to just want a couple of weeks in peace with my newborn babies?(185 Posts)
Sorry this is long. Have NC for this to hopefully avoid being outed by family members given posts under usual name! Plus am a bit embarrassed as have been ridiculously smug about this issue in previous posts- telling other posters to do as I have done (oh, am eating those words now…)
I thought I had it all sorted. I'm almost full-term with twins (first babies). DH and I live in a different country from my parents and his parents (3 different countries). I'm due to have a C-section in two days. We thought long and hard about the issue and decided months ago that we would have more than enough to do with two new babies and that we would ask both sets of grandparents to hold off on visiting us for a few weeks until we got ourselves sorted and under control.
We explained to everybody (nicely) AGES ago that things would be very different if we all lived in the same country but that things become much more complicated when long haul flights are involved. We explained that we won't have the time or the resources to be looking after them. We live in a two-bedroom apartment so technically we do have room but we have hired a night nanny for a couple of weeks to help us both through the nights with 2 babies so the 2nd bedroom is in fact the nursery. Plus I imagine this little house is going to be utterly crazy in terms of round-the-clock care and will be totally unsuitable for visitors for at least a few weeks after Monday.
We just got a phone call from FIL this morning announcing that MIL intends to get on a plane to visit us on the 14th of June. This will mean she will be arriving to stay with us the day after we get home from hospital. Poor DH has tried to negotiate an extra week and FIL has gone off to try to put her off until the 21st. We're waiting to see if she agrees. The message we have got is that if we don't let her come she will feel as if "her son and daughter in law don't want her".
This is going to cause quite a lot of upset with my side of the family. My own mother is quite miffed that SHE was asked to postpone her visit and has been going around telling everyone at home that "she was told not to come because Moscow said she'd only be a burden". Totally untrue, but my own mother is terrifically high-maintenance and attention-seeking. My poor DF will have to deal with a gigantic tantrum if she hears MIL is staying with us: and they may very well decide that it's open season and they're getting on a plane too…
I may also be in trouble because we deliberately didn't tell my parents when the C-section was scheduled, primarily because I didn't trust them not to pull a stunt and turn up for the birth. (They think I'm due next week.) DH insisted on telling his folks the date because he assured me that they wouldn't do anything as unreasonable as jumping on a plane at short notice (he's looking a little shamefaced this morning…)
Luckily DH and I are happy and solid and able to laugh (a tad hysterically) about it- we will deal with it as it comes. I'm choosing to see the funny side, and have been telling the (still inside me) babies that they are clearly rock stars given that they have groupies who are so desperate to see them they defy all barriers!
But I did say to DH just now- what IS it about our respective sets of parents? They're all desperate to come and "help" but they won't actually help at all when they're here (we know this very well- they will need more looking after than the goddam babies) and even if they make the odd cup of tea (unlikely) a week-long visit is hardly going to be of any real "help" in the general scheme of things. They don't seem to see that the "visits" are actually ALL ABOUT THEM rather than us.
AIBU to just want a couple of weeks to ourselves to get used to this massive life change, to get a rhythm and some sort of routine sorted, (and to get myself healed after a C-section) before we have to entertain visitors?
Any advice welcome- we probably can't change the situation but advice on damage limitation/coping would be great!
Honestly ? I think it's actually really hurtful to 'ban' grand parents. It's very much an MN thing. I've never known anyone in real life ( and I have a HUGE family) to do this. My parents would have been devastated to have been barred from seeing their newborn grandkids.
Ask them to book a hotel.
Good grief - if they must come, then tell them to stay in hotels. No way should you have to cope with them. Just after a major surgery, for god's sake! And with two tiny demanding babies. Both sets of parents are being absolutely inconsiderate and thoughtless. Definitely hotels, if you can't put them off.
Right there's several issues here but a big solution to many is that you need to be firm and tell them they have to stay in a hotel when they visit. My IL's did this when my niece was born even though there's plenty of room for them to stay, they wanted them to enjoy being a family without them around all the time. Be firm!
The mix of due dates hasn't helped but it's done now, I think you'll just need to come clean with your parents about it because they'd surely feel hurt if your IL's know about the babies arriving a week before they find out.
Ah, sorry for drip feeding but culturally a hotel would be even worse for MIL. That really would be a huge snub to her. Plus she isn't really the type to be able to make her way from the hotel to our house- she's not very streetwise. If she stays in a hotel we're going to have to do endless runs back and forth to chauffeur her to see the babies.
YANBU I'm a DM and a MiL and there is no way I would turn until I was asked. Pls put yourself your DP and babies first and take comfort in the many miles between you. Let them sulk and TT and all those precious moments and congratulations.
Hotels and restricted visiting, if you can't put them off?
My mother started coming round every day when I had a newborn (pfgc), until I burst into tears in front of the midwife. The midwife got her to calm down.
So I can see why certain people need to be 'banned', at least for a while.
Will dh go along with what you suggest next time?
Absolutely not unreasonable at all! This time is not about her and whether 'her son and DIL don't want her' it's about you, your DH and those lovely squidgy little babies! Does she not understand that there won't be anywhere for her to stay? Assuming the night nanny will be sleeping in the nursery?
Yanbu. I think you just need to say "NO!" to mil. Obviously she can choose to travel to whatever country she wants and stay in whatever hotel she wants but I wouldn't be facilitating her at all, no collecting from the airport, no lifts to and from the hotel.
I think if your parents or in-laws want to come and visit and pop in for a cup of tea and a cuddle everyday and then spendthe rest if the time at the hotel or sightseeing that would be a lovely compromise.
Honestly ? I think it's actually really hurtful to 'ban' grand parents
Having your mum pop round to see the baby and Mel you a cup of tea is quite different to having your mum come and stay in your small flat for two weeks though isn't it!
OP sounds like your parents and PILs are pretty much a nightmare.
I can't be fucked with emotional blackmail: The message we have got is that if we don't let her come she will feel as if "her son and daughter in law don't want her"
I'd be tempted to call her and say how unbelievably hurt you are she can't respect your wishes and hold of visiting for a few weeks. How she is ruining your relationship by being so selfish and how you don't feel it will ever recover. Go totally 100% overboard and giver HER the bullshit emotional blackmail.
Yes, I know exactly what you mean. We lived 500 miles away from both sets of gp and asked them not to come in the first 2 weeks.
They respected it. Mil was miffed, but I knew it was the right decision. Breastfeading took a while to establish and MIL is very anti-bf. I had mastitis with my first and persevered, and bf all my dc up to a year. She still cannot understand that, I think she has general problems with it and therefore I didn't want her around.
My mum is very high maintenance and no help around the house, she would sit in the same chair all day and wait to be waited on.
Op, I would tell them the visit will be much nicer if they give you some space first. It's not a bragging competition for gp. If they cannot be deterred let them stay in hotels and try to ignore all requests for waitress service. Let the 4 gp entertain themselves while you bond with the babies.
What will you do when/if you have more children?
You will then have older twins 'in the way' when you want time along with new baby/babies? Would you ban those two.
First-time-parents over thinking and over worrying IMO
she's not very streetwise. If she stays in a hotel we're going to have to do endless runs back and forth to chauffeur her to see the babies
No she's fucking playing you like a violin!
Anyone with the balls to book an international flight when they aren't wanted, is balls enough to get a taxi to/ from your house and hotel.
I totally understand where you're coming from. When our twins were due I knew it was going to be hard, so we did put out an appeal on Facebook that we didn't want visitors for a couple of weeks after the birth.
This was definitely the right thing to do, for us, as when they were born, having twins hit us like a ton of bricks, I didn't know which way was up and I really, really struggled from the minute they were born. I was just so completely overwhelmed with it all.
However, the flip side of this is that I decided I needed my mum sooner than expected and I called her from hospital asking her to fly out ASAP (she was going to wait until they were 2 weeks old but she came when they were 5 days old in the end). I gave her a massive hormonal briefing before she came, as she can be quite overbearing, setting out what we needed her to do and how we needed her to be - sounds quite harsh, but you have to be firm with my mum, and actually she was great.
The first few weeks were incredibly tough, even more than I expected, and I was so grateful for her help. She stayed for 6 weeks in the end and by then I felt able to cope on my own.
What would I do in your shoes?
IF you think MiL can help, if you can be strict with her and tell her what you actually need help with (cooking, washing etc) and what you don't want help with (the babies themselves, probably) then great, let her come.
But I doubt there are many MiLs who would take very kindly to that kind of frankness, and if yours is one of those, I would do everything in my power to stop her from coming out.
I know it sounds harsh, but people who haven't had twins won't understand.....those first few weeks are completely hideous (sorry) and you need every single ounce of strength and minute of time that you can muster.
We also didn't tell people the date of the c section by the way....even close family. We just wanted to create as much space around us as possible.
Normally when I see these sorts of questions, I think it is a tad precious to be banning people from visiting and I really don't get it, especially when it is parents of the parents.
However, given that you are having two babies, it will be a C section and you live overseas and will be expected to 'host' your parents/guests, I will say YANBU.
I think the only way round this is to be absolutely firm and directly say no. There may well be a few 'harumphs' but it would be crazy to put yourselves through all of that.
I have no advice but I understand. My inlaws stayed with is for 3 months when my boys arrived. A month before and 2 after. A Hotel would have been out of the question.
With ds1 I had a huge wailing tantrum when he was 4 days old because they kept calling him a different name that he hated.
If it is unavoidable, send your dh out now. Buy a small fridge and get it filled with drinks chocolates and nearer the time foods.
Get your dh to make it very clear that you will not be lifting a finger to run around after visitors. I really feel for you, I know that you will get loads of people telling you to just stop them coming. It won't happen, they will come, be a pita, and you will want to kill them. Cultural differences are impossible to compromise on when new babies arrive. Just keep reminding yourself that they will leave soon enough.
If she cannot stay in a hotel, then no way I'd let them come the day after you get home from hospital. That's a recipe for a big family row.
Your hormones all over the place, with a c section wound to heal, two tinys you want to hold and cuddle and need help with it, GP who will be pulling faces if they cannot hold the babies whenever they want.
4 guests in the house at that time, who are high maintenance and no help? I'd be heading for PND.
Op I think you are entitled to get your head round being a new mother to twins in peace. I think you might want to ask mnhq to anonymise your location in your post. Best of luck with it, twins are the best
Also, with twins, you literally don't get a single spare second of time.....you're usually feeding them every 3 hours round the clock, they usually feed for more than 30 minutes at that age (whether bottle or breast).....by the time you have finished one, then the other, then pumped, sterilised, whatever.....you barely have 5-10 minutes until the next feed. This is what mums of singletons will never understand.
Ours came out of hospital on a three-hourly feeding schedule, as did my friend's and we were 'reminiscing' the other day about how we would set the alarm for the next feed and realise we only had 22 minutes or whatever to get some sleep.
You don't need anything else sapping your time or your energy, believe me.
It gets a lot easier, quickly, so don't worry to much as it's only this bad for a matter of days, really. And that's when the visitations can start.
You can't have a night nanny sharing a bedroom with somebody. And presumably even she won't actually get into your bed with you. You cannot sleep on the sofa after a c-section. It's not a matter of preference, you just cannot host an overnight visitor. I don't see how you can even consider it
So it's a holt or no visit IMO. Unless you have friends/neighbours she could stay with??
Also, as both of your Mums are 'high maintenance' I can see why you want to wait until you have had a chance to 'gather' yourself as it were.
With my second baby, my Mum came to stay on the day I went in for induction. She lived a long way away so stayed with us in our home. But my Mum was hands on in a good way and didn't overstep.
She took care of my eldest child and fetched drinks and snacks for me while my DP was at work [very short paternity leave] it was like having a nanny come housekeeper!
If your parents are not this way inclined, it would be bloody hard work having them there. I couldn't be a hostess right after giving birth to one baby, let alone two.
Yeah, after the hospital I didn't really want any visitors. The hospital was bad enough, I felt like I had to stay awake to entertain family when I just wanted to sleep. When I did have people visit at the house, I didn't keep them entertained, I left DH in charge while I took a nap. They were there to see baby anyway.
When we had our twins we banned people for a little while. MIL was a bit put out because we said no visitors at all for the first 48 hours then after that we arranged short visits with people. You'll never get those first couple of days back, say no and get to know your babies.
MIL is crazy and would get in their faces and if one of them cried and needed comforting or we were feeding them she would keep saying 'Can I have a hold' on repeat every minute or so. It drove us both insane and added stress when it was definitely not needed. She kept wanting to wake them up too and we said no to that and got her knickers in a twist. She seemed to think just because we were bottle feeding them it meant she could have a go, no, they were our babies and we wanted to do that. It was like she thought they were new toys to play with. She kept saying how she needed to bond with them but didn't grasp that we their parents needed to do that. All in all she was a nightmare.
Call you PIL and just say no.
Visitors yes but parents being made to wait two weeks to see their grandchildren I do think is very mean. I hope you don't expect help after the two weeks or for them to be doting when it suits you.
From their point of view, you are quite willing to have a stranger in your house doing the childcare of very new borns but they can't see them.
As for not telling them the CS date, yes don't tell them you are going for surgery, after all they are only your parents
I know it can be hard to fight PFB urges but this will cause great upset and they will remember it for a long time.
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