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Son in law’s parents.

(113 Posts)
Yearoff Wed 21-Mar-18 11:24:27

I’m asking other mums of sons here. Would you ever do anything to jeopardise your relationship with your son’s wife? My DD’s in-laws have been challenging to her since the very beginning. They have two sons (28 & 32) and are very controlling with both of them. Their engagement was hijacked, there were riots during the run up to the wedding (if his mum wasn’t involved in everything I did with my DD) and now they have just had their first child it has gone crazy. My DD contracted sepsis during the birth and was incredibly ill and in intensive care for 2 days. MIL arrived up after DGD was born with a giant balloon (nurses were aghast). My SIL asked them to go home and give his DW space and time to recover. A full hissy fit followed. DD has had a rough time - feeding wasn’t going well, she was still in recovery etc. Anyway, SIL’s parents had a huge fight with him about “not getting to see that baby!” And “her mother” being there more. I should explain I live in the same apartment block and was up in their house doing laundry, housework and making meals for them, not holding the baby. This has now horribly gone on for 4 months with terrible things being said to both my SIL and my DD. Strained visits by SIL’s parents and much stress to both my SIL and DD.
Mothers of sons - do you accept that your DIL will be closer to her own mum than you? Would you tread gently? (I’m a mother of 2 girls and a boy and have a good relationship with my DIL because I was gentle from the beginning- my own DM told me to make a friend of my son’s wife because I didn’t want to be a monster in law!)

MissAdventure Wed 21-Mar-18 11:31:22

You'd be amazed at the sounds of eggshells crunching as in laws, as well as family, tiptoe around on them.

gillybob Wed 21-Mar-18 11:35:22

MissA is right and there are very similar stories exactly the other way around . Far too many to be honest.

I consider myself to be very fortunate. Whilst I have very little in common with my DDiL's parents and we don't socialise, we get on well enough and all have our children and our shared grandchildren's best interests at heart.

stella1949 Wed 21-Mar-18 12:00:37

I have a daughter / son in law, and a son / ex partner . So I have two sets of in-laws and I tread carefully with all of them since we share our grandchildren and I never want to jeopardize that relationship. No matter how unreasonable these people are, they are always going to be there in your life since you share grandchildren, so my advise would be to tread carefully and don't make waves with any of them. Good luck !

Nonnie Wed 21-Mar-18 12:08:13

Totally agree with MissA. We have to realise that we are only getting one side of this story and the other side might see it rather differently.

I'm going to sit on the fence and see if there might be another explanation/interpretation for some of the things you mention.

Wanting to be involved in the wedding is perfectly normal, especially if they were contributing to the costs. In my case the soon to be DiLs made sure I was involved in some ways. Shutting them out would, of course, cause problems.

Giant balloon, how big? Some people like to give big balloons for celebrations and many would not see this as a problem (unless they were looking for one).

I would think it would be normal to want to see the baby, why should one grandparent see more of the baby than another? Does a maternal grandmother have more 'rights' than the paternal one?

Mothers of daughters do you accept that your SiL will be closer to his own mum than you?

Of course I don't have the direct experience you have but, reading between the lines, and knowing how often DiLs put barriers between their DH and his family I do think there may be another side to your story.

I think you could go out of your way to improve this situation. Do you really want this to continue? Does it have to be one of you winning and the other losing? Couldn't you be a bit kinder and welcoming?

I am very fortunate to have such loving and generous DiLs who welcome me and want me to have a good relationship with them. I am even lucky enough to be very friendly with one DiL's mother who lives in Europe and comes to stay with us for holidays.

paddyann Wed 21-Mar-18 12:09:42

In all honesty I dont understand why both mothers aren't given time ,..they ARE both grandmothers its irrelevant whether the're paternal or maternal and your DD has to understand its her husbands mother and try to include her in their life too.As HER mother you should be trying to show her that is not wise or kind to exclude any GP ..ok they dont do things the way YOU do and you're her mum but isn't marriage about TWO families blending ?

