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January 29, 2012



People who come visit you after you have a baby are supposed to do the laundry and the dishes and vacuum and make you casseroles and hold the baby so you can take naps during the day to make up for the sleepless nights. They're supposed to play with your toddler to exhaustion during the day, so the toddler sleeps through the night. But most of all, they are supposed to be really, really nice to you no matter you say, no matter how much they may not like it (and you didn't say anything wrong at all, in my opinion). This is YOUR family's time (meaning you and your kids and husband), and they are supposed to be there to support you during the craziness that is those early weeks. I'm so sorry that didn't really happen for you. You totally deserved more.

But thank you for sharing. We've been talking about when my MIL should visit after the baby is born. I think you've just convinced me to move her visit from 6 weeks to 3 months after the baby is born, when I will (hopefully) be in slightly better shape and more able to deal with unsolicited advice and the overall lack of the kind of help that you really need after having a baby. :)

It Is What It Is

I completely and utterly empathize with you and let me first say that it is completely and utterly untrue that there is real value in kids having relationships with damaged, unattuned, misattuned grandparents. Our #1 job as caretakers to dependent children is to NOT pass on the wounds that we have that were perpetrated by the adults in our lives. Any parent who says otherwise to you is projecting their shit with their parents onto your situation.

My mother is a high conflict person and I have just come to learn (at almost 46) what that has meant and continues to mean to me but more importantly to my young (almost 5) son. I have tried and tried to fashion a relationship for him to have with her against my better judgement and things just continue to deteriorate (in terms of her treatment of me and our relationship, but also in terms of how she manipulates my son) and my therapist finally said to me, "why do you want to expose him to the very person whose behavior has driven you (a grown woman and mother) into therapy?" And she was right and I stopped and because of it my parents rarely, if ever, see my son, and they live 4 miles away. And, while I find that sad for them, my son is the winner because he will not have heaped on him the mountains of shit that were heaped on me (even if they are diluted because he is a generation down the family chain).

This is all to say that we need to demand better for our children and that anyone that isn't capable of unconditional love and support should be denied access and NO ONE should enable them to continue their bad behavior (just to keep the waters calm, make peace, or whatever). That's cowardly bullshit. (Can you tell this strikes a chord with me?)

Mrs. X

You've had a time of it, haven't you? MIL and FIL are truly "special" and don't even know it.

But, can I suggest that you reconsider completely cutting them off from the grandkids? Can you maybe decide to think about it in about a month, when hopefully you have had some sleep and some time to reflect and they have had some time to simmer down?

I grew up not really knowing my grandparents, more from physical distance, than conflict, and I'm feeling it acutely now. I really want my son to have that connection with his grandparents, especially because I couldn't.

I completely understand where you are coming from, but it seems like part of this decision is being made from a knee-jerk position. And, I'd hate for this to get institutionalized before everyone can talk about it and stop it, if stopping is an option.


As I read my eyebrows were in a constant "arched" state. Your first commenter hit the nail on the head. I'm so sorry this happened, and I know it feels huge right now. but I do have hope that it will all normalize at some point in the future. They will have to see the errors of their ways. To stay anywhere for 2 weeks is unheard of, and to do it when a hormonal woman is post partum is the weirdest, most absurd thing ever. Fish starts to smell after three days. Absolutely, if you have any more houseguests from any side of your family, Mister should ask them to do all the mundane chores while you spend time resting and caring for the baby. And they should handle all of Brother's stuff too. Unless, at some point, you get tired of doing that and want to do something else. But any of your free time should NOT be spent doing housework or the like. Is every dish in the sink? Just wash what you need before using it. Or ask your friends and neighbors to do them. I have no idea how anyone (Misters' parents) could be so thick. And, if you think it's easier to just do it yourself, think again. It is much easier to sleep. Sleep. I hope they read this and realize their expectations of you and your attitude were unrealistic. Of course a new, post-partum, hormonal mom is going to cry and worry about her toddler only weeks after her daughter is born. Of COURSE he is going to act worse than ever because he has a new sister and all these people in his house interrupting his routine. Not that your concerns are not valid, R. But you have every right to cry every day and become worried an anxious over everything (until about 1 month goes by, and then it's time to think about talking to the doc). And even if everyone else thinks you are unreasonable, NO ONE EVER HAS THE RIGHT TO CURSE AT YOU (unless you were cursing at someone else, which you were most certainly not). Hugs, Hugs, Hugs.


Wow, I'm so upset for you. I can't offer any advice because both our parents are dead so we haven't any interference from them.

How shameful of this man to behave this way to any woman let alone his daughter-in-law after giving birth. Shame, shame on him.

Not that my opinion matters but I think withholding visiting with the grandkids is the only way it will focus their mind on an apology.

Massive hug to you.


p.s. I still think the "baptisim" incident was completely unforgivable. COMPLETELY.

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