AIBU re post-birth visiting

(254 Posts)
BraveLilBear Fri 17-May-13 14:20:49

I'm nearly 31 weeks with our first child (tho DP already has an 11-yo son), and I am being tortured by the pressure of visiting times after birth.

My family live a long way away (2 hours+ drive). This is a choice I made several years ago to take up particular jobs, and I have now settled here and very happy. This is my choice, and I made it at the time understanding this may restrict my support opportunities later in life.

Fast forward to the impending birth of the first baby in the next generation of my family. I understand that they can't wait to meet him or her and I, equally, can't wait to introduce him or her to its wonderful extended family. Despite the physical distance, we are fairly emotionally close and I am very blessed to have such a loving family.

However, I have serious concerns about becoming overwhelmed in the days after birth. I have never had a child before, and this will be a huge change for me, and to my relationship with my DP. I am pretty sure that I will not be in a position to play hostess whilst in pain, bleeding, tired and attempting to learn to breastfeed. DP will be trying to support me, and will also be tired. He is not exactly a great host at the best of times - there's no chance he's going to suddenly become a master at this in these circumstances.

So I have said I don't want any visitors for at least 3 days after we get home in order to adapt. Ideally it would be longer, but I think this is too selfish.

I have also said we do not want any overnight guests for at least a month, for the same reason, and that we would prefer people to come in the daytime (ie leaving before 7) so that when DP goes back to work we can have some family time in an evening and he can chill out after two long commutes a sleep-disturbed night etc.

Anyway. I have started the task of communicating this to people so they can get their heads round it. My mum, who had offered to come and stay for a week after DP goes back to work (we have declined because we can't handle anyone staying over so soon, and would want some space in the evenings), has used phrases such as 'you're going to ostracise people' and 'when you decide you want to share, I'll see if I can fit you in the diary'.

She says that she has/had expectations of suporting her daughters when they have children, and is obviously upset with me for challenging that.

The added complexity is that I could be in for 5 days or could be out in 6 hours, so I can't offer a guarantee of hospital visitation so our families can get that initial newborn baby fix.

AIBU to ask for space to settle in? I feel terrible, but also that I know we will never ever get this time again...

<sorry for epic>

myroomisatip Fri 17-May-13 14:28:56


I do not think that giving yourself 3 days is anywhere near long enough to adapt. And I have been there myself, I have 2 children and they were both born by CS, (the first was emergency CS) and so I do speak from experience.

You will be all of what you expect and possibly more.

I had my MIL staying for both of my births and it totally ruined the experience for me and that is something I am still trying not to feel very bitter about.

This time is all about you and your new family. You wont get that time again. I really recommend you have at least a week and do not invite anyone until you feel ready to.

Congrats by the way smile

scaevola Fri 17-May-13 14:29:35

I think you're absolutely right to decide that you'll see people when you're ready to, and ditto for overnight guests.

But I wouldn't try to set prescriptive (and actually arbitrary) timings now. You simply don't know when you'll be ready. Not do you know when the baby will actually turn up.

Just tell people you'll welcomemthemnwhen you're ready, but that you spdon't want to make any fixed plans now. And leave it at that.

I would also suggest that you consider getting daytime visits done early on if DP gets time off and can do the hosting so you don't have to. It doesn't matter that he's not been a great host to date. As he's willing to try, he'll muddle through.

wibblyjelly Fri 17-May-13 14:31:12

You aren't being unreasonable at all, but I would maybe ask them to be on standby, as you may change your mind when the time comes. My mil and pil stayed in a nearby caravan site, and visited for 2 weeks after ds was born, and it really helped. They cooked meals, and cleaned for me, allowing me lots of time to bond with ds.

bonzo77 Fri 17-May-13 14:33:12

I had loads of visitors with DS1, both in hospital and at home. my mum made food, but apart from that I didn't get much help. I generally went to bed when I wanted some peace. Most people got the hint. My ILs however live 3 hrs away and I can't stand them. I was very clear: no over night guests for 6 months. I was not popular, but I was happy!

SunnyL Fri 17-May-13 14:35:58

I had this discussion with my DH recently (I'm 37 weeks) as he had assumed his parents who live 3hrs away would be coming up and staying with us immediately after the birth. He thought i was being totally unreasonable by saying they could stay in the B&B round the corner. Thankfully his DM thought the same as me and doesn't want to intrude and is more than happy to stay in the B&B and visit for a couple of hours at the most at any one time.

On the other hand my brother and his wife banned all visitors for at least 2 weeks after their child was born - not even day-time visitors. This broke my mothers heart that she wasn't allowed to meet her grandchild. She cried herself to sleep. It also meant my brother and his wife didn't get any support at all when baby came along and both regret laying down this rule.

Sounds like you've got the right idea - day time visitors but within reason is a perfectly reasonable request.

SantanaLopez Fri 17-May-13 14:41:08

It all depends! I felt exactly the same as you, all my friends had told me that I must do the same- well after 3 days I felt like I was going insane and I needed people to come and see me. So I would advise you not to tell people such firm plans. From experience, it's quite embarrassing when you have to convince them to get out the house and come to see you.

In general:
3 days post birth- YANBU
No staying over visitors- YANBU
7pm- slightly U. Cos let me tell you, baby will not go to sleep at 7.01.

edwardsmum11 Fri 17-May-13 14:48:16

Yanbu, I only saw our parents for 4 days after the birth and still don't want anyone after 6pm, he is now 20mths.

Squitten Fri 17-May-13 14:48:43

YANBU to be anxious about first-time motherhood!

Don't set any time limits or make any arrangements AT ALL. Just tell people that you will let them know once the baby is born and then arrange visits when you feel up to it.

So much of how you feel will depend on things you can't possibly predict right now - the kind of birth you end up with, whether you have to stay in hospital or not, etc. You might feel completely up for visitors and welcome the help, or you might be a hormonal wreck who cries for a few days (like I was).

We didn't find out my first child was breech until 41wks - thankfully they scanned me before I went into labour that very night otherwise we'd have had a surprise when his feet popped out first! Suddenly it was all c-sections and hospital beds.

Don't commit to anything!!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 17-May-13 14:49:43


But if you change your mind don't get upset if they have other plans, anybody who is going to be that pathetic about seeing a brand new baby when its obviously an intrusive action is not really worth considering.

Cakebaker35 Fri 17-May-13 14:49:59

YANBU. I'd say perhaps don't make hard and fast rules, just mention to people you are very unlikely to want visitors straight away, v unlikely to want people overnight as the baby will keep them awake etc, and don't know what your birth will be like so can you just play it by ear etc etc. I ended up with an emergency c section and definitely didn't want to play hostess, but did say to people come round in the day and rather than bring gifts, bring a meal! It really helped sort through those who want to help out and those who just want to have a look at the new arrival, so can wait a bit. I didn't have anyone overnight for about 6 months and was happy with that decision, and thankfully my family understood.
Good luck with everything.

Decoy Fri 17-May-13 14:51:58

YANBU to take all the time that you need.

However I wonder if it might be more positive to say to people when you would like them to visit, and invite them for a specific day/time, rather than sending a blanket message of when you don't want visitors?

TeaTowelQueen Fri 17-May-13 14:54:08

You should set expectations - I wish I had, we were inundated and the first proper meal I got after giving birth was about a week later and I made it myself - I blame a week of living on flipping sandwiches for my failure to breast feed properly (although there was another reason!!). I refused to have anyone but grandparents actually stay and everyone understood. But I should have been stronger and ousted the GPs too!!

If I visit new babies/mums/dads now I stick to bringing cake, staying for 20 mins/1 cup of tea which I make myself and then bugger off grin

Numberlock Fri 17-May-13 14:56:16

Be flexible about your plans, you might welcome some help, especially with your 11 year old step son. How regularly does he stay with you?

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 17-May-13 15:00:23

YANBU at all however you never know you might be glad to have your mum around (or not depends entirely on the mum involved).I know my friend was so chuffed her mum came up to hers ever day for 2 weeks after her baby was born and she had sworn never in a million years before hand but after a tough c section delivery and a husband working on end of year stuff she needed her. I totally do get where you are coming from though, my ILs plagued us when my first was born and I ended up going crazy. I know they were excited but it left a bitter taste because they monopolised my child. I big time laid down the law in subsequent births though and their visits were limited in number and duration for the first few weeks. I reckon it is worth being the bad guy now so that you can row back a bit if you change your mind though.

SusanneLinder Fri 17-May-13 15:04:16

Hmm. I completely get that you dont want to be overwhelmed, but don't be too rigid and see how you feel. Sensible people will ask if its okay to come round anyway-usually those who have had kids.

I was overwhelmed on birth of DD1, by DD2 I pudt my foot down and then was bored! By DD3 I just had 2 open sessions eg one for grandparents, and then later own friends.Meant everyone could see baby and then they could bugger off again and we could get peace as a family.I wouldnt be too rigid and see how you feel.

