Nervous about having kids b/c of inlaws


#1

Hello,

My husband and I don’t have any kids… yet! I’m just feeling nervous about it already though because of DH’s parents. Wonderful people, but they are just so full on and won’t cut the apron strings.

They are DESPERATE for grandchildren and I’m just really nervous about how life will be once we do have kids - I already feel smothered by them. It wouldn’t surprise me if they wanted to be in the delivery room when we do have kids!!!

Does anyone have any advice on setting boundaries with in-laws? I just feel I need to nip this is the bud early on before any habits are formed - they already just announce that they are coming to stay instead of asking.

Anyone with a similar situation?


#2

In my experience, it’s best to have the husband deal with his parents and you deal with yours. My in-laws are “eccentric” (that’s a nice way of putting it!) and we had a lot of issues at the beginning of our relationship/marriage with them doing and saying inappropriate things. Dh talked to them about it every single time and they’ve mostly gotten better. Every now and then they cross a barrier with our children (we have two, with one due in just a couple weeks) and every time dh has had to call them on it, but then they back off.

Really, you need your husband to sit down and tell them what is okay and what is not okay.

Good luck!


#3

[quote="elmh23, post:2, topic:184670"]
In my experience, it's best to have the husband deal with his parents and you deal with yours. My in-laws are "eccentric" (that's a nice way of putting it!) and we had a lot of issues at the beginning of our relationship/marriage with them doing and saying inappropriate things. Dh talked to them about it every single time and they've mostly gotten better. Every now and then they cross a barrier with our children (we have two, with one due in just a couple weeks) and every time dh has had to call them on it, but then they back off.

Really, you need your husband to sit down and tell them what is okay and what is not okay.

Good luck!

[/quote]

I don't think Hubby sees a problem! He's just as bad at not cutting the apron strings! I don't know how to even bring it up with him.

I love them to bits, but I just can't handle them 24/7 - they've even talked about moving just so they can be closer to their kids (currently living a few hours away). Serious empty nest syndrome!!


#4

Oddly enough, this may not be so bad long term. Let me explain.

There will be lots – lots – of times, after kids arrive, that you will wish you could bring them to “Camp Grandma,” for a) Grandparents’ time with kids; and b) your own alone time with Hubby. Boundaries are fine…but there will be times, after kids arrive, when it will be great for all involved – you, hubby, kids, & grandparents, that there can be a close tie between kids & grandparents. Just please keep that in mind. The opposite of smothering is unconcerned…and I’ve seen those grandparents. It’s very, very sad, and I’d rather the former if I could have only 1.

Just my $0.02.


#5

Noted. Thanks - I should see it as a blessing!:blush:


#6

Call them and tell them your plans have changed. There is no pleasant way to push people away, if they want to be intensely involved in your life, and you don’t want them to, you have to put your foot down and tell them they can’t come. They won’t like hearing it, and it’s a sacrifice you have to make.

Don’t want them in the delivery room? Ask the nurse to get everyone you don’t want out of the delivery room.

You have to decide what’s more important to you, not risking making them feel bad, or having a life you want to live.


#7

I've only had one go around with my MIL about my son, and I was very clear what she was doing was just not okay with me. Thankfully her husband was 100% on my side which made it much easier. But I do believe in making it clear. "You raised you kids. Let me raise mine."


#8

You and your mother-in-law aren't by any chance both the type who like to be in charge of situations are you? That's tough, but it's a common scenario. Your post sounds so much like my sister's view of her in-laws who I think are seriously great people, but she and her mother-in-law seem to constantly have some sort of power struggle. I think it is worth the effort to let them just enjoy being grand parents and maybe every once in a while give them a gentle reminder to not go overboard.

As far as having them stay at your house right after the birth, let them know that's too much for you. Suggest a nearby hotel, but plan ways to include them. Hopefully you can work it out. It's possible, but you probably do have to bend a little here and there. And getting your husband's support up front is probably important.


#9

[quote="dulcissima, post:8, topic:184670"]
You and your mother-in-law aren't by any chance both the type who like to be in charge of situations are you? That's tough, but it's a common scenario. Your post sounds so much like my sister's view of her in-laws who I think are seriously great people, but she and her mother-in-law seem to constantly have some sort of power struggle. I think it is worth the effort to let them just enjoy being grand parents and maybe every once in a while give them a gentle reminder to not go overboard.

As far as having them stay at your house right after the birth, let them know that's too much for you. Suggest a nearby hotel, but plan ways to include them. Hopefully you can work it out. It's possible, but you probably do have to bend a little here and there. And getting your husband's support up front is probably important.

[/quote]

You might be right. I grew up in a very independent family - once we left school we were basically told it's time to grow up and look after yourself - of course my family are ALWAYS there when I need them and we still do a lot together. Hubby's family I find very clingy, have to speak to each other at least once, if not several times, a day. I think for his parents, their kids are their life - seriously, they pine for them, hurt without them and they just hug all the time!

I'm not sure if it's power struggle - but more the 'your taking my son away from me' scenario. They pretty much crashed our honeymoon too so that wasn't a good start to my relationship with them once we were married, and my fears about them once we have kids stems from this.


#10

Did you guys not discuss this in your pre marriage counseling??


#11

I didn’t have such an issue with them when we did our counseling. I always knew they were clingy but it wasn’t until a couple of months before the wedding that it became more evident and started annoying me. Hubby loves his family so of course he loves having them around and doesn’t see my problem with it. He’s very protective of his mother especially.

In our counseling we talked about howmany kids we wanted, when we wanted them, what family values we want, what we expect from each other etc. Nothing about the inlaws.


