Hi grans I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice.
I have two children 2.5 years and 6 months old. My in-laws for religious and other reasons did not initially like or accept me. They were always polite enough but didn’t make much effort to get to know me. My husband is close with them so we have always seen them perhaps weekly. My relationship with them has also had some positive memories too.
Ever since I was pregnant, my mother in law changed her tune. It was obvious to me that it was because I was pregnant. She offered to attend my ultrasounds and initially I said yes. But she cried during my ultrasound and I felt uncomfortable, like it should have been my husband there.
Fast forward to birth and beyond, my in-laws have dropped in (I’ve done my best with boundaries there), called incessantly, wanted frequent visits (currently once a week which I’m happy with but they want more and exclaim that it’s been ages since we’ve seen them at our weekly catch up), they’ve offered to take my children but make us feel guilty if we say no (I’m a stay at home mum and rarely require babysitting) including comparing us to their friends who babysit for working DILs, my MIL has accidentally referred to herself as mummy several times and always tries to take over any caretaking tasks during visits. They spoil my son and say “what a shame” if we ever discipline him or say no to treats.
My FIL is often vocal if he disagrees with any of our parenting approaches (criticising us for being too cautious - meanwhile he is forgetful and even left his front door open during a visit and my toddler ran out to the street unnoticed by him), and has also been judgemental and disapproving of my choice to breastfeed my babies (presumably because they couldn’t bottle feed or babysit or because it wasn’t how they did it).
I could go on. Hopefully it gives a few examples of how the relationship is going. I feel they haven’t considered my perspective much or shown any empathy for how I must feel as a new mother. It has been much more of a focus how they feel and what their hopes and expectations have been as grandparents.
My husband of course loves his parents and wants them included and we have had many fights (he feels guilt and pressure) but he ultimately agrees with me that their expectations are too high and that they are interfering and pushy. I do worry that he regresses and feels guilty sometimes and pushes me to see them more or allow them to take the kids whenever the guilt gets too much.
So any advice is appreciated on how to manage this relationship and my marriage. They live 5 mins away.
I’d love to hear any and all ideas - what do you think I should do?
I worry with age my son will come to prefer them as they spoil so much and they can’t wait to take him / relive their parenthood I guess... that’s my big fear. That he will be older and will prefer to be with them (he is of course very fond of them).
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