DH's family won't talk to him. Advice welcome!

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I grew up with a violently abusive schizophrenic mother. I was a habitual runner and often lived on the streets. I felt safer there. On the streets an older man started to buy me booze and made advances. Told me we couldn’t date because of the age gap, but there was nothing saying we couldn’t be intimate. I spent time in group homes, only ran when they tried to place me back with mom. Later on, I finally had four eyewitnesses to an assault I suffered in public. I went from being considered someone with an impulse issue to a great kid trying to survive. Luckily, I landed in an awesome semi-independent. They helped keep that older man away, because I didn’t have the strength or courage to do it myself. Unfortunately, you cannot stay in group homes forever, so when I turned 18, he crept back into my life. I became pregnant when I was 18. His parents demanded we get married and I convert to his religion. My ex cheated on me, and watched lots of “teen” porn. Eventually, I gathered the courage to get a divorce. I was a SAHM. I couldn’t afford a lawyer, so I went into court without representation. He came in with a very high price lawyer! His lawyer argued that due to my lack of a stable support considering my mother’s history and that I had a minimum wage job, my ex, living with his mother and working at and co-owning such a reputable family business, was able to better provide for my son. I never did drugs; I rarely went out; my idea of a wild night out was going to a poetry reading. Many lawyers tell me I would never have lost placement if I went in with a lawyer (we do have joint custody). He really did not have a strong case. He just had a weak opponent.
Now for the real point for this post: IN LAWS!!!
Many years later. I meet an amazing man! We got married a year later. I now have an extremely stable, well-paying job, a few promotions under my belt, a college education. Everything is great. We decided to have a baby! Two months later we are successful! Within months we buy and move into a big house with a large backyard. I couldn’t be happier!
Then comes the in-laws. His parents don’t speak English, but the SIL does. She always talks down to my dh. I love him so much and have always hated the way she spoke to him. Then she complains about how disrespectful he is. So if she isn’t bad enough, in come the parents who call my dh a faggot and stupid. They say it is all in good fun. SO… now you know my in-laws, kind of.
When my MIL heard I was pregnant, she demanded to babysit. I was appreciative. We could put the daycare money in savings for emergencies. I said yes without thinking. Every conversation with her requires a translator. Unfortunately, if you do not agree with MIL or SIL, they takes it as an insult, so my dh never wanted to be a middle man. This was going to be tough and it really didn’t hit me until I held my baby.
Now you do know the drama didn’t wait until I went back to work. After barely 30 hours in the hospital from giving birth, with no epidural to a 9 lb 2 oz baby, I was back home and cooking for my dh. The in laws didn’t wait; they were over right away. I am a bit of an introvert and they were a bit overwhelming. Then I am told I need to hurry and clean the house because his aunt was coming over and she is the type that would judge us and gossip about it. The days went on pretty much the same. I gave birth on a Monday and by Friday I was cooking dinner for 10! I had guests that stayed for 10 hours +. I had it. I had to politely put my foot down. I posted an FB message asking people to call before they come over and to keep their visits short. I needed privacy to get my daughter to latch. I wanted to try the topless skin to skin contact methods, but I could not because my house was never empty. My friends and my sibling were very supportive. I had comments like “nicely said”, “very diplomatic”, “let mama bond, getting the baby to latch isn’t always easy.” Not my SIL. She sent me 7 scathing text messages about how rude and disrespectful I was. That Portuguese culture is different and I am supposed to just hand them a key and let them walk in whenever they want. How dare I demand a phone call so I can be decent? She said I had valid points, but I was disrespecting her culture.
Then comes the MIL watching my daughter while I went back to work. Getting info on how much my lo was eating, how often was she passing bm, etc. was like pulling teeth. I was getting a lot of attitude for asking. Then came the day I found my daughter sleeping on the edge of the adult bed with no railings or anything to stop her from falling off. She was only 6 weeks old! My MIL was in the room, so I told her I never want to see her sleeping on the bed again. I tried to tell her that she had to sleep in her portacrib. She said ok. Then just two weeks later I find my daughter awake on the edge of the bed with toys dangling from a ceiling fan just out of reach. Where were my in laws? IN THE BASEMENT MAKING THEMSELVES COFFEE!!!! They said in their broken English. She was only there five minutes. I am crying at this point I am so nervous. They started yelling at me. “What do you think of me?” I left. I told my dh I was not comfortable, and that I wanted to take her to a daycare. We found one and he told his mother. She grabbed the baby and started wailing pacing around the house and then told us we were not family and that not welcome there anymore. My dh was heartbroken. FIL called the next day and said we need to make it better. They told my dh that the baby won’t roll for another two or three months and I was overreacting. I pulled out a vhs of my son and showed him rolling over on his own at 6 WEEKS! They agreed not to leave her on the bed after that.
