to refuse house guests 4-6 weeks after giving birth?

(56 Posts)
MummyKanny Sun 10-Feb-13 21:50:47

I'm pregnant with my first and DH has mentioned his brother (who lives 4 hours' drive away) coming to stay over a bank holiday weekend once the baby is born. All being well, baby will be 4 to 6 weeks old and I can't help thinking it's WAY too soon to be having people to stay. Especially when those people have a toddler. DH seems upset about this and seems to think that we'll be in a routine by then but I am not so sure. Does anyone have any experience with this? I don't want to be a cow about having guests to stay but I am really uneasy about booking people for weekends post birth. Would appreciate some pointers on how to navigate this potential nightmare in-law scenario!

GloriaPritchett Sun 10-Feb-13 21:53:07

Did they invite themselves?

I would have hated every second of it; you need to get your DH to tell them no.

I actually can't believe anyone with a toddler would inflict themselves on a couple with a newborn.

HollyBerryBush Sun 10-Feb-13 21:53:30

Wouldnt bother me, provided I liked the ILs - if you don't that is a different scenario entirely. You are perhaps imagining problems where none will exist.

I went almost three weeks late so I wouldn't risk it. If you are planning to BF you may still be in that painful, difficult stage (if you have that, I did) and may not want people around. I was barely able to deal with my close family at that point, never mind ILs.

FergusSingsTheBlues Sun 10-Feb-13 21:54:31

Nope. You decide. I had first guests at three months.
You will be wrapped up in the baby and taking all the time to adjust, your furst baby us a massive adjustment. Plus, you dont actually know, for sure, how hard you might find it etc. Just say no, its a bit presumptious of them.

thebody Sun 10-Feb-13 21:54:35

Err no no no no.you have no idea how you will be feeling so soon after the birth and neither will your dh.

Am amazed your bil and sil who have a toddler haven't said this to you.

Don't make any plans except to be very good to yourself.

Your dh is going to have a huge shock if he thinks life will go on as before.

Definatly day no.

WidowWadman Sun 10-Feb-13 21:55:02

I had my parents fly over to visit when my baby was 4 weeks old, they stayed a week and were very helpful. Wouldn't have done it much earlier, but at 4-6 weeks it's really not a problem

noblegiraffe Sun 10-Feb-13 21:55:41

Could they stay in a hotel nearby? Who would want to spend the night in a house with a newborn?

Sam100 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:56:20

I think it would depend on what they were like. If they are the sort who expect to be waited on hand and foot and to be given a gourmet home cooked 3 course meal then I'd say no. If they are down to earth, take it as it comes, lets order in takeaway types then I'd say yes. Is there a SIL and do you get on? Also what do you think of their parenting? if you have fundamentally different ideas then you may want to leave visits until you are more established and have decided on what matters to you.

UnrequitedSkink Sun 10-Feb-13 21:56:54

Difficult to say to be honest - it really depends on what kind of baby you have, s/he might be a little angel who wakes/feeds/goes straight back to sleep. I had visitors staying when both my DSs were around the same age and younger and it was fine, but the visitors were all very considerate, got themselves breakfast, brought me up cups of tea and generally didn't expect me to run around after them.

In your shoes I would say to my DH that his relatives were welcome to come as long as he was prepared to cook and clean before and during their visit and tell them they had to look after themselves as you'd be too knackered! If they're decent people they won't mind at all.

DragonMamma Sun 10-Feb-13 21:57:08

If it's just one night I think YABU, everybody can manage for one night.

Any longer and I'd say it was a bit much.

I had my DC1 late November and had 4 friends over for the weekend just after New Year - I was glad of a change of company and a chance to show my baby off tbh

Curtsey Sun 10-Feb-13 21:57:52

Tbh I would have hated this with my first. I'd probably be ok with it on a subsequent baby, but it just took me ages to adjust to the new world order with DD and house guests were not encouraged!
If they have to stay, though, it'll be fine, just sit on the couch and feed and cuddle and don't try to be a host!

brummiegirl1 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:58:00

I don't think i would have liked people staying as geetting used to breastfeeding(if you choose to) and wanting to sleep when you need to which may be more awkward with people staying especially with a noisy toddler.

I remember people visiting and sometimes with out being horrible just wanting them to go if they stayed too long as i just wanted to go to sleep, also baby may be over due or you may end up having a section and longer recovery.

The main thing you need when you have just had a baby is to feel comfortable and relaxed.

Afritutu Sun 10-Feb-13 21:58:26

It's unrealistic. If it's your first baby, you most likely won't be coming out of the 'fog' for about 8-9 weeks. Some babies (miracle babies!) will take a routine by 4 weeks, but many won't. If you had a normal birth, your body will have healed by 4 weeks, but you'll be knackered with night feeding and babies this age typically need to be fed every 2-4 hours through the night. If you had a c section, you might not have fully regained your strength and physically recovered. Once baby arrives DH will realise that at 4 weeks house guests would be a nightmare. Do you have any good friends who have had children who could gently advise him?

amck5700 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:58:48

Wouldn't bother me and we took my son at that age to go and stay with my sister and then with my sil & bil on a bit of a road trip.

brummiegirl1 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:58:51

Also it depends how demanding they are

LBsBongers Sun 10-Feb-13 21:59:39

Def not being unreasonable, 4-6 weeks after my first I was still struggling to BF, very tired, most certainly not in a routine and not very confident.

Cant they stay in a travel lodge nearby or something, if its only for a night or two they won't mind. Make a big point of saying its nothing personal and that a few months in you will be more than happy to have them stay. If they have a child already they will probably understand anyway.

Had my third child in November and managed to host Christmas, which would have been inconceivable with my first!

dyzzidi Sun 10-Feb-13 22:00:44

Ok so I'm possibly the exception but if I didn't have visitors staying over then dh's family and my best friend would not have seen dd for about four months.

If you know when they are coming you can make it clear that although they are welcome you will not be entertaining so it will be take out for dinner sandwich for lunch and cereal for breakfast. As its a weekend there is absolutely no reason that dh can't prepare rooms prior to arrival and tidy up afterwards if he wants them to visit.

To be honest I found it quite nice as my visitors were very helpful and it meant that dh got a bit of a rest as I was quite poorly after my c section. They looked after us.

I don't find visitors too much stress though so maybe it is just me.

Depends on the guests!

We had my parents and then DP's mum to stay within the first few weeks, but they're all lovely, helpful, look after themselves types so we didn't have to 'entertain' iyswim.

As someone upthread mentioned, if they have a toddler themselves, they should remember how overwhelming and precious those first few weeks are so I'm surprised they've asked to stay, but if your DP has invited them to show off his new arrival then it's a bit more understandable.

Is there a Travelodge or similiar near you? Would that be a compromise?

I'd just be a bit non committal about it, make it clear that it is not definite and you might have to cancel depending on circumstances. They have a child and will understand. You don't know how you will feel though, I was totally fine with all 3 of mine. I was very ready to see people by that stage, and had various people to stay when the babies were little, I did however refuse to cook anyone anything (ready meals or Dh cooked) or make up beds etc- just put out sheets for them to do their own.

HenD19 Sun 10-Feb-13 22:04:34

I would have found it too much but probably would have thought I'd be fine before giving birth. You need to wait til you've had your baby before making decisions as you'll probably both feel differently.

MummyKanny Sun 10-Feb-13 22:05:50

Thanks so much for all the responses! I do get on well with my BIL and SIL and I do find it weird that they haven't queried whether we'll be ready for guests so soon after the birth. I know we'll feel obliged to be good hosts (we live in London and ILs are up north - it's always a bit of a holiday for them when they visit) so I would rather wait until we have found our feet so we can all enjoy ourselves. DH is struggling to see why it's a problem and I am struggling to get through to him!

allwaysthebaddie Sun 10-Feb-13 22:07:37

YANBU -- hell no!

