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Thread: The SIL vent...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    In my own little world...

    Default The SIL vent...

    (( Sorry if this is in the wrong spot, couldn't find a general venting section and SIL = family so figured this might be the closest spot. Please let me know if it's incorrectly located. ))

    I have to get a few things off my chest. But let's start from the beginning so it all makes sense. Can't remember if I've vented about bits of this yet, so apologies if I'm repeating myself.

    Before Savannah was born, Buzz (DH) and I both decided that we wanted 2 weeks just us three. We decided on two weeks as he was taking that amount of time off work beginning the day she was born (or since I was induced on a Sunday, beginning the Monday after). We didn't really think it was too much to ask - two weeks for the three of us to get to know each other, bond properly and figure out this new life together without having to worry about anyone else. I'd also done a fair bit of reading that this is the crucial time for a new baby to learn their mother and father's face, smell and everything about them. A few things I had read had stated that too many visitors, and being passed around to too many people can effect this getting to you know you phase. Nearly all of the midwives confirmed this information and stated this is the reason that they will get you to do things in the hospital - move the baby, undress the baby etc, instead of them. Because of the change of shifts, a new baby can see 10 different faces in the first 24 hours, so they like to ensure it's the people that matter, ie mum and dad, that do all of the holding etc.

    Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. Buzz and I both wanted two weeks. Not much to ask. Ignoring the fact that absolutely no one seemed to abide by this request, one person in particular made these first two weeks even harder. One of Buzz's sisters.

    My mother rocked up the night I gave birth, AND unannounced the next day. But, that's a whole other vent...

    After coming home from the hospital, Buzz's parents were over within a couple of days, but in their defense, we actually had a motherboard here for a friend of theirs that was already paid for. It wasn't really fair to make this person wait two weeks for their goods, their goods they had paid for, just because we had a new baby. That, and his parents were on the way to the airport to pick up Buzz's other sister that was returning from overseas. Our house is on the way to the airport. So MIL and FIL... ok. Plus, they are really lovely and don't worry me in the slightest. They only stayed half an hour or so, didn't ask to hold Savannah and overall were no problem at all.

    Still in that first week, and the SIL that had just returned from overseas also stopped past. In her defense, we were holding a lot of her stuff, including some clothes etc she had mailed back (she was gone for 5 months) and in those boxes were other people's stuff as well. Again, not really fair to make these people wait two weeks for their stuff just because we had a new baby. That said, this SIL stayed a little too long and by the end I was in tears from tiredness. But, over all she wasn't too bad - again, didn't pester to hold Savannah, was more interested in talking about her trip than hounding us so was handle-able... if that's a word.

    Ok, so MIL, FIL and SIL #1 all had valid reasons to need to come past. They didn't come past just to see Savannah. They weren't invited over by us, they rang and asked if they could come and pick up their things.

    But then, we have SIL #2. This sister has an 18 month old daughter who is absolutely lovely, but can be a bit of a handful. Every time they have come up to our place, I've spent the night running after "D" (her nickname for this vent). Even at some 36 weeks pregnant they came up for one night and SIL doesn't even pay attention while I am run off my feet keeping D out of the cat litter, stopping her from putting the TV remotes into the bucket of water we have for the cats (you've all seen our lovely big TV in the washing thread?), etc, etc. Every time they leave, I am so buggered and worn out that it's ridiculous.

    Now, we have nothing of this SIL's here, she has no "reason" to come up. This SIL purely wants to come and visit to see Savannah, and like everyone else so far, she does this in the first week ignoring our two week request. When she mentions that "everyone else" has already been, we feel pressured into allowing her up too. Since I have stitches out the wazoo in my wotsie, am barely able to walk let alone chase after a toddler and one of our cats Flea has had an operation on his foot, is out of it and as a result we have stuff all over the house, we politely ask if she can leave D with MIL and FIL JUST for this first visit. We have an extra kitty litter in the bathroom, washing powder boxes sitting on the kitchen floor, washing all over the place etc. Because of all these factors, we don't want to have to worry where D is getting into and feel if she stayed with MIL and FIL for the first visit, we might be able to enjoy SIL visit a bit more.

