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bee
Dec 17, 2008
Fitness Goal: To bench press at least one teenage Defiant Sally.

My apologies, this is going to be long but I would very much appreciate some outside perspective.

Background info: My partner (J) and I have been together for a little over five years and we have a nine month old girl together. I'm Australian and have lived here my whole life, he is South African and moved here in 2000, gaining citizenship shortly after immigrating. His parents live in South Africa and do not have any other grandchildren, although J has two younger sisters. I've met PIL on two previous occasions, and while there was some casually racist comments and odd behaviour from MIL on both occasions (she didn't like that her daughter was centre of attention at her wedding, so she told her that she was fat and falling out of her dress) I was still feeling ok about their visit - I plan on addressing any comments in my house that I find unacceptable. MIL also has a history of depression issues which she apparently receives medication and therapy for.

The situation: Since parents in law (PIL) are not well off financially, (we aren't either, but we're doing ok) my partner and his sister paid for PIL to fly over here and stay with us for six weeks, then fly to Vietnam and stay with SIL and her husband for a fortnight. They can't afford a hotel room, so they stay in our spare room but we live in a small townhouse so there's not much space. When the trip was initially booked, the plan was that they'd look after the baby for the two days per week I needed to be at university and help out around the house. J was working from home, but he was made a contracting job offer shortly before PIL's arrival which meant that he would be working full time away from home for almost all of their visit.

The first weekend the PIL arrive, J needs to go away for work. So I am stuck all weekend in the house with people I barely know. I cook dinner both nights, and while the inlaws thank me for their food, no one offers to help wash up after or help with the cooking. For most of the weekend, I do housework and observe them sit on the lounge and watch tv, read books or use a laptop while the baby plays on the floor alone. On more than one occasion FIL says that he thinks the baby is due for a change. I inform him that he keeps on saying he is here to help so he doesn't need to wait for me to appear, he can do it and help. He laughs and says "no, if you or granny are here you will do it". That evening, after I finish washing up after dinner I come into the lounge where both PIL comment that they think the baby has pooed. I look down and my poor kiddo is sitting in her own waste, which has leaked out through her clothes. So they were happy to just let a baby sit there with poop down her legs. I am furious but bite my tongue until J gets home. I tell him everything that's happened and he's not impressed and says he'll sort it out.

The next day, MIL keeps leaving the fridge door open so I ask her politely to please close it before she walks off. She turns and speaks in Afrikaans (which I don't really understand) to FIL and glares at me. J is about to get home, so I again ask him to speak to his parents. A discussion happens in Afrikaans which I am not privvy to at first, but then am included in and everyone speaks in English. The PILs say their excuses for not helping with anything is that they don't want me to think that they think my house is dirty, and their excuse for not playing with the baby is that they don't want to spoil her. Also they blame a language barrier, although I don't think that they seem to have any trouble understanding me. MIL cries the whole time like we're attacking her personally. I think these are BULLSHIT excuses but there is a noticeable increase in FIL helping with housework after this point so I try to move on. MIL doesn't change and continues to do things we've asked her not to, like leaving dirty tissues around and coughing without covering her mouth. At one point, the baby gets a cold and they completely deny any responsibility for her getting ill OR them being sick themselves, despite both of them coughing and constantly blowing their noses.

Two weeks pass. Every time I ask MIL to do something, or not do something, or try to explain to her how to use appliances etc she glares at me or looks away. There's other things going on too but I won't go into it because this is already getting long. I can't handle her rudeness or crap anymore and how everyone just seems to think "oh that's just how she is" and lets it slide. Problems with MIL are not bought up directly with her, they are filtered through FIL. I tell J that I'm taking the baby and staying at my aunt's until it's time for PIL to leave. It's the first time in our relationship we've actually had an argument. He says that the solution for a problem is not for one of us to have to leave the house, and before we go to bed he organises a rental flat in the next suburb for PIL to stay in for the three remaining weeks of their visit.

The next morning, he takes FIL out to breakfast to explain that we need some space and that they are going to stay elsewhere. While he's gone, MIL comes downstairs and sits on the lounge. She doesn't know she's about to be packing her bags. I have the baby in my lap who is fussing. MIL says "give her to me" and I said no, I'm good and she clearly isn't happy about this. She says that she is going to tell me a story and that I have to sit and listen to her and not say anything.

She proceeds to tell me the story of J's life, and how hard it was to raise him because he has a physical disability. About how it was hard that he needed multiple operations and long hospital stays and that it was stressful for her. Then she gets to the part where J rings home to say he's met a girl he wants to marry, but she doesn't want to get married to him. (That girl is me, and my reasons for not wanting to get married are none of her business and irrelevant to this story). She starts going on about how upset she is that she wants to see her son get married in a church because they are christians and that's what christians do. J is an atheist, so am I. So she had to try to accept that wasn't going to happen. Next up was telling me all about how upset she was when we told her that I was pregnant and her reply was "When are you getting married" because when you have babies you need to get married. J told her off for not congratulating us and said that we weren't getting married. But she was OH SO UPSET about this situation and "what kind of woman would have my son's baby but not marry him". I am so angry by this point my hands are shaking. She says that she was so upset that she decided to take her own life and eat a bunch of pills to try and kill herself. (I immediately suspect this is a lie - I have a psychology degree and know a lot about personality disorders and mental illness, and I'm usually pretty good at being able to tell when people are bullshitting me). But the pills didn't work but maybe they did something to her liver, she's not sure. (FIL later confirmed with J that this story is bullshit). I find this especially offensive since I volunteer in a mental health inpatient unit and have worked with suicidal people. That she thinks it's ok to throw this kind of lie around to get people to feel sorry for her is repulsive to me.