I agree about no one staying overnight tho!

oscarwilde Fri 17-May-13 15:05:46

I would set a general expectation that you would really prefer not to have visitors in the first week, subject to the birth and the health of the baby. People always assume that it will all be straightforward and you'll be out and blooming so it's always good to remind them not to presume too much old people really feel it tempts fate
In my experience, it's handy to have quick visits while DP is still on paternity leave but to save lengthy MIL/DM stays for a few weeks out when you are back on your feet and not spending all day on the sofa with your boobs out. When you are too sore and feeding too often to even make it out for a gentle stroll and a coffee it is likely that you will murder DM after a couple of days.
Putting them off longer is just going to cause upset but it's worth pointing out that newborns sleep and feed a lot usually for hours in your arms and as such opportunities for decent grandparent cuddles are greater once everyone has the hang of feeding times.

Casmama Fri 17-May-13 15:05:48

I think it is hurtful to say to immediate family that they can't meet the new addition for three days and I really really hope you don't include your step son in that because that would be unforgivable IMO.
I totally agree with the no overnight visits but if you warn in advance that an hour is probably about the maximum visit length at first I think that would be a lot kinder.
Also, you may well just have slight discomfort rather than pain- they do give you pain killers- so as long as you can take the baby through to your room if you want some space then I think it would be fine.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Fri 17-May-13 15:13:03


But please dont decide anything yet or be too prescriptive.

I really enjoyed 'sharing' my babies in the first few days. It somehow validated my ordeal! And I basked in all the praise. Two weeks in I wanted a bit of quiet time - just me and baby and DH (and later the older DCs).

Post birth almost nothing you want is unreasonable. But do keep your options open. It's hard to predict how you will feel.

AnythingNotEverything Fri 17-May-13 15:21:16

YANBU. I'm so glad I found this thread. I'm feeling so guilty about making my DH tell his parents they can't stay within when the baby first arrives.

They live 200 miles away, and are going on holiday 2 weeks after my due date. (Second baby, not expecting to my overdue. Famous last words!)

This means we have a small window for the to visit, plus it's hard for them to pop in for a cuppa like I expect my mum will most days.

I'm not entertaining and fully expect to be cooked for/have takeaways collected and brought home!

justmeunderanothername Fri 17-May-13 15:31:37

"So I have said I don't want any visitors for at least 3 days after we get home in order to adapt. Ideally it would be longer, but I think this is too selfish.

I have also said we do not want any overnight guests for at least a month, for the same reason, and that we would prefer people to come in the daytime (ie leaving before 7) so that when DP goes back to work we can have some family time in an evening and he can chill out after two long commutes a sleep-disturbed night etc."

YANBU. And if you want it to be longer then do it. Absolutely don't have overnight guests, if they do come make them stay in a B&B.

justmeunderanothername Fri 17-May-13 15:33:08

"On the other hand my brother and his wife banned all visitors for at least 2 weeks after their child was born - not even day-time visitors. This broke my mothers heart that she wasn't allowed to meet her grandchild. She cried herself to sleep."

wow - did she manage to get a grip in the end? Presumably she still met her grandchild?

BraveLilBear Fri 17-May-13 15:35:49

Thanks everyone so far, I'm feeling horribly guilty today about all of this! The biggest issue is that my parents see any of this as us 'blocking' their way to their first grandchild - everyone else seems much more understanding.

Wibbly if I knew that was a possibility - of them staying somewhere else nearby, genuinely helping out then leaving before too late, I would be over the moon. But they need to offer that - I cannot ask for that.

The 7pm notion is not for baby sleep (tho we can dream!), more for DP to have some space at the end of the day - once or twice a week might not be a problem, but we wouldn't manage well if it was every day.

I have loosely suggested the idea of having an open house BBQ on the August bank holiday weekend - baby will be somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks old - so that extended members of the family can come round and meet each other in a more relaxed environment. But I don't want to get into that before s/he arrives.

I think it's a really good idea to perhaps not set out the law in stone (*Cakebaker*, socket et al), but to play it by ear and maybe indicate that we don't know how I'll be feeling and ask everyone to bear with us, while also suggesting that there won't be an automatic open house from day one as well. I think that could definitely work.

meglet Fri 17-May-13 15:37:47

Yanbu. And I'd change that 3 days to 3 weeks.

I have horrific memories of being invaded visited after my EMCS with DS. Looking back I seriously can't understand why people thought it was ok to harrass someone after a major op angry sad. I was expected to stay awake for them, time breast pumping around them (and if it wasn't for them I may have suceeded in bf anyway) and make their bloody tea. i need counselling over this TBH

I told everyone to keep the hell away after DD's birth, best thing I ever did.

flanbase Fri 17-May-13 15:45:51

yanbu You need the time to get over the birth & to be new parents. Your families want to see your newborn and this could be for a short moment and with you dh watching the time and being in charge of asking to them to leave. Getting going with bf and bf in front of family needs time. Your dh can ask them to get a coffee during this time. You & your little one are the priority.

Soupqueen Fri 17-May-13 15:52:20

I'm only 19 weeks with DC1 and already dreading this. Both sets of parents live 5-7(depending on conditions) hours drive away.

My parents will be fine. Unprompted by me, they have already started looking at local B&Bs. My father in law, however, is a different matter. He will expect to stay with us and to spend all the time he is here with us. He is a difficult person and not an easy house guest at the best of times. I'm going to be firm, but already know it will cause ructions, I'll be accused of being excessively PFB and that he'll bring it up for the next 20 odd years.

wibblyjelly Fri 17-May-13 15:52:49

Hope they offer for you Brave How are you finding the pregnancy, hope its not too hard going for you?

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 17-May-13 15:53:13

I too lived 2 hours away from my family when I gave birth to DS. My mum came when I went into labour and stayed until I got out of hospital. That way she got her newborn baby fix and was invaluable in bringing the right things to hospital, getting food, doing a clean up before I got home and buying overlooked baby essentials on the day I got out. It Aldo meant that she could support me in my first few BFing sessions when I got home.

Could you arrange something like this OP?

I've got a 10 week old so this is all pretty recent. Personally I found the first 2 weeks the easiest time to have visitors as newborns eat, sleep, and are relatively speaking quite easy to deal with. They get much harder once they wake up a bit, especially if they don't nap well.

Also you might welcome some help from your mum in the evenings. After about 6pm you'll hit the witching hour. Anyone with a tiny baby will know about this! Think cluster feeding, colicky crying and refusal to sleep. If your DP wants some me time in the evenings he isn't going to get it.

I would have loved someone to hold dd in the evening, even for half an hour, so I could have had a meal without her latched on, or have a bath.

Sunnysummer Fri 17-May-13 16:06:39

Yanbu, and generally we found that the people who get really miffed about being excluded are exactly the ones who are the most annoying and unhelpful when they actually show up. angry However I agree with other posters at depending on your relationship, having your mum stay for a week could be a godsend...

We've just had our first DC and while a lot of 'short stay' visitors would have been really stressful, we actually begged my mum to extend her stay for a second week. Our DS is adorable but also has some health issues that are leading to regular doctor visits and many sleepless nights, and having a spare pair of hands around while DH is at work to help with driving, shopping, cooking and even just holding the baby between feeds while I nap/cry/eat has kept me sane!

That said, if your mother is thinking she'll get to turn up and just play with the baby, I'd cheerfully lock all doors and keep to the 3 week plan. Also, the best tip i got about visitors was to make a list of jobs that need doing, so that when a guest asks (sincerely or otherwise) if there is anything that they can do, allocate them something from making a pt of tea to vacuuming a room. Good luck!

DontmindifIdo Fri 17-May-13 16:08:17

You know what, only you know if they will be a help or not - people say "oh, you'll need help" but not all parents turning up are a help - mine are much more the "sitting on the sofa expecting tea, deliberately waking up sleeping baby to look in it's cute eyes, or attempting to help by rearranging cupboards to reflect their kitchen, so you can't find anything" type of parents. PIL are the "would you like FIL to cut your grass while MIL does the ironing" types. I know which I'd rather have stay.

Plus, if you've lived away for a while, you are used to not having them there all the time, it's a very different relationship to someone who's got parents they are used to spending a lot of time with.

I would say asking for visits in the day is best - apart from anything else you will want to relax and sleep, if they are even a little bit 'hard work' you will have had enough by 7pm, even if your baby isnt asleep, you might need to wind down. If that's roughly when your DH gets home from work, then it's nice that he'll get some time with the baby, inveriably if your parents/extended family are there, he will feel he has to let them have the cuddles with the baby and he'll have to 'play host' to them, very different from coming in from work, cuddling his new DC and asking you all about your day. You will both be shattered, if your parents aren't part of your day to day life, then suddenly having to entertain them into the evening will be hard work.

I'm having an ELCS this time round, I'm planning on keeping my parents away as much as I can even with that - I know I'll need help, but I also know what I won't need is people who claim to help but are acutally just getting on my nerves and adding to the burden.

BraveLilBear Fri 17-May-13 16:11:36

Totally not planning to exclude DSS, in fact, I'm quite keen for him to meet his brother/sister as soon as possible! He doesn't stay that often at the moment, but very keen for him to be involved.

I think biggest issue is with my parents - most others are willing to be understanding. Haven't even mentioned this to my dad yet, I know he will take this very badly.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 16:13:42

I think YANBU, in fact I think you are being very, very sensible.

I love my parents and my MIL, however they were all a bit gushy and over the top when I had my first baby. I think a bit of new 'family' time without visitors is a great plan.

You also need to take control of telephone calls, I had to take my phone off the hook.

oldwomaninashoe Fri 17-May-13 16:26:14

I am absolutely with you on this!
Being passed round for a "cuddle" is extremely disruptive for a new baby.
After DS1 catching a cold from a hospital visitor (which caused feeding problems) I tried to "put off" people for the others.
In fact when my twins were born by Csection Dh didn't tell any of his family that they had arrived as I couldn't face any visitors apart from my Dad and Sister!

tomatoplantproject Fri 17-May-13 16:30:53

I would play it be ear a bit more. I had a cs so was in hospital and having visitors wasn't at all practical. But once we were home I couldn't wait to show off dd. both set of parents are 3hours drive away an initially came for a day only (on separate days), then mum came for a few days during the week to help after dh went back to work. We were then also up to having visitors. I was so proud of her though - I was really impatient for the whole family to meet her!!

parttimer79 Fri 17-May-13 16:35:06

YANBU I am due just after you and my DMiL will be coming up (probably not with DFiL as he is not super excited by newborns much prefers them when they get a bit mroe exciting!) and will stay either in a hotel down the road or with my DM 20 minutes away.
My DM has said let me know when you want me to come over, give me a list of what you want me to do and tell me to bugger off when you want - she hit a parenting high there!
I am so grateful for parents and inlaws who realise that we will need time after I have a c-sec to just recover and work out which way is up.

fluffymindy Fri 17-May-13 16:37:18

YABU - just imagine when it is your turn and you cannot see your grand child for a few days! It makes no odds really, just drink tea and go upstairs if you are BF and then announce you need bed if you want them to go.

fluffymindy Fri 17-May-13 16:38:16

and when you have a second baby you will be gagging for their help!

seeker Fri 17-May-13 16:38:54

"Being passed round for a "cuddle" is extremely disruptive for a new baby." Since when?

fluffymindy Fri 17-May-13 16:39:33

agreed seeker

Adsss Fri 17-May-13 16:47:29

YANBU I did the same. But within hours reneged on it and got everyone around! Their joy added to my own joy. Their non exhaustion did the things I did not want to do and freed me up lovely to "just enjoy" the little ones.

BraveLilBear Fri 17-May-13 16:49:16

It is such a challenge. I think mum would be a genuine help, but I always end up feeling constantly guilty when she does anything for me as it is (she has a martyr's way at times) - I would feel like I'd end up 'owing her' for the rest of forever.

I would love it if my folks (ie grandparents) could just pop up for a couple of hours, but it seems unfair to ask them to do that as we won't offer them overnight accommodation.

Pregnancy itself hasn't been too bad, thanks wibbly - had an emergency op in first trimester, and had to cancel holiday due to moderately low-lying placenta, but have been ok apart from that. Am very lucky.

hatebeak Fri 17-May-13 16:54:27

YANBU. At all. A small thing: I had a (not uncommon?) hormonal crash at some point round the 3 day mark and that was when I had family visitors trying to hold the baby/ standing around gawping at me as I tried to change nappies / work out latch etc. It was ghastly. There might actually be a case for getting everyone out the way as soon as possible while you're still on an adrenalin high. But obviously, as you don't know how you'll feel, I'd second the advice that you wait and see. (No overnight guests is an excellent plan, whatever).

justmeunderanothername Fri 17-May-13 16:54:58

She's not just a martyr she horrid.
saying 'when you decide you want to share, I'll see if I can fit you in the diary'. Is horrible emotional blackmail and she is basically saying that she is prepared to snub your child later if she doesn't get her own way. I'd call her on it.

BraveLilBear Fri 17-May-13 16:56:59

Fluffy what's the best way of dealing with the 2hrs+ drive but only for a short visit? If they lived round the corner, it wouldn't be a problem, although we would still ask that they warned us in advance in the early days (as we will be doing with DP's folks who live round the corner).

shellsocks Fri 17-May-13 16:59:31

I was worried abt this loads before DS was born, but we had to stay in for two days and my massive extended family all visited in hospital and I have to say getting it out the way early was the best thing...I'm PG again and intend to say to everyone to come visit at the hospital then leave us alone when we get home smile

Two hours isn't that far, they can be at the hospital the day of the birth (assuming no bad complications) stay for as long as you want and then come back again once you are ready smile

shellsocks Fri 17-May-13 17:04:02

Oh and my ILs came the day we got out of hospital (3 days old) and didn't see me or DS longer than a few seconds as he was on a 24hr feeding frenzy and I camped upstairs...he just slept the first couple of days so it really was better all round to have early visitors smile

BraveLilBear Fri 17-May-13 17:04:56

justme there has been another issue during this pregnancy, DP didn't want my folks to buy us/baby a pushchair for fear of being manipulated by DM. He doesn't trust her. I'm sure she doesn't mean to come across so mean but she pushes my buttons like nothing else and it cuts me to the core.

I really really don't want to block them from seeing their first grandhcild. I just need to have boundaries in place, and don't want to end up guilted/manipulated into shifting those boundaries when the time comes - especially if I feel I need them then.

BraveLilBear Fri 17-May-13 17:11:55

I think part of the problem Shellsocks is that I could be out in as little as 6 hours <which is terrifying but a whole other thread> but there'll be no way of knowing that until the time comes.

Am now thinking if we are out quickly, maybe we could allow two hours of early visit for grandparents only but that's it. I just don't want them kicking off if they decided that's not long enough or if they 'hang around' or if they decided to book a B&B somewhere and keep popping in.

shellsocks Fri 17-May-13 17:17:40

That's it, my family wouldn't overstep the boundaries but my ILs did and didn't get to see him! Only you know if they will just go after a shorter visit, so if not then you are right to say so now.

Anecdotal I know but I don't personally know anyone who BF and was out within 6 hours for a first birth?

theboutiquemummy Fri 17-May-13 17:26:10

Yanbu take it from someone who didn't tell anyone but immediate family when we were home from the hospital fast forward 3 weeks and we allowed one person to stay but only because we were very close

Welcome to world of being a parent let people know when they can visit, stay in your dressing gown or sloppy joes and don't hostess them you've just had a baby that way visits are usually kept short

Let your new family be your priority that's as it should be

Good luck

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 17-May-13 17:26:52

YANBU. Sorry your DM is being such a pain.

Perhaps just smile through it and say - just until we've had a few days bonding - can't wait to see you after that!

DontmindifIdo Fri 17-May-13 17:46:58

If your mum has history of being hard work, then put in boundaries and keep her at arms length. You don't need this at this time.

Also worth remembering, this is the point when you become the 'mum of hte family' and she's "relegated" to grandmother of the family - you get to make the decisions, it might be hard for her to get used to that idea, best you do'nt let her override what you want.

I suggest for the 2 weeks DH is off work, he acts as gatekeeper, answering the phone, dealing with them if need be. To outsiders it might look like controlling, but if you are 100% sure he'll always bein your best interests, then let them think that.

Figgygal Fri 17-May-13 17:49:39

Yanbu but you might be grateful of your mums help after dh gone back to work so maybe reconsider that offer??

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 17-May-13 17:49:51

I agree with the poster up thread who said the ones who make the fuss about not coming the instant you are home are the ones you don't want around.

I've told about this event before but it really ruined what should have been a special time for me.

When my youngest child was born he arrived very later at night his dad point blank refused to leave the hospital overnight and decided to climb into my bed and sleep leaving me on the chair for the rest of the night not sleeping he woke up at about 8 am shortly before the baby and I were discharged I arrived home to find his parents and his grandparents brothers and there partners as well as one of there random friends on my doorstep completely uninvited. They stayed all day ate practically every bit of food I had in the house ( wouldn't even offer to make cups of tea just expected to be waited on) every time I made polite noises about not having had any sleep since the night before he was born and wanting to go and rest I was met with cats bum faces and ignored slightly less polite requests to draw the visit to a close ( requests started after 6 hours) were met with ohhhh one more cuddle then after 8 hours I said "I really really need to get some sleep" got tears welling up in his mothers eyes and nonsense about me trying to deprive them as they were dads family not mine.

Not true my own family didn't even meet him until he was 4 months old and not one of them has even seen him more than 3 times since he was born he's now nearly 15 months old.

I have never encountered such rudeness from anyone on my own home before and I do remember I had mentioned that I would probably want a little rest before visitors arrived like a day or two but they were so offended by this suggestion I had wondered if I was being a bit precious obviously I was not Ime people who make good visitors with newborns do not make a fuss if asked to wait a few days.

BraveLilBear Fri 17-May-13 18:03:09

Oh good lord Sock that's horrendous sad how awful for you!

I asked her what happened when I was born (I was also first child in the generation so a good comparison). She was kept in for a week which was standard at the time (1980s) and had visits from my dad's family throughout time in hospital, and when they returned home as well (don't know how soon this started).

Her own mother didn't travel up to her at all, and my mum had to travel the 3hrs+ to her at a later date. (which she clearly resents - she has significant mother issues).

Figgy I'm tempted, but DP has valid concerns about her wanting to sit up and chat for hours when we're just going to want to eat, have a cuddle (me and DP and baby) and sleep (or at least try). DP finds social company exhausting at the best of times, and isn't a fan of my mum.

If she offered to stay somewhere else, and agreed to go elsewhere in the evenings, that would be great, but she doesn't know anyone up here and I would feel guilty about her sat on her own in a B&B somewhere. As mentioned before, I feel it would be too rude to make a condition like this - ie a bugger off and leave us alone after a certain time - on what is on the face of it a generous offer.

HazleNutt Fri 17-May-13 18:04:43

Sock shock

Brave YANBU, but as others have said, I would not make firm plans right now. Maybe you will want someone there in 3 hours, maybe not even in 3 weeks. Just tell them all firmly that there will be NO surprise visits and you will let them know when it's ok to come over.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 17-May-13 18:38:26

Op in the 80's it was standard to stay in hospital for about a week to 10 days but they tended to have very restrictive visiting hours on the ward from what I can recall 3 hours a day but split into 2 1 and a half hour sessions was fairly normal and that was often even for the baby's dad.

cantreachmytoes Fri 17-May-13 19:30:39


I think what others have said about not setting anything in stone is a good idea HOWEVER, you need to be clear with your DH beforehand what you don't want, because chances are at the very least you'll be tired and a) it'll be him doing the gate keeping and/or b) you can use him as gatekeeper to avoid feeling pushed into anything.

I think that having this properly thought out (as you seem to be doing) beforehand is brilliant. It's one of those times in life where many people seem to think they're entitled to see the baby, failing to realise the depth of damage that can be caused in those first few weeks by insisting on staying over etc.

The BBQ idea sounds a good one - weather permitting(!) - but it could be sensible to tell people about it already. If its a bank holiday weekend, then people might make other arrangements and you could end up with a poor turn out AND then have to have the visits separately from all those who can't attend. At a minimum of three weeks after the birth, even an average c-section (I haven't had one, its just what I understand) you would probably be up to sitting in a chair while people fuss over the baby a bit - and you! Just be aware though, that if everybody wants to hold the baby and its getting too much for you (it can do for) then it'll be "time for a quiet feed" and you both disappear for a bit, with a notice on the bedroom door asking not to be disturbed (you'd be surprised..).

seeker Fri 17-May-13 19:45:08

And please please don't rule out the possibility that you might be like me, and desperate to show off my wonderful babies and be told how incredibly clever I was by all and everybody! I adored having visitors ( not overnight, though, you're right about that)- loved the fuss and the flowers.....and I just took myself off to the sofa or my room if I got tired.

shellsocks Fri 17-May-13 19:46:56

I was like that too seeker had all your worries OP before the birth, my DM just smiled and said see how you feel...visiting hours weren't until 7 hours after he was born and I was desperate to show him off, despite the horrendous you could surprise yourself OP smile

SantanaLopez Fri 17-May-13 19:48:44

I felt like Seeker too. It was weeks 3-5 that visitors made me feel ill!

BookFairy Fri 17-May-13 19:53:43

Have you considered waiting a few days before telling people that you've had the baby, to give you time to get yourself together etc?

Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly smile

cinnamonsugar Fri 17-May-13 19:57:33

YANBU to feel overwhelmed at the thought of visitors or people staying, but I do think it's unwise to set specific times and limits now. My MIL came to stay and that caused some problems, but we'd have been lost without her help after a blue light transfer to hospital from home and EMCS. You just don't and can't know how you're going to feel physically or emotionally. If you do have visitors though, do not play hostess; that's totally out of the question. Visitors are there to help and be lovely to you. Anyone else should get shown the door swiftly grin

so that when DP goes back to work we can have some family time in an evening and he can chill out after two long commutes
Has anyone told you about the witching hour yet? It usually starts at around 2 to 3 weeks, peaks at 6 and is gone by 3 to 4 months (according to Kellymom. Evenings may well be the hardest time with no chilling and you may well be fraught and exhausted by the time he walks in the door after he goes back to work.

didireallysaythat Fri 17-May-13 19:58:25

We told my PIL that we didn't want them to visit for a bit - and they were shocked. They said that as soon as I went into labour they were going to get in the car and drive down (they live about 4 hours away).

Anyway, we persuaded them that we wanted a week to ourselves, to get to know our first born etc etc and I thought everything was ok.

So when I eventually gave birth (3 weeks late - phone calls from MIL everyday) and came home a day later, the last thing we expected was the doorbell to go at 8am and hey presto, it's the PIL on the doorstep - they had turned up for breakfast.

The fact that they didn't really understand our wishes, let alone respect them, has tainted my relationship with them. When they visit they insist that they have to bring a bag of presents, toys and chocolate (and they have been known to visit every month). When they said they had to bring something, to which I replied no you didn't, I just got the look of daggers from them both. We've tried the small presents at Xmas line too - only to be phoned up a week beforehand and to be told that they are not happy with that and that Christmas is for presents (heaven help us, I'm not religious, they are, and yet the presents is the thing for them?!).

Ok. And breathe. There's a lot to be said for trying to setup "rules" which you are happy with from the very beginning. But this has to be a joint thing between yourself and DH to get it to work. And when, as in my case, it doesn't work, it's important to just try and let it go. Otherwise you turn into a twisted mare like me !

spg1983 Fri 17-May-13 19:58:58

Another vote here for saying to people you'll call them rather than setting anything in stone beforehand. I had my first child 11 weeks ago. I had the easiest pregnancy ever but a very scary birth - went from absolutely nothing to being fully dilated in an hour, resulting in lots of bleeding and dd having an ectopic heartbeat, then she went back to back meaning I needed a forceps delivery. I was absolutely knackered plus dd was finding it hard to latch on effectively.

A couple of hours after the birth, I was sat with my boobs out, still covered in blood and dried sweat from the birth, desperately trying to get her to latch on. Then the curtain got pulled back and in walked my mum, her dp, my grandad, my sister, my brother and his wife, mil and DH's ex with DH's son, they made some comment about me not covering up (I was beyond caring at that point and tbh getting dd to latch was the most important thing to me at the time as I knew the longer I left it, the harder it'd be).

So we all sat around making small talk (me, DH and our 9 visitors) with them trying not to catch sight of my boobs and tutting every time they saw them). It was a nightmare. It was almost like a competition to see who could see dd first and then when I got home and would really have loved a bit of company and support, no-one was there for me except DH and mil.

I should've put my foot down - please OP don't make the same mistake!

seeker Fri 17-May-13 20:01:42

"Have you considered waiting a few days before telling people that you've had the baby, to give you time to get yourself together etc?"

Oh, please don't do this! I would be so very very hurt if someone in my family did this to me- and if my son or daughter did it I would be heartbroken!

ilovepicnmix Fri 17-May-13 20:04:09

My baby is only 10 months old but, if and when he has a baby, I imagine that I'd be devastated if I couldn't see it for three days. My mum saw her grandchild the day he was born and that was very important to her. Would a quick visit from the grandparents really be that awful? If they're that keen they'll drive the 2 hours, have a peek, and then drive the 2 hours home.

Numberlock Fri 17-May-13 20:08:12

Sometimes life isn't just about what we want, it's about doing the right thing. And a visit in hospital where it's structured, limited visiting times, or inviting them to your home for an hour or two, is the right thing to do here.

EugenesAxe Fri 17-May-13 20:08:27

YANBU but don't assume that you will want that when the time comes. If your visitors are going to be arses like spg's - telling you to cover up and the like - then that won't be helpful and they can sod off, but my DM and PILs were brilliant and TBH I was dreading the thought of them leaving me and DH to it; we both felt so helpless!

