AIBU to only want my parents to stay when I have my baby?(55 Posts)
Hi everyone, I'm new here but I would really appreciate your views on my situation. I am currently 29+3 with my first baby, due on Xmas eve. I've recently moved from the UK to the US (3 year secondment for my husband's job) so to have any family here to help after baby arrives needs pre-arranging. The other wives here are lovely but I don't have any close friends yet so support is limited. My MIL and SIL originally wanted to come to stay for 2 weeks from about 16th Dec but I said no - I'm likely to have an elective section about that date (if baby not already here of course!) and, much as I like my in laws, they would be high maintenance guests (eg fussy with food, dependent on me or my husband to take them anywhere), plus I really wouldn't feel comfortable being stressed and emotional, and feeding baby around them. This was all fine before we left home and we just said nobody would be coming at Xmas. However, now reality has hit home, I've decided I would really like my mum here to help me. She is coming the week before my due date for 2 weeks. This would leave my dad on his own, so he's also coming for Xmas/New Year week.
The problem is that my husband is now annoyed and upset with me for what he sees as a slight against his family. I feel it's just unfortunate in a way that baby is due at Xmas as it's a particularly emotive time but I can't do much about that! I definitely couldn't cope with 4 guests and a new baby so I really don't know what to do. It doesn't help that my MIL works in a school and won't come at Feb half term for various reasons so she won't see her first grandchild until Easter, whereas my mum doesn't work and has a lot more disposable income so will be coming over for 5-7 days every couple of months, meaning the visiting is already biased in my mum's favour - again this is just how things are and we have offered to help with MIL's travel costs at other times. Any advice very welcome! Thanks in advance xx
I can kind of see why your DH is annoyed - it sounds like you had an agreement that no-one was coming and now you've changed that without discussing it with him.
The compromise that occurs to me is - can you fly back to the UK sometime between NY and Easter and spend that trip genuinely prioritising your PIL (obviously, you'll want to see your parents too but could you spend the bulk of that trip with your PIL?)
I can see both views but I can see why you want your mum there, its your first baby and everything will be new and stressful at first and its not unreasonable to want your own mum who you can be yourself with. Its also not unreasonable to not want 4 guests with a newborn, especially if you say you have to host for your in-laws. I think you have to explain this to your DH and hope he understands. If PIL come then he needs to take over the hosting and make it clear to them that they can help out.
Explain that your mum is there to support you. That's the difference. You are not a vessel for the grandchild and your mum would not be there as a grandparent but as a mother.
And if he had such major surgery he'd probably think it a bit weird if you suggested your mum come to help him.
He's seeing the child. Not you. That's the problem.
I know you only want your mum but your mother in law will be incredibly hurt by this.
And rightly so. She's done nothing wrong except for want to come and stay with you and see her grandchild.
Could you maybe write her a note or email? Say you've realised that you really want your mum there and that you hope she understands given that you'll be breastfeeding etc. Tell her you can't wait for her to meet her grandchild and you're really excited to see her soon.
Alternatively Is there no way she can just come over for a few days, stay in a hotel and see her grandchild? That would be another option.
I can definitely see your husband's pint of view
You're in a tough situation but if your have previously said "no guests" and have then arranged for your mum and dad to fly over I can see why your dh /mil/fil are all annoyed although I your situation I would want my mum!
They'll get over it and in time will get to see their grandchild!
I would feel exactly the same as you! I'm in a similar position (not living abroad, but living a days drive from family), I'm due in March and no close friends here. The only people I want to visit and stay around due date are my parents as they are more helpful.
I do think you need to find a compromise. Can they visit but stay in a hotel?
This is very difficult and honestly I can see both sides. I don't blame you for not wanting a houseful but I also wouldn't blame your MIL for being incredibly hurt and slighted if your decision leads to her not seeing the baby for a few months.
As you are the one going through labour /birth and the first stages of motherhood then you should be able to call upon your dm to be there for you..
The baby won't really care which gp are there but as you will you should get to choose! All in laws should all grasp this!!
First do you really need anyone helping? Does your dh get paternity leave sorry not sure of US rules etc.
If not then no of course you are not being unreasonable. You want your mum and why not? You dh should understand it's not about which family trumps who it's all about you.
You are the one giving birth so your choice. I speak as a mum and a mil and I supported my dils 100% in their post birth choices.
Tali no as a mil I wouldn't feel that way at all. being 'incredibly hurt' by another woman's birth choices and feelings makes that all about you. (Not you Tali)
Agree with the posts that you want your mother there, as exactly that. A mother to you.
I had my mum there when I gave birth along side OH. It has never ever been used as a top trumps for grandparenting!
We moved closer to my parents when I was pregnant, as I felt more comfortable being closer to my parents, whilst OH went back to work. Although I love my ILs, I didn't feel like I could whip a tit out and clumsily breastfeed in front of them like I could with my own parents, amongst other things!
Agree a good compromise would be to stay at a hotel?
I don't think yabu at all. Your mother staying and your mil staying are completely different. I can honestly say my mil would completely understand if I had my mum stay but not her. I really like my mil but she isn't my mum and I'm not 100% comfortable with her like I am my mum. When we had visitors, including mil after I had my babies I felt I needed to tidy up, out proper clothes on and worst of all, wear a bra . when my parents came round I was often in PJs and certainly no bra (bras are the devils work the first week after giving birth) . for me personally I wouldn't want anyone staying but my family lives local, in your position I'd do the same.
Totally although it's the people you feel closest to and you trust. For one of my dils that was me and dh as her parents are horrible.
Op whoever support you best that's the key.
I hate that these threads are always about a sort of hierachy based on mothers parents being more useful/important whatever than the fathers parents. Personally I look after my GC far more than their mother's mother. She does the high days and holidays and I do school runs, homework, after school clubs, sleepovers if mum is working late/nights, looking after them if they are too sick for school. I may be the mother of a son but I am still useful, honest.
If your parents are going to be more help than his parents then tell him that, its not because they are your parents just practical. I do think suggesting they book a hotel is a good idea or maybe all the grandparents could rent a flat or something then they could give you some help but leave you and your husband to have sometime with just you and the baby.
I never had my mother to stay, she came and did stuff but went home in the evenings and it was lovely to have that time as just our little family.
Thanks everyone, it is really difficult as I don't want to upset anyone but I think it's inevitable 😞. My DH will get 2 weeks paternity leave but I still think it'll be hard without additional help, especially mentally, so yes, exactly Ardarfanarf, my mum will be there for me rather than baby. I've suggested a hotel previously but DH says no way. Tbh he'd just have to pick MIL, plus SIL as MIL won't travel by herself, up every morning and bring them to sit here all day as they wouldn't do their own thing, which would defeat the purpose of her staying elsewhere anyway! She's also already said she won't come for less than a couple of weeks (one of the reasons half term is out) as says it's too far. It's only 6/7 hours and we would do for a weekend but she's never been outside Europe so guess has different mentality. We are already hoping to go back home in March but obvs depends on how we're getting on and DH's holidays xx
Yanbu at all. I was put in a similar situation with dc1. I gave in and several years later still can't really forgive the damage it did to me (basically I struggled alone when I really needed support from my mum because I knew that for each visit she made, MiL and dh would want the same and I couldn't cope with that).
You are the giving birth, who will be bleeding, healing, feeding the baby, quite probably leaking milk and having all sorts of hormones rush through your body, quite apart from recovering from major surgery if you have a cs. Ask your husband if he was in that state, whether he would want his in laws staying for two weeks. Then ask him if he was in that state whether he might want to see his mum (and his mum him) and how he would feel about you if you wouldn't allow or resented this.
This does not make his mum less of a granny in any way, but what she can't be is your mum. I think a good compromise would be for her to stay elsewhere and visit for short bursts. When my brother's first child was born (also a distance away) we did this with my parents. SiL's mum was staying with them and not for a second did any of us question that at that point she was the one my SiL most needed. If you continue to not have your MiL to stay once the baby is older, then she has a right to feel hurt.
Yanbu- post birth can be an incredibly difficult time when you're at your most vulnerable. I had a terrible infection and was in terrible pain. My in laws came to visit but I had to ask my husband for them not to stay. I needed my mum around to help me though - someone you can discuss the pain of going to the toilet for the first time etc with (that's the reality!!). it's not a time when you need to feel you should be dressed, have food ready etc etc! When they did come they didn't get it at all and I ended up doing everything even though I was in awful pain. I'm sure your time will be easier post birth but I think it's a time that is particularly hard on the mum. I never thought I'd end up asking for them not to stay over (my dh and and they weren't happy) but I'm so pleased I did. Your body and mind can be in a bit of a mess and you should focus on healing and your baby.
You are the one giving birth that should say.
Sorry, op didn't see your post about them not being independent and only wanting to come for two weeks. That's fine for her to decide, but she can't hold you to blame for her choice not to see her grandchild until Easter.
You don't need two adults looking after you after a CS, want maybe but not need.
Your MIL will be very hurt, she may want to support her son and not be seen as second rate. This is what I dread about having boys, the wife treating me as second rate.
YANBU. Post birth can he v difficult. My sis needed a lot of help with wees and poos, in the shower. Mum or I even had to balance baby on her breast for the first few weeks because she couldn't lift. You don't want in laws for all of that, you want your family.
Gosh as the mother of a son, if and when he has a wife or gf and a baby on the way I'd make it clear that of course a new mother, recovering from the birth, would want her own mum there mostly and I'd just say I'll be there whenever you want - as little or as much.
I've had my kids. I know how hard it is! It would be cruel of me to make her feel bad for just wanting to recover from a massive operation with her own mums support
As PP have said, your mum is there to help you and MIL is not likely to be able to do that in the same way. I wouldn't want to be recovering from birth or a section, getting to grips with being a mum/breast-feeding with people I am not entirely comfortable around/too many people/people who then expect me or DH to run around after them. Add in that it sounds like MIL will insist on bringing SIL along too and I think that really is asking a bit much TBH, especially in view of the fact they don't sound very self-sufficient.
GC are not property and the mother is not some sort of receptacle through which you receive a grandchild- she's a person who has needs and preferences and becoming territorial about who gets to see the GC 1st is just daft. The grandparents who see the little one first aren't any more of a grandparent than the other set, it's not a competition! I understand that it would be disappointing having to wait to see your newborn GC, but anyone with any sense would realise why in this circumstance.
I'd just explain to MIL that you have now decided you want your DM there to help you and you hope she can come for sometime before easter, even if it is only over 1/2 term. I think it is kind for you to have offered to contribute to her travel expenses if she comes sooner- it shows you do care. If, however, she decides she can't come for a shorter visit, then really that's her choice and as a consequence of her decision she'll have to wait longer to meet her grandchild.
I do feel sorry for the MIL here, second rate already. I can see why your DH is annoyed. I would suggest a hotel nearby and tell her that's the only option, Mil and SIL will have to sort themselves out. Be assertive but don't be mean.
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