Update

We have only heard from the In-Laws once since our move. A short, snippy email from FIL that said they had no idea what they had done to warrant Hubs cutting them off. Also, they’d driven by our house and had seen another family living there. So how could we move without telling them?

We ignored.

January 2, 2016 was one year since MIL cut us out. March 2 will be two years for SIL. Our daughter is almost 2 now. She’s walking, running, talking nonstop (actual words!), knows a good chunk of her alphabet, and is trying to count. We are also expecting our second child.

My parents have moved to another state and they, along with MOH, are the only people who know. We will not be informing In-Laws.

I got a fantastic promotion at work. I am now a litigation paralegal and making $1.50 more per hour than I was in my lower position. That position was $2 more per hour than I was making at my previous job in the small town. Hubs is getting ready for grad school and we’re really just happy. I’ve thought back on this blog and how I never came back to it, despite my intentions to come back. I’ve just been really successful at letting some of this stuff go. Now that I’m expecting again, old feelings are coming back and I’m struggling to maintain my composure.

But who knows.  Maybe they won’t even hear about the baby. Maybe they’ll hear about it but won’t care. Maybe this birth and post partum period won’t be tainted by their selfishness and hate.

Either way, they still don’t know where we live.

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How MIL Cut us Off

This is it, the final installment of my story. This describes how Beatrice was, once and for all, put out of her misery.

Hubs and I had our individual families over the weekend after Christmas of 2014. He had to work Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after. We got up super early and opened presents with the baby, then he went to work. The night before, we had opened our presents to each other together. Hubs didn’t have to work either day the weekend after Christmas, so it worked perfectly to have one family over and then the other.

ILs overstayed their welcome. Like a lot. Like 6 hours or so. It was very uncomfortable. But we gave PILs and GPILs these canvas paintings of a photo of DD. They loved them. It was all my idea, so I felt pretty proud of myself. This was December 28th.

January 2nd, 2015, MIL texts Hubs while he’s at work, away from me, to ask him to order another picture of DD that she’ll pay for so that she can give it as a gift to HER mother for her birthday. Hubby told her no. He found it inappropriate for anyone to gift a picture of OUR child other than ourselves. MIL snapped.

MIL tried to argue with Hubs. He stood firm. She tried to manipulate him with guilt and faaaaaaaamily. Hubs stood firm. MIL texted him that soon he was going to owe HER an apology. Hubs informed her he was not going to apologize for making a parenting decision for HIS daughter. (I saw these texts.)

Then MIL called him. According to Hubs, she called him selfish. She told him that he didn’t spend enough time with her and that just because he had his own family now didn’t mean he replaced his family of origin. She said REAL family comes over for breakfast or coffee or lunch and he never does this. He informed her that he enjoyed having time to spend with just me and DD and didn’t want to never have alone time with us. He said this is what worked best for our family. MIL then told him that he was no longer the son she raised. She said as much as he loved DD, she loved him 26 times more (Hubs had just had his 26th birthday three days prior). She accused him of shutting out his whole family.

MIL then asked Hubs if that meant he didn’t want a relationship with her unless it was on his terms. He said yes, that’s what it meant. She told him not to bother calling her until he wanted her back in his life and was ready to apologize. He said “fine, mom” and they hung up. And we haven’t heard from her since then. Five months. We sent GMIL the picture from us. We weren’t opposed to her having it, Hubby just wanted all pictures of our daughter to come from us.

So, let’s review. Hubs set a boundary regarding pictures of our daughter. MIL didn’t like that and decided that, because Hubby wasn’t serving our daughter up on a silver platter for her third chance at parenthood, he wasn’t being a good son. Asserting his independence made him a bad son. Because he wouldn’t live by her conditions instead of his own, she cut him off. She tried to manipulate him by twisting it around back on him, asking if he only wanted a relationship on his terms. She proved that she only wanted a relationship on HER terms. We were wrong, but she was right?