Talk to DH and tell him to postpone the visit. Tell him its starting to stress you out and when baby is here, you can work something out from there, see how you, DH and baby are feeling. Might be a different story then. Good luck!

cakeandcava Sun 10-Feb-13 22:07:39

No no no. DS (my first) is 16 weeks now and I still wouldn't want houseguests. At 4-6 weeks we had no routine, breastfeeding was still painful (it gets better!) and I didn't feel particularly confident about things. You will still be in a little bubble at that stage, just wanting to take it easy with your baby and partner and noone else.

Will they be there to help you? Or will they want entertained? I had my mum to stay 2 weeks after ds was born, mainly because dh was back at work and I had a CS and couldn't do very much in my own. She was great in dealing with my bleeding cracked nipples, infected scar, mastitis, thrush, the cooking and cleaning, me having to express every 2 hours because DS couldn't feed because of a tongue tie. Personally I would have had anyone else to stay but close family, and I mainly mean my mum, dad, sister best friend, possibly my brother, but I wouldn't have had him rub the antibiotic cream on my scar!

I think you need to tell them no. They are welcome to come visit and stay in a B&b locally but you can't have them stay with you. Least of all because baby might be up all night and disturb them and their toddler.

Aspiemum2 Sun 10-Feb-13 22:11:32

I'm jealous, dsis and family (including 2 littlies) descended on us when dtwins were 3 bloody days old. No warning beforehand just a phonecall the day before (they live the other side of the country)
If dsis wasn't so uptight I would have been able to say no but couldn't be doing with the drama that would have created

If I wasn't such a doormat I wouldn't have had any overnight guests, well ever! I like my own space though!

TidyDancer Sun 10-Feb-13 22:11:41

Wouldn't bother me and didn't bother me. We had house guests earlier than that and it was fine.

I would wait until you've had the baby and decide then. YWBU to say an absolute no before actually knowing how you'll feel.

Tell DH the two of you can see how things are post-birth.

Londonmrss Sun 10-Feb-13 22:11:50

YANBU. I would say to them that you may find it overwhelming and can you let them know nearer the time.

The first few weeks after having a baby are utterly bizarre. You feel like you've been hit by a truck and you're living in the twilight zone. You can't believe that the real world still exists. That's not to say it's not wonderful, but you might want to mention to your dh that babies are not born with a routine and the first few weeks are about confusion and sleep deprivation- I can't imagine how anyone would be in a routine by then. Regardless of guests, he has totally unrealistic expectations and should prepare himself for how mad and wonderful and chaotic and emotional and confusing those first few weeks are.

If people want to come and stay in order to help by making sure your fridge is stocked and occasionally taking the baby so you can catch up on sleep, grab that opportunity with both hands. I'd they are coming socially and will create more work for you... politely tell them no way.

Good luck!

MummyKanny Sun 10-Feb-13 22:13:06

Very interested to hear everyone's experiences. I think the sensible thing to do is to be non-committal and see how things go when the munchkin arrives... Judging by the above, I think DH is going to get quite a shock! shock

Floggingmolly Sun 10-Feb-13 22:14:57

God, no! Stick to your guns and tell them no.

amck5700 Sun 10-Feb-13 22:15:25

...and I'd had a section after a 36 hour labour and lost a litre of blood - your body and baby are amazing things.

GreenShadow Sun 10-Feb-13 22:17:51

We have never lived near relations, so are used to them having to stay when ever they want to see us, including soon after babies were born.

I would just make it clear to DH that if they do come, that it will be completely his responsibility to prepare beds, organise catering and clear up afterwards.

If he's expecting a routine at 4 weeks he will either be the luckiest man in the world and get an easy baby or he will get one hell of a shock.

wanderingalbatross Sun 10-Feb-13 22:28:49

I don't think it's way too soon if they are understanding laid-back guests who are happy to help. I had house guests when DD was just a couple of weeks old and I was glad of the adult company by that point. I found close friends and family made great guests when DD was young because I could relax around them and didn't feel the need to entertain. And seeing people was like a little island of normality in a newly strange world!

DizzyZebra Sun 10-Feb-13 22:30:13

I would say no on the basis that 6 weeks is growth spurt time. You really do not need guests messing up what precious little sleep you could be getting.

I would not feel guilty for one second either.

