Am I Right to Feel Hurt by My Father in Law?

Updated on November 24, 2017
N.M. asks from Atlanta, GA
15 answers

I am due xmas. We have known this for 8 months. 3 days ago, my father in law communicated to my husband (his son) he booked a flight to another continent leaving a week prior to my due date. It hurts and makes me feel second rate because my father in law was present for his first grandchild (my step daughter), present for his first grandson (my nephew) which he flew into another state to be there. Why book and leave for this grandchild even though we talked about him being there. Ofcourse not the delivery, but to be one of the first to greet him. I am sad. How can i communicate this to him, should i communicate anything? The trip is to go hang out with his girlfriend's of a bit under a year, family. Sigh.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Miami on

It may not be personal. He's gone through the experience of being present for the birth of one grandchild. Now he has a girlfriend and that's in his mind now.

It's understandable that you are sad. If you want to say to him that you are disappointed that he chose a trip he could have taken at a different time, then you should do that. But just know that he's not going to change that reservation...

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

I think your hormones are getting the best of you. Wish him a safe trip and he will meet your baby soon enough.

Congratulations! I can’t think of a better Christmas gift!

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You have a right to your feelings, no right or wrong there.

Frankly, I would not have wanted nor expected my FIL around. It's FIL!!! It's during the busy holidays, like it or not. The world isn't going to stop spinning for you to give birth. People have their own lives. I'm NOT downplaying your upcoming birth... I know it's special... you make it special with you and don't have high expectations of others.

I do think you're being petty comparing it to other grandchildren as well. Something tells me there's more to this part of the story.... resentful of FIL, other relationships and FIL girlfriend comes to mind.

My daughter was born on 12/27. It's a tough time of year for birthdays. We've always celebrated on her day but if I let it bother me (or her allow it to bother her) every time her day was overlooked due to holidays, bday gifts wrapped in holiday paper, etc.... it would be sad.

You control your own happiness, Dont be petty about little things, don't be upset about things you can't control, don't feel entitled.

Create your own peace and enjoy your family.

We have our traditions for Christmas and daughter's birthday which we focus on. we don't worry about what others are doing with their time. We have each other and that's important.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia!

Your hormones are taking over.

I'm sorry you are hurt. But I wouldn't say anything and I'd let it go. You don't need to stress over this. Really.

I realize you're feeling slighted. But don't. Be relieved you don't have to be ready for anyone and ooh and aww over your precious bundle. YOU and your husband get quality time before anyone else.

It doesn't matter what the trip is for. OR WHO it is for. Just be relieved you don't have to feel like getting ready for people right after delivery.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You feel what you feel and there's no right or wrong about it.
Holidays are busy for everyone - and you're going to find out about how busy everyone is especially when you have a birthday thrown in with everything else.

My birthday is day after Christmas and people are partied out and don't want to celebrate something else - I really think about celebrating my birthday at a different time of the year - because I never get separate presents and what I do get is wrapped with Christmas paper.
My birthday annoys people - sometimes I feel like it's been hijacked.

When our son was born I just wanted my husband with me.
There was no other family in the area.
My mom had a horrible experience with company when I was born and didn't come visit till 2 months later - and that was perfect for us!

Try not to compare with what happened with anyone else when they gave birth.
You are going to have a baby - that's the most important thing!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Your FIL must be a super guy for you to be disturbed that he wasn't there. I would let it go if I were you. I certainly can understand that he would want to be with his new love for Christmas. My own mother couldn't be bothered to be there when I had my second child, but we were not very close.

I wish you a wonderful delivery, a healthy and happy baby and a great Christmas holiday with your own family. You are going to be so thrilled with your new baby that nothing can disappoint you. Remember, your hormones are working overtime now..

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Maybe he has learned that babies are a lot cuter at 1 month old than they are when the are newborns. I'm serious! Newborns are precious, but it's not a great time for grandparents (especially grandfathers) to visit. The new mom is sore, leaking fluids everywhere, and exhausted. Baby is brand new, hasn't learned to nurse efficiently and so can be fussy, and if he's not fussy and/or eating, he isn't awake much. The new dad is just trying to get use to life as a dad. In my experience, grandparents have much more enjoyable visits once everyone has settled in for a few weeks.

So please try not to feel hurt. Instead, feel grateful that he's giving you, your husband, and new baby time to bond as a family.

Congratulation on your new arrival - I hope it all goes smoothly.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I think you are being overly sensitive. I liked "just family time" after the birth of my kids and didn't want visitors for a week or two. Two weeks later is perfect to visit. That way we could get used to the new normal and get used to breastfeeding and everything. Don't compare yourself to others in your family. Your FIL will love your baby just as much as the other babies in the family. I wish you a happy and healthy delivery - congrats!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

When my in-laws announced they will come to the hospital with us awaiting the arrival of our fist child (they had 2 grandchildren already) I thought this was odd and I was uncomfortable knowing I can not enjoy this moment discovering our newborn after giving birth just with my husband.

We had about 30/45 minutes alone and then the in-laws where in the room with us. It was very stressful for me.

Mind you I have wonderful in-laws and we are a very close family.

I can assure you you will be happy to be with just your husband and the baby the first several days. By that time your FIL is back and grateful he was able to celebrate his first Christmas with his new girlfriend.

Relax and enjoy the best gift ever...

Your happiness should not depend on anyones participation of your childs day of birth.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm not sure it's productive to try to figure out if feelings are justified. Feelings are feelings, neither good nor bad. And when you're hormonal and aware of the huge change coming to your life soon, they're going to be magnified. So go easy on yourself.

If I understand this, this is your FIL's 3rd grandchild. Your first, his 3rd. You are your husband's second wife, and sometimes there are inevitable comparisons that we second wives do to ourselves on top of what other people put on us. So sometimes we say, "How come I'm not good enough to deserve a visit?" That may not be fair to anyone, but it's something that happens a lot.

Your FIL has a new girlfriend, and this is their first Christmas together. Perhaps he has never met her family since they live on another continent, and perhaps Christmas is a big deal to their family. Sharing in their traditions may be really important. He also may feel that he wasn't much help and was perhaps an intrusion on the other births, getting in the way of the bonding with exhausted new parents. Maybe he thinks he is doing you a favor. Maybe hospitals and nursing moms freaked him out in the past. Maybe he thinks that you would like this time alone with your husband and newborn. Do you have other family who will be around? Perhaps your husband wants time to introduce his daughter to the new baby and make that a special time, and perhaps having Grandpa there will be a 5th wheel.

Since the flight is booked, I think you should take the long view here. You will have many years to enjoy family time. If your FIL winds up marrying or at least spending his life with this girlfriend, you're going to want her on your side. You will both be second wives and will have something in common. One of the most frustrating times is right after giving birth - you're tired, sore, overwhelmed, and trying to figure out the constant needs of a newborn. The revolving door of people who invade your hospital room and your house (often in upheaval) can be a huge blur that you don't entirely enjoy. Spacing out those visits is a good thing. I think, if you can go into this last month of pregnancy and the delivery with as positive an outlook as possible, and if you can cherish the first moments of your new family life without thinking of what's missing, it will be easier for you. And if your FIL comes home and feels he made a mistake and missed out, he'll make it up to you. Even if he doesn't regret his choice, he's going to be in your family forever - don't make this a line in the sand. As anyone with a Christmas birthday will tell you, this is going to be an ongoing issue of making your child's birthday a special time. You're going to have to make adjustments for the next 18 years. If you start out feeling resentful and shortchanged even before the baby arrives, however justified your feelings may be, the person who's going to have the toughest time is you. I'd avoid saying anything at all for now - let your husband handle his father, and don't get into this now with Christmas and your very special moments of happiness at stake.

I wish you a very merry Christmas, an easy delivery, and wonderful joys to come.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Well, I guess because it's a holiday and this is another commitment to him - and perhaps this is a big deal to him (this next chapter of his life, his new girlfriend). Instead of thinking of it as who is his top priority - maybe he's meeting her family or something.

He'll likely come afterwards (you don't mention that). My personal thought is - I am not sure I'd want my FIL there right when I had my baby. I'm cool with a few days after or the week following. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming. Also - you never know when exactly you're going to go.

The thing is, this isn't your father. This would be a discussion for between your husband and his father. You stay out of it. I think comparing yourself/your child to previous women/children born into the family is pointless. You really shouldn't. It's easy to do - I get it. Maybe there was no new girlfriend at the time - and there is now. You can't really compare apples to oranges. Know what I mean?

Obviously - he has made his mind up, so what is telling him you are hurt going to accomplish? Nothing really. I would talk to your husband, and then welcome your FIL for a visit in the New Year.

Added: Just wanted to add Congratulations and best wishes - this truly is a wonderful time for you (I do think hormones are playing a part in your feelings at this time).

I think LessisMore summed it up very well - "Relax and enjoy the best gift ever...
Your happiness should not depend on anyones participation of your childs day of birth."

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You can't help but feel how you feel. But remember that the events in your life are most important to you. Your fil will meet your new baby when he gets home. Use the time to bond as a family and enjoy each other as you bring this new life into the world.

I met some of my grandchildren on their first day. Others on their second. The choice was made by their parents because that connection is the most important of all. Would I have planned a trip? No but that's my preference. Would I think poorly of another grandparent who did? No because they've done their job by raising their child. Everything after that is their choice to participate.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Well it's not right or wrong....
You feel how you feel. Would he have been alone on Christmas otherwise? Obviously, you aren't really going to be in a position to Host any type of get together for Christmas. It also could be that the newness and wonder of being a grandpa has worn off a bit since this isn't the first grandchild. That doesn't make it right...but it often happens. This is probably worth your husband asking your FIL about this, but probably not worth making a huge deal over...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Your FIL is probably closer in age to me than to you. So, from my perspective, this is finally my time to live. I have raised my kids and it is my time to find happiness my way. For example, today--Thanksgiving, I choose to be alone. I was invited to 2 family dinners--I refused both offers and even refused the offer to bring me a plate. I am relishing time alone and I do not apologize for it. Let your FIL enjoy his new gf!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Let it go! Welcome your baby and your FIL will meet the baby eventually!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions