Author Topic: Can't seem to get it into my parent's head that we cannot simply 'pop over'.  (Read 12955 times)

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GlassHalfFull

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As far as the photos go, have you tried just saying, "The baby gets stressed out with so many photos, let's stop with that so she can enjoy your visit."  And add, "Don't worry, I'll take plenty and text/email/whatever them to you."  And then do that, of course.

Good for sticking to your guns on bedtimes etc; fold now and the requests/demands will exponentially become more frequent and expected to be followed as your child gets older.

Addy

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(snipped for length)

If they do come visit, you have the power to control the interaction.

Dad, please put away the camera. DD's tired of having her photo taken.



I agree with this advice. Also, what about sending your own photos of the little darling?  That way, they will have less need to take those trophy baby shots and may find the relationship with baby improves when they can interact more naturally. Or, they may need to come visit less often. Either way, it's an improvement.

Stories like these make me appreciate the closeness I have with my daughter-in-law and granddaughter, and also make me vow to be a kind, helpful, but not overbearing grandmother who appreciates every minute with my granddaughter and only offers advice when asked. I do so solemnly swear. ;)

EllenS

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Since you used to only interact with your parents annually, it doesn't sound like keeping a really harmonious relationship is a critical issue for you. So just go back to that.

Mom: Can you guys drive down next week?
You: I don't think our work schedule will allow it but I'll check. Hope your feeling better. I'll call you next week.

Mom: You were going to call me last week.
You: Sorry we were busy. How are you feeling?
Mom: Are you coming next week?
You: I'll have to check our schedule. I'll call you soon.

Mom: When are you coming?
You: I don't know. You remember how busy it is with a baby.
Mom: Well you need to come.
You:  How's Dad? Let me talk with him.


The only problem with this approach is that it maintains the illusion that next week things will be different, so Mom will keep asking (why shouldn't she? After all, that's what she was told.)

If, in reality, this is not a case-by-case thing, but a decision, then that needs to be clear.  Otherwise, this conversation will go on and on forever (which sounds maddening).
But I'm ok with that. It's like putting off that acquaintance who is always suggesting you get together for happy hour. It's just not worth getting into why you don't want to go so you put off till they finally realize you'll never say yes.

I'm really advocating reducing contact back down to the pre- baby relationship. And if she keeps postponing making commitments her mom will finally get the hint.

I get what you're saying, just personally it would drive me batty to invite the same conversation over and over, if I had already made up my mind. 
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Hmmmmm

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Since you used to only interact with your parents annually, it doesn't sound like keeping a really harmonious relationship is a critical issue for you. So just go back to that.

Mom: Can you guys drive down next week?
You: I don't think our work schedule will allow it but I'll check. Hope your feeling better. I'll call you next week.

Mom: You were going to call me last week.
You: Sorry we were busy. How are you feeling?
Mom: Are you coming next week?
You: I'll have to check our schedule. I'll call you soon.

Mom: When are you coming?
You: I don't know. You remember how busy it is with a baby.
Mom: Well you need to come.
You:  How's Dad? Let me talk with him.


The only problem with this approach is that it maintains the illusion that next week things will be different, so Mom will keep asking (why shouldn't she? After all, that's what she was told.)

If, in reality, this is not a case-by-case thing, but a decision, then that needs to be clear.  Otherwise, this conversation will go on and on forever (which sounds maddening).
But I'm ok with that. It's like putting off that acquaintance who is always suggesting you get together for happy hour. It's just not worth getting into why you don't want to go so you put off till they finally realize you'll never say yes.

I'm really advocating reducing contact back down to the pre- baby relationship. And if she keeps postponing making commitments her mom will finally get the hint.

I get what you're saying, just personally it would drive me batty to invite the same conversation over and over, if I had already made up my mind.
But they are having the same conversation any way with OP becoming frustrated with her parents not listening or understanding.

anonymousmac

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    -hold both hands with your husband, and jump up and down together in the living room chanting, "I do not need to make my mother happy" over and over for a full minute, every day for two weeks.

I just want to say that this is among the best advice I've read on this board, ever.

Julsie

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    -hold both hands with your husband, and jump up and down together in the living room chanting, "I do not need to make my mother happy" over and over for a full minute, every day for two weeks.

I just want to say that this is among the best advice I've read on this board, ever.

I completely agree.  It may sound silly and Toots probably meant it as a joke but there is a kernel of profound wisdom in there!

Secret

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I'm assuming you aren't interested in a relationship with your parents?  Are you not interested in coming down once per month for the afternoon to visit? Why only 1 hour?  Can you not stay for dinner or order in dinner or go out for dinner?

My parents live 1 hour away and hubby me and our 2 kids have been going down since the first one was 3 weeks old. usually 2x per month.  It is doable if you want to do it.  We've always had a schedule with our oldest.  We'd leave to go down right after the little one was fed and was going to nap in the car. (reverse on the way home- found that the hard way).  You can work with a scheduled baby.

To be honest it sounds like you aren't interested in going to their place at all.  That is okay, but not the greatest idea to use a baby as an excuse because they grow and become more flexible and then you lose your excuse.

