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Introverted DIL and new Grandbaby

Started by Kjg1960, August 23, 2015, 08:04:53 pm

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I never expected to be in the delivery room either.. nor did I even want to be.  DILs mother wasn't in there either.   I think the OP just wanted to go to the hospital but wasn't called.


K, I'm a DIL and here's my take.

I'm not arguing whether or not you were intentionally excluded, because I wasn't there, I have no idea. I have however had the experience of a MIL that was determined to believe we were excluding her even when we had no intention of doing so and were doing the best we could to keep her included. We were genuinely trying, and it wasn't enough for her and that was so frustrating. I thought I had a good relationship with my MIL before my older son was born, but things went off the rails shortly there after because of her laser focus on whether or not we were including her. The sweet, accepting woman I thought I knew was behaving like a jealous, competitive, needy lunatic. Things are better now, but that period of time did a tremendous amount of damage to our relationship and it's never been, and probably never will be, the same easy going one that it was. I lost a significant amount of trust in her.

I'm saying this because I think you need to tread carefully with how you deal with the way you're feeling. If they feel pressured, they could pull back even more. Part of the reason I love visiting my dad and SM so much is that they have very full lives, and visiting with them is as much catching up with what they are up to as it is them wanting to see our kids.


Quote from: Lillycache on August 25, 2015, 11:37:32 am
I never expected to be in the delivery room either.. nor did I even want to be.  DILs mother wasn't in there either.   I think the OP just wanted to go to the hospital but wasn't called.

That's what I read too.  I was responding more to the assumption on another post that an MIL expected to be in the actual delivery room.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I think Pooh is exactly right.   Original poster was not expecting to be in the delivery room.  Just in the waiting room at hospital - which is a public place.  I would not expect to be in delivery room with my DIL - or even my own daughter, for that matter - but I would like to be in the waiting room.  My husband was in the delivery room with me - I did not want anyone else - not my mom, not anyone.  If my daughter wants only her husband, that is fine with me.  Sure would not expect to be there.   

But the MIL should be told the DIL is in labor so she could be in the waiting room.   That's not too much to ask. 


What if they didn't want anyone else in the waiting room? Was there a crew of other people there and just not the OP? Or was there no one else there besides who was in the delivery room?

I say this as another introverted person, who also works on an obstetrics unit. The idea of people sitting around in the waiting area while I was in labour made me feel panicked and suffocated well before I even went into labour. When we finally notified everyone of what was going on with ODS (a full 24hrs later after we knew things were happening) we were very clear about we will call when baby is here, don't show up. Everyone respected it. With YDS, no one except my mom knew until after he was born, and that was because she was staying with ODS. If there had of been a way to not tell anyone, I would've done it.


Let's face it ladies, the woman who is giving birth has the right to allow or disallow whomever she pleases in either the delivery room or the hospital waiting room.  I am of the opinion that if my DIL has been nice enough to put up with the inconveniences and discomforts of pregnancy in order for my DS to have children then I do not have the right to complain about being left out.  Once she is over the ordeal of delivery I have the right to see the child.  Earlier if she offers but often childbirth is not only a glorious occasion but for the new mother it can be like running a marathon.  She can be tired, irritable and unwilling to add any tension to her current burden and we should honor her wishes.  The hours following childbirth are unique and precious, a bonding time for the child and the new parents and the fact that I did not try to interrupt that did a lot to help repair the relationship I have with my DIL.  Her married friends were telling me how much nicer I was than their MILs. 

I focused my life on my DSs for years and now I get to see my EDS focusing his life on his DD.  This is his time and my DIL's time.  I get the pleasure of spoiling my GC and sending them home.  What a relief!  I can give in and offer bribes!  What bedtime?  I like this incidental role much better!  Yes, I see on facebook that the other grand brushes the child's teeth but I don't have to!  Here, your Mom is not going to be here to get you for an hour......have some chocolate!!  LOL
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


Quote from: Stilllearning on August 26, 2015, 05:40:15 am
Let's face it ladies, the woman who is giving birth has the right to allow or disallow whomever she pleases in either the delivery room or the hospital waiting room

I learn something new every day.   Thanks, Still - I find that I agree with you 90% of the time - but I have always felt that nobody but the young couple and medical team belong in delivery room - it can be a significant medical situation - not a party or family reunion.   But I did think the waiting room was public and open to all.   

I don't have grand kids - but your comments have made me re-think.   If a son and DIL were having a baby, and lived out of town, I probably would not visit for a few weeks or months.   Let them get settled - wouldn't barge in when the baby was brand new.   

If a son and DIL lived in same city, I would not go into delivery room - wouldn't even want to be asked to - but I would have felt entitled to go to waiting room, which I consider a public place.  Some labors can be 24 hours or longer - I would not want to spend that much time there before the birth - But I would have felt that I could go to waiting room any time I wanted - that I was not intruding by doing so.   

