Hi, Congratulations on your baby. I’m sorry your sil is not doing well.
My brother told me that my sil does not want their new baby around my adult child with SMI if he is not doing well. Since my adult child is doing really well with treatment right now, the condition is that my adult child not be alone with the baby.
Just be clear and brief:
We are not coming over to your house with the baby because sil lives there and is having lots of symptoms of illness. We are concerned for the baby’s safety because she can be physically aggressive when her illness is acute.
Until sil has been stable with medical treatment for (a number of months, maybe three to six?), we will not bring the baby here and we will not welcome sil into our home. We love sil very much and are looking forward to when she is stable and can spend time with the baby, but that time is not now.
Please come over and see the baby without her (then give your limits for times, dates, call first, whatever).
And then hope for the best. My personal feelings aside, I just accepted my family’s request. Do not talk to your in-laws about denial, sil’s specific symptoms, etc UNLESS they bring it up and ask why or ask what you have observed that brought you to this decision.
Since sil is having involuntary commitments, there is a strong chance her parents know exactly what is going on and are not in denial, but simply doing their best to help a beloved child who has a serious illness. There really aren’t many treatment options in the US right now and stigma is not usually the main cause (statistically) of not receiving medical treatment: it’s lack of resources, lack of access to treatment and most of all, total absence of availability of needed treatment modalities in the vast majority of states, counties, and cities.
Do not go to their house with the baby. IF they show up at your house with sil, do not let any of them in. Have husband go outside and talk to them or talk to them on the phone.
I am not writing this because I think or believe your sil cannot be around the baby, but because this is what you have observed, conveyed, and wish for your family. And if you proceed by only stating your boundaries and intentions without criticizing your in-laws, I think everything will go pretty well for all of you.
The joy of a new baby is mixed with enough logistical stress of infant care already and your physical recovery from the pregnancy. You are right that it is time to take care of yourself and set boundaries that feel good to you and protect you and your child.
These requests are for your nuclear family. I statements are super important. Get on the same page with your husband and make sure you are both conveying the same message without any blame or criticism of the in-laws.
You maybe have no idea how often people blame and criticize the parents of people with SMI in our society; it’s unreal because no one blames the parents of people with any other severe medical illness, just us. The fact that it is almost impossible to get our beloved adult children the medical treatment and social supports they require and would benefit from causes more pain than the criticism does. So, hopefully you can be aware of this reality and move forward in a way that recognizes that they cannot get her the medical care she needs even when they desperately try to do that, as you can see and read about all over this forum.