I know I’ve addressed the issue before, but MIL put it into the perfect wording. She said “you don’t replace your family when you start one of your own.” I’ve side-stepped that by saying “No, you just re-prioritize and put that family first, above the family of origin.” I’m taking that back. I’m going to say fuck yes, you replace your old family. Your nuclear family is now your spouse and child, making your family of origin your extended family. When a new Miss America is chosen, she replaces the old one. When a new president is elected, he (or she!!!) replaces the old one. When a new nuclear family is begun, it replaces the family of origin which was previously the immediate family. What was once immediate is now extended. That’s just how it works.

MIL had always gone to Hubby with her marriage problems, talking so much shit about his dad to him. She went to him to complain about work, about her friends, about anyone she was in disagreement with. She had always been a bit too affectionate (inappropriately so) with him, including pulling him away from his wife so she could cuddle him instead of him cuddling me. She always insisted on sitting next to him while I was on his other side. She made him her surrogate spouse. I think she almost saw us as sisterwives, until I refused to get in line and Hubs pulled that rug out from under her. SIL also saw Hubs as her surrogate spouse. I was supposed to come in third to his mom and sister? My happiness and my husband’s happiness were less important than theirs? No. Fuck no.

DD’s birthday was in March. MIL did not contact us except to send a birthday card. I don’t know if she expected us to keep it. We didn’t. Easter went by with no contact. Mother’s Day went by (and MIL was not acknowledged that day) and we received no contact. I didn’t get even the most begrudging “Happy Mother’s Day” text from her like I did last year. Now, I’ve recently begun a new job. We moved. We didn’t tell ILs anything about it. They probably know because I’m Facebook friends with DD’s godfather’s mother, who goes to church with MIL. I’m sure they talk. We have had absolutely no contact from MIL at all other than that card.

Like I’ve said in previous posts is I just can’t understand how she could care so little after all that effort she put in to keep Hubby in line. After all the baby rabies, all the attempts to control us, all the times she treated me like shit because her son married me. Why go to all that effort if you don’t care? Thinking about it, I realized MIL totally expected Hubs to go crawling back to her and serve DD up to her on a silver platter. She expected the silent treatment to make him lie flat and be her doormat again. Hell, maybe she thought he’d blame me and leave me to go back to her. But none of that has happened and she still hasn’t tried to fix it. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t care anymore, maybe it’s just too much effort for her, maybe it’s her pride, maybe she just really believes she’s right and doesn’t care about us because we won’t give in. Hell, maybe she still believes that Hubs will go crawling back.

I spent months worrying about her throwing a lawn tantrum, threatening Grandparents’ Rights, calling CPS on us, ambushing us, kidnapping DD, all these horrible things. I lived in sincere fear. But we haven’t heard anything. There’s also no such thing as Grandparents’ Rights in our state, so I was kind of hoping she would threaten us with that. I’d have loved to see a judge smack her down. She doesn’t even meet the most liberal criteria for them because she never babysat, DD was 10 months old when she cut us out of her life (so it’s not going to hurt DD to not see her), and she only saw DD about 10 times in her lifetime because Hubs and I didn’t want to be around her more than that. (Or even that much, on my part.)

You know, I understand why MIL hates me. I mean, it’s batshit crazy, why she hates me. But I get it. Jane Fonda played a rich version of my MIL in the movie “Monster-in-Law”, down to the white outfit on my wedding day. Jane Fonda comes around in the end, though. My MIL decided it was more important for us to live by her rules than to be in our lives. She never could have cared less about being in my life. She’d have preferred for me to just fade into the background or die during delivery of my child so that she could raise her newest baby with her surrogate spouse, my husband. And in her mind, they all would have lived happily ever after.

I’ll admit, we were never perfect in our relationship with her. I’m sure there were times when we genuinely hurt her feelings without meaning to, like when we took that trip to California over her birthday, which Hubs had completely forgotten. We totally didn’t mean to do that. And we went on a trip over FIL’s birthday because Hubs forgot about it. But we always tried to make it up to them and we always apologized. MIL never apologized. She never admitted wrongdoing. She always tried to (and sometimes succeeded in) making it OUR fault.

I have absolutely no doubt that we lucked out in her cutting us off. Our daughter, especially, lucked out. This woman cannot see past her own desires to realize that other people have feelings and lives and expectations. She doesn’t realize the world doesn’t revolve around her. She believes she is incapable of wrongdoing. Any time someone feels hurt by her, they just misunderstood her and how could they do that when she is such a saint? I get so frustrated just thinking about it.

Hubs has had to mourn the loss of the mother he thought he had. He had to come to grips with the fact that his mother really did and said all this stuff. He had to mourn the loss of the mother he always deserved. It breaks my heart that she did this to him. I wish he had the mother he deserves. I can’t fix it for him, no one can. I would if I could. He’s the most wonderful man I have ever known, and an amazing father. I wish I could give him everything he deserves and more.

So, that does it for my story. I probably won’t be posting as regularly anymore, but I do want to keep the site alive. I’ll post memes, rants, funny stories I observed, other things related to the subject. If there are any updates, I promise to tell them to you, dear followers. I have appreciated your support and that you took the time to read all these. Thank you.

My Birthday 2014

My birthday in 2014 was my 25th. It was my first as a mother and I had absolutely no plans. It wasn’t really very special and it wasn’t that big a deal. I was pissy all day til my bosses, for the first time in three years, realized it was my birthday and actually wished me a happy birthday. Then everything was fine.

This was approximately 6 weeks after DD’s baptism. I don’t know if we had seen the ILs since then or what, but I had a hunch that I would not hear from them on my birthday. Usually I’d get a call (which would go to voicemail) and it would be PILs singing happy birthday. I found this incredibly annoying from the first time they did it and each of the 4 subsequent times. I knew that, if they contacted me, this is what I would have to put up with. Ugh. I was hoping, wishing, and praying they wouldn’t contact me. And they didn’t. I turned to Hubby at like 9pm that night and said “Well, your parents never contacted me to wish me a happy birthday or anything.” This was on a Monday.

A week goes by. Hubby gets a text or two from MIL asking how DD is doing.

And then another week goes by. More texts asking about DD.

Then on “y” date, Hubs gets these texts from MIL.

MIL: Is Alicia’s birthday tomorrow or did we already miss it?

DH: No, it was on “x” date.

MIL: Well I thought it was tomorrow, but then you didn’t call me to tell me otherwise so I assumed I was right.

Translation: I knew damn well her birthday was on “x” date but I chose not to say or do anything. Then I expected to hear from you about it. Then I would blame you for not reminding ME of Alicia’s birthday and simultaneously remind you that you forgot your father’s birthday and didn’t come to my surprise party. But then you completely destroyed my plans by not confronting me about it, so now I have to make up this story about thinking it was tomorrow. I’m also an idiot for basically telling you I really did know.

So then MIL apologizes to Hubs for forgetting my birthday. You read that right. She apologized to my HUSBAND for forgetting MY birthday. The apology is pretty much “I’m so sorry we missed it. We have a gift for her.” I told Hubs to tell her it was no big deal and thank her for the gift for me. He does.

Then about half an hour later, I receive the following text (verbatim except to edit out identifying information):

MIL: Hey, it would seem that FIL and I were wrong about your birthday being tomorrow. We have a gift for you, hope to see you soon. Happy belated birthday. MIL and FIL….. (Yes, five ellipses. Yes, I kept the text.)

Notice anything? Like how the words “sorry” and “apologize” are nowhere to be found in that text? Notice how MIL also makes it seem like FIL is equally to blame for this? She did not apologize to me. She told me she (AND FIL) forgot my birthday, they had a gift for me, wanted to visit, and wished me a happy belated birthday. No apology. This, my friends, is the very definition of a faux-pology. Some might come in and say “well she admitted she was wrong, and who knows! Maybe she really did think your birthday was this other date and she just misspoke when she said ‘have we already missed it?’ and ‘but then you didn’t call me to tell me otherwise’ or whatever.”

If you say that, you’re a fucking unicorn.