MIL went back to babysitting and it only became more dreadful! They only ever put her in the swing facing the T.V. where they watched Portuguese game shows or Spanish novellas or they left her in the porta crib. She was always in a resting state. I would beg them to put her on her exercise mat and that the doctor said she needed to have grab-able within reach, but MIL would not do it. She knew best and that was it. They even swaddled the baby before putting her in the car seat. Her arms and legs were not through the safety harness. My SIL eventually ended up yelling at me and telling me that children watch tv and there is nothing I can do about it. Her parents watch the baby for free, so I really don’t have a say in what happens. I then informed her that they offered to babysit and refused to take money. I am not so desperate that I will be subject to such abuses. I can afford to go somewhere else and will if need be. However, this situation would be less painful if I could communicate and compromise with them, but finding someone that will purely translate and not stick their two cents in every second is impossible. (This somehow translated to my in laws that I talk $#!+ about them all the time) Her response was that I “shouldn’t try to act like mother of the year when they took custody of my son away from me” I called her some really, really well deserved nasty names in the heat of the moment and told her not to come to my home, near me or my family ever again (admittedly should not have said near my family bit. That wasn’t my place). This rage I had been feeling was mostly due to a severely long stretch of no sleep and constant arguing with my dh who was stuck in the middle.
My MIL continued to watch the baby and with my daughter at 4 months old would only feed the here on my MIL determined schedule. I was an on demand mother as most breastfeeding moms are. My baby would scream in hunger and they would say that she needed a pacifier. We would say that she is obviously hungry. I would feed her. She would instantly calm down. They would say we don’t know anything. It hasn’t been three hours and no baby in the world eats two hours after having a bottle! Then to top it off, my baby would sleep maybe five to six hours at a time on weekend evenings, but during the weekdays, after spending time with MIL and FIL she only slept an hour at a time. I tried to explain this to my MIL and I said we needed to work together and get on schedule for the baby. She said that no one changes their life for a baby. Then I pointed out that the baby wasn’t sleeping and that wasn’t healthy. She always responded with “It is not my fault.” Anytime I brought it up she said it was not her fault. I lost it. I really lost it. I was tired, both physically and mentally. I yelled “Yes, it is!” She told me that I make her want to pull her hair out because I don’t want her to leave the baby alone on the bed; I don’t want her to keep the baby in the basement all day, I don’t want her to sit the baby in front of the T.V. all day, and I don’t want her to put cereal in the bottles. She told me to take the baby somewhere. I instantly found a SAHM friend who was willing to fill in for a bit. The first night my daughter slept 10 hours straight through!!!!!!! After that first night it has been anywhere from 8-9 hours at a time even after finding a permanent daycare. Her development just started to soar! She is 8 mo. old and almost walking! She is happier now, and she is well rested and healthy! My dh and I don’t fight like we were. Everything is soooooo much better in our house for the three of us, but my in-laws have demonized us and I see it taking a toll on my dh. My SIL has been diagnosed with cancer and my brother tried to reach out to her (albeit a bit snotty in his typical fashion) They still call us ungrateful, and I want to help. My dh should be there for his sister, but I am not willing to go back to MIL for daycare because it was not working at all, we have two totally different methods of childrearing and it was taking a toll on my daughter. What do I do?

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Mother-In-Law Blog


  1. Whoever's Avatar
    Your job as a parent is to care for and protect your child as is your DH's job. Yes, it is sad SIL has cancer but it is NOT your job or your DH's to take care of her. Let her DH and/or her parents do that. Do NOT ever subject your child to that abusive situation again. When you married, your DH vowed to Leave-and-Cleave not put you dead last.

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