Your post has made me realize that I should cut an even wider swath around a DIL in labor - go to hospital the day after birth and see the little one then.   Of course I would not stay long - ten minutes max.  But if I ever do become a grand, I will not wait 12 hours to see a baby for ten minutes.   I will wait at home - the DIL can have whoever she wants in the waiting room - and I don't need to be there at all.   

Good perspective just in case I ever become a GM.   


I am so old that my generation didn't have the husband in the delivery room...ever. The labor room, yes...but that was it. And everyone waited...not in the waiting room...but by the phone.

Did you get the feedback you needed, K.? If so, I will close this thread.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I agree with you Stilllearning.  It's about what the mother needs during that time.  I feel like my inlaws interfered with my bonding process, and I wish I had realized that I had every right to decide how my early days with my newborn were spent and told them they could come visit later. 
Also a question my therapist used to ask me was "what is it you are trying to accomplish."  So as a MIL, what I want is to have a decent relationship with son, DIL and grandkids.  I know that some of the MILs here have very unreasonable DIL and that is truly a sad situation because they are the ones who determine who gets to be involved in the grandkids lives.  For me, in order to have a decent relationship with my DIL, is to respect her boundaries, offer to help with kids and try not to be too intrusive.  So far that is working in our relationship. For others, it might be not allowing hurt feelings to cause bitterness toward DIL, because that won't help the relationship.  People often pick up on the feelings of others, even when they are not said out loud. 

Green Thumb

Luise, this thread may be finished but I wanted to thank Still Learning for reminding us of that important question, What are you trying to accomplish? This is good advice for almost anything in life. It actually fits my personal situation today not related to my AC. Am going to write it down on a sticky note as a reminder!


I agree with the fact that the Mother gets to choose who gets to be there or not.  I think the point that OP was making was that it does hurt your feelings, as the MIL, to not at least be invited to wait in the waiting room when the DIL's Mother is there.  That I don't think there are many of us here that are MIL's, that doesn't understand a relationship with Mother and Daughter is different than the MIL (most of the time).  If the Mother doesn't want anyone there, I would have no issue with that at all.  I think it was just being pointed out that when it's lopsided, it can hurt your feelings.  And although we recognize the bond between Mother and Daughter, the birth of the grandchild excites us just as much.  And that is assuming the relationship is fine.

I always turn things around and think about them and how I would make someone feel.  So say you had two DIL's (that you got along with), and one DIL was told that you were having a big get-together to celebrate something and that you wanted her there, because maybe you were a little more comfortable with her,  but told the other DIL that you would prefer if she waited and came to celebrate later, after everyone else.  Do you not think the DIL that was told to wait wouldn't feel a bit hurt?   
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I agree that it's hurtful to be left out and the OP also feels left out because she hasn't gotten to see the baby but 7 times in 5 months and has to wait for an invitation.  And it's hard to guess the reasons for that.   They may have called her mom first as she was going to be in the delivery room and things may have happened fast and no one thought to call OP until afterward.  Or it might have just been thoughtlessness or intentional.  Who knows the reason?  Also who knows the reason OP has to wait for an invitation.  DIL may feel overwhelmed as a new mother and just doesn't want company too often... or other reasons.  We can't make assumptions.  It sounds like OP wants more time with her grandbaby, and I don't blame her.  I am realizing how lucky I am that that has not been taken away from me. It's not right.
For me my problems were more with my inlaws than they have been with my DIL.   But feeling hurt and bitter about things my inlaws said and did, hindered my ability to assert myself to work things out with them.  In fact they probably sensed my feelings and that in turn caused them to have bad feelings toward me that probably caused some of their bad behavior.  It becomes a cyclic thing, even when people aren't terrible people, the bad feelings can go back and forth and escalate.  That's how it has been for me with my inlaws.  It does take two to Tango. 
So I try to follow my therapist's advice and consider what I want to accomplish.  If I want to have a relationship with my grandchildren, I need to try to have a good relationship with my DIL.  It is unfair, because she holds the key to your grandchildren, but that is the way it is. It's not right for any DIL to keep her children away from their grandparents unless they are abusive or mean to the kids.    My inlaws were basically good to my children and my children enjoyed being with them, so I never would have kept them from them.   But I could have taken better care of my needs rather than allowing my inlaws to do whatever they wanted in my home and I should have defended myself when they were critical. 
If OP's DIL is an introvert, she might not be speaking up about what she needs.  I wonder if it would help to open a conversation with her and ask if there is anything you can do to help, like babysitting so she can run to the store or whatever.  I know I would have loved that as a young mother.  Let her know you don't want to interfere but you would love to see the baby more.  Ask her if there is anything bothering her about you if you are willing to hear it. 


It looks like we have all had our say and given K. a lot to think about. She is OK about closing this thread as I suggested before we start repeating ourselves or it becomes a debate. Lots of really good input here. Thanks to one and all.  :)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama