Author Topic: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby  (Read 9961 times)

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pwy a wyr

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Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« on: December 12, 2012, 03:45:00 PM »
Hi! I have a baby! Woohoo! Unfortunately, this places us right in the middle of the decades long in law power play. My divorced parents in law do not get on. Here's a smidge of background. http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=117186.0

The two week ban held, and I'm so glad as I developed PUPPS, thankfully short lived with lots of help. Guests at that stage would have been a nightmare! MIL came for a visit, but stayed in a hotel. We arranged for FIL to come for Christmas (MIL came last year) for two weeks, but, after he booked flights, he sent an email saying he'd booked for three weeks, was that ok. (My annoyance at this may affect everything else). DH decided not to say anything at present because they communicate mostly by email.

At the same time, MIL and SIL are not getting on and MIL has decided not to go to SIL for Christmas. This leaves her by herself. She has been offered accommodation nearby if she wants to come here for the 2 days of Christmas. Having both PIL in the same house isn't an option. I may ban them both for life if we try it. However, I am concerned what'll happen if it all kicks off. What do you do if 2 manipulative pensioners kick off each other? Where's the line between peacemaking/doormat and disciplining? How do I shut down FIL if he tries to control our house? Answers on a postcard please! Thank you! xxx

LeveeWoman

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 04:16:02 PM »
He's already trying to control you and your house by extending his stay by a week. I would've told  him to rebook his flights immediately after he told you about his presumptive behavior, but I don't know what to tell you about that angle now.

However, if they cause any disturbance in my house for Christmas, I'd boot them both to hotels for the duration of their stay.

chappy

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 04:31:03 PM »
I don't know how new the baby is, but under 3 months and I wouldn't even tolerate a small disturbance.  A "please leave for a few hours, baby and I need some peace" would be fine IMHO.  My 3 yo responds well to one warning: "MIL/FIL if you continue to fight no matter who started it, you will be asked to leave for a couple hours or go to your bedroom for 1 hour etc"  anything that you and your husband are willing to follow through on.

I am sorry your holidays are not just joyous.

heartmug

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 05:17:15 PM »
What do you do?  You expect them to act like grown-ups.  If your MIL doesn't want to be alone on the holidays, then she must be tolerant of being in the same home as your FIL.  I would not be pleased he added another week, but for the holiday, it was his this year and she must behave or leave.
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

JenJay

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 05:30:36 PM »
They've each created a situation where you feel obligated to host them for Christmas and you're supposed to figure out how to juggle them in such a way that they're both happy... but don't have to interact with each other? I'd refuse to play that game.

"FIL, you chose to book your stay for 3 weeks instead of the two we previously agreed on. MIL, you've decided not to visit SIL as planned but to come here instead. We are prepared to open our home to both of you but do not look to us to play mediator or referee. We'll be busy enjoying Baby's first Christmas. If you cannot set your differences aside and join us then plan to spend the day in your respective hotel rooms - alone."

kckgirl

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 05:41:36 PM »
I would definitely tell FIL that, since he was invited for two weeks, staying three weeks is not acceptable unless he plans to stay the third week in a hotel. And I pod JenJay. I would definitely lay down the law before either of them arrives to tell them you will not allow pensioner temper tantrums during your baby's first Christmas.
Maryland

SPuck

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 05:42:05 PM »
The only thing you can do in a situation like is build your boundaries along with trenches, moats, arm your cannons, and shore your spines. JenJay said it best. Don't bother being soft, be hard.

darkprincess

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 05:44:05 PM »
Concerning the three weeks: In some ways I think it matters whether or not he is staying in a hotel or at your house.

If he is staying at a hotel, I don't think there is too much you can do except continue with your previous plans for the week you weren't expecting him. Those plans may simply be to sit on the couch alone eating ice cream. He can stay in a hotel anywhere he wants as long as he wants, but you only agreed to host him from x day to y day for a total of two weeks, no more. So only agree to be with him that week if you truly want to, not because he wants to. He is manipulating you.

If he thinks he is staying at your house: Your husband needs to call him up ASAP and tell him NO to the third week. Give him hotel names and numbers, tell him to change his flight, it doesn't matter as long as he is not staying with you. Do not let him trample over your boundaries.

Concerning your MIL, while I feel for her, you already have plans and are not able to host her. She is an adult and can deal with her own holiday. She had last year.

Don't let your FIL take over your house. Tell him No, make sure you and DH are on the same page. If need be tell him to leave for a few hours or even overnight (give him the phone number for a hotel) if he behaves badly.

My MIL and I have a history. Cut offs occurred and after I had my second child I opened the door to a relationship. She pretended nothing in the past happened and has ignored all of the bad blood. I have made it known that for the sake of family harmony I will no longer discuss certain topics of conversation around her. For the sake of my husband if she brings them up he and I first bean dip, then we explicitly state that we shouldn't talk about this. If she continues I take the baby and my DD and go upstairs where she is not allowed or to a coffee shop, or out to dinner. I know that it seems that I am giving in by not kicking her out, but it is the compromise that I made with DH so he can continue to have a relationship with his Mother, but her bad behaviour means that she cannot be with the grandkids, and all scheduled activities stop.

You should feel free to do something similar. Make a area of the house off limits to him. Make sure you have everything you need in that area to feel comfortable. When MIL is coming I keep my favorite chocolates, bottled water, an IPAD and netflix handy. I keep a book that DD and I are reading together there and a video game for her to play. I am ready at any time to go to a place that I feel comfortable that she is not allowed to go. DH knows that once I am in this area he is responsible for cooking/cleaning/hosting/whatever else needs done. In someways it is a reverse timeout. I cannot make her go to her room but I can remove the things that she wants and put a stop to the reason she came over.

camlan

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 05:56:04 PM »
I agree with PPs. Clear messages need to be sent to both FIL and MIL telling them the dates they are welcome in your home, the fact that their ex will be present, and that they need to behave themselves.

Consider it training for when your child reaches the same developmental level, in about 2 years.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


bah12

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 06:21:22 PM »
They are adults.  And guests in your home.  It is perfectly reasonable to expect them to act like mature adults and be respectful of you and your family.  So, say it outright.  "As long as you are here, you will act maturely towards each other.  If you can't do that, I will ask you to leave."  Then stick to it.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 07:32:53 PM »
I totally POD what DarkPrincess did when her MIL crossed the boundaries.

Maybe the OP and DH can come up with something similar.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012, 07:59:57 PM »
I wouldn't leave my own home with my infant if a guest couldn't behave decently, especially in the winter. If my husband wanted to visit with his parents, he could them to a restaurant until they could get their act together.

GratefulMaria

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 10:16:40 AM »
I agree with PPs. Clear messages need to be sent to both FIL and MIL telling them the dates they are welcome in your home, the fact that their ex will be present, and that they need to behave themselves.

Consider it training for when your child reaches the same developmental level, in about 2 years.

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bopper

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 11:37:46 AM »
"Actually we had plans to have some other visitors after you had planned to leave.  Were you planning to visit anyone else in the area or I hope it won't be too much money to change your ticket.."

jedikaiti

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Re: Christmas, inlaws and the new baby
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 02:20:06 PM »
"Actually we had plans to have some other visitors after you had planned to leave.  Were you planning to visit anyone else in the area or I hope it won't be too much money to change your ticket.."

"Oh, where are you going/what are you doing during the third week?"
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