Five birthdays in a row, including the one the year I began dating Hubs, this woman has never forgotten my birthday. She has always marked it on her calendar and made sure to call me and irritate the Hell out of me by singing the birthday song. Then the year we don’t drop everything we’re doing to be there on the ACTUAL day for FIL’s birthday, the year we also don’t go to MIL’s surprise party because we weren’t speaking to SIL (but distracted MIL with a birthday brunch at a very cute restaurant), the year we completely ignore SIL’s birthday, she forgets! It was also the year I gave birth to her first and only grandchild. And she was texting Hubs in between the two dates really stupid shit, like she was trying to test the waters to see if he’d say anything. Once again, the incubator means nothing!

I posted this to DWIL Nation and got responses like “She’s not even trying to hide her disdain for you.” “What a bitch.” “Such a faux-pologY!”

Trust me, this woman knew exactly what she was doing. What she didn’t expect, though, was for Hubs and I to not confront her on it. And when we didn’t, she had to backpedal somehow. And she fucking failed at it. She’s not used to having to defend herself because, usually, she goes on the offensive. She’ll turn it around on you and make it your fault. Now, she could have tried to make it Hubby’s fault for not reminding her about my birthday. And she kind of did, just not as hardcore as she usually would have done. Had she done that, it would have opened the door for her to be criticized for expecting us to remember FIL’s birthday if she couldn’t remember mine. Lately she had not won a single battle. At this point, she decided to just cut her losses.

The present, by the way, was a bottle of wine and a monogrammed wine glass in a plastic box. A duplicate bottle of the one they gave us as an anniversary gift. They picked up about 30 of these bottles on a trip they took about two weeks before DD’s baptism. So they didn’t go out and buy it for me. But hey, it was good wine. I still haven’t opened the wine glass. It’s been over six months. I don’t think I shall.

The Baptism

Given all the drama from the conversation with MIL about DD’s baptism, I was extremely stressed out that day. I mean literally in the fetal position on the couch, not moving or speaking. Practically catatonic. Hubs didn’t really know how to comfort me.

The time comes and we meet my parents, MOH and her partner, the godfather and his girlfriend (my high school best friend), Hubby’s grandparents on his father’s side, the godmother and her (now) ex-boyfriend, and PILs. MIL showed up in yoga pants and a zip-up fleece. Apparently, everyone was appalled at that. I was used to it because the only time I ever saw MIL in anything but yoga pants and a zip-up fleece was at my wedding.

MIL insisted on DD wearing Hubby’s baptismal pin on her dress. Whatever, I put it on the dress because it didn’t matter. She also insisted on bringing several of Hubby’s sacrament things, although the pin was the only baptism-related one. She gave him his First Communion cross, which has a picture of a boy receiving the host. I had the same one, only it was for a little girl. Which, to sane and less self-centered people, would have obviously been more appropriate for a little girl. You know, at that particular sacrament. But no, it was incredibly important, for unknown reasons, that Hubs be represented on the day of our daughter’s baptism. That he be the only one represented. The incubator had little to no importance that day. Just like the bride was not important at the wedding.

So I went around introducing everyone to everyone. They all shook hands, smiled, made small talk. I made sure to introduce the godmother to MIL because I’d been confiding in the godmother about my MIL’s antics for our entire friendship. I wanted to be able to discuss the events of the day later on, so it was important that MIL be introduced.

The ceremony was awful. Naturally, DD cried and screamed the whole time. Hubs and I took turns taking her out of the chapel to attempt to calm her down. Hubby took the first shift. As soon as he made his way back to the front doors, MIL followed behind him. According to Hubs, she just pulled him into a hug, stared at him trying to comfort DD for a few minutes, and left. I was under the impression she was going to try to soothe our child and imply we were incapable of doing so ourselves. This was not the case, but the random hug attack when Hubs was on his own kind of weirded me out. But, that could just be because I hate everything MIL does.