Then she finally gets to the point of the tirade: Since she didn't die, now she realises that the reason she didn't die was because she has to live to enjoy her grandchild. So, I need to just forget the last three weeks and let her enjoy her grandchild. Which she then referred to by her youngest daughter's name. She's done this before during their visit and I am not happy about it. I cut her off at this point and tell her my baby's name is not X, it's Y and that I don't see why I just should forget the last three weeks when she has been incredibly rude to me in my own house. She says that it takes two people to be rude and that she could just throw back at me that I was rude to her but she's not going to. She started on again about me needing to just let her enjoy her time and I cut her off and said NO, I've sat and listened to you now YOU are going to listen to me. Then J and his dad walked in the front door. PIL go outside so that FIL can tell MIL that they're going to be staying elsewhere. J asks me what just happened and I tell him everything.

He seems really upset and apologises for his mother's behaviour and agrees the right choice was to get them out of the house. I say that I find MIL extremely offensive and that I want nothing further to do with her. For the next week, J takes the baby to the flat after he finishes work so they can still see her. The next weekend, we have a naming day ceremony for the baby. During part of the ceremony, MIL walks up to me and grabs the baby out of my arms. I am livid but I don't want to cause a scene in front of all my friends so I stupidly don't do anything.

Later I tell J how disrespectful, manipulative and horrible I think his mother is behaving and that I am no longer comfortable with him taking the baby to see them. He agrees with me that she is manipulative and that FIL enables her behaviour. However, he disagrees with me about them spending time with the baby, since in a fortnight they'll be back overseas and we won't see them again for at least a year.

The issue: From my perspective, MIL obviously has zero respect for me as my baby's mother, and feels entilted to my baby. I don't expect her to like me but if she wants to be a part of my kid's life, she should at least be respectful of me. I think she sees the baby as a band-aid for her obvious mental problems. I don't see why her awful behaviour should be rewarded by her getting to spend ANY more time with my kid. FIL is just as bad because he seemingly just tells her what she wants to hear to placate her. I get the feeling that so long as her psycho/bitchy target is pointed at someone else other than him, he's just fine and dandy. I don't want anyone interacting with my baby who models such atrocious behaviour and has such blatant disrespect for me and I don't care if they're a blood relative.

J feels like he's stuck in the middle and that I'm putting him in an unfair position by asking him to cut off his mother because this essentially cuts off his father too. He feels like he's done enough by putting them up in a hotel to give us space. He says that the baby is too young to be imprinted by his mother's behaviour at this point, espeically not during the next fortnight anyway and that with limited contact over skype in the future it's not so much of an issue. I think that one day soon she IS going to be old enough to be impressioned and influenced by other people and the thought of toxic MIL telling my daughter lies or other manipulative crap sickens me. I'm not actually asking him to cut off his parents, he is welcome to talk/visit them as much as he likes. But I don't agree the baby is a prize that gets to be served up to MIL just to keep her happy. Especially considering the way she has behaved.

Am I overreacting? Should I just continue to let her bullshit slide for the next two weeks? What would you do?

tl;dr: MIL is awful, treats me like crap. Partner thinks it's ok for her to spend time with the baby, I don't agree. Advice?

bee fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2014 around 04:04

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booksbooksbooks
Aug 31, 2014


bee posted:


tl;dr: MIL is awful, treats me like crap. Partner thinks it's ok for her to spend time with the baby, I don't agree. Advice?

I'm sorry, but this is all I read. I'm having trouble deciphering the complex tale you wove up above. Based on your summary, I'd say that you should all sit down and have a discussion about it, where everyone is free to express their own opinion. It sounds like you strongly oppose your Mother-In-Law spending time with this baby. You should talk about this with all parties involved in this whole affair, mother in law included. You can't roll dice when you talk about taking care of a baby.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

I was gonna put him on the bus. I got tired of him talking. It was time for him to go home.

read the post before you offer advice, it makes you look like less of an idiot

onceling
Dec 31, 2006


Babies absorb a lot all the time, you've definitely seen how quickly they learn things. You know that babies as young as five months can tell the difference between people acting "normal" and "not normal". This has a lot of possible implications and nobody has enough research to say what they really pick up this young. Can they remember conversations? No, but that doesn't mean that nothing is being absorbed. This means you need a long term solution. They have shown that they don't give a poo poo about your baby:

- they allowed her to sit in filth rather than even let you know, let alone change her
- they don't give a crap if they make her sick, endangering her health
- they think it's acceptable to divide a child from her mother for the purposes of bullshitting around with extended family
- she has untreated mental health issues and thinks it's appropriate to manipulate people using your child as bait.

The problem with your partner taking the baby to see them is that it divides you up as if the baby is a separate relationship. It should not be. Nobody gets to have relationships with my kids unless they have a respectful relationship with me as well.

The chances of an older conservative lady waking up tomorrow and deciding not to be a raging bitch when they've gotten away with it for years are zilch. So you need to decide what your options are knowing that she's not going to magically become respectful before your child realises that Grandma treats Mum like poo poo (either to your face or behind your back or via sly comments).

Given that you can't change this lady, you need to consider the rest of the options left on the table. What would satisfy you for the next two weeks? Then what does your partner plan to do if his mother continues this behaviour at an age where he thinks the child can understand? What then?

I don't think you should sit down with this person. What would that achieve? She knows she's being rude, accused you of being half of the problem (what the gently caress?) and there's nothing else to say on the matter. You made reasonable requests (don't be a huge bitch in my home, respect my babies health) and she said "NOPE!!" and gave you a big gently caress you finger. So what does sitting down with them achieve? You have asked for simple respect, and until she's willing to give it to you there isn't anything else to discuss she has no negotiation in the matter.

What would I personally do? I would have gone to my Aunts until my partner made a different decision than yours did. However, if he agreed to cut them off completely (forever) after they left town, I might agree to putting on an act for 2 more weeks. I'd personally rather be there to make sure that the crap coming out of their mouth when my partner was there was not detrimental or manipulative against our relationship, in any case.

booksbooksbooks
Aug 31, 2014


SlipUp posted:

read the post before you offer advice, it makes you look like less of an idiot

That's some nice advice you offered there.

beckyogg
Jul 12, 2006

My lungs don't work. Now it's time to sing!

Are you objecting to your MIL having contact with your daughter because of childcare concerns and issues, or are you objecting because your MIL is a toxic person?

If it's the first, it would be much easier for you to express those concerns to your partner.

It it's only the second, I can see why your husband would have trouble acquiescing to your request not to let your daughter be with the grandparents. Not that you're necessarily wrong to want to have that boundary, but it's a lot harder to explain to someone who's been dealing with the woman for his whole life.

You may want to explain to him that this exact situation is probably what his mother wanted in the first place, access to her grandchild without having to interact with you, the child's mother. She's basically been rewarded for being an awful person. You'll also want to talk to him again about the incident where your MIL and FIL failed to change your child's diaper for so long that poo poo was running out of her clothes. How sure is he that they won't do something similar again to prove some sort of "point"? Maybe your FIL is just oblivious and doesn't know how to care for a child, but your MIL apparently either didn't feel it was necessary to care for your child or didn't notice her discomfort, and is not a trustworthy carer in either scenario.

Ishmael
May 31, 2006


bee posted:



The issue: From my perspective, MIL obviously has zero respect for me as my baby's mother, and feels entilted to my baby. I don't expect her to like me but if she wants to be a part of my kid's life, she should at least be respectful of me.



tl;dr: MIL is awful, treats me like crap. Partner thinks it's ok for her to spend time with the baby, I don't agree. Advice?

That all seemed coherent to me. I am quoting the part I think is most interesting. I don't have kids, but if I did I would do whatever I could to prevent them from being with a mother-in-law like that. We obviously don't hear her side of the story, or the FIL, or your husband's for that matter. But if everything you are saying is true, she sounds like a complete nut and I'd keep the kid away from her.

As an above poster point out, if there are also concerns for the baby's well-being, yet another reason to at least have you or the dad present with the kid at all times.

Good luck!

Ishmael fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2014 around 05:05

Cirofren
Jun 13, 2005



They did not how basic respect to you as your house guests, parents of your partner, or mother of their grandchild. They showed a level of care for their grandchild that literally involved letting the baby wallow in it's own filth.

If they want a relationship with your child they should learn to show basic respect to you and basic care for this being they're so apparently interested in.

Nice piece of fish
Jan 29, 2008

A total basshole


Cirofren posted:

They did not how basic respect to you as your house guests, parents of your partner, or mother of their grandchild. They showed a level of care for their grandchild that literally involved letting the baby wallow in it's own filth.

If they want a relationship with your child they should learn to show basic respect to you and basic care for this being they're so apparently interested in.

This is pretty succinctly the issue.

1. If you can't be absolutely 100% positive that these people will care for your child with the utmost respect and care for her health, safety and happiness, you should under no circumstances allow them to be alone with the child.

(As an aside; your "J" should be completely behind you on this issue. Them being his parents mean literally nothing when it's his daughter's safety and happiness that's at stake.)

2. If they can't be trusted to be alone with your child, they should be only be allowed to see her when you're present. If they can't or won't treat you with respect, you are under no obligation what-so-ever to even be in the same building as them.


You should be well-versed in child psychology, and you know as well as we do that developmental trauma stems primarily from neglect. You are under no obligation to expose your child to even the slightest risk of that happening. None at all.

I "J" fine with exposing his daughter to that kind of lack of care? It is completely unfair for him to put any pressure on you to do something you are not comfortable with, and that goes double when there's a small child involved.

Chupe Raho Aurat
Jun 22, 2011


booksbooksbooks posted:

That's some nice advice you offered there.

As opposed to your advice to do something already done in the post you can't understand.

Fake edit: Christ, I looked up your post history (just a goon hunch that always pays off when people give Dumass advice) Go back to therapy and REALLY don't try to advise others.

Chupe Raho Aurat fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2014 around 07:19

natetimm
May 24, 2007
MAYBE WITH THIS SYCOPHANTIC POST,
THE JOB CREATORS WILL FINALLY LOVE ME AND TREAT ME AS ONE OF THEIR OWN

Look, Daddy I'm even racist like you!


You're in crazy new mom mode and she's in "I raised kids so I know better" mode. It's not uncommon and counter to what everyone else is telling you in the thread it's probably in your best interest to grin and bear it to a reasonable degree for your husband's sake if having them around isn't going to be permanent. They don't sound like awesome people but picking a festering fight so you can be the queen of right isn't going to do any favors for anyone except your ego. If your kid was sitting in its own filth in your house while everyone was there it is equally the fault of all adults.

bee
Dec 17, 2008
Fitness Goal: To bench press at least one teenage Defiant Sally.

Nice piece of fish posted:

This is pretty succinctly the issue.

1. If you can't be absolutely 100% positive that these people will care for your child with the utmost respect and care for her health, safety and happiness, you should under no circumstances allow them to be alone with the child.

(As an aside; your "J" should be completely behind you on this issue. Them being his parents mean literally nothing when it's his daughter's safety and happiness that's at stake.)

2. If they can't be trusted to be alone with your child, they should be only be allowed to see her when you're present. If they can't or won't treat you with respect, you are under no obligation what-so-ever to even be in the same building as them.


You should be well-versed in child psychology, and you know as well as we do that developmental trauma stems primarily from neglect. You are under no obligation to expose your child to even the slightest risk of that happening. None at all.

I "J" fine with exposing his daughter to that kind of lack of care? It is completely unfair for him to put any pressure on you to do something you are not comfortable with, and that goes double when there's a small child involved.

J agrees with me that his mother is unpredictable, irrational and that due to her mental/personality disorders it is not safe or wise for her to be left alone with the baby. But I think he thinks it's ok for her to see the baby if he is there to keep an eye on things.


onceling posted:


What would I personally do? I would have gone to my Aunts until my partner made a different decision than yours did. However, if he agreed to cut them off completely (forever) after they left town, I might agree to putting on an act for 2 more weeks. I'd personally rather be there to make sure that the crap coming out of their mouth when my partner was there was not detrimental or manipulative against our relationship, in any case.

I thought that with them out of the house, things would be a lot better. And up until the naming day stunt I was feeling a lot less stressed out about everything. I am just so blown away that she is still finding ways to push my buttons and I don't want to play her stupid games anymore.

For what it's worth, I am thankful and count myself lucky that J has done so much to try and fix the situation. He's in a difficult position that I don't envy and I'm appreciative that he's been understanding for the most part. But somehow, even with all his efforts things have gotten worse. I am concerned about the future and how this is going to impact our relationship ahead.

I_ma_gine
Sep 1, 2014


My MIL is insane and she still gets to see my kids. You have to learn how to deflect her. I don't let them stay with her alone, she just hasn't realized it yet.
When she wants them to stay the night, I do too. Or we already have an engagement so they can't. If she insists ...just make something up. It's not worth leaving them alone with her, trust me.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


So basically you fomented a bunch of arguments with your relatives for petty retarded reasons, culminating in you acrimoniously splitting from your MIL.

Maybe if you didn't get so mad that your fists start shaking when the loving elderly ask you why you aren't getting married because it offends your new world special snowflake values or something rather than deflecting like a reasonable adult, or actually having a game plan to "address unacceptable comments in your house" before they even arrive - then just maybe you wouldn't be in this mess.

For somebody who apparently works with the mentally ill and knows a lot about psychology, your demonstration of understanding how people work is startlingly poor. For some reason you think punishing your MIL by denying baby-access is a good idea? It's certainly a good way to irreparably destroy any chance at an uneasy detente and cause a whole ton of drama for the rest of your MIL's natural lifespan.

This isn't international politics: appeasement is not a dirty word. If you work with the mentally ill then you should know that confronting and standing up to her acting out is not going to help or fix her. Apologise (even if in your eyes you did nothing wrong), let her see your baby in a controlled environment, wave goodbye in two weeks then forget about her until next time. There is no point or gain in taking a principled stand on this.


P.S. Guests are not under any obligation to help you do housework. It doesn't shine well on their characters, but that's not the point. I also imagine this would never have happened if you didn't plan to have relatives staying in your cabin fever apartment for 6(!) weeks.

Nice piece of fish
Jan 29, 2008

A total basshole


Jeza posted:

So basically you fomented a bunch of arguments with your relatives for petty retarded reasons, culminating in you acrimoniously splitting from your MIL.

  • Not giving a poo poo about very young grandchild's health.
  • Not giving a poo poo about very young grandchild's needs.
  • Not giving a poo poo about very young grandchild's safety.
  • Not giving a poo poo about very young grandchild.
  • Being insufferably rude.
  • Having severe mental problems.
  • Refusing to compromise or correct abovementioned behavior.

~*petty retarded reasons*~

Jeza posted:

Maybe if you didn't get so mad that your fists start shaking when the loving elderly ask you why you aren't getting married because it offends your new world special snowflake values or something rather than deflecting like a reasonable adult, or actually having a game plan to "address unacceptable comments in your house" before they even arrive - then just maybe you wouldn't be in this mess.

Being disrespectful as gently caress to your host makes people angry? Why I never

Jeza posted:

For somebody who apparently works with the mentally ill and knows a lot about psychology, your demonstration of understanding how people work is startlingly poor. For some reason you think punishing your MIL by denying baby-access is a good idea? It's certainly a good way to irreparably destroy any chance at an uneasy detente and cause a whole ton of drama for the rest of your MIL's natural lifespan.

This isn't international politics: appeasement is not a dirty word. If you work with the mentally ill then you should know that confronting and standing up to her acting out is not going to help or fix her. Apologise (even if in your eyes you did nothing wrong), let her see your baby in a controlled environment, wave goodbye in two weeks then forget about her until next time. There is no point or gain in taking a principled stand on this.

For the safety and well-being of her child, it's a very good idea.

Also, for the bolded part; not OP's loving responsiblity. She owes her in-laws exactly zero help and care. You can't "fix" people, you can't even help them until they are in a place where they A; realize they need help and B; want to work towards getting better. And that's with a trained psychologist and clinical conditions. Why the gently caress is this suddenly OP's responsibility?

Mentally ill family members, even far-away grandparents, can do an inordinate amount of harm in a young child's life. This is where a large portion of childhood psychological or physical trauma comes from. If her in-laws want to be in their grandchild's life they can start working on becoming the kind of people that can be around a child.


Jeza posted:

P.S. Guests are not under any obligation to help you do housework. It doesn't shine well on their characters, but that's not the point. I also imagine this would never have happened if you didn't plan to have relatives staying in your cabin fever apartment for 6(!) weeks.

It's too much to ask that they lift a finger when they've been flown in on their host's dime, when she has a small child - their grandchild - and is more than occupied? No, it doesn't shine well on their characters, it's unspeakably rude! The family card is not some magical get-out-of-basic-human-decency trick.

There's a very real limit on how much you have to tolerate, especially with young children involved. What you are demanding of the OP is completely unreasonable.

Nice piece of fish fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2014 around 12:06

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

Jeza posted:

So basically you fomented a bunch of arguments with your relatives for petty retarded reasons, culminating in you acrimoniously splitting from your MIL.

Maybe if you didn't get so mad that your fists start shaking when the loving elderly ask you why you aren't getting married because it offends your new world special snowflake values or something rather than deflecting like a reasonable adult, or actually having a game plan to "address unacceptable comments in your house" before they even arrive - then just maybe you wouldn't be in this mess.

For somebody who apparently works with the mentally ill and knows a lot about psychology, your demonstration of understanding how people work is startlingly poor. For some reason you think punishing your MIL by denying baby-access is a good idea? It's certainly a good way to irreparably destroy any chance at an uneasy detente and cause a whole ton of drama for the rest of your MIL's natural lifespan.

This isn't international politics: appeasement is not a dirty word. If you work with the mentally ill then you should know that confronting and standing up to her acting out is not going to help or fix her. Apologise (even if in your eyes you did nothing wrong), let her see your baby in a controlled environment, wave goodbye in two weeks then forget about her until next time. There is no point or gain in taking a principled stand on this.


P.S. Guests are not under any obligation to help you do housework. It doesn't shine well on their characters, but that's not the point. I also imagine this would never have happened if you didn't plan to have relatives staying in your cabin fever apartment for 6(!) weeks.

I disagree with some of that, the inlaws sound like an enormous pain in the arse, declaring they are here to help then refusing to even change the loving baby is pretty horrible, and they sound extremely rude, disrespectful and entitled.

HOWEVER, if your partner isn't ready to sever, there's not much you can do bar trying to make the small amount of time you do spend together as painless as possible. It can be hard for people who grew up in dysfunctional situations to admit that those responsible are not reasonable people, and unless he decides to cut off his parents, the best you can do is minimise contact and bite your tongue. Don't look at MIL as someone you can have a reasonable discussion with or bring round to your way of thinking, you will NEVER persuade her she is wrong so there's no point trying. Think of her as a poorly behaved child that belongs to someone else, put up with her, don't expect any gratitude then be glad when she's gone.

As with any other irresponsible child, make sure you never leave your kid alone with her and avoid letting her do any damage physically or psychologically. It doesn't sound like they actually give much of a poo poo about interacting with the kid anyway, so just look after her as you normally would, don't expect help and don't give them any power and she probably barely notices them. Other than this trip, you're unlikely to see her more than a few days a year since as you've said they're not that well off and you live thousands of miles apart, you can control contact when it comes to stuff like skype conversations.

Every time she says of does something horrible and you smile and carry on with your day, it proves you are better than her. If it was constant then yeah, you should stand up for yourself, 6 weeks would obviously be way too long to do regularly and your partner needs to be made aware of this. For a few days at a time waiting on an elderly narcissistic arsehole is bad, but not worth destroying your relationship over.

Fatkraken fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2014 around 11:53

Beep Street
Aug 22, 2006

Chemotherapy and marijuana go together like apple pie and Chevrolet.

OP if you didn't want to turn the other cheek at racist old fashioned in laws why on earth did you marry a South African man? Aside from your husband you all sound like assholes in this sorry tale.

Have some consideration for your husband and child and suck it up for two weeks. It's not all about you anymore.

Lt. Tanaka
Apr 30, 2007



natetimm posted:

You're in crazy new mom mode and she's in "I raised kids so I know better" mode. It's not uncommon and counter to what everyone else is telling you in the thread it's probably in your best interest to grin and bear it to a reasonable degree for your husband's sake if having them around isn't going to be permanent. They don't sound like awesome people but picking a festering fight so you can be the queen of right isn't going to do any favors for anyone except your ego. If your kid was sitting in its own filth in your house while everyone was there it is equally the fault of all adults.

Natetimm is smart please listen. New mom mode is no joke and whether you realize it or not, you are sounding a bit unhinged. I don't expect visiting relatives to change my kids diaper under any circumstances. You have to remember that they must feel as uncomfortable being there as you do them, and it doesn't seem like you've been overly welcoming. Your inability to act civil is hurting your husband as much as his mother's difficulty and yet you haven't expressed that concern.

Don't get me wrong, your MIL sounds horrid and I'm sorry you have to endure six solid weeks of visitation, but that's the thing, she's going to be so far away after that just suck some of this up. Shrug off the incivilities and try to work out a quiet truce. Buy her some frilly gaudy flowers and say your delighted to have her as a grandmother. Shut your ego off until she flies out. Yelling that your PIL aren't allowed to touch the child well that's unnecessary.

Lt. Tanaka
Apr 30, 2007



Fatkraken posted:


HOWEVER, if your partner isn't ready to sever, there's not much you can do bar trying to make the small amount of time you do spend together as painless as possible. It can be har

WHAT? Over this? He should write off his parents?

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

Lt. Tanaka posted:

WHAT? Over this? He should write off his parents?

sorry, no, I was unclear. Not over this, I'm assuming they were fairly awful parents to him growing up and he's learned a bunch of excuses and coping mechanisms (based on how they've acted on this trip and how he's able to write off some fairly egregious behaviour as "oh it's just how they are"). She SHOULDN'T try to make him give up on his parents, but if he did it off his own back for his own reasons it probably would have been a long time coming, for the mum at least.

Extra
May 19, 2013



lol wemmin b crazy when they have babies mirite guys

Aggressive pricing
Feb 25, 2008


I think it's good to take some time apart, tide you over until things settle down. They should understand.

CravingSolace
Mar 3, 2012


OP, your MIL sounds downright awful. I'm glad your partner agrees that she should be supervised with the baby. I understand wanting to cut her out of your life completely, and personally I would want that, too. If your partner is set on having his mother continue to be a part of your lives, then set some ground rules. If you visit with them and she tries to snatch your baby out of your arms, tell her no. If she fights with you about it, leave. Any time she tries to push past a boundary, the visit is over. Maybe she'll catch on that she can't manipulate everyone into giving her what she wants. If her behavior persists, I'd insist on cutting off contact. She sounds like she doesn't really care about her grandchild at all. It's more of a manipulation tool. She doesn't even know this child's name that she claims she survived a suicide attempt for. She'd rather let that poor child sit in its own waste than change it. That's loving awful.

Scenty
Feb 8, 2008




Tell J he can go visit them all he wants but I would NOT let him take your child. Your MIL needs to prove she is trustworthy and reliable before she should be able to see the baby. That she is willing to make up suicide stories to manipulate you shows she is dangerous and cannot be trusted.

Aristotle Animes
Feb 11, 2006

...

onceling posted:

You know that babies as young as five months can tell the difference between people acting "normal" and "not normal".
Yeah, man. They pick up vibes. We should all be as sensitive as babies.

bee
Dec 17, 2008
Fitness Goal: To bench press at least one teenage Defiant Sally.

Thanks everyone who replied for your input. It's a bit of a relief to hear that I'm not being unreasonable.

Beep Street posted:

OP if you didn't want to turn the other cheek at racist old fashioned in laws why on earth did you marry a South African man? Aside from your husband you all sound like assholes in this sorry tale.

Have some consideration for your husband and child and suck it up for two weeks. It's not all about you anymore.

We're not married, try reading the OP. At any rate, if we were married I'd be marrying J, not his parents.

You're right about one thing though, this isn't about me. It's about what's best for my kid, and whether toxic, manipulative grandma is a person worth including in my kid's life. In my opinion, just because someone is a blood relative doesn't entitle them to access to a baby. What if that person wanting to spend time with your kid is an alcoholic? Or paedophile? Or just physically or emotionally abusive? Do you just say oh, it's ok because they're family? Hell no.

J and I discussed what to do going forward. The plan is to sit down with the inlaws tomorrow night and outline clearly to them what our expectations are of them. No lying, no grabbing the baby out of our arms if we are holding her, and no more rudeness. They are to respect our family unit and our rules. I don't expect mil to suck up my arse but she will act respectfully towards me and J or the consequences will be that she won't be included in our baby's future.

Whether this will work or not is doubtful, but we both feel that if they've had the rules spelt out to them there's no room for bullshit excuses if they choose to ignore them, and consequences will be enacted as a result. Also we think that by both of us sitting down and laying out the rules together they'll see that we're serious about this and that we're a united team, not just bitch mummy trying to be difficult and turn J against mil with her magic vagina.

Centripetal Horse
Nov 22, 2009


bee posted:

We're not married, try reading the OP. At any rate, if we were married I'd be marrying J, not his parents.

Jesus, I can hardly see through the tears of laughter.

Kimmalah
Nov 14, 2005

Basically just a baby in a trenchcoat.




Centripetal Horse posted:

Jesus, I can hardly see through the tears of laughter.

Yeah usually spouse and their family is a package deal unless he suddenly decides to cut all ties. Really OP would be lucking out since they live overseas most of the time.

CravingSolace
Mar 3, 2012


OP, while you would be marrying J you WOULD also be marrying his parents. Like another poster said, unless J decides to cut off contact, his parents would be in your life one way or another.

Koalas March
May 21, 2007


I hate anyone photoshopping the hardest working woman of color ever and why you should never be allowed to make photoshop threads about her.

Also: ask me about having a 2 meter stick up my ass.


Are his parents rich or poor? Black out white? And yourself for that matter? It sounds like there's a big cultural factor that you're not explaining. Also saying why you didn't wanna marry could be relevant since it seems to be coloring her perception of you.

Sigma-X
Jun 17, 2005

"thats pretty much it, we all got high, it was sweet you should of been there"
"god damnt knuckles, your plan didn't do anything"


bee posted:

We're not married, try reading the OP.

This is a bit ancillary to the situation, but can you explain the rationale behind raising a kid with someone but not getting married to them? I'm not judging, I know other people that have done it (but since I know them IRL but not well enough to ask that kind of a question I'd rather ask someone pseudo-anonymously on the internet) and some of them have eventually married and some of them have gone 10+ years without marriage, but I don't get it personally - it seems like raising a kid with someone is an 18 year commitment and I don't get why people do that but not the lifetime commitment thing. The fact that you play it off as "well I'd be marrying Jay, not his parents" seems to imply that there is a difference in your eyes between building a family with someone via a child and building a family with someone via marriage and I just don't get it.

Your PIL sound like terrible loving people and while it sounds like you're putting Jay in a bit of a spot, it is most important to take care of your kid. The fact that you and Jay and working as a team is pretty good, and your communication sounds like it is actually happening, so you're doing better than plenty of couples. While it's important to stand firm and as a team, make sure that there is always an "out" where Jay isn't put into a place where he has to choose between his parents and his partner - the fact that you're outlining rules to abide by is a good thing.

6 weeks of vacation with any houseguests is a terrible idea, and it sounds like you've figured that out, and any further visits are going to require briefer stays and separate housing.

Scenty
Feb 8, 2008




Sigma-X posted:

This is a bit ancillary to the situation, but can you explain the rationale behind raising a kid with someone but not getting married to them? I'm not judging, I know other people that have done it (but since I know them IRL but not well enough to ask that kind of a question I'd rather ask someone pseudo-anonymously on the internet) and some of them have eventually married and some of them have gone 10+ years without marriage, but I don't get it personally - it seems like raising a kid with someone is an 18 year commitment and I don't get why people do that but not the lifetime commitment thing. The fact that you play it off as "well I'd be marrying Jay, not his parents" seems to imply that there is a difference in your eyes between building a family with someone via a child and building a family with someone via marriage and I just don't get it.

Your PIL sound like terrible loving people and while it sounds like you're putting Jay in a bit of a spot, it is most important to take care of your kid. The fact that you and Jay and working as a team is pretty good, and your communication sounds like it is actually happening, so you're doing better than plenty of couples. While it's important to stand firm and as a team, make sure that there is always an "out" where Jay isn't put into a place where he has to choose between his parents and his partner - the fact that you're outlining rules to abide by is a good thing.

6 weeks of vacation with any houseguests is a terrible idea, and it sounds like you've figured that out, and any further visits are going to require briefer stays and separate housing.

I'm not the OP, but you don't need a piece of paper to commit to another person, and it is getting easier and easier to get the benefits that married couples have without being married. Also, I know some atheists who don't practice marriage as they feel it is religious in nature. I believe OP mentioned they are atheists. And lastly, Americans put a huge priority on marriage and use it as a major life course event. This isn't true for all cultures.

Das Boo
Jun 9, 2011

Flippin' fancy!


This sounds a bit like a light version my sister's situation. My BIL is Islamic and has had the idea hammered into him that his parents' well-being will always trump his wife's needs despite a good portion of his upbringing being Stateside. My sister usually deals with a manageable amount of disrespect from him, but it goes far, far, far into the unmanageable when his parents come to visit. That being said, can I ask what kind of values J has had instilled in him in regards to his family? Does his culture emphasize his parents' needs or his immediate family's? If the former, I don't think you'll be able to convince him to keep the baby from them. At best, you'll have to compromise for as little visitation as possible. It's a weird thing to bring up, but that's the biggest issue my sister has with her situation: her husband's support. And it makes a huge difference.

bee
Dec 17, 2008
Fitness Goal: To bench press at least one teenage Defiant Sally.

I'm not sure how it's relevant, but we're white, the inlaws are white and while they're not rich, compared to the majority of people in South Africa they're not poor either. However, they would not have been able to afford to come to see us if J and his sister didn't buy them their plane tickets.

When I say that I'm not marrying his parents, what I am saying is that I don't believe that marriage to one person gives their relatives a get out of jail free card for lovely behaviour. Perhaps I think this way because in my own family, several family members have severed from each other due to feuds/poor behaviour etc and personally I don't see why this is a big deal. Life is too short to be wasting your time, care and energy on people who treat you like crap - no matter what their relationship to you might be.