I would just be flexible as many people have said. Your DM may be a real help to have around but obviously your DH's views will have to be considered. If your baby doesn't stop crying in the evenings (pretty common) you may both be very grateful for someone to take him/her off you for a bit.

EugenesAxe Fri 17-May-13 20:10:21

And my Dad actually. I was just thinking about that first night when DM stayed with us. It was great to have her look over DS and say why he was probably crying, when me and DH were clueless and my tits were raw.

Springforward Fri 17-May-13 20:12:40


I saw my community midwife today, and mentioned that I plan to stay in hospital for a few days so I can get BF established before I go home with baby. She said she thought that a good idea, and that if I was smart about it I could get all the early visitors out of the way while I was still subject to restrictive visiting hours and with a bit of luck they'd leave me alone for a bit when we got home.

Genius. I am soooo doing that.

FWIW I am currently ignoring plaintiff texts from DSis who wants to come and stay "for an early cuddle". My trump card is not having anywhere for her to sleep right now, and I am absolutely not going shopping for one at 38 weeks pregnant....

cansu Fri 17-May-13 20:15:58

I think the mistake is trying to plan stuff like this in advance. I would see how you feel. If you were unwell or struggling you could have said at the time I am not up to overnight visitors etc and people would have been respectful of that. I think it's the regime ting in advance that has probably gone down badly. There is also the possibility that you will be desperate for help. I remember thinking I would want lots of time for just us and in fact my mother staying for a few days was incredibly useful as dp was a bit crap and just expected to rest after work. I am also not the kind of person who has my mum round loads at all! I think you are over thinking it and will possibly regret it. Plus newborns tend to sleep a lot. Visits are quite welcome generally.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 17-May-13 20:23:45

People would be heartbroken and devastated to not visit a new baby before its 70 odd hours old!



DontmindifIdo Fri 17-May-13 20:23:53

I don't think it's a mistake to plan in advance to limit over-keen people, this way round if you want to have them stay/visit, you can 'back down' however if you don't tell them before hand that you won't want them to just all turn up, then it will be hard to stop them/ask them to leave once they've arrived - it's when you are feeling your most shattered and vunerable, and it's bloody hard then to tell pushy people to back off when you're in that state. Much easier to say "no" now and then say "actually, if you want to visit sooner you can".

I was soooo glad it snowed really heavily the day we got home from hospital with DS, I lied informed both sets of parents our road wasn't passable for a week (they had both seen DS in hospital) and snuggled up with DS, DH in our bed, sending DH to go get us snacks now and then.

Not sure that's going to work with DC2, due in 2 weeks - any freak snow storms on the way to get to them to all bugger off?

They don't generally kick new mums out of hospital after 6 hours unless you are really desperate to go. I suggest you stay in for as long as possible and invite all the ackward but necessary visitors to visit you on the ward during visiting hours to get the newborn cuddles out the way and give you breathing space.

If someone I loved had had a baby, and said I could come for a short visit, and it was two hours drive away, I'd be looking for other stuff I could do in the area, so I could combine it. I'd visit and go see a stately home or something. Or book a b&b and come back for another short visit the next day. And I wouldn't be offended.

Someone upthread said that the relatives who make most fuss are usually the ones who are the worst guests anyway. If your mum is making sarky comments about checking her diary, I'd take them at absolute face value "oh thanks mum, glad you understand, we'll do that then". Bright and breezy, pretend not to notice the frostiness.

I'm getting the impression that you might need some girt big boundaries set up for your Mum. A big smile and a thick skin is what you need. And ditch the guilt. When my daughter has a baby, her needs are going to come before mine and that is as it should be. If she was about to have her first child and was stressing about hurting my feelings I'd think I was doing something very wrong indeed.

Don't make any plans, take it as it comes. Actually, you need two plans, sorted with dh. The plan for "unexpected visitor on the doorstep" and the plan for "visitor outstaying their welcome". Talk through how you're going to handle those two!

elliejjtiny Fri 17-May-13 20:32:09

I would say to people that you will let them know when you are up for visitors. I find I'm on a high for the first day or so and want to show the baby off. Then the tiredness kicks in on day 2 and my hormones crash on day 3 or 4. I'm pregnant with DC4 and being very vague about visiting. If I feel ok I'll invite people round, if I feel like death warmed up I won't.

MiaowTheCat Fri 17-May-13 20:34:00

didireallysaythat I had similar and again, like you, it's utterly wrecked any shred of a relationship I had with the in-laws (it was on shaky ground after the way MIL went on with DD1 (where she rolled into the labour suite to "collect some keys" and proceeded to pull up an chair and sit there while I was pushing).

Anyway - with DD2's birth I was adamant I wanted a week's space to get my head around the whole going from 1 to 2 kids thing and to mentally brace myself for the way I knew she'd behave. Thought I was safe since I was in and out of hospital with threatened labour prematurely but they were busy sorting out getting FIL back from overseas - my mum was down with us but only because we needed someone to help with DD1.

Haven't proven it yet - but I'm 99.9% sure my mum decided that us wanting a bit of space to adjust was me being the mean nasty failure of a daughter I am and being utterly unreasonable to my wonderful can do no wrong MIL - and called them to tell them what was going on... and funnily MIL is "just passing" from the fucking Scottish Islands - and goes on and on about things until eventually I get completely bullied and guilted into giving up on our hopes of having that little breathing space and, about 10 minutes after I'm finally discharged from hospital, while I'm still in the kitchen getting bottles in and sterilised, and things unpacked... they roll in - ignore my existence completely and just take over the baby.

MIL has made me feel like shit umpteen times - but never made me feel AS shit as she did then - like my wishes didn't matter at all and she was going to do exactly what the fuck she liked - and even though hubby was incredibly pissed off at it all - she's ignored him and just done a pathetic apology but not actually listened to any of it.

To top it all off - she handed us a card "thank you for giving ME a beautiful granddaughter"

There is now NO relationship between me and MIL, I will never ever consent to going to their house to stay or visit, I won't consent to her visiting the area and popping in while DH is at work like she used to - I'm still that pissed at her for doing it and how little I mattered. Shame - cos I used to really get on well with her till she became the fucking granzilla bitch from hell.

Set your rules and make it clear from the start you'll be sticking to them - cos otherwise you'll end up getting guilt tripped, giving in and hating yourself for doing it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

My parents are slightly further away, and stayed in a nearby hotel when DS1 arrived. They visited briefly in hospital which was fine. Then once we were at home they were there nearly all day "helping". It was awful, because although they looked after themselves I felt neurotic about the state of the house, my hair, the fridge, etc, and had to be "on" all the time when really I needed to veg out.

I also felt like I had to share him all the time, so I rarely got to hold him unless he was feeding. I was screaming inside but didn't feel I could say anything, because it felt such am ungrateful and selfish thing to say. But it was actually quite natural and something to be protected I think.

Good luck.

TryDrawing Fri 17-May-13 21:16:35

Dh recently told me about something, of which i have no memory whatsoever. It happened when his parents came to stay for the weekend, a week after dd was born. I had insisted that they stay in a local b&b as i was having lots of bleeding and feeding issues and other glamorous postnatal experiences.

They came, arrived at 8am and stayed ALL DAY, gradually working their way through all of our kitchen equipment and leaving it for us to wash up.
At 10.30pm, I retreated to the bedroom with dd and just cried. Dh came to find me and edged in through the door, the way a man approaches a crying woman. I looked up and said "WHY ARE YOUR BLOODY PARENTS STILL HERE??? I am bleeding, I can't poo and I need them to FUCK OFF!".

Dh went to suggest they leave but they were already on the way out.

The baby monitor was on... grin

TryDrawing that is simply brilliant.

seeker Fri 17-May-13 21:19:44

Sockreturningpixie- I wouldn't be heartbroken about mot meeting the baby for 70 hours- I would be heartbroken if I was a grandparent and discovered at this critical point that my relationship with my son or daughter was so bad they couldn't bear me to pop in for 10 minutes to say hello. And as for not even telling anyone the baby was born......shock

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 17-May-13 21:25:45

Seeker if your the type of person who would only make it 10 mins then I strongly doubt you will ever have it happen.

Oldraver Fri 17-May-13 21:28:25

I thinkl loosely your plans are fine. need to kick your DH into touch, he will HAVE to to get used to being host and if you need to spell this out to him now do so. You should be concentrating on your baby and he shouls be the one bringing you (and visitors) cups of tea

ilovepicnmix Fri 17-May-13 21:30:05

Im so with you seeker (although I would be devastated about the not seeing bit too). I had visits from some family that didn't suit me but my family have been so good to me that I would never have said anything.

popcornpaws Fri 17-May-13 21:42:05

I never came across this worrying about visitors after having a baby until seeing it on mumsnet.
I loved seeing my family with my newborn, and my mum visited everyday for a week to help out, which was fantastic!
The overnight guests i understand but don't assume all visitors will expect you to entertain them, most will offer help, bring food etc hopefully!