I took my turn with her, hubs took another turn, we went out together, finally it was time to sprinkle the water on DD’s head. That part actually went fine. Then it was all over and we were super relieved. We went outside and received some baptism gifts for DD, some anniversary gifts since Hubby and my anniversary was two days from then, and said our goodbyes. During this time, the godmother says she approached MIL and said “it was so nice to finally meet you.” To which, without a smile or any sense of manners, MIL responded “I haven’t met you.” Bitter, much?

So yeah, there were minor annoyances. But MIL failed to make the day about herself. It didn’t turn out to be quite the disaster I thought it would be. Thank goodness.

I Couldn’t Even

Hubs got a text from MIL one night asking if we would want to meet up with her and FIL for lunch the next day. I was in a particularly good mood that night and agreed. I regretted it in the morning, before we even left.

We meet at my favorite Mexican restaurant. MIL insists on FIL sitting against the window in the booth so she could sit next to DD, who was in a sling in her infant carseat. Everything was going along pretty well, MIL kept making this obnoxious sound at DD, but I figured “meh, could be worse.” Oh. My. God.

So we get to talking about DD’s impending baptism. MIL asks who the godparents are going to be and Hubby tells her his childhood best friend, who was best man at our wedding, and my friend from work; both of whom are “Catholic” (but we didn’t mention the “””” part. And she knows Hubby’s best friend anyway.) Ok, good.

Then MIL mentions that it’s our wedding anniversary that weekend. We say yes. She then asks if she can babysit. I’ll admit, I reacted kind of badly. I very loudly, kind of rudely said “NO.” She then demands to know why. I said “because she’s 5 months old”. MIL asked why she couldn’t babysit because the daycare provider babysits DD. I said yes, but just a few hours. MIL asked how long we planned to be at dinner. (Note: we NEVER said we were just going to dinner. We never told her anything about our plans til this conversation.) I told her we weren’t going to dinner. MIL then asked what we planned and I said we were taking DD to the hotel with us. MIL then said, very meekly, “Oh, I just assumed you were only going to dinner.” And then, having won the battle, I said “No. And DD will not be doing overnights without Mommy and Daddy until she’s AT LEAST a year old. And maybe even longer.”

At some point, Hubs goes to the bathroom. DD was looking after him when he left. I leaned in to her and said “Awh, Daddy will be right back. You love your Daddy so much, don’t you sweetheart?” And MIL snips in with “Well of course she does!” I turned and gave her a look. I was on a roll that day.

When we FINALLY get out of there, I’m pissed off. I’m ranting in the car on the way home and cussing up and down and wanting blood. Hubs tells me I did a good job shooting down the babysitting thing. I told him “just wait, we haven’t heard the last of this.”

Sure enough, Hubs gets a text from MIL a few hours later. The exchange went a little bit like this: (DH is Hubs)

MIL: Son, it hurts my heart that the godparents you have chosen for DD aren’t family.

DH: Mom, this is a decision that Alicia and I made for DD together. It is our decision. We chose who we think would be the best godparents for DD.

MIL: It feels like it’s part of your decision to purposely exclude family. Is that what you want? It hurts Mom that you would choose *strangers over family. It feels like you’re excluding us from DD’s life.

DH: Do you really think that DD is going to love you less because you aren’t her godmother?

MIL: Well no, but it’s like with that babysitting offer today. You got so defensive when we volunteered to babysit. I was just trying to help.

DH: We aren’t ready for DD to spend the night with anyone without us.**

MIL: Well no, she’s too young. But we still don’t get to see her very much (blah blah woe is me) I thought you guys were only going to dinner! I was just trying to help!

DH: These are the decisions Alicia and I feel are best for our family.

MIL: Ok. I’m glad you guys have chosen people that you feel will be the best godparents for DD. Mom’s just having a really bad day. I love you guys.

DH: Love you, too, Mom. Hope your day improves.

Let me translate a bit.

MIL: Child/not adult, I’m upset because you didn’t pick me to be the godmother. I have a right because I’m her grandmother.

DH: This is not up for discussion.

MIL: Child/not adult, I’m going to try to guilt trip you by saying you’re hurting the person who should be most important to you on purpose so that you’ll give in.