KatyK Wed 21-Mar-18 12:26:32

Our daughter's in-laws caused all sorts of problems on their son's marriage to our DD. We tried our best to include them but they sulked and ignored everyone at the wedding. The MIL was rude to me when I tried to speak to her on the day and she had a massive row with DD afterwards, calling her and us all sorts. That was a few years ago and my DD gets on with them now and has helped them in lots of ways. They should think themselves lucky

Nonnie Wed 21-Mar-18 13:05:42

KatyK good for her, wish there were more like her around and then we wouldn't see all these people cut off from their families. Surely everyone can give a little?

eazybee Wed 21-Mar-18 13:26:39

The last thing your daughter and son in law need at this time is conflict between the in-laws.
Back off a little and let the couple manage on their own now that the baby is older. I can't see that their behaviour is that terrible; irritating maybe, but they care for their grandchild as much as you do.

tiggypiro Wed 21-Mar-18 14:00:44

My son's in-laws live very close to them but also in a different country to me. When our first GS was born I was on the first flight I could get. I had hardly put my suitcase down when the other Granny handed me the baby and whenever I am there she makes sure I have lots of time with them. What a star she is !
I do find myself keeping quiet at times when our way of doing things differ but that is just that - my ways are different not better.

SpanielNanny Wed 21-Mar-18 14:19:07

I’m very lucky that my dil is wonderful, and always makes sure that I don’t feel like the ‘number 2 grandma’. I don’t doubt that for emotional support etc she’s more inclined to turn to her own mum - completely natural in my opinion. But when it comes to grandparenting time, we are both treated equally, as are my ex-husband and his wife.

KatyK Wed 21-Mar-18 15:00:42

Yes Nonnie I agree. She was vry forgiving with them and they are her DH's parents and the grandparents of her own daughter and she didn't want conflict. We love our son-in-law and only want what's best for them at the end of the day. Life's too short for conflict, although I appreciate that it's not always easy.

paddyann Wed 21-Mar-18 16:42:46

maybe some mothers of daughters should remember that if it weren't for the SIL and his parents there wouldn't be a baby to fight over.It does take TWO and the number of mums of Daughters on here who think they should have preferential treatment is astounding .Of course the SIL's parents wanted to see the baby ,its their flesh and blood too.

Farmor15 Wed 21-Mar-18 17:15:04

I was chatting to another grandmother recently and we both agreed that after a bit of help in first few weeks, we should leave the parents look after their own child as far as possible. We obviously visit now and then and give a hand with housework (if acceptable), but it sounds as if yearoff has been there a lot, since she lives in same apartment block.

M0nica Wed 21-Mar-18 17:59:45

The whole idea of competition between grandparents just sounds weird. Marriage of our DS and DDiL was the marriage of 2 families. We live 200 miles apart, we have had very different lives, yet stay with each other and holiday together, DS & DDiL, their respective sisters, and DMiL and us (and DGC, of course).

Life was very difficult for DDiL during pregnancy and first six months of DGD life. No sooner did they know there was a baby on the way, than DS moved to a job 200 miles away and was only home Fri evening -Sun evening. Their house was sold, they had a tiny rented flat and how DDiL would have managed without her wonderful mother being with her day in, night out, I do not know. It never occurred to me to be jealous of her. It was a year before they were all together again.

As paddyann says: The child has two parents and there will be two families. Life when you get on and do not spend your time looking for slights, or taking umbrage is so much easier.

Violetfloss Wed 21-Mar-18 18:03:30

My nan died from sepsis so having seen what she went through and what a heart breaking thing it is to witness I would be raging if anyone came in with balloons looking to celebrate while my kid was lying in intensive care. Baby or not. She could of died really. It's abit insensitive. You must of been terrified and her DH.

I understand grandparenting should be 'equal' or atleast fair? In the early days, even weeks a little bit of understanding to the woman who gave birth should be understood.

I'm a mother of daughters so can't really say much about sons but I was treated similar your DD. I didn't have sepsis or anything but I had a bit of a tough time. My mom was MY helper. DH was great and managed DD, but my mom had (obviously) done the recovery thing all before. She gave a shit about ME and helped me out. If DH had given birth he would of gravitated towards his mom. It's normal.

Instead of abit of understanding in the early days, that actually, it wasn't going smoothly. Stitches popped, breastfeeding wasn't working and PND was setting in..whatever the case.

IMO this isn't about Grandparenting it's about what happened during the birth and tension from that.

gummybears Wed 21-Mar-18 21:02:45

The parents were all so bloody awful when my eldest was born I ended up keeping the whole bloody lot of them at arms length and doing the best I could with my newborn on my own.