DontmindifIdo Fri 17-May-13 22:01:29

Popcornpaws - I think if you live close enough to your parents that they can pop in daily, then this is less of an issue. It's the family who live far enough away to expect to stay for a long visit (if you are driving 2+ hours, you are staying for a lot longer than 10 minutes) or stay over. Also if you don't have family close enough to pop round, then you are less likely to feel you have to 'host' them when they visit.

Plus if you have family who actually do help out not turn up "to help" and then just cause more work, then you might genuinely not get that someone would see a visit from their parents being a chore, not something that will be useful.

emstats Fri 17-May-13 22:14:00

I never considered playing the host to anyone in the first few days, but good god was I pleased to see them so they could praise my little one, make me a cuppa and hold baby while I dashed for a wee/had a shower etc. Not to mention bringing us meals, putting the hoover round and generally being able to ask mothers with experience for their thoughts on any little worries I had... Nope, can't even begin to imagine asking them to stay away!

motherdaughter Fri 17-May-13 22:25:09

We imposed a 'no staying visitors for 3 weeks' when both of ours were born and it worked well. My mil thought it was a great idea - until she realised it applied to her too and there were tears and tantrums. She refused to stay in a b&b and I even spent an extra night in hospital so she could come up before we got home but DH thought that was a stupid idea so refused to invite her. She got the train and came for the day when dd was a week old.
My parents who live a 2hr drive away came to visit in hospital and then put themselves in a b&b when dd was 2 weeks old and DH went back to work. They came every day - mainly to keep me company and were around 10-5.

As for brief visitors - our friends were great. They would arrive bring cake and gifts, have a brew and sod off again which was perfect! The first arrived when I'd been home about an hour - but it was planned (they were going to come to the hospital but phoned first and I told them I was about to come home).

When DS was born I was quite gutted that people weren't beating a path to the door to see us. We stayed in 5 days and apart from dd and DH and a visit from dad, the only visitors I had were midwives. I was gutted that nobody wanted to come and celebrate my boy.


quesadilla Fri 17-May-13 22:30:20

No, no no. YADNBU. 3 days isn't nearly long enough. 3 weeks would be nearer. But put your foot down now and make it clear from the get-go that people come on your terms or not at all. And sorry, but your mum sounds like a bully.

emstats Fri 17-May-13 22:45:35

Crickey having read the posts I can't believe how short-sighted people are, wonder how you'll fair/feel when your the grandparent!!

emstats Fri 17-May-13 22:50:28

Your mum doesn't sound like a bully, she sounds like she loves you and wants to be a part of the biggest thing to happen in your life and meet her grandchild before the postman/local checkout chicks etc, because she was kind of hoping she was going to be allowed to have a meaningful relationship with the child, hardly makes her a bully! And why do people have such downers on MIL's, hate to point this out but... Its there GRANDCHILD! Bet your all up in arms if they don't send the 'right' (expensive) gift at Xmas, birthdays etc, but god forbid they should actually want to inconvenience you by seeing the child!

flanbase Fri 17-May-13 22:51:43

There's a difference between people arriving to help and people arriving to be entertained. In some cultures the mother stays resting and everything is done for her and family. This is perfect as it helps mum & baby get going with breastfeeding & recovery after the birth.

elliejjtiny Fri 17-May-13 23:48:36

I'd like to think that if I have a grandchild I'll remember what it's like to be hormonal and in pain and be sensitive to my DIL's needs. In a few weeks time I'll have just given birth and it will be my decision when I tell people and when I invite them to visit. In 20ish years time it will be my DILs who will have just given birth and their turn to make the decisions about visitors. Obviously I would like to see my grandchildren when they are newborns but not if it causes my DILs stress. I will of course try my best to maximise my chances of getting lots of newborn cuddles by not being toxic, not spouting old wives tales and making sure my knowledge on breastfeeding, weaning, carseats etc is up to date <polishes MIL of the year badge>

Disappearing Sat 18-May-13 00:03:26

YANBU at all, also your expectations are prob quite realistic.

I have just a couple of things to add:

I had expected my mum to be totally overbearing, she was beyond excited at the prospect of the first grandchild, and while PG I was dreading her intrusion. Despite this, when my DD was first born, I was quite excited to show her off and really was pleased to see my mum that first day. My mum lives a 2h drive away, and ended up seeing DD when she was approx 2.5 h old. I was in hospital for 24h, and my mum came for a couple of hours then left again, I didn't see her again for a week, and that was fine.

Also - any family member who comes to 'help', in my opinion is not much help. No staying guest ever gives more than they take, in terms of help/effort/energy etc. at least that's my opinion, but I realise I'm likely related to an unusually lazy bunch. My mum has never so much as made herself a cup of coffee in my house, never mind made one for me. She is endlessly telling me to slow down, sit down, have a break etc. but in the next breath demanding something.

emstats Sat 18-May-13 01:41:21

Seriously tho, I'm not sure what kind of quality time in the evenings your expecting to get and I do think you might be disappointed. It sounds like your OH has a fairly long commute, you'll have looked after little one all day, and I'm guessing night too, you might well find by the time OH gets home your desperate for some adult convo and a break! But he'll have just got home from work and might well not want to jump into 'holding the baby' or an in depth conversation about the baby burping/sleeping/pooing/feeding and you might not be the least bit interested in hearing about the latest thing that's irritated him at work. Honestly if my mum had have offered to come stay for a week when OH went back to work i'd have bitten her hand off!

MidniteScribbler Sat 18-May-13 01:53:34

YANBU to be concerned about what will happen post birth. But don't set anything in stone right now. I was pretty sure I was going to say no visitors for the first little while, and unfortunately my parents are both deceased, but I have an elderly relative I'm extremely close to, and she was ready to fly down as soon as I called her to say he was born. I'd cued her up already that she would need to stay in a hotel and rent a car as I wanted time to be alone with DS and bond with him and figure out how to be a mother.

I had a horrible birth, but the next day, I was practically biting the hand off anyone that asked if they could visit. YES! Please! I was so bored that I was actually counting down the times when the dinner lady would be around with the food. I ended up leaving hospital 24 hours after giving birth as I was climbing the walls. I ended up letting my relative stay, and it worked out quite well. She's not the "in your face type" and was happy to potter around and look after herself, cuddle the baby while I had a shower, and it was actually nice to have someone around.

My point is, don't make any strict rules right now. You don't know how you'll be feeling. And do consider your parents and your DHs parents will want to meet their new grandchild. I don't think it's unreasonable to stay no overnight visitors or hanging around the house all day, but do let them in to meet your child. Imagine how you would feel in 20-30 years time if your child bans you from meeting your grandchild?

MaMattoo Sat 18-May-13 02:01:31

Yanbu at all.
A little about the 3 day business. Please don't underestimate how tired, disoriented, exhilarated and anxious you will be. Don't overestimate your ability to bounce back as all burgs are different.
The first comment you for is my story too. I had mil and fil and sil here for 3 months when I had DS. Also had a csec. Combined experience so bad, it's one of the major reasons why I don't want to have another child!! Again don't underestimate!!

Congrats!!! And good luck!!

claraschu Sat 18-May-13 07:23:51

I agree with popcornpaws. It's nice having visitors, and most people don't behave badly / demand service when visiting a new mum.

I am always astonished that people have such formal relationships with their own parents that they can't just ask the new GPs to leave or cook dinner or do whatever needs to be done.

One of my nicest memories was our neighbours dropping in unannounced to meet our third child (who was 1 day old). It was 8 am and the neighbours scooped up our two older kids, who were quarrelling, and distracted me when I was about to start crying. It was perfect.

Fuckwittery Sat 18-May-13 07:36:04

i think you need to play it by ear tbh. i imposed strict restrictions on my mil pre birth emailing her b and b details etc, and then had to eat my words after a 3 day labour and 5 day hospital day which resulted in dh going back to work when i had a 5 day old post c section. i was begging for my mil to stay!
i also really really wanted an experienced parent nearby as dh and i were clueless and she turned out to be very kind and not at all pushy, despite having had 6 kids and clearly definitely knowing it all, never imparted that knolwedge on me in an unwanted way.
my mum was too ill to help me but i felt a huge post birth bond with her when i became a parent.
i think you wre right to highlight that you may not want overnight guests, or too many people around for long visits but i think it would be a bit mean to exclude your own mum from her grandchild for 3 weeks. suggest a b and b, limit visits. i actually think its great if visitors come while you are in hospital as they are limited to visiting hours.

Fuckwittery Sat 18-May-13 07:37:13

ooops sorry, misread 3 days with 3 weeks suggested by a later poster.

PeazlyPops Sat 18-May-13 08:41:49

YANBU, but I said that I didn't want any visitors for a week, yet changed my mind when the baby arrived and we needed supplies/an extra pair of hands.

Maybe you'll feel differently after the birth.

greenformica Sat 18-May-13 09:05:09

With our first we asked for no visitor for the first two weeks! We didn't even answer phone calls for those weeks either - just had a message on the answer phone saying thanks for ringing, we just getting to know our new DS and will ring back in the next week or so. The only exception to this was a couple of short M/MIL visits lasting an hour or so - they came bearing food and cleaned the house.

With the following three baby boys, we were more into the swing of things and allowed a little more contact but still kept things low key, putting ourselves under no pressure. The most important thing is bonding with the baby and not feeling overwhelmed with fulfilling various duties.

Apologise to your mum. Say you are sorry you can't do what she wants and you are not prepared to argue or get upset about it. State you need to put your needs and babies needs first.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 18-May-13 10:18:26

Nobody is suggesting depriving grandparents of meeting there grandchild just asking them to wait 72 hours.

And it wouldn't bother me in the slightest

fluffymindy Sat 18-May-13 10:22:39

I think a few people on this thread sound a tad controlling and joyless. Seeing my best friend hold my youngest son an hour after he was born (at home mind you so easier I think) is honestly one of the loveliest memories I have. Mind you I had a plasterer and a carpenter here upstairs whilst I had the baby so I think I may be relaxed in extremis grin

I have had a lot of children and the more I have had the less and less rules I apply - a baby is a joy and absolute gift to be shared.

fluffymindy Sat 18-May-13 10:24:31

And if I were a Granny I would be really upset to wait 3 days to see my grandchild - might make me a selfish cow but it would hurt and unless someone is poorly there is no need other than people exerting control unnecessarily.

FarBetterNow Sat 18-May-13 10:41:34

I think you are over thinking it.
I agree with no overnight visitors, but will you not really want your parents to meet your baby as soon as possible and share your joy with them?

I have friends who are grans who get summoned to visit at a certain time, days after the birth and are expected to drop all their commitments and jump now. Oh and jump again when the new parents decide they need help urgently a few days later.

You never know, the visitors may be helpful!

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 18-May-13 10:55:42

Why fluffy? Exactly what difference does 3 days make?

Kewcumber Sat 18-May-13 11:07:13

I have a photo of me holding my neice about 4 hours old in hospital - its a special photo for both of us. It was lovely.

We only stayed about 30 mins though.

How can others be so definitive about what is right or wrong or you OP? It confuses the hell out of me because surely it comes down to your specific relationship with your family, how you feel at the time etc.

Having a child made me feel very vulnerable and whereas before DC's I was concerned about my mum taking over suddenly I really wanted my mum to take some of the responsibility. Of course now he's a bit older I'm back to getting a bit irritated!

As for not telling family when your child is born (one suggestion) or not allowing them to even visit (maybe with rules) in the first few days, well I guess that works for people who don't have a close relationship with their parents or who have specific issues. I guess if thats the norm then thats OK - I assume you'll be fine with it in your children too. It wouldn't be for us.

So do what works for you but be open as others have said to realising it isn't what you actually want at all.

For all the horrendous post-birth stories, the majority of visitors in my experience are kind and caring and lovely.

Kewcumber Sat 18-May-13 11:09:57

Sock - for the same reason I'd be upset at being invited by my daughter to celebrate her marriage three days after she got married. If you are a close family, you want to be a part of lifes major ups and down of the people you love. Not a bystander.

If not that close then I can see why it wouldn't matter.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 18-May-13 11:19:22

I'm very close to my family and it wouldn't bother me at all.

Yanbu at all, it's entirely up to you as an when you want visitors after the birth.
For a first time mum to be, you seem very clued upsmile, wish I had have been like this before my dcs births!

I had my ils decend upon me each and every time, bringing one of their other gcconfused grrr. Expecting ME to make tea and placate them, along with sil who used to turn up with 3 kids in toe. So my large living room turned into a small living room with 7 extra people crowding me, newborn & my other dc. With dc3 they didn't bog off until 8pm and decided to scrounge our Chinese dh had ordered. Now pregnant with dc5 I am going to be like you op, and lay down the law from the minute they find outgrin

waterrat Sat 18-May-13 11:27:33

OP i totally understand your concerns but I promise, you will look back and it will seem such a small detail in your life - I felt the same with my first son but next time I have a baby I will not worry beforehand, just make sure I say no if I don't feel like seeing people.

These little details about no evening visitors - wait and see how you feel at the time. You might want a break - I have to admit I didn't like having friends over in the evening as that is a real bad time for baby crying - but I did like having my family there as they would get the dinner ready.

I hate to tell you this but your partner will not be relaxing in the evening! Babies cry, you will be breastfeeding non bloody stop as the baby cluster feeds - you might want a break from baby but be too tired to cook - so partner is holding the baby - its great to ahve someone else to help feed you all!

never ever be afraid to retreat to your bedroom - I did that when I wanted to feed the baby and male in laws etc were round - cant believe I even worried beforehand about that.

I really wanted people to meet the baby in the first few days! short visits and support from family - please try to focus on the fact that it is a joyful time! lots of luck xxx

And not to mention the pass the parcel handling of my newborn dc I had straight after coming home, no wonder bf didn't work out for me with dc4.

MiaowTheCat Sat 18-May-13 11:49:33

I'd rather some granny had to wait 3 days to see their grandchild than be bullied and manipulated into providing the requisite newborn fix - and sitting there sobbing at how shite it had made me feel afterwards. I STILL feel upset at how being treated like that made me feel two months down the line.

If mothers/mother in laws can't put their own fucking needs behind the needs of their children for this one bloody thing - then they're fucking shite specimens of womankind. You don't own the newborn - deal with it.

waterrat Sat 18-May-13 11:50:28

I would agree that as someone above says - the vast majority of visitors are kind and considerate and so excited to be part of a beautiful moment in your life.

People are more likely to talk online about bad experiences - but try not to let that take over your mind!

meglet Sat 18-May-13 12:01:19

If I ever become a grandparent I will wait until I'm asked to visit / help. I could never put my children through what I went through.

Being watched as I threw up (in great pain) in high dependency hours after my section while everyone made small talk around me was one of the loneliest and shittiest experiences I ever had to go through. It was like being hit by a bus and then being expected to smile and chat to people sad.

I will get counselling about this one day and stop banging on about it on these threads blush.

frissonpink Sat 18-May-13 12:04:48

YANBU. Wish i had put my foot down more tbh, and I certainly will on my next child.

MIL still wingeing that she didn't get to see gd as a newborn. FFS she was 8 days old, how much more bloody newborn did she want grin

Next time, I'm saying, keep the hell away for at least 3 weeks grin

ConfusedKiwi Sat 18-May-13 12:18:12

YANBU - you don't know how you will be feeling and may want space. I definitely would not agree to any overnight visitors! I think it makes sense to let people know in advance that you hope to have some settling time, but agree with previous posters to leave it open so that if you do decide you want visitors after a day you can invite them then.

With ds1 we were in Scotland so he didn't meet my mum until about 5 weeks, inlaws until 6 weeks (when we visited them in England) and my dad and step-mum (and the rest of my extended family in NZ) until 4 months. They all survived!

With ds2 nearly everyone visited in the hospital the day he arrived (in-laws visited for 11 weeks but not staying with us) and had everyone round to the house for a couple of hours the day we got home. However it would have been completely overwhelming first time round.

Good luck!

cinnamonsugar Sat 18-May-13 12:23:03

miaow & meglet It sounds like you had absolutely horrific experiences, but the problem there is the people around you. It is not a given that visitors in the first few days will be bullying or unpleasant or make new mothers feel shit.

I had a EMCS under general, my mum had come to the hospital (I had no idea she was even there) and drove home in the early hours of the morning. The next morning, she drove 40 minutes back to bring me lip balm and yogurt to eat because my throat was too sore from the intubation tube to eat the toast and I couldn't get anything else on the ward or move. My MIL cooked every meal for H&I for two weeks, looked after DC so H could help me shower, made about 5,000 cups of tea, fetched me things, looked after visitors, did laundry, tidied up. I was planning a homebirth and was in severe shock. I'm very glad I didn't tell people in advance they wouldn't be allowed to see us for X days ...

FFS she was 8 days old, how much more bloody newborn did she want
Less than 8 days obviously grin Was it her first? God, I'd feel really hurt if I was kept away from my DC for over a week when they become a parent.

Mutley77 Sat 18-May-13 12:25:46

I think you will actually find you want them to visit in the first few days as you will want them to see the baby. However if they are happy to be around to do that, they need to be in a nearby hotel and pop in for short visits as and when you want them.

People staying - no way - not for at least a few weeks if you can avoid it.

FarBetterNow Sat 18-May-13 12:37:47

Miaow: I feel sad that you have a poor relationship, for whatever reason, with your DM or MIL.

I suppose we are all thinking of our own experiences with family.

I am blessed to be on such good terms with my DDs.
They would be horrified if I hadn't immediately dropped everything to visit them and meet the newborns asap.

usernamegoeshere Sat 18-May-13 12:41:00

My parents came to stay for 5 nights day after I brought baby home they were helpful, went and bought things I had forgotten, made tea, held baby so we could sleep/shower! If my daughter has a baby I would want to meet it asap and help out as much as I could, it's a big thing and I think natural your mum would want to share that time with you.

That being said, if people are going to expect to be looked after then all bets are off! Our visitors brought useful presents and helped us! I don't think I have offered guests a cup of tea in the 4 weeks since having baby.

SomethingChanged Sat 18-May-13 12:49:52

Give yourself a bit of room to see what your hormones are doing. Day 1-3 I was tired but pretty hyperactive, day 3 was a bit of a crash for me, milk coming in and just downright emotional. It's different for everyone and won't necessarily be the same for you but a bit of visiting in hospital with set times (and a midwife to blame for kicking them out) might be preferable to visits at home when your settling in.

BookFairy Sat 18-May-13 12:57:35

My parents and I didn't visit my sister and her baby for 3 days. My parents were not devastated to wait 3 days to meet the first grandchild and did not cry themselves to sleep from doing so. My Dsis needed time to recover, get to grips with breastfeeding, and spend time with Dbil. We were just thrilled for them and 3 days is nothing when you have many happy memories to come smile

OpenMindedSceptic Sat 18-May-13 13:20:50

YANBU. I could not stand visitors in the first few weeks. With my first, my mum came to stay for 2 weeks ( she lives onthe continent so short term visit not really an option)and DS was 2 weeks old. Never ever again. I was counting down hours for her to go home.

SueDoku Sat 18-May-13 13:38:21

I honestly find the state of mind that would get a kick from not wanting to share a new baby with its wider family as soon as possible so difficult to comprehend that some of the posters on this thread might as well come from Mars. All the prescriptive bans, the restrictions on how long people can stay, the (seeming) inability to be able to empathise with those who are overjoyed at meeting their new grandchild – I’m staggered. My DD recently had her first child, and her DF and I stayed for 2 weeks; I did all the cooking and most of the cleaning and he hoovered, walked the dog, came shopping with me etc. This meant that our DD and her DP could get to know their new baby without having to worry about any of the day-to-day trivia – and we got to see our new DGC throughout the day. It also meant that if they were both tired, they could go for a rest and we could look after the baby for an hour or so. It was wonderful (I asked her recently for her honest thoughts and she said that she couldn’t imagine how they would have managed on their own).
Likewise, when our DDiL had our first GC a few years ago, we travelled to them (3hrs drive) as soon as our DS rang to say that she was in hospital, saw her and the baby very briefly (5 mins) and then went home with him and stayed for 2 days after she came home – again, cooking, cleaning etc. If we had been told that we weren’t wanted, and that we couldn’t meet our first GC until weeks later, I have no idea what I would have done – but I would certainly have been heart-broken, not least because it would have meant that our relationship with our DS had broken down irretrievably. Everyone is different, but that doesn’t make the views of those who appear (from this thread) to be the minority invalid.
OP, please don’t make decisions now that will affect the lives of everyone involved for ever – if you don’t want people staying that’s fine (although actually, if they do stay, they will probably act more like useful members of the family and less like visitors) and you certainly don’t have to ‘play hostess’ - don’t be afraid to tell people what needs doing... but do let them meet your baby and absorb him/her into your family – after all, he/she is going to be part of what you describe as a close and loving family for the rest of their life. I hope that all goes well for you

DontmindifIdo Sat 18-May-13 14:21:03

I think a lot of the difference of opinion is from those who had family who arrived in the first few days/hours, but only stayed for 30mins/an hour is missing that if you have family who live a long way away from you, it's not practical to expect them to drive 3 hours to only visit for 30minutes, so you are assuming the visit will be more like a whole day. If you need to be prescriptive ("no overnight guests, only visiting for a couple of hours, I will not cook you any meals") that means that you know the family involved enough to know if you didn't say this, they would expect to stay overnight and visit for more than a couple of hours and expect you to be up cooking them dinner.

Someone who sits on your sofa, "looking after the baby for you" while you run round after them is not a help, or will think it's appropriate to stay after 7pm with someone who's just been through birth, or will make pointed comments about the state of your house , they are someone who you need to keep away from you in the first few days, regardless of their relationship to you/the baby. If grandparents are like this, then unfortunately, their desire to see the baby has to come second to the health and happiness of the new mother and her baby.

Anyone who makes you feel judged or think their desire for a cuddle with the baby should trump your need to establish breastfeeding thinks they are more important than the baby, or they are more important to the baby than the mother. These are not people you should particularly worry about offending.

IME - it's far easier to put in rules then back down if you feel great, than to not put in rules then try to put in restrictions when you are feeling like shit.

Very measured, thoughtful and helpful post, DontMind.

elliejjtiny Sat 18-May-13 15:05:08

I think it has to be equal on both sides. I would like some time to rest and bond before my mum and dad descend on me (PILs will be looking after older DC's so a bit different, can't really justify telling them to pass children through the window and banish them for weeks) but at the same time I wouldn't expect them to drop everything and come over the minute I decided I was ready. My mum and dad came when DH went back to work last time (DS3 was 12 days old) to help out with school run. They came earlier with previous DS's and it was all a bit much tbh.

I think visitors who help (properly help) are usually welcomed a lot sooner than visitors who expect to be waited on which is as it should be. I wouldn't mind people coming and helping soon after the birth but the ones who just want to sit and cuddle the baby and demand food can wait until I'm ready to play hostess.

Numberlock Sat 18-May-13 16:33:04

Finally the voice of reason, SueDuko.

cantreachmytoes Sat 18-May-13 17:08:59

Just read through the rest and would second Dontmind's post.

Only YOU know your relatives. Think how they are when they've visited, either staying or dropping in, before. How were they for your wedding (if you're married)? I certainly noticed a direct correlation between those who were a unhelpful at other events and those who "offered" so, so kindly, "I'll hold the baby, so you can get X done."

I don't get all the people heart-broken people (grandmothers) who had to wait before seeing the newborn. Sure, it's NICE to see the newborn and makes them feel special, but this isn't about them. It really isn't. At all. They already held a newborn, at least one, when they had one if their own. There is nothing that says that GPs, or anybody else (mother, father, baby's siblings excluded) have this "right" and it needs to be treated with reverence.

In other cultures grandmothers, female relatives and neighbours may well be more included, but they're also expected to be around during the pregnancy and postnatal periods actively HELPING, not just inconveniencing the mother in order to have a wee cuddle.

After a horrific experience in my postnatal period, this time I'm doing it exactly my way. If that upsets people, I'm genuinely sorry, I wish they weren't upset. However, with the choice between upsetting others, or being upset at such an important time in my and my husband's life, I choose to avoid what will make me (and him) unhappy. And for that I feel not a shred of guilt - unusually for me!!

HazleNutt Sat 18-May-13 17:51:39

However, with the choice between upsetting others, or being upset at such an important time in my and my husband's life, I choose to avoid what will make me (and him) unhappy


DontmindifIdo Sat 18-May-13 18:21:00

Cantreachmytoes - oh, a correlation between wedding and new baby, of course! My mum at my wedding: complained about everything, it was all done differently with less fuss in her day, mentioned that her mum just organised it all with minimum fuss but didn't actually offer to do anything practical herself, told me I could probably save money if I shopped around for XYZ, but wasn't prepared to shop around for XYZ herself... MIL, fitted in with what we wanted, put together 80 wedding favour boxes, collected the cakes and put them together without any bother or acting like it was in anyway hard work.

New baby - my mum rocks up at hospital, takes baby I'm failing to latch off me, thinks it's rediculous she's been made to use hand gel stuff in the hospital (mid swine flu outbreak!), terrible they can't stay longer than hospital visiting hours after a long drive (I did tell them), later comes to my house (over a week later, thank god for the snow that kept everyone away!), sits on sofa from 10am - 6pm, while complaining that I have the wrong sort of milk and tea in and surprised we weren't doing a full meal at lunch - keeps telling me I should put DS out in the garden where I won't hear him cry if it upsets me.

MIL - Calls DH from the hospital carpark to check we're still happy for them to visit. Waits to be offered a cuddle, asks me if I mind her taking a photo of me, DS and DH. Tells me she's informed BIL to stay away as he has a bit of a cold. Waits to be invited to visit at our house, any only stays for a couple of hours, pretends not to notice the mess our house is in. She offers to take DH's shