gonna bring his laptop home in case he takes extra time and/or they need help
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  • So much wrong with this situation.  I feel bad for the LW.

    I know it is easier said than done, but I would stop engaging with my H or mother on the issue.  I would just keep repeating, as often as necessary, some variation of, "You/She is not staying at our home until I am ready.  I'm the one recovering.  I'm the one who calls the shots on this issue.  I'm not changing my mind.  I'm not discussing it anymore.  Stop bothering me, stop stressing me out about it."

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    southernbelle0915STARMOON44
  • @southernbelle0915 ; @banana468 ; yeh I kind of figured that was why husband couldn't stay home :\ that's awful about those companies! Here, depending on company depends on timeline but most places allow minimum 2 weeks. M's company can allow 4 weeks, and I think he's gonna bring his laptop home in case he takes extra time and/or they need help
    Yeah, having babies in the US is just fucked up.   There's not a lot of support by many employers and you need to self-finance.    On one hand you can argue about being a good planner but it's still bullshit.


  • banana468 said:
    @southernbelle0915 ; @banana468 ; yeh I kind of figured that was why husband couldn't stay home :\ that's awful about those companies! Here, depending on company depends on timeline but most places allow minimum 2 weeks. M's company can allow 4 weeks, and I think he's gonna bring his laptop home in case he takes extra time and/or they need help
    Yeah, having babies in the US is just fucked up.   There's not a lot of support by many employers and you need to self-finance.    On one hand you can argue about being a good planner but it's still bullshit.
    It's different when you're planning on having a kid. You can save up, etc etc. But some people don't have that option.
    Tbh even though things are better on that part in Canada, I still squirreled away money. Kids are expensive. We had the luxury of pre-planning.
    <a href="https://babysizer.com/geeky"><img src="https://babysizer.com/geeky-2018-06-08.jpg" alt="Babysizer Geeky Pregnancy Tracker"></a>
  • So much wrong with this situation.  I feel bad for the LW.

    I know it is easier said than done, but I would stop engaging with my H or mother on the issue.  I would just keep repeating, as often as necessary, some variation of, "You/She is not staying at our home until I am ready.  I'm the one recovering.  I'm the one who calls the shots on this issue.  I'm not changing my mind.  I'm not discussing it anymore.  Stop bothering me, stop stressing me out about it."

    I can't agree with this. She made the choice to marry and procreate with her idiot husband.

    If this woman would rather be home alone with the kid and new baby, then I think it's completely her call, and he needs to support that. If having the grandmother there is going to cause her more stress and trouble, I can completely understand the desire to not have her there. 2 kids is enough work without a bitchy older lady. The grandmother can come visit on the mother's terms. I could understand a little more if the H was fighting for his mom to be there instead of the MIL, but even then, I think he needs to defer to the wife.

    I told DK that I didn't want anyone to come when I had Wolverine. It worked out with her being 6 weeks early, in the NICU, and all of the family across the country that it would have been a little more challenging to have people show up to help. The only help that I really needed for the first 9-10 days after I was discharged was driving to the hospital to see Wolverine. It was a little slow getting around, but we could take care of everything at home.

    My mom later told me that she felt really bad for not insisting on coming down - but with DK job hunting (it was right after our move to TX) he was available most of the time to take care of house stuff or give me a break from baby duty. He started his job right after my due date, so we had that first 6 weeks with just the 2 of us and Wolverine after she came home. I wouldn't have wanted my ILs there because I feel like I would have spent more time babysitting them/stressed out than the benefits of extra warm bodies. (Don't get me wrong, I like my ILs, and am fine with them visiting otherwise - I just wanted peace at that point.)

  • I always kept lists in my phone of cleaning I wanted done, groceries I wanted from the store/food I wanted cooked, random house chores (like sweeping the patio, weeding the garden, etc.). Most people come over saying "is there anything I can do to help?" And they expect you to be like "oh no, just hold this baby!" F that. "since you offered, here are a few things I need done. Thank you so much, I'm going to lay down since he's sleeping." Sorrynotsorry. 
    Especially now that I'm a mother I really try to do this.   I've offered to bring in food for the mom (Sick of casseroles and craving Indian?   Let's do it!), extra chores, (laundry), etc.   


    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875kalinda2MesmrEwe
  • edited December 2017
    You carry the child and birth it, then you get to set the boundaries. Everyone else needs to respect them. Her H needs to STFU and back her on this. 
    MesmrEwe
  • LW needs to take off the Welcome Shirt and go a little Meghan Trainor on her Husband's butt...  

    Pretty clear - HE** NO on the Mom's extended visit.  
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