I have many stories. Possibly the best was when i was two days post partum, haemorrhaging badly, and my MIL announced to my H thinking I was out of earshot, "Just try and get her taken away into hospital so I can keep MY baby at MY house". Witch. I got my blood transfusion whilst hanging grimly on to my baby, whom she knew was a miracle after many painful years of infertility.

I realise it must be incredibly exciting to become grandparents, but making the brand new mum feel like shit and like some sort of disposable incubator now the baby has arrived should be avoided.

I am cringing at OP's story of showing up with a balloon whilst the brand new mum and their son's wife is in intensive care. Incredibly insensitive to them both. The poor guy must have been in bits worrying about his wife and their new baby.

We are all the product of our experiences though and there will be many different and equally valid testimonies on this thread. I am still hurt after several years but I realise most people's in laws are entirely decent folk.

MissAdventure Wed 21-Mar-18 21:09:46

I never wanted to compete with my grandsons other Nan.
She wanted to see him all the time, and that suited me just fine.

Chewbacca Wed 21-Mar-18 21:28:46

I'd hate to think that I was making my DS's & DIL's life more difficult by being at loggerheads with the other granny. We've worked at being a united team that, between us, means that one of us is always available if help is needed in any way. It's worked so well that DIL's mother and I have developed our own friendship and frequently meet up to socialise on our own. Makes for a far happier and harmonious family for everyone. I realise that I am very fortunate and that this isn't always the case for others.

annodomini Wed 21-Mar-18 21:53:08

I have two sons and knew their OHs well before they settled down and had babies. I regarded them - and still do - as friends. It's probably a good thing that I and the other parents live a considerable distance from both couples, though I happened to be on the scene at the right time, every time. There's never been any competition between me and the other PiLs.

mabon1 Thu 22-Mar-18 10:13:16

Of course your daughter in law will be closer to her Mum than to you, what planet are you living on?

Teddy123 Thu 22-Mar-18 10:25:40

I do accept that my DIL will be far closer to her mum than with me. They are very close but I think it's almost inevitable. I'd like to think I'm friends with my DIL and always try hard to remain cordial. Am sure she feels the same. The same with her parents, extended family etc. I remember my son telling me his wife's parents weren't my type! He was right but again I'm polite on the infrequent occasion we meet. The in-laws live nearby to DS so inevitably they have more input with my GD. I'm not envious, just happy that they help out so much with child care etc.

I'm happy if my son is happy!
Anyway I have my own daughter.

All that said, if the inlaws were making awful scenes I may have to be restrained!!!

ReadyMeals Thu 22-Mar-18 10:26:59

Absolutely I have always been totally happy that my grandson spends more time with his mum's parents than with me. I always expected he would, it seems the normal order of things. But then I have a daughter as well. I wonder if it's harder if you only have sons and therefore ALL your grandchildren are getting closer to other grandparents than to you.

However -- in the first couple of weeks the mother needs plenty of rest and very limited visits from anyone except the person or people she has designated as her supporters. And even then those supporters need to be sensitive to signs the mother just needs to be left alone. New mothers don't always realise in advance just how tiring it can be having another person bustling around, and sometimes pre-arrange more visitors and supporters than they can cope with when the time comes!

Matriark Thu 22-Mar-18 10:29:18

It’s difficult, Yearoff, when someone - anyone - is being apparently mean to your daughter. My daughter’s in-laws override her and act as if she’s only there to look after their precious son. I let my daughter talk about it (rant about it sometimes), and I sympathise with her, but I stay out of it. This is all tied up with the couple’s relationship with each other, and should not be meddled with. I’m always pleasant and friendly with the in laws. My daughter-in-law lives closer to us than to her own parents, so we’re surrogates to her. When her own family visits, I keep out of the way, and leave them to it. I understand perfectly, though, that her mum is her closest friend, and I would never feel upset by that - in fact I’m happy that they have a close and loving relationship. Good luck 😬

Yearoff Thu 22-Mar-18 10:30:10

Nonnie there will be two sides to the story. My DD was in intensive care. The nurses had to tell. SIL’s parents to take the balloon outside. Statement from the in laws include “ we can’t get near that baby she’s always breastfeeding her! And “I don’t care if your DW nearly died, we just want to see that baby!” Please don’t think my DD is putting barriers in between the grandparents, my SIL is the one telling them to back off and let him and his DW get used to be parents. I should add my SIL is used to this type of behaviour. I can’t imagine treating any of my DC or their partners like this.