#12

My sister seems to have worked it mostly out. Her in-laws do come several times a year, but ended up getting a time share near them rather than coming and staying. I think as long as you stay loving, polite, and respectful, you can communicate to them what your boundaries are.

Wow to honeymoon crashing. That would have been a great time to let them know they need to back off. I’m hoping someone brought it up.


#13

[quote="dulcissima, post:12, topic:184670"]
My sister seems to have worked it mostly out. Her in-laws do come several times a year, but ended up getting a time share near them rather than coming and staying. I think as long as you stay loving, polite, and respectful, you can communicate to them what your boundaries are.

Wow to honeymoon crashing. That would have been a great time to let them know they need to back off. I'm hoping someone brought it up.

[/quote]

Oh yes, I did.


#14

***They pretty much crashed our honeymoon too ***

get thee to a christian marriage counselor asap. if husband is so protective of his mother to allow this, then you have trouble. not small trouble-- big trouble-- brewing.

if this was my marriage, i would prayerfully deem this ‘serious reason’ to avoid pregnancy at this time. you and your husband have both the right and the profound responsibility to fix this problem.

if you are receiving any money from the inlaws, stop now.

‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.

these are Jesus’ words from the Gospel of Mark chapter 10.


#15

Sounds like you need to let your husband know how much this is bothering you and see what he will do.

It is really up to him to put your needs first and deal with his parents. If he doesn’t do this, then you can take more drastic measures like telling them that if they want to visit they will have to rent a hotel room and shouldn’t expect to spend a lot of time with you.


#16

I was ever so pleased that my Mom stayed for a couple of weeks after I had my son because I was so very clueless he would not have made it past his first bath without her. Unfortunately she died when my son was 2yrs old and the only grandparents he had left was my husbands unconcerned parents. So basically he didn’t have any grandparents.

I am in agreement with VonDerTann. There will be many times loving grandparents will be welcomed (maybe not on a honeymoon LOL!) but a child really misses out if he/she doesn’t have the love of the grandparents.

There shouldn’t be a power stuggle going on. Accept the fact that his parents are alittle clingy and maybe even be thankful. They will be in your childs life and that should be a good thing.

I’m guessing your kind of young because at my age you will figure out that there are bigger fish to fry then going toe to toe with the in-laws. Yours don’t sound mean or like a couple of wack jobs, they just sound loving—ok and maybe a little clingy. :cool:


#17

[quote="monicatholic, post:14, topic:184670"]
**They pretty much crashed our honeymoon too **

get thee to a christian marriage counselor asap. if husband is so protective of his mother to allow this, then you have trouble. not small trouble-- big trouble-- brewing.

if this was my marriage, i would prayerfully deem this 'serious reason' to avoid pregnancy at this time. you and your husband have both the right and the profound responsibility to fix this problem.

if you are receiving any money from the inlaws, stop now.

these are Jesus' words from the Gospel of Mark chapter 10.

[/quote]

Funnily enough, this was the gospel reading at our wedding!!!

No, not receiving money, thank goodness.
I just don't know how to bring it up with him.


#18

When I first started dating my fiancee, we had similar problems (and to be honest, still do). My fiancee’s mom had a pretty bad stroke four years ago which has caused her left side to be completely paralized. This meant that a pretty vibrant and active women is now wheelchair bound and pretty much bed-ridden due to other health issues. It was probably two or so years after her stroke that my fiancee and I met and started dating. At first he would still go down and see her (3.5 hour drive) every other weekend and they would talk to each other on the phone every day sometimes up to six times a day.

Fast forward to today. After lots of long talks, arguements, crying, and frustrations we, my fiancee and I, better understand each others situation. I understand that he feels that his mom went from having a full life to basically no life and if his calling and visiting can cheer her up he feels its his duty as a son to do so. I also understand that he has some feelings of guilt for still being able to have a full life when she can’t when it wasn’t she didn’t do anything ‘bad’ for causing the stroke. He understands that we are trying to build a life together that’s got a foundation of the two of us and if we’re out of town every other weekend or special moments get interrupted due to phone calls that foundation isn’t being built as strong as it could be. So we compromised. We don’t visit every other weekend, but try for every third or fourth weekend as time and activities allow. Phone calls are kept to a miminum during the evenings and weekends when we’re together but can happn as much as desired during the daytime when we’re both at work. This may not work for everyone, but it works for us.

My point is that you and your husband need to sit down and talk, talk, talk. This situation isn’t going to resolve itself over night but by talking about it again and again you’ll eventually, over time, come to a solution that you both agree with. Remember to keep talking because tomorrow’s solution may not work in a year. Good luck!


#19

I second takers and other posters here : I understand your dreading how your relationship to your in-laws will evolve once kids are there (to be fair, I do, too ! I really like my relationship to my in-laws as it is, which is warm and loving DESPITE our many differences. Yet I know this balance may well be more difficult to keep once kids will be there and there will be more obvious occasions where our differences will appear in full light. But well, at the moment we have other reasons for not having kids anyway, so)

Back to you: This is a typical couple problem, which can only have ONE solution: talking with your DH. Yeah, it’s one of the many sensitive topics where a couple can see they do not agree on:rolleyes:. But talking it through is the only way to come to a solution that suits you both, and that HE then will have to enforce: because, YES, such boundaries as those who definitely need to be drawn between your couple and his parents are really best set by HIM.
So, pick a moment where you’re both relaxed and in a mood where you’re able to listen to each other, choose your words carefully, express the fact that you need him to show that your couple IS the priority, and get on talking. :thumbsup:


#20

Great advice! Thank you!


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