DH: Calling you out on the fact that that completely defies common sense.

MIL: You should give in to what I want and a guilt trip about just trying to help. Look at how saintly I am.

DH: No, because logic.

MIL: Slight concession to logic, but another attempt at this guilt trip because maybe it’ll work this time.

DH: It’s not working.

MIL: I’m going to stop having this discussion because I’m not getting what I want. Passive-aggressive remark. Feel bad for me. Reminder that I’m your MOM. Sentiment I don’t mean.

DH: Bye.

I. Was. LIVID. I hate when this woman tried to pull out all the stops and emotionally bully Hubs into giving her what she wanted. She’s so fucking entitled. NO ONE is entitled to being my child’s godparent. We chose two “Catholics” because they pass the church test and we chose two people we both love and trust. This isn’t even “you get custody if we die” godparent-ry. This is “you get to stand there and be a part of a ridiculous tradition that Alicia feels is important, even though she doesn’t harbor that superstition.” But because MIL is as Catholic as the Pope (according to her), SHE is the only choice for godmother. Plus, it would, in her mind, elevate her position as a grandmother over MY mom because she’d be the godmother as well. See, this woman doesn’t just feel a need to compete with me, but she has to compete with my mom, too.

Hubs had one brief moment of wanting to be a total dumbass and enable his mother’s ridiculous behavior by saying he knew she was just trying to help, even though he knew she wasn’t.  He almost validated this excuse, even if he didn’t really accept it. But it would have been a green light to just drop the “I was only trying to help” excuse every time MIL stomped over a boundary like the rhino she is. Can’t you just see it? Imagine: She fed DD something DD’s not supposed to have, she changed DD’s clothes into a “daddy” themed outfit against my wishes, she barged into a doctor’s appointment, she gave DD potentially dangerous medication. Imagine she did all these things and then justified it with “I was only trying to help.” I was not about to let that door be opened.

And yes, Hubs and I discussed each response to each of the texts. He wanted to stand up for us because he believed we were right. However, he was not used to standing up to his mom. I had all these great tips from DWIL Nation. And we don’t keep secrets. So we formed these texts together in an effort to stand up for ourselves. Hubs showed me that day that he is united with me as a married couple, a unit, one front. And we won the war that day.

*One of these “strangers” is a member of a family MIL has known from Church since Hubs was born.

**Hubs wanted to say “I know you’re just trying to help, Mom. It’s ok.” And I told him I would divorce him if he said that because it justifies her unacceptable behavior and gives her an excuse to hide behind. I wasn’t having that.

Divide and Conquer

I’ve come to realize that there’s a term I must introduce you to in order for any of this blog to make any sense. “Magic Vagina”. A “magic vagina” is a woman whose vagina is so powerful, so magnificent, so omnipotent, that it controls the minds and behaviors of otherwise perfectly normal men. It turns mama’s boys into good husbands, it forces grown men to stand up for themselves, and it causes a complete breakdown of the CNDS (Central Nervous Doormat System). I am one such person.

So when a loving, innocent, and otherwise completely saintly mother tries to get her son to come to Jesus (divorce the wife, bring the kids and let MIL raise them, like a good little boy), the only way to successfully go about this is to divide and conquer. Get the son alone and try to convince him without the magic vagina around to make bothersome valid points and shoot down the batshit crazy and manipulation.

MIL tried just that. She used to convince Hubs to let her come over by herself when she knew I’d be at work. Multiple times she tried to feed DD while I wasn’t there, but Hubby knew better. (We practiced our lines. “No thanks, I’ve got it.”) That entitled bitch, according to Hubs, held out her hand for the bottle once while he was reaching for the baby to feed her. ANYWAY. Hubby hadn’t talked to SIL since before the baby was born. MIL could not tolerate this.

MIL informed Hubs that SIL was (direct quote) “lost without (him)” and that she didn’t even know what she did wrong. Further, MIL had seen the text where Hubs had refused to have coffee with her to “discuss it”. And, of course, it “hurt her heart” that her kids weren’t speaking because they’re faaaaaaaamily.

