Setting boundaries with in laws

Rebecca - posted on 07/04/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi, I am new to the community and am writing this in desperate need of some advice. Since my son was born 9 months ago, we have been struggling with boundaries concerning my MIL and FIL. There has been small conflicts that we have went through and addressed with them, and this has also been discussed with them but it seems as though they aren't getting the message. It has gotten to the point where I feel like I am sharing custody of my son with them. MIL calls 2-3 times a day, with the first thing she says being ``what is jackson(my son) doing?` I dont mind phone calls in moderation but calling multiple times to check on my baby is unneccessary. If I decide not to answer the phone she complains to DH. They see DS about 5 times a week. Usually tuesday and friday they will visit at our house, wednesday or thursday they will take him to their house for the day, we usually spend time at their cabin on saturdays with them and sundays we usually have dinner together. We have tried changing things up to get a break but when we make other plans they insist we change plans so they can see DS. If we refuse they try to put us on a time limit, telling us to call when we are finished so they can come over. If we dont call they come anyway! Today I was bathing my son upstairs with the bathroom door locked. MIL walked right in my house (no, she didnt call first), up the stairs, and started knocking on the door. She thought I was in the shower (which would have been even worse) and when I said I was bathing DS she came in the bathroom and watched. I will be locking the front door from now on although I shouldn`t be a prisoner in my own home. I talk to DH about this regularly and while he says he understands how I feel, he won`t talk to his parents about setting some boundaries because he thinks I am being mean and unreasonable. I keep telling him it isn`t about choosing sides, but this is affecting our family dynamic and I have even having panic attacks as I feel as though I`m being harrassed on a daily basis by his family.I don`t want them to not visit at all, but right now it is too much! Any advice on how to improve this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks ! :)

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Anne - posted on 07/05/2013

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Boundaries are really hard to set. They are set completely in love, but often times people take them as a threat or they get defensive. I think that if your DH is not willing to talk to them, you may need to have a conversation with them about how you feel. Not out of spite to DH but out of protection to your family. I think it is important to stress that you are setting boundaries so that your family can grow together alongside your MIL and FIL and they play a key role in helping you be a mother to your son. Acknowledge their help as being useful and important. You need your space to raise your son and learn how to parent him in your own way. I hope this helps!! :)

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