Continued from Part Two.http://anygivenmummy.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/a-sons-a-son-till-he-finds-a-wife-part-two/
We finally moved into out lovely new home, to have our own space eventually was amazing and I hoped it would be a fresh start for me and HM (Hubchins Mother).
Instead it became in some ways a whole lot worse. For me it was obviously easier, as I was not in their space and I didn’t have to suffer any of the consequences of being in HM’s house. But from the day we moved in, new problems began to arise.
The blessing for me was that fortunately the problems in our (Hubchin’s and my) relationship with the In-laws stopped being soley about ME and HM. Instead things turned on their head and it was Hubchin that I’d say had more or a problem with HMs behaviour than I did, it was Hubchin who had to do the bulk of the communicating with them and Hubchin that had to have the difficult conversations with them when they continually ignored our wishes, were rude and unkind towards us and generally showed us no respect at all.
Many scenarios unfolded in the first few months in our new house and the problems between the two ‘sides’ (I’m reluctant to use that term, but that’s really the truth of the matter, we were two sides, against each other) grew and grew. Both ‘sides’ believing they were right, neither willing to back down.
From Hubchin’s and my point of view we had a list of reasons to be angry with them that was so long it was ridiculous. On a few occasions we tried again to speak to them (once I spoke to HM directly) trying to clarify the main things that we were finding unacceptable, to name a few:
- Calling in unanncounced, then going in the huff with us when we asked them not to.
- Coming to the house when Hubchin was out and generally being out of order:
- HM: My two were bottle fed and they were lovely and chunky, nothing like these skinny breastfed things (meaning Little Bean)
- HM: (to little bean) Come to your Nana, you’ve missed me, nasty Mummy doesn’t let me have you, you love your nana, youre so pleased to see me (Little Bean was twisting, reaching out for me and got upset when I didn’t take her from HM)
- HM: We’ve brought the camera and I’m having a photo of that baby to show off with, whether you like it or not. (Id never stopped them taking photos?!)
- Going on and on and on to have Little Bean at their house, without us there, preferably overnight.
This last point was the one which caused me the most annoyance. My stance on the matter was this.
- Little Bean is a clingy baby and doesn’t know HM at all really.
- Little Bean is unfamiliar with their house as she’d been back once since the day we moved out as that was months ago.
- HM has a dog ‘their baby’, the dog is fine, but Hubchin is really uncomfortable with Little Bean being on the floor etc when the dog is around, dog is not used to small children, Little bean is frightened of dogs. HM and HF (Hubchins father) think were being ‘daft’, the dog wouldn’t harm a fly, they see no problem with dog licking Beans face etc. That’s their opinion and many of my friends with babies have dogs, who live in perfect harmony with their babies, that’s fine by me. Hubchin and I don’t ask for dog to leave the room when we’re there, we just keep Little Bean at a reasonable distance and watch the dog closely. We know that HM & HF would exercise no such restraint if we weren’t there, even (probably especially) if we asked them to.
- Little Bean is exclusively breastfed. HM has made her dislike of BF very clear and I don’t trust that she’d feed Little Bean expressed breastmilk .
- HM occasionally looks after her niece (11 years old) and nephew (8 years old). She has told me many times that she doesn’t care what instructions their mother gives her regarding their care, HM will do what she likes, their mother will never know. This doesn’t fill me with confidence.
- HM has little to no experience with babies, other than her own. She has never fed Little Bean, changed a nappy, dressed her or carried out any other day to day care for Little Bean. Her contact with Bean (apart from the two occasions she watched her while I popped out as covered in Part Two) has been having a hold when Hubchin or I were in the room.. I just don’t have confidence in her ability to care for my little girl.
- We don’t leave little Bean often, she is only ever left with my parents or my sister. Both of whom have recently cared for my niece and nephew when they were tiny babies, both of whom have been childminders and both of whom Hubchin and I trust implicitly to care for Little Bean in the way we’d want.
- HM knows nothing about Little Bean as when she visits HM & HF talk about themselves, they don’t listen to what doesn’t involve them directly. So they have no idea of her routine, what she eats, how to settle her etc.. In between visits even if it’s a month or so, HM never asks how Little Bean is and when they visit its ‘can I have her?’ then past that ,she doesn’t want to know.
Hubchin agreed vehemently with every single one of my reasons and threw in a few of his own, so we were both in full agreement. Hubchin’s view was though, that we didn’t have to justify to her the reasons why we didn’t want to leave her, she’s our baby and if we say no then that’s it, even if we don’t have a good reason.
Trying to talk to HM never got me anywhere, she’d agree she’d been out of order and promise to change. Then ignore us for a few weeks and go straight back to her old ways.
Hubchin’s anger had been growing for months and it came to a head after an unannounced visit from HM & HF one Thursday evening at 6.45pm. It was an awful tense visit, Little Bean was tired (almost bedtime) so clingy for me and crying everytime they looked at her. I was shocked theyd turned up when we’d spoke to them about not doing it so much and I just felt so upset and drained from the whole thing now. Hubchin was furious and stood, saying nothing until they left. Later that evening Hubchin and HF had a massive row over the phone.
Later that night I had a miscarriage.
Months passed without contact, Little Bean grew, Hubchin and I got married, Little Bean grew some more.
Eventually contact was made and I really committed to giving it 110%. I welcomed them, cooked for them, baked for them, encouraged Little Bean to let them hold her & play with her, Sent them daily photos & videos etc. After a few weeks of everyone on their best behaviour their old ways started to creep back in and I was demoralised at facing it all again, I didn’t have the strength (this isn’t as pathetic as it sounds, unbeknown to me I was dangerously anaemic at that time, an after effect of the miscarriage that had gone unnoticed for months. The fact that the anaemia wasn’t recovering we now know, was because I have coeliacs, which would explain the tiredness etc, I had put all this down to a new baby and stressful times!)
Hubchin and I agreed that one of the main problems was that I keep pushing for that perfect relationship and it just isn’t the way its ever going to be with them. I accepted that I needed to stop striving for more and settle for what we’ve got.
Which is what?
A strained (at best), polite (at very best and mostly on our part) relationship, consisting of seeing them every month or so, ideally at a mutual venue. Why Bother? Because they are Hubchin’s parents and Little Bean’s grandparents and if it should all come to a head in the future resulting in estrangement I want us to be able to look back and say ‘we tried our very best’. To stop more ‘ruined’ moments in the future and god knows there’s been enough in recent history, we’ve decided to aim where possible to do what makes us happy.
And so that is the story so far. How will it end? Continued friction until afore mentioned estrangement? Continued awkward meetings until contact fizzles out? Improvement (unlikely I fear)?
To be concluded.