1- LOST without my husband?!?!?!!?!?!? YUCK.

2- She knew damn well what she did wrong because Hubby spelled it out for her in one voicemail and a few text messages.

3- The same text where Hubby said he wouldn’t meet SIL was the one where he said “you either apologize or you don’t, and if you don’t, then you’re not welcome in my life.” In NormalPeopleLand, this usually indicates that it was previously spelled out what the offending behavior was.

4- The apology and changed behavior were not up for discussion.

5- Emotionally blackmailing twatwaffle.

According to Hubs, he said “yuck” when MIL used the “lost without you” line. He told his mom that she knew damn well what she did and she had refused to apologize, it was her own choice not to be in our lives. I don’t remember much else, but I remember being livid after learning of this conversation. MIL had attempted to insert herself into my marriage and divide us so that she could get her way. THAT pissed me off. It also pissed me off that MIL was still trying to blackmail my husband using guilt trips. This became even more obvious when she would drop hints about this to Hubs but never in my presence. He shut MIL down, but it didn’t stop her trying. Yet.

The First Visit

I don’t know when we let the grandparents come visit after DD was born. What I do know – it was earlier than we’d told them. MIL asked if she could bring some food. I told Hubs to tell her to bring those Costco sandwiches she’d brought to my baby shower because I’d been craving lunch meat forever. She responded “you don’t want me to make something?” I hate her food. Hubs told her I wanted sandwiches. She said fine. When they arrived, she had brought sandwich fixings, but we had to supply half the items and put our own damn sandwiches together. So, she served these Costco sandwiches twice while I couldn’t eat them, but wouldn’t bring them when I requested them. She brought stuff I would have to put together myself, instead.

The visit was four hours long. Four hours of Hell. I hadn’t quite healed up yet, still hadn’t gotten a lick of sleep, and I’m pretty sure I hadn’t taken a shower that day because it hurt to stand. MIL held DD for about 3 of those 4 hours, refusing to give her back. Hubs had an idiot moment and asked who wanted to feed DD. MIL practically screamed “ME!” I hadn’t held DD in several hours. She was less than 3 weeks old and I was a brand new parent. I said, very calmly, “I would like to feed my daughter.” Hubs smartened up fast, took DD out of MIL’s arms, and handed her and the bottle to me.

MIL hovered over me the whole time, saying things like “you know it’s VERY important for bonding, to feed the child.” I said “Yeah, I know. That’s why I wanted to feed my daughter.” (I didn’t emphasize “my”, but I gave her a look.) MIL did not stop hovering.

However, every time I said something to MIL, she would just ignore it. I said “DD’s umbilical cord still hasn’t come off yet.” Ten minutes later, MIL asked Hubby “has her umbilical cord come off yet?” I said “DD eats every three hours”. MIL asked Hubby a few minutes later “How often is she eating?” She DID hear things I said to Hubs, though, and sought to contradict them. I said “I think she’s waking up” and MIL piped in “No, newborns sleep for x number of hours a day.” I said “There’s your favorite facial expression, honey!” and MIL would say “I think smiles are better.” Why? WHY???

I went to change DD’s diaper and, as a newborn usually does, she screamed the whole time. When I came back, MIL said TO DD “Do you hate it when Mommy changes your diaper?” I said “No, she hates anyone changing her diaper.” She ignored me. She asked DD things like “Are Mommy and Daddy pinching you to make you cry?” I said “Of course not. That’s not funny.” I was exhausted and frustrated the whole damn time. In retrospect, I realize I had a touch of post-partum depression. But it was at its highest when MIL was around, trying to get in touch with us, or came up in conversation. To this day, anytime I hear DD’s swing playing music, I feel a great deal of anxiety.

Maybe it’s not fair, but I blame MIL for my struggles to bond with my child and breastfeed her. After that visit, I informed Hubby to never let MIL, or anyone else, feed our baby besides us. Ever. He understood and held fast to that.