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Need advice: My D is the DIL

Started by PatiencePlease, October 08, 2015, 07:50:33 am

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I am convinced there is no wiser place for advice and guidance than WWU....

My daughter & her husband gave birth to their first child this year.  They set boundaries when their child was born which I respected but was surprised to see....   they wanted a week alone (no hospital visits, no nothing) before ANY one came to see the baby.  (Back in the day my house was Grand Central Station for two months - company every single day.  lol)  I accepted their boundaries but also told my daughter this was unusual.  She was very okay about my sharing my opinion.  It hasn't been brought up since then.

However, the other set of grandparents are still struggling with their son and my daughter's decision months later.  They still bring it up.  My son in law has tried to get them to "agree to disagree" but it's not working. This past week, his father posted something ugly on FB about the situation.  My daughter, in reaction to her husband's being upset with the FB post, texted her mother in law "your husband just posted something totally inappropriate on FB."

I think my daughter overstepped boundaries by sending that text to her mother in law.  I think her husband should have been the one to send the text and my daughter should just butt out.

My daughter called me yesterday and told me about all about how this played out.  They (my daughter & husband) have decided they are not seeing his parents for any holidays based on the nastiness her father in law posted on FB and the nastiness he texted to his son.  (It was pretty bad; I will say that....)  I fell silent & didn't offer any opinion because I don't like having these conversations over the phone.  I'm old fashioned and like face to face.  :)   

I will be seeing my daughter in one week and I would like to tell her I think she should have let her husband text his mother and that my daughter should have stayed out of the situation. 

Do you ladies agree?  If you can offer any advice/perspective I certainly would appreciate it.  Please know I have NO desire to get in the middle of this drama -- I simply want to gently advise my daughter.

As always, thank you!!



I agree with you -- there's lots of helpful folks here! They've greatly inspired me, too ...

Hope this doesn't come across as harsh or blunt.
But, after reading your post, my first thought is "stay out of it."

You said you have NO desire to get in the middle of the drama, yet you want to gently advise your daughter.
My view is that you can't do both.
It could get pretty ugly, and I, personally, would run from it.
They are adults and can handle their own messes.

I often have to remind myself, 'zip it' and MYOB in regards to my DS and DIL's choices.
It's been working good that way, too.

Hope they can all come to their senses and forgive their offenses.
Life is too short for such nonsense!


Thank you Shiny.  I always welcome others perspectives because sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees....   My "let's fix this" mode kicked in again...  lol    I won't utter a word. 

Let me ask you this:  If my daughter brings it up again when I see her and wants my advice, do you feel it would be okay to gently give my advice?  or should I say:  "This is your issue to work out with your husband.  My opinion does not matter." 

Thanks for your input. It is appreciated.



For me personally, would say:

"This is your issue to work out with your husband."

Leave off the part about your 'opinion doesn't matter' because that goes without saying ...

Even if you 'gently' advised her as you stated, your name could come up in future conversations with the others, that Mamma said, blah, blah.
Not good.

It's been hard lesson for me to learn to stay out of my AC's decisions, and once I 'got it' it's actually been quite liberating without all their drama and worry that goes along with it.
Frankly, I've had enough of that to last for a lifetime.

I'm not fully 'there' yet, so please don't think I'm perfect -- I'm not.
But I do try -- h.a.r.d.
Want to enjoy the rest of my days with peace and contentment!
Hopefully, some others will chime in, too ...
It is helpful to hear different viewpoints.


I might say "Sometimes the more you stir a pot, the worse it stinks."  And then tell her that you have complete confidence that she and her DH will handle the situation the best way possible.  Then step back and watch from a distance.  Good luck to all of you!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


How wise you have been to this point! Listening and being without opinion, comment or advice is high road. That's the best role model you can be in my view. They have lessons to learn as they mature.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Honestly, I think your daughter has involved you too much (and that's on her).

I vented to my mom early on in my issues with MIL and it was a mistake. It was an issue between me, DH and MIL, and ours to sort out or cope with. I never should have done it. There's been no major repercussions from it, but it was still wrong.

My mom has never said anything to my MIL or DH about it, but I think there's always a risk when you get in involved that your daughter might pull a "well my mother said...." in these situations. It also changed the way my mom views and interacts with my MIL at family events (she is still nice and polite to her, for the record).

I'd ask too, if you found out your DIL was discussing you with her parents, how would you feel about it?

I think if she brings it up, just reassure her she and her DH will figure it out. I agree with the PP - you can't stay out of the middle AND gently advise her.


I agree with all of the Ladies advice here.  I totally agree with Shiny that the can't do both.  You can't stay out of it by telling her what she should have done. 

You can be supportive by just listening to her.  Frankly, I have found 'most' people really don't want advice now-a-days, even when they ask.  They just want to hear they are doing the right thing and someone to agree with them.   

I'm like the others.  Listen and if she actually asks for your opinion, then simply smile and say, "I love you and I know that you and your husband will make the right decisions for yourselves."  If she presses then simply tell her that one thing you have learned as you have got older is that what you might think, may not work for someone else and only they can make those decisions.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Thank you all for responding and sharing your thoughts.  You're absolutely right.  It's not my place to be involved.  I raised my kids and that job is done.  Should my daughter ask for my opinion I will simply say that I have every confidence she and her husband will figure things out for themselves.  Period.

When I think about it, over the years when I've complained about my in-laws to my mom, my mom simply listened, offering no opinions.  I just needed a place to vent and my mom has always been a great nonjudgmental listener.  My husband handled his family drama - I stayed out of it and, in turn, he stayed out of my family's drama.  And now it's our turn to stay out of our kids' drama.

Thanks again ladies.  I knew WWU was the right place to bring my question. :)


Shiny: I have moved your post directed specifically to me to your own thread. It felt like it would be of interest to many. I gave it the title: Why Can't I Say A Word?  Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


October 21, 2015, 09:04:59 am #10 Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 09:14:39 am by luise.volta
My aunt did not like something I did (aunts kid said some really hurtful gossip about me to me. I asked who said it). However, my mom got involved by reprimanding me at 25 and saying she isn't getting involved.  You can't do both.

Stay out of it. Stay way out it. Like Switzerland out.  That's the best way to preserve your relationship with your kids and grandkids.



I agree stay out of it, sadly most times we want to vent but really don't want advice. It could make the situation worse.

However, it is my personal view that it was okay for your daughter to send that text if her husband was hurt. Yes most times I'd agree he should, but since they are family and are creating a family together. She wouldn't want to see her husband hurt and will probably want to stand up for him, plus in that moment if she didn't and he did the situation could of got worse with how heated he may of been. That is just my view though, I do always thinks it depends on the situation.

I wish you good luck and I say just enjoy your grandchild and try to stay out of the situation.

Hope I helped some,


Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Dear PP,

Oh how I remember when my first child was born and all the commotion of in-laws. I can understand your daughter asking for a week or so to adjust to having a baby.
I also remember my son and DIL complaining about her mother and asking me for advice. I knew I was walking on eggshells and if I said the wrong thing it would come back to haunt me. So I did not say too much, just that maybe they could try seeing things from her perspective, and how mothers feel in general.
I do think the in-laws were out of line in your situation, but I hope your daughter does not punish them for it. As they say, ignore the bad behavior and acknowledge the good behavior. They (in-laws) are learning the new boundaries, it may take a little while but getting mad and cutting them off is not the answer.


I can understand this! The one thing that I am yet to hear is about the welfare of the mother and the child. Stress can delay the onset of milk. (But that seems to be ok in everyone's eyes, as long as they get to see/ hold the baby).  I know during the 70s/80s mothers stayed in hospital up to a week. This allowed the mother time to recover from labor, and it also allowed time for the mother to bond and to get used to breast feeding schedules. Today mothers leave the hospital, as soon as they can, sometimes on the same day. And there is no nurses at home to tell visitors to get out when the mother and child get too tired to entertain visitors. Maybe the mother could compromise, and have a visiting time in the first couple of days, and once everyone has had their baby fix, they can leave the mother and baby in peace.