KenLeeeeeee Sun 10-Feb-13 22:36:51

With your PFB, no YANBU. It's a shock to the system to suddenly adapt to the sleepless nights & endlessly being needed. At 6 weeks with ds1, my head was still spinning and I couldn't have coped with playing hostess at all.

With subsequent babies, I was more prepared & managed much more comfortably, so guests would have been ok as long as they were prepared to get their own cups of tea and not expect to be waited on hand & foot!

SanityClause Sun 10-Feb-13 22:38:20

I would tel DH that he has to commit to doing all the cleaning, shopping, cooking and other housework generated by the guests, as well as the entertaining of them.

You will commit to look after the baby, and be pleasant to the guests.

He may not realise now what this will actually entail, but so long as it is agreed in advance, he will have to do it!

ImperialBlether Sun 10-Feb-13 22:48:14

If you like them and if they don't expect you to cook for them and if they are happy to do a few small jobs for you and if they promise to get out of the house for a few hours each day and don't come back starving and desperate for food and if they don't stay up too late and if they don't stare at you when you're feeding and if they mind the baby while you have a shower each morning and if they tell you you are incredible and that your baby is an absolute marvel, then let them stay.

Otherwise tell them to come back when your child is 6.

Flojobunny Sun 10-Feb-13 22:50:24

Babies are really easy at that age. They just eat and sleep and cry. Having a toddler in a strange house is much more difficult. If they can make the effort, I think u should too.

BegoniaBampot Sun 10-Feb-13 22:52:53

depends. had pil's the first week and was fine. second time had mother and niece and was not fine. depends on you and the dynamics of the relaionship.

NaturalBaby Sun 10-Feb-13 22:54:05

Tell your Dh to run a marathon, have no sleep or recovery afterwards and then host for a full weekend... and then re think inviting his brother over to stay.

MerylStrop Sun 10-Feb-13 22:54:56

Do you like them?
Will they sort themselves out and maybe even help a bit?
Would you be comfortable constantly BF in front of them?
TBH if you all get on well and there won't be any standing on ceremony or fancy dinner expectations, the baby isn't going to be much less toruble at 6 weeks than at any other point in it's life

FreshLeticia Sun 10-Feb-13 22:55:20

grin Imperial

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Sun 10-Feb-13 22:56:35

It wouldn't bother me at all but I would make it clear I would not be doing any 'hosting' and that I would reserve the right to cancel if the baby was really late or if thebaby or i were sick. I wouldalso make it clear that they would have to change their plans if any of them were sick.

I have had had guests stay shortly after I have given birth on several occasions and have always enjoyed it.

thebody Sun 10-Feb-13 22:57:16

Why should op 'make the effort?'

Op have a lovely baby moon, just you, baby and dh.

Tell them you will let them know when you are ok for visitors and ghats that. No firm arrangements.

Loving the optimism of your dh.. Bless.

nefertarii Sun 10-Feb-13 22:58:30

Personally I think yabu. They are family and there is no indication they will expect anything of you. I am sure they realise the dynamic has changed due to baby?

How long would you expect them to wait meet their niece/ nephew?

I think you will be glad of the company.

itsallinmyhead Sun 10-Feb-13 23:01:51

YANBU at all!

I have a 9 week old DS and I am only now feeling like I'm ready to ease myself into visitors and visits.

I had an horrendous birth and put up with DP's family staying over Christmas. I wasn't ready and I hated every moment, however since then I've refused all visitors.

We are still trying to get to know our DS and if you're not ready, who is anyone else to say you should be?

Do what feels right for you, it's important.

allagory Sun 10-Feb-13 23:05:26

YANBU: suggest August Bank Holiday instead. 4 weeks after birth you will probably still be bleeding: in some respects the birth isn't really over at that pont. You will be really reeling from sleep deprivation. And it doesn't sound like you want to hostess. Suggest August Bank Holiday instead.

BabyRoger Sun 10-Feb-13 23:13:10

All my family live in Scotland and I am in the midlands. Everyone would have had to wait a very long time if I had no visitors.

The first lot arrived when DD was 1 week. It was totally fine.

I then took her to Scotland when she was 7 weeks. Again, totally fine.

Wait and see how you feel at the time, maybe. As others have said, do what is right for you but not everyone feels that they cannot have visitors/see people/not get dressed etc until the baby is months old.

Yfronts Sun 10-Feb-13 23:25:22

You will not be in a routine. You will be sleep deprived beyond your imagination, learning how to look after a new baby, possibly struggling to get to grips with breast feeding, possibly still recovering after the birth, definitely not in to cooking large family feasts or preparing a house for multiple guests. Tell him you will let him know a couple of weeks before the date if you are up to the visit but in the mean time they will have to just wait.

If things were OK, the only way I would possibly agree to it would be your DH did everything, cooking/cleaning/shopping/driving about and that the visitors helped out and promised not to offer unwanted advice.

thezebrawearspurple Sun 10-Feb-13 23:26:25

YANBU, we had bil stay for a week a couple of months after the birth and he was fine because he cleaned up, brought breakfast and spent most of the day off doing his own thing, very unobtrusive, you're not going to get that with a couple who like to be entertained and their toddler.

Toddlers run about, make noise, get into everything, need to be up at a certain time to be fed etc... it could be that the only couple of hours you have available for sleep (and every second counts when you're on so little) will be interrupted by 'family noise', that reason alone is enough to say no.

Tell them they're welcome to stay at a bed and breakfast and visit you during the day. Most parents would understand that, those who don't will turn out to be the types of inconsiderate house guests that you need to avoid. An annoying guest overstaying an hour or two can be incredibly stressful, three of them for a weekend would be torture.

Yfronts Sun 10-Feb-13 23:27:47

We had guests at one month. Close friends that I adore. They expected us to wait on them hand and foot though and had no understanding of how to support us. I really regretted having them to stay and was quite upset after.

mybabywakesupsinging Sun 10-Feb-13 23:30:24

wait and see? had a tricky time with ds1, but still, I think, would have been fine with visitors for a weekend. How you are will depend on the birth, how feeding is going whether your dc ever stops feeding or indeed tries sleeping etc. You could be delighted to see them by then...
By ds2 we had visitors from about day 2 on and off for ages - but MIL had only recently died (spent last few weeks of pregnancy nursing her and looking after FIL), so the whole family was upside down.
After dd was born I was cooking dinner for visitors on day 1 smile

DizzyZebra Sun 10-Feb-13 23:32:51

I just can't get my head around people, especially parents, who think it is OK just to go over to another persons house at a time like this.

I was 'invited' over to see my friends new baby by her brother - Literally hours after she'd given birth. I told him he was fucking rude to be inviting anyone, [her] best friend or not, without her suggesting it FIRST. And even then i'd have asked her if she were sure.

OHs family were the same with his niece though too - He said they visited the same day. I was glad we live two hours away - I would certainly not have been allowing that, whether she allowed it or not.

As it was DS ended up in intensive care so no one saw him for a while until we were moved to SCBU and had longer visiting hours for relatives.

I stayed at Exs parents house with DD as soon as we came out of hospital but TBF - They live in a very very large house so there was enough space that i had as much time to myself as i liked, Ex would take me anywhere i asked no questions, And visitors were always run by me even though it was their house.

sanityawol Sun 10-Feb-13 23:36:14

I would agree with the wait and see approach. DD was too long ago for me to remember what the 4-6 weeks stage was like. DS is now 15mo, but at that stage with him I was pretty much welded to the sofa as he seemed to be permanently attached to my boobs.

For me, it would have depended on the visitors. Those that would muck in and take us as they found us were welcome. Those that needed to be 'entertained' (such as PIL) were put off as much as possible.

Of course, if your DH was to take full responsibility for hosting meaning that you could focus on your new DC without the added pressure of guests then it might be ok.

MortifiedAdams Sun 10-Feb-13 23:39:41

Just say to him

Oh but darling, Im thinking of you. Ill be so wrapped up.in endless breastfeeds that everything else will.naturally fall to you. I didnt want to add entertaining house guests onto you list of.cooking and housework

[evilgrin]

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