Mother in law never actually asked me what my reasoning was for not wanting to get married. Not that it's any of her business whatsoever, but I've been married before. It was a stressful, abusive, expensive experience for me. While I don't for a minute think that marriage to j would be anything like my previous marriage with my ex, at this point in time I'm not ready to get married again. Weddings themselves call for time and money and right now we both think we've got better things to spend both on.
We are committed to each other and we both know where we stand in our partnership so to us, it isn't immediately necessary to have a big expensive party to confirm that. Also, in Australia, when you live with someone for more than (I think it's 18 months) a certain amount of time, legally you are considered to be a defacto couple and pretty much have all the same rights as any married couple.

bee fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2014 around 02:14

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



Never stay with or host any form of family for six weeks, it will inevitably end in tears.

Kimmalah
Nov 14, 2005

Basically just a baby in a trenchcoat.




bee posted:

When I say that I'm not marrying his parents, what I am saying is that I don't believe that marriage to one person gives their relatives a get out of jail free card for lovely behaviour. Perhaps I think this way because in my own family, several family members have severed from each other due to feuds/poor behaviour etc and personally I don't see why this is a big deal. Life is too short to be wasting your time, care and energy on people who treat you like crap - no matter what their relationship to you might be.


No one's saying it's a get out of jail free card for lovely behavior, just that if you're going to be involved with this man, you're going to have to deal with his family on some level unless he's on board with cutting them off. Which it doesn't sound like he is. True, you could just refuse to deal with them I guess, but it's just going to make a bad situation worse and put a huge huge strain on J since he'll be caught in the middle of his parents and you.

Andrias Scheuchzeri
Mar 6, 2010

They're very good and intelligent, these tapa-boys...

bee posted:



When I say that I'm not marrying his parents, what I am saying is that I don't believe that marriage to one person gives their relatives a get out of jail free card for lovely behaviour. Perhaps I think this way because in my own family, several family members have severed from each other due to feuds/poor behaviour etc and personally I don't see why this is a big deal. Life is too short to be wasting your time, care and energy on people who treat you like crap - no matter what their relationship to you might be.



Severing is a big deal because--like you're seeing here--it affects more than just the two people involved. Your mother-in-law sounds like a huge pill, you're someone who's confrontational about that instead of trying to let it slide or smooth it over, and--wow, big surprise, it's affecting J and your baby. Who you do seem to think are worth wasting your time, care, and energy on.

I've got relatives that do the whole SEVER thing. It kind of sucks because they end up spreading fights through multiple families and generations, but I guess if that's what they need to do, that's what they need to do. Myself, I'd let him take the baby over to visit his parents in the evenings like he's doing, suck it up for two weeks, and work on a better plan for next year.

Your baby will actually be just fine visiting the grandparents with her dad in the evenings for a couple of weeks. Really. (e. Oh, and stop worrying about whether you're "rewarding" your mother-in-law by letting her spend time with your baby. That's just adding to the whole atmosphere where the baby is a playing piece for the adults' problems.)

Andrias Scheuchzeri fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2014 around 16:13

Kimmalah
Nov 14, 2005

Basically just a baby in a trenchcoat.




Andrias Scheuchzeri posted:

Severing is a big deal because--like you're seeing here--it affects more than just the two people involved. Your mother-in-law sounds like a huge pill, you're someone who's confrontational about that instead of trying to let it slide or smooth it over, and--wow, big surprise, it's affecting J and your baby. Who you do seem to think are worth wasting your time, care, and energy on.

I've got relatives that do the whole SEVER thing. It kind of sucks because they end up spreading fights through multiple families and generations, but I guess if that's what they need to do, that's what they need to do. Myself, I'd let him take the baby over to visit his parents in the evenings like he's doing, suck it up for two weeks, and work on a better plan for next year.

Your baby will actually be just fine visiting the grandparents with her dad in the evenings for a couple of weeks. Really. (e. Oh, and stop worrying about whether you're "rewarding" your mother-in-law by letting her spend time with your baby. That's just adding to the whole atmosphere where the baby is a playing piece for the adults' problems.)

Yeah it's definitely really hard when you're stuck in the middle of a situation like this because you usually end up having to constantly explain why so-and-so never shows up to family gatherings and just generally doing this really awkward balancing act to keep from pissing either party off. I could see a lot of resentment growing out of that in the future if she just decides to sever because J will have deal with almost all of the fallout of that.

I also don't really see the problem with supervised visits and I think it's kind of lovely to just cut grandparents off from the kid entirely. This happened with my mother and her parents - I missed out on a lot and now I'm basically cut off from an entire half of my family over stuff I had nothing to do with.

Horrible Smutbeast
Sep 2, 2011


Your husband is a coward and needs to start taking your/your baby's side instead of making excuses for his parents.

If he ever tries to whine to you about how she just needs some more attention or something, just repeat "she lied about attempting suicide to guilt me into excusing her behaviour" and just repeat that, over and over. Do you really want a woman who won't even change the kid's diaper and lies about that poo poo to be near your kid?

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Iseeyouseemeseeyou
Jan 3, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 24 days!


kill her

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