For background, my husband (29M) and I (30F) are currently expats living abroad. We recently welcomed our first child, who is 4 weeks old. My mother (50F) has been staying with us for the past 3 weeks to help and support us through this stage.
A few days ago, my MIL (67F) informed me that she and my FIL (70M) would be arriving in 6 days to surprise my husband for his 30th birthday and to meet their grandchild. My MIL insisted that I do not tell my husband about their visit as it would ruin the surprise.
They have fully planned and booked their trip without consulting myself or my husband on timing, plans, etc. My mother will be leaving two days after their arrival, and my husband is currently working weekends for additional income. So, I will be alone with them for the majority of their visit. My in-laws are elderly, so I do not expect help with our newborn.
We were anticipating his parents would visit eventually but expected a break in between having a baby and our parents here, and we would have planned it so my husband would be off work during their visit.
I must add that we are not close with his parents, having a very limited relationship with them due to their actions in the past and behavior during our wedding. We have had to set boundaries to protect our family.
My husband is the middle child, so he has always felt neglected by his parents and considered himself the least favorite child. Under different circumstances, this surprise (flying halfway around the world for his birthday) could be considered a grand gesture.
However, my husband and I are exhausted and sleep-deprived. My husband mentioned he was looking forward to having some alone time, since everything has been so hectic since the baby arrived.
Today, I decided to tell my husband that his parents would be surprising him for his birthday in two days. He immediately looked stressed but understood why I decided to tell him.
He said he would act surprised when they arrived but hasn’t said anything about their visit since our talk and went to sleep early. My MIL messaged me asking if my husband knew that they would be surprising him, and I said he was still unaware. AITA for ruining the surprise?
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Ya know … it would be a shame… a shame, I say, if OP’s husband took her and baby away for a couple of days. As a surprise he had planned for his own birthday as a treat for them both.
And since OP’s husband knew nothing about an impending surprise visit from anybody, there is absolutely no reason they couldn’t take a spur of the moment weekend to an airbnb? And since OP wasn’t supposed to spill the beans.
Your husband needed a heads up so he could mentally prepare himself. And, you know, you both get ready for damned house guests that are going to show up out of nowhere on their doorstep. Most people aren’t guest ready, not for overnight, multiple days guests-especially not sleep deprived parents!
I’m sorry, your relationship and “promise” to MIL is less important than your relationship to your husband. Your loyalty is to him. NTA (Not the A#@hole).
NTA. There shouldn't be any surprise visits to the newly parents.
NTA. I have a pretty firm rule that nobody gets to decide what I keep from my husband. In my view, your MIL doesn't get to decide that for you. If she had said "we have a surprise but you can't tell your husband, can you keep it secret" before telling you what it was, that's different.
But to say "this is happening but you can't tell him" is different to me. Add on the fact that the surprise is a visit, the inviting themselves, possibly staying with you, during an exhausting time? Hell no, your husband deserves to be warned.'
NTA you’re doing the best you can in a cr#%py situation. You knew your husband well enough to know that he’d like a heads up in this situation. Sounds like he appreciated it so he can mentally adjust.
I think if he was preparing himself and getting excited for time alone as a family without guests, he would be much more upset when his parents show up and then they’d be offended by his less than ecstatic reaction.
Also, the white lie to his parents so they think it’s still a surprise is not malicious, but protecting their feelings. Sorry they thought it was a good idea to surprise the parents of a newborn. They’re AH for that.
NTA. There are times when surprises are unwelcome. This is one of them. I do hope that your in-laws have booked a hotel room for themselves.
NTA Where do they plan on staying? If they didn’t make hotel accommodations they are in the wrong big time! You can’t just tell someone you’re coming without planning.
What do you think? Was OP wrong to ruin her MIL surprise?