I feel hurt and undermined...
Would you feel frustrated?
VERY LONG: THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ
Before I start, I have to say that my husband is an amazing man. He is supportive, caring, encouraging, compliments me daily, and takes wonderful care of me. I love him to death, and he is a wonderful husband… It’s just this issue revolving around his mother.
My husband and I have had many many issues with my parents, from threatening to disown me, to treating me horribly.. to even threatening my husband (when we were dating). My husband has been through a lot with my family. Well, things have gotten much better with my family over the past year. However, since getting pregnant (I’m nearly 7 months along) my mother has not come up to visit me or seen any of the ultrasounds. (She lives 4 hours away) Granted, she has six other kids to look after and is working on her pre-reqs for college… So I try not to feel upset… But I’ve had to remind my mom, more than once, about my due date for my baby.. and I keep asking her to come up to visit and see an ultrasound of the baby. The last ultrasound is in July and my mom plans to come up, but when I asked her about it the last time on the phone, she was like.. “When was that again?” So… I was voicing my slight frustrations with my husband and my husband asks me, “Lets not allow her to watch our child/Lets not leave our child with her.” To which, I said is fine and understandable. She has too much on her plate to have a baby shoved in the mix anyways.
So… I ask.. Okay, but when we take our first couple vacation (baby age 8-10 months old), I would like my grandmother to watch our child for our first outing. I would feel better about this to which he agreed. Then we got on the topic of his parents.
My experience with my Mother-in-law:
I’ve only met her a handful of times.
However, in those handful of times I have met her I’ve had the following experiences:
1. “The wife to my son and mother to my grandchildren must have an education” (I was 20 years old at the time and had a vocational nursing license, but that didn’t count. This was also the first time I ever met her.)
2. “I wanted my son to marry a Filipino woman.” (After we got engaged)
3. When I took my dog up to her house, I asked that she be left in her cage (because my miniature poodle was being aggressive towards her big German shepherd. I didn’t want my dog to get killed because she got scared and bit their dog.) while my husband and I were out watching a movie or going on a date. I think, every single time we came back, my dog was out of her cage, on my mother-in-law’s lap. She didn’t respect my wishes.
4. Multiple occasions: Going through our mail and notes and questioning me on different things that she had read/seen. She even took one of my husband BANK STATEMENTS to her house (without our permission or telling us) to keep track of a family member’s debt to us (that we didn’t tell her about but she found looking through our paperwork while we were at work).
5. Things my mother-in-law has said since I got pregnant: “I was asking my husband if he remembered your security code so I could sneak into your house at night and steal your baby.”, “I can’t take the baby out of the united states without you signing a power of attorney to let me take the baby, even if I’m the grandmother.” “You’re not going to share the baby with me, you are being selfish.” (This was told to us probably 10-15 times during the day and a half she was visiting our house) “I am praying that you get pregnant right after having this baby so that way it will be too much for you to handle and I can take the baby while you watch your newborn.”
I understand that these comments (about our child) are “jokes”, but because I have only seen her a few times, it unsettles me. Well… My husband insists that they are jokes. I disagree but whatever.
So I told my husband that since I haven’t had time to develop a true bond and trust, I’m more apprehensive to leave our baby when we go on trips. My husband was telling me that we won’t have that bond, so am I saying that his parents will never get to watch the baby? He talked about how he doesn’t have a bond with my grandmother, but will still let her watch our child. (My grandmother lives 5 ½ hours away and has driven up here on 3 separate occasions to come see our ultrasounds or help me when I was sick and my husband couldn’t take off work. She has been super helpful and supportive. She practically raised me. The only bad thing about her is she is literally too nice at times. So there is no reason not to trust her.) I told him, “No, I’m not saying that.”
I went on to explain that, through my experiences (with our dog, the things she has said to me personally, how she acts with me) his mother doesn’t respect my wishes and my boundaries. I told him that I know that she will take great care of our child, but I have to feel safe that she will respect MY wishes and rules as a mother. He went on to tell me, “Well, what would be your rules? Give me an example.”
“Please don’t take my child on a (roughly mile) walk with your dog around the streets of El Paso, unless we are with them.” They are over 60 years old with a big German shepherd dog.. (Who has bolted, literally dragging me and my mother-in-law down the street because he saw a cat. We were literally DRAGGED and had no control.) I just don’t feel safe with that..
He went on to talk about how I can’t make lots of rules or demands that would be impossible for his parents to follow, because there would be no point.
What the Hell?! What did I say to make you think that I’m going to be making some unreasonable demands? When have I EVER made unreasonable demands?! I’ve been super freaking patient with a lot of stuff over the past 4 years.
He suggested we sit down and set out a “boundary” list of rules that all family members watching our child have to follow. If they break these rules, essentially breaking our trust and disrespecting us, they lose the right to watch our child. To which I agreed.
After that, he got quiet. His body language turned off from me. I knew he was mad. So I asked him, “You seem upset, why are you upset?”
He says, “No one likes to hear that someone doesn’t trust their mom.”
I was thinking, “Um, you just told me ‘lets not have your mom watch our daughter ever, okay?’ without a care in the world. Why can’t I say I want boundaries with your mom, who has disrespected me on multiple occasions?”
I told him that it’s not that I don’t trust her, it’s that she hasn’t respected me in the past and I am afraid that she will not respect me with our baby. I told him that she is used to being the leader of the family and calling the shots. He inserts: “Yes, she’s the leader over her brothers and sisters and my family (meaning his dad and him) because, most of the time, she is right on everything. She’s bailed people out so many times when sh*t hit the fan.” I said, “Whether or not she is right or wrong, is irrelevant. As the Mother, I want to have the confidence that she will respect my wishes.. even if it is something that will not be detrimental to the baby’s health. I’m not trash talking your mom, I’m just voicing my concerns based on my past experiences.”
After a few minutes, He was still closed off. His body language was turned away from me and he wasn’t hardly looking at me. I confronted again. “You still seem frustrated with me.”
He says, “It’s good that we are talking about this and this is coming out, but I’m her son. I’m going to feel a little upset because she’s my mom, just like I’m sure our future son will be protective over you. It doesn’t mean that what you are saying is not right. It doesn’t mean that you are not right in this, but it’s just how I feel.”
I was like, “I don’t want you to be frustrated with me for saying I want boundaries and to be treated with respect as our child’s mother. I know you can’t help it, but I don’t like that you are frustrated about this.”
He says, “My mom will respect your boundaries as our child’s mother. I’ll talk with her after we get rules set in place.”
Our conversation ends, and we switch topics.. but I feel insulted and hurt. I feel undermined as his wife.. Even though he is going to talk with his mother and establish these rules, he still got upset with me for voicing my concerns and asking to set boundaries and have respect. Like, why should I have to feel like I’M being the bad guy for saying I want to be respected. I don’t get upset with my husband for voicing his concerns with my family.
Am I being overly sensitive?