My dad is quite the shutterbug and he is always wanting the baby to  smile.  So I showed him how baby #2 loves to be sung to, x particular song or likes this toy.  You can "show" your parents how to interact with the baby by showing them what baby likes and doesn't like. 

esposita

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I'm assuming you aren't interested in a relationship with your parents?  Are you not interested in coming down once per month for the afternoon to visit? Why only 1 hour?  Can you not stay for dinner or order in dinner or go out for dinner?

My parents live 1 hour away and hubby me and our 2 kids have been going down since the first one was 3 weeks old. usually 2x per month.  It is doable if you want to do it.  We've always had a schedule with our oldest.  We'd leave to go down right after the little one was fed and was going to nap in the car. (reverse on the way home- found that the hard way).  You can work with a scheduled baby.

To be honest it sounds like you aren't interested in going to their place at all.  That is okay, but not the greatest idea to use a baby as an excuse because they grow and become more flexible and then you lose your excuse.

My dad is quite the shutterbug and he is always wanting the baby to  smile.  So I showed him how baby #2 loves to be sung to, x particular song or likes this toy.  You can "show" your parents how to interact with the baby by showing them what baby likes and doesn't like.

What about hosts who say "Dinner is at X" and then what that actually means is that dinner is supposed to be finished cooking at X but then the table has to be set, the dinner has to cool, biscuits or rolls have to be cooked, the salad tossed...etc. And dinner isn't until 6:30. Then you eat, chat, and feel guilted into helping clean... oh and then its time for coffee and dessert and the wrath of thunder will descend if you do not wish to partake in any of these "gifts" of hospitality. And then by the time you are headed home it is past eight and baby gets disturbed going from bed to car seat and you basically don't sleep again that night.

Just saying that its great if it works, but not wanting to drive an hour both ways, with a baby, for dinner doesn't mean that someone isn't interested in making it work. :)

bopper

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I agree with whoever said to be proactive.

Have you and your husband decide how often you want to have your parents see your baby. Once a week, once a month, once every two months, twice a year whatever.

Then talk to your mom and say "Mom, it would work better for us if we could get on schedule visiting with you guys. You keep wanting to visit on a weekday and that does not work out for us. What would work for us would be to visit you once a month on the first Sunday (or whatever) for the next 3 months, and then after you have regained your strength you could come visit us (or you could alternate or whatever.).  In between that we could skype/I could send you pictures/videos.  I want you guys to have a relationship with babyOP but we need to do something that works for everyone."

TootsNYC

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    -hold both hands with your husband, and jump up and down together in the living room chanting, "I do not need to make my mother happy" over and over for a full minute, every day for two weeks.

I just want to say that this is among the best advice I've read on this board, ever.

I completely agree.  It may sound silly and Toots probably meant it as a joke but there is a kernel of profound wisdom in there!

Actually, I was sort of serious. I stole it from someone who said that she and her husband do this with a mantra that addresses an issue she struggles with (in her case, she worries about whether her witnessing actually reaches anybody, and her pastor husband started this with her, and they chant "I am not the Holy Spirit").

It captured my mind--it was years ago now, but I still think of it. I think it would really help you start to feel free about that issue, whatever it was.

EllenS

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What about hosts who say "Dinner is at X" and then what that actually means is that dinner is supposed to be finished cooking at X but then the table has to be set, the dinner has to cool, biscuits or rolls have to be cooked, the salad tossed...etc. And dinner isn't until 6:30. Then you eat, chat, and feel guilted into helping clean... oh and then its time for coffee and dessert and the wrath of thunder will descend if you do not wish to partake in any of these "gifts" of hospitality. And then by the time you are headed home it is past eight and baby gets disturbed going from bed to car seat and you basically don't sleep again that night.

Just saying that its great if it works, but not wanting to drive an hour both ways, with a baby, for dinner doesn't mean that someone isn't interested in making it work. :)

Gee, I think that's more about the relationship than the timing.  I mean, if waiting for the table to be set and actually taking time to chat is going to annoy you, or if helping your parents clean up the dishes after they cooked you dinner is about guilt, and the wrath of thunder, then yeah it is not worth it to make the trip at all.
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esposita

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What about hosts who say "Dinner is at X" and then what that actually means is that dinner is supposed to be finished cooking at X but then the table has to be set, the dinner has to cool, biscuits or rolls have to be cooked, the salad tossed...etc. And dinner isn't until 6:30. Then you eat, chat, and feel guilted into helping clean... oh and then its time for coffee and dessert and the wrath of thunder will descend if you do not wish to partake in any of these "gifts" of hospitality. And then by the time you are headed home it is past eight and baby gets disturbed going from bed to car seat and you basically don't sleep again that night.

Just saying that its great if it works, but not wanting to drive an hour both ways, with a baby, for dinner doesn't mean that someone isn't interested in making it work. :)

Gee, I think that's more about the relationship than the timing.  I mean, if waiting for the table to be set and actually taking time to chat is going to annoy you, or if helping your parents clean up the dishes after they cooked you dinner is about guilt, and the wrath of thunder, then yeah it is not worth it to make the trip at all.

I apologize, I can see how my post seems very harsh. I should have given more background.

We were frequently made to feel guilty at baulking over a dinner invitation to a certain home. Our reason (too long of a drive for a baby that has a firm bedtime) was seen as being very special snowflakey and we were assured that it would just be a quick dinner. Every. Single. Time. the visit was drawn out and dinner was late and they insisted that we stay for coffee and more chatting. The next time, we'd go again, hoping for the best, try to be firm, and still end up home very late with a cranky baby.

If we tried to go on time, sad faces, "one more thing conversations," and passive aggressive comments about our not enjoying their company were plentiful. (Oh, and I should mention that these weren't my parents, but we were relatives.)

I will admit that it struck a nerve with me that it would be said that someone "wasn't trying" simply because they were not willing to do this one thing. I'm just saying that its not always as simple as driving an hour, eating an hour, and driving home in time for baby to go to bed in the crib. I am happy to help prepare, clean, or chat. But not to be guilted into a bait and switch. If you tell me not to worry, and then keep me emotionally hostage for three hours on top of the two hours of driving, I'm not okay with that.

Twik

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What about hosts who say "Dinner is at X" and then what that actually means is that dinner is supposed to be finished cooking at X but then the table has to be set, the dinner has to cool, biscuits or rolls have to be cooked, the salad tossed...etc. And dinner isn't until 6:30. Then you eat, chat, and feel guilted into helping clean... oh and then its time for coffee and dessert and the wrath of thunder will descend if you do not wish to partake in any of these "gifts" of hospitality. And then by the time you are headed home it is past eight and baby gets disturbed going from bed to car seat and you basically don't sleep again that night.

Just saying that its great if it works, but not wanting to drive an hour both ways, with a baby, for dinner doesn't mean that someone isn't interested in making it work. :)

Gee, I think that's more about the relationship than the timing.  I mean, if waiting for the table to be set and actually taking time to chat is going to annoy you, or if helping your parents clean up the dishes after they cooked you dinner is about guilt, and the wrath of thunder, then yeah it is not worth it to make the trip at all.

It's not about waiting for the table to be set. It's about letting people know your time frame, and have them agree to it, and then ignore it completely.

Let's say you told your parents you had to leave for the airport by 8, and they said they understood, but were just putting the main course on the table at 7:45. Would you not be annoyed, particularly if they then tried to guilt you to stay till 9?
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esposita

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What about hosts who say "Dinner is at X" and then what that actually means is that dinner is supposed to be finished cooking at X but then the table has to be set, the dinner has to cool, biscuits or rolls have to be cooked, the salad tossed...etc. And dinner isn't until 6:30. Then you eat, chat, and feel guilted into helping clean... oh and then its time for coffee and dessert and the wrath of thunder will descend if you do not wish to partake in any of these "gifts" of hospitality. And then by the time you are headed home it is past eight and baby gets disturbed going from bed to car seat and you basically don't sleep again that night.

Just saying that its great if it works, but not wanting to drive an hour both ways, with a baby, for dinner doesn't mean that someone isn't interested in making it work. :)

Gee, I think that's more about the relationship than the timing.  I mean, if waiting for the table to be set and actually taking time to chat is going to annoy you, or if helping your parents clean up the dishes after they cooked you dinner is about guilt, and the wrath of thunder, then yeah it is not worth it to make the trip at all.

It's not about waiting for the table to be set. It's about letting people know your time frame, and have them agree to it, and then ignore it completely.

Let's say you told your parents you had to leave for the airport by 8, and they said they understood, but were just putting the main course on the table at 7:45. Would you not be annoyed, particularly if they then tried to guilt you to stay till 9?

Exactly, yes, thank you Twik. You said perfectly what I was trying to communicate! (And in many fewer words! ;D)

Secret

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I guess I"m stuck at the 3 hour total time frame.  We used to go after lunch when baby either went down for a nap in the car, or after the baby got up from the nap and then were leaving for home at 730. 

Now, as for those folks who do not respect the baby's time schedule.  My in Laws!!  I can relate.  Our child had difficulty sleeping through the night and sometimes would get up and cry at night.  It was not to bad at home.  Get up with baby, rock them for a long time and put them to bed.  At some other place trying to do it quietly was a nightmare.  One of the best things was the night we were at their tiny cottage and baby was up for a couple of hours in the night, keeping everyone up.  Hubby and I told in laws that baby sometimes wakes up the house.  They said it'd be fine.  Then they saw what we went through.  She stopped badgering us to stay the night.

then baby got older and she started in on "baby is having fun playing with the cousins, baby doesn't need an afternoon nap.'  That's easy to say when you aren't putting the exhausted baby down at 7 pm!

Bottom line, all babies are different, some are easygoing, some are NOT.  Some live by routine and some do not.  No matter what, babies change and evolve.  What worked for them yesterday, may not work for them today.  Basically  you tell MIL and FIL that as your little baby grows, it won't always be that way.  You baby will be going for longer periods without a nap, will be able to interact more. (Hold toys and such).  Tell them it won't always be this way, and it  will get easier to schedule visits as your little on matures a bit.