Is my FIL an asshole, or am I overreacting due to Preggo brain.

Ok, here’s the story:

Mr. Wonderland and I were going out for dinner (just a casual thing) with his parents tonight. I’m 5 months pregnant and of the topic turned to delivery procedures - specifically I asked my MIL if when she had her children if they were in the room with her after when she was recovering, or in a nursery.

She replied that you had a choice to either have the baby with you or in the nursery. Mr. Wonderland asked what happens at the hospital now and I said that baby would be in the room with me, in a crib beside my bed unless something was horribly wrong.

FIL decided to start ranting that the reason for this change was a lack of staffing, and wasn’t it much better to have the babies all in a nursery where a nurse could guard them and what the hell was the system coming to, etc.

I suggested that the real reason for the change is that nurses would be coming into the room every 2 hours to help with breast feeding, and it gives mom and baby a chance to get to know each other, and baby is probably safer with mom as there’s no chance of cribs getting swapped around like in the nursery, etc. Of course, FIL gets in a snit because he loves to be right about everything, and gets outraged if you disagree with him, even if he’s talking out of his ass.

So then he says, “Well, if you go to sleep for 2 hours and you wake up and your baby is dead, you’re going to wish he was in the nursery! You’ll never get over something like that for the rest of your life.”


Really? You just brought up dead babies and babies dying of crib death to a 5 months pregnant woman to try to score points in a debate? Well aren’t you just the king of all assholes?

Personally, I’m furious. This is not the first ignorant comment he’s made during the pregnancy, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the nastiest. I’m really not much interested in spending very much time with him; however, I’m willing to admit that the preggo brain may be making me too sensitive.

So - what would you do in my situation, or, if you can’t be in my situation, what do you suggest I do?

I’m happy to provide more background if needed, and I’ll be happy to admit that I may be going totally over the top with things.

He’s an asshole, or at the very least a jerk.

Baby care has an amazing lot of hot button topics, with people on either Side thinking THE other sise Will scar baby for life. Regard this as an opportunity to practice smiling, nodding and ignoring unwanted advice.

Does he think the nurses come home with you and the baby? Or that the baby stays in the hospital nursery for the next 18 years?

I disagree with smiling and nodding. It doesn’t matter how upset you are. You do not try to scare a mother by saying that, if you don’t follow their advice, the baby will die.

I don’t know how to tell you to respond, but that shit should not stand.

It is difficult to know as your post is so heavily slanted against your FIL.

I’m guessing this isn’t the first time he’s said something asshole-ish, and you know it won’t be the last. You’re not going to change him, and I’m guessing you know that too. So maybe there was a little hormonal overraction on your part, but he still was a jerk.

Seems to me you just need to be the better person here. You know how he is, so you apply that filter to everything he says and move on. And as your child grows, learn to say “Well, that’s just the way Grandpa is…” and shake your head sadly. When it’s a no-win situation, why fight it?

Mother of two here. I could not agree more with this. I think your F-I-L was being an insensitive boor, but unfortunately these types of people are everywhere, and they always, of course, know EXACTLY how to raise your baby properly. You, dear rookie mom, are doing it wrong, so give up even trying. :dubious:

Beyond smiling, nodding, and ignoring, change the subject. Such was the advice Mr Glot gave me for dealing with his parents, and it’s worked pretty well so far!

Incidentally, when my son was newly born in 2000, I was given the option of keeping him with me, or using the handy nursery. I was nursing and was happy to have him at my side, despite the overwhelming exhaustion of having been in labor for upteen hours, and the constant interruptions I suffered in the hospital room (“Whaddaya mean, you don’t want a keepsake portrait of your newborn to be taken right this second despite the fact that you’ve had no sleep for the past 48 hours?!? What a bad mommy you are. Your child will grow to hate hate hate you!”) Towards the end of my stay, having had virtually no experience with babies, I brought my little guy with me to the hospital’s class on taking care of little people. You know, basic diapering, bathing, etc. - the stuff they don’t teach in college. Within about 2 minutes of the class’s having started, my son decided he was having none of it and bawled non-stop. I finally got up and wheeled him back to the handy nursery for the rest of the class. I was certainly glad it was there!

Also they put a matching bracelet on your wrist and your newborn’s, and IIRC, absolutely no one leaves the ward with a baby whose bracelets do not match! :slight_smile:

This. Exactly this.

You’ve got a LONG road ahead of you with this man, you’re never going to change his mind; you can only change how you react to it.

But I want to know, what was your husband doing during this conversation? I think it’s HIS job to deal with his dad and protect you. Was he just sitting there, allowing this to happen?

He was being an asshole. An insensitive asshole. But that could just be my preggo brain agreeing with yours.

checks with husband

Nope, he was being an asshole. There are ways to discuss the ways in which childcare has changed over the years, and that, my friend, was not a shining example of how to do it with a 5 month pregnant lady. If my FIL had done that, I’d be fuming too. Then again, my FIL hasn’t actually acknowledged my pregnancy in any way shape or form since we told him in September. So I don’t know who has the better deal. I think, perhaps, I do.

My advice? It sounds like there could be a whole lot more of these types of conversations with him in your future. You’re not going to change him, so you need to take a step back and ignore all the crap that he will undoubtedly spew over the years, for the sake of your sanity. It won’t be easy, but unless you think a quiet word (or screaming argument) from your husband or MIL will help the situation, you’ll have to deal with it by ignoring him best you can and focusing on the more positive people in your life.

Sure, he was a total jerk and he said some completely rotten things. But why do you care what he says? You don’t have to. Whatever he says, you can just smile and nod and disengage mentally.

My FIL has never said anything quite that bad, but he’s certainly the king of tactlessness. He has a superpower–whatever topic you least want to hear about, he will talk about it for an hour. He once cornered my brother’s wife (the first and only time they met) and talked hunting! She’s a vegetarian and I don’t think he’s ever hunted in his life. He has told us that one grandchild was smarter than another one–when they were 12 and 18 months old. But I quit caring long ago. Anything he says is just something I can ignore and laugh over later.

So–yep, he’s a jerk. But there’s no reason that you have to engage with him or care one whit what he says. Just let him be right and smirk in your head about it.

He’s an asshole, and unlikely to stop being one any time soon.

I agree with the smiling and nodding/ignoring. Might as well get in some practice, sounds like you’ll need it for the future.

Myself, I would throw in a, ‘Thanks for sharing your opinion.’ Then jump right back to your conversation as though he’d never spoken. Don’t engage, disagree, try to reason with him, he’s always going to be right - always, get used to dealing with it. When he repeats himself, because you haven’t engaged with him, you repeat yourself, ‘Thanks for sharing that.’ and back to where you were.

I voted to avoid that jackass. You have enough on your plate with gestating, getting ready at home for the new kid, all the financial and medical stuff going on. Avoid him until after the birth. If at birth he starts his jackassery again, you can simply not let him interact with the kid as a control on his behavior [behave or you don’t get to see the kid frequently works with jackass grandparents, other family members.] It is up to you and your husband how you want the birth and subsequent childhood to go. Poisonous family members can screw with people as they grow up.

You have preggo brain, and your FIL, who is a jackass, knows that it happens to be a huge button and did his best to push it. It worked, evidently.

Guys like that are like nettles for the brain. When you can, avoid him; when you know you’ll have to deal with him, go “om…”

Mr. Wonderland was as unhappy as I was. (I think he said something like ‘What the hell dad?!?!’) Even MIL, who usually tends to side with FIL gasped. I’m pretty sure that FIL knew that he had crossed the line, big time.

Thing is, everyone is right - he just likes to do stuff like this to get under my skin. I KNOW that I should ignore him, but it’s rather hard, particularly now when I’m crying at telephone commercials.

Ugh. I’m also thinking about when Jr. arrives and he sees his grandpa being so disrespectful (and trust me, this is not the first time he’s done something like this) he’s going to get the idea it’s ok which it really, really isn’t. I really don’t want to do the ‘Smarten up or you don’t get to see your grandkid’ thing, 'cus I don’t agree with it, and the Mr. is quite close to his parents, particularly his mom who really hasn’t done anything wrong (actually apart from some standard MIL stuff she’s quite lovely).

GRRRR - it kind of makes me wish I’d married an orphan…

You’re right - it is very slanted. At this point I’m having a very hard time thinking positively about the man, even though I know he has positive qualities.

This is possibly because when I had very bad morning sickness and EVERYTHING was making me gag I asked the Mr. to go brush his teeth 'cus he had garlic breath and it was grossing me out, and FIL said, “Wow - aren’t you just the bitchiest bitch of all bitches.”

Thanks. (Actually I said 'Well, I could puke in his lap instead, but this seemed like a nicer option.")

What, you? Overreact?

Have you considered moving? I think about six to eight hours away would make your father-in-law a whole lot easier to take. I hear Kelowna is lovely, and Saskatchewan is undergoing quite the renaissance. :slight_smile:

It was a dick move no matter what. What kind of reason is there to make you feel guilty? Plus it’s so ridiculously hyperbolic. Reminds me of the Freaks and Geeks dad. “You know who else wasn’t guarded in a nursery? The LINDBERG BABY! And you know what happened to him? DEAD!”

Actually yes, this option is being discussed. :slight_smile: (Although not actually for this reason).