    Well, you'd think we just asked her to adopt D out with the fuss she made. As soon as Buzz said, "but we have a favour" on the phone, SIL sighed and with a very disgruntled tone asked, "what?" She wasn't even prepared to listen to our reasons and instead cracked the ****s and went on to tell MIL and FIL that we were worried D was going to hurt Savannah etc. Of course, this is absolutely not the case, but do you think we could get her to understand that? Everything went sour and ended in SIL cracking the ****s and telling us that she wouldn't come and visit, wouldn't call etc. She even went as far as to say to Buzz on the phone that we are "keeping her from seeing her niece". She brought up that everyone else had seen her (which I'd like to point out again is not how we wanted it) and that we were purposely doing this to her.

    This of course all happens right around the time I was due for the baby blues. I hadn't had any crying without reason, but this whole saga had me pouring out the tears and crying to Buzz "why can't they just understand?" He was just as upset and angry that family, the people who should be the most understanding, were being problems. Something like the birth of a child, which was mean to being a whole family together, was making everyone act like it was all about them.

    So Savannah is now 3 weeks old and we figure it's time to extend the olive branch (that for the record we shouldn't have to extend) and make peace. Since we were already going to be in the area today, we thought we would ring SIL and stop past - this saves the worry of D at our house at the moment, and keeps SIL happy. Because after all, that's what a new baby is about right? Keeping everyone else happy? *deep breath*

    I am dreading the visit the whole drive down (which is over an hour by the way) and it seems it was completely warranted. This SIL and my mother are the two people that I really don't want holding Savannah or really, having much at all to do with her. MIL, FIL and even SIL #1 I wouldn't really have a problem with, but for some reason I can't put a finger on, this SIL I just want to keep away. Buzz feels the same. In fact, we had both decided on the drive down that we were going to use Savannah's gunky eyes (which we elevated to Conjunctivitis) as the reason - "the Doctor's don't want her being passed around" was what we were going to use. But, not 5 minutes in the door and the dreaded, "So can I have a hold?" emerges.

    We have already told her about the conjunctivitis but that was only meant with a "doesn't bother me." When we explained that we were more worried about Savannah and how passing her around can make it worse, we were brushed off with a "bah, she'll be fine." Even when we mentioned (albeit fakely) how the dr didn't want her being passed around, this was all completely ignored and SIL practically yanked her from my arms. Immediately I felt my entire body go tense with "****ed-off-ness". How dare she consider herself more important than what we or the Dr might have said.

    SIL then proceeded to start walking off down the house with Savannah, going into D's room and saying "do you want to see the baby?" Now, I have no problem at all with D saying hello, but I am Savannah's mother, so I want to be the one holding her when she says hello. And, did SIL ask us if we were ok with her just going and introducing them to each other? NO! Buzz would look at me and I would mouth "GET HER BACK!!" but he didn't know how to - apart from "oi, give her back!" which he didn't really feel was appropriate.

    SIL started to make a joke about how stressed Buzz and I were, and no matter what extremely obvious hints we were dropping that we wanted her back, she completely ignored all of them. I ended up blurting out that "I had waited 9 months to hold her so no, I don't like passing her out much" to which I was laughed at, given an "uuuum, oookay" and told that D was passed around to everyone when she was young and it's good for them. D was actually passed around because SIL didn't want to hold her, and didn't bond until recently when D hit the toddler age of being able to interact. (No I'm not just being a *****, this is by SIL's own admission. She's told us repeatedly how she's not a 'baby person' and much prefers D now that she can run around etc) Eventually SIL did pass Savannah back, only not to me, she passed her to Buzz with a "Does daddy want a hold then? Does he get holds?" I could feel steam coming out my ears.

    I managed to last about an hour or so before I was practically screaming to Buzz that we had to go. Savannah was getting ready for a feed and there was just no way in hell I would have been able to do it there. Apart from not being able to relax, this SIL is extremely annoying with having to give advice - and not offering advice, no no, she tells you how you should/must be doing things. I wasn't about to be told I was breastfeeding wrong when I knew we were working fine. May not be her way of fine, but it was our way of fine and I wasn't going to risk being made to feel any other way. I won't even get started on the whole "this is how you wind her" advice we got already.

    She's like a reformed smoker - won't shut up about it to anyone that will listen. And the most annoying part to that, is that she's been shoving this 'advice' down our throats for the past 6 months already. One of the things that stands out (as it was the most annoying to me), is when Savannah used to kick inside me. Buzz and I have always been very playful people, very fun, always laughing and mucking around etc. So, it's no real surprise that we treated Savannah the same way even before she was out. She'd kick and I'd go "rawr rawr rawr" where I could feel her foot - I was playing. I remember doing this in front of SIL and immediately being told that "no, you don't do that, here you rub it like this" - and she'd push my hand out the way to show me how I should be doing it.

    What's always aggravated me the most about all of this, is that this is SIL's first child, and after being a nanny myself for 2.5 years, she was always coming to me for advice when D was still young. Or she'd be over, something would happen and when I gave my thoughts on it, she'd say that "yes, that makes a lot of sense, thanks" etc. Now I never forced my advice on her, would only ever offer it if asked etc - yet all this is quickly forgotten now. Obviously I know nothing and need her to tell me how to do everything.

    Eventually I got out of there though, and I'm pretty sure I/we won't be asked back any time soon. I'm trying really hard not to think about what she'll be saying to her friends or MIL/FIL. Both Buzz and I have had enough at the moment and we're both 100% together in our "we're over it" feelings. This whole experience is meant to be about Buzz, myself and Savannah... that's it, no one else. We shouldn't be made to feel guilty because a relative can't abide by our request to give us just two weeks, and we shouldn't be the ones to make the effort to fix it when they throw a tantrum. But we were, and we did, and now it's all over.

    We ended up leaving SIL's house, driving 5 minutes before pulling over in the emergency lane of the main road back to feed Savannah. As I sat there staring at our beautiful daughter, which cars wizzing past and a blacket hung up over the sun visor of the front seat, I realised that I didn't care what she thought of us or what she said... this wonderful miracle in my lap is the only thing that matters anymore.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Oh Haydies first of all your girl is absolutely lovely - she is one of those "attractive newborns" which is a real rarity (my poor little boy looked like a troll at 3 weeks LOL!!)

    Your SIL has obviously forgotten how delicate and fragile the feelings of a new mum can be! Personally I would not make the choices that you and DH have made about contact with family, etc in the early days but the important thing is she is your baby and you have every right to make those choices. Your family (and sounds like SIL in particular) are wrong to act they way they are.

    In time I think you will come to see that people like your SIL act the way they do purely to make themselves feel better and superior. She asked you for advice when her DD was born - now the tables have turned and she has the power - SHE knows about babies and you don't, ha ha ha. She now feels better about herself as a mother, you are just being silly and over protective.

    Well you know what? EVERY first time mother is overprotective! Heck, I remember going off at DH as we left the hospital because he put our son on the footpath IN HIS BABY CAPSULE, mind you, while DH opened the car door. I was convinced there was a risk some maniac driving another car would mount the foot path and kill our baby.

    Haydies, like you said, the wonderful miracle in your lap is the only thing that matters anymore. You and DH do what you think is best and enjoy this time a family. It is precious.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Sil's what more can i say - the world would be a better place without them.

    Enjoy you baby and don't let her tarnish your joy

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Boyne Island


    ah inlaws gotta love them hey

    I don't like when people just pick up newborns without asking. I don't even ask cus I don't want the new parent to feel like that have to say yes.. Plus I am so nervous holding other peoples' babies. I know silly seeing as I am onto number 4 I am always afraid i am going to drop them or something..

    Anyways. As you said Savannah is the only thing that matters now and thats true.. Just take deep breaths around your inlaws especially SIL #2 And as for her daughter coming to your house. Pick upi your remotes and bugger everything else. Why should you have to chase after someone elses child whether pregnant or not.... If she gets into the litter then so be it.. Say your daughter is getting into the litter can you stop her please.. be forceful and if she doesn't stop suggest you meet at the park or something..

    and as for BF in front of her just relax and do it.. if she says anything negative say thisis how we do it and it is working so I must be doing something right same goes for anything else

    Enjoy your baby moon and don't let family upset you. just let it go over your head and don't answer the phone

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean


    It's hard for some people to understand the needs of others before their own.
    While on one hand it is kind of flattering and nice to know that they care, not everyone wants to play pass the parcel with their newborn. Your wishes should be respected whether it be you want no visitors for a month or want a reception for 500 at the Hyatt upon your release from hossie.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    In my own little world...


    Oh yeah, don't get me wrong - I love that people care. But with this SIL and my mother, it's not the case, or I should say, doesn't come across to be the case. This SIL rang to organise a visit because other people had already. When we mentioned that we wanted the two weeks, it was thrown in our face repeatedly that other people had been and we obviously had something against her personally because she wasn't being allowed up. She never seemed to care about our feelings, wishes or the fact I could barely walk from stitches - just that she was the one person in the family who hadn't seen Savannah that first week and it wasn't fair on her.

    And the funny thing is, it's also not necessarily a "we don't want anyone holding her" kind of thing - for some really odd reason both DH and I can't put a finger on, it's only this sister and my mother. Well, my mother I know why, but you probably don't want to get me started on that vent.

    We swung past a friends on Sunday to say hello and both of us had no problems with either of them having a hold, in fact I was the one that offered her. I also felt completely, 110% ok with passing Savannah over to Kelly for a cuddle. But for some reason, both of us would be blissfully happy if this SIL and my mother never ever held her - I mean, like ever.

    Don't know what it is. But that SIL visit is over until probably Xmas, and both DH and I are trying really hard to just "not care" about it all anymore.

    And thankyou Roryrory, I think she's pretty adorable, but then I am biased.

  7. #7
    paradise lost Guest


    Good grief she's GORGEOUS!!!

    Your SIL sounds like my MIL - did everything differently but adamant i'm wrong across the board... It's good practice learning to ignore now i guess

    Not wanting to pass bubs to people, or just to certain people is natural - it's to do with your bond with Savannah and it's VERY important. It's the same impulse that might make you want to check on her at night for instance - NEVER ignore it! Instincts are not rational and do not need to be rationalised. I kept DD in a baby sling for about 4 months and people only held her if i OFFERED. Anyone who asked was told "oh she's happy! I don't want to upset her by moving her all about" or if she was crying, "oh she wants to eat, i'd better feed her" (she was BF too). She is your responsibility to care for - that's a heavy weight to bear, and the reward is that it's your right to hold and cuddle her. Enjoy her hun, and don't let ANYONE make you feel bad.


  8. #8


    Oh, Haydies, I'm in tears for you. I remember my mother being just as evil. I didn't want any visitors and even made a website to that end but still got people in hospital and I hate hospital, had my mother invite herself to live with us so that DH moved out when we got back from hospital and all I wanted was to have my son to myself and I didn't even get him until he was 15 minutes old and I hated, hated, hated the "pass him to XYZ" thing that my mother made me do when we visited her.

    Sorry, I am in tears now for you. This is just so unacceptable of your SiL (and your mother). I hope you don't see them again for a very long time and don't let them in your house if they stop by. I was never that overprotective of DS, but he is MINE and I should decide things.

    ANd I agree with the others, your darling Savannah is gorgeous!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Sunshine Coast, Qld


    I don't know what to say other then, when Scarlet was born it felt like i was bombarded with 'advice' from every adult female within 500kms everytime i left the house and sometimes i got so angry about it, okay pretty much all the time - but it passes, some of the advice that seemed rude at the time has actually even helped me! My SIL has 4 girls and she was always trying to tell me what to do, we never have liked each other much but she's one of my many lifelines now, She's been through it so she really does know what she's talking about (I would never admit that to her face).

    It's disrespectful that they didn't take note of your wishes but that's in the past now and family is important - I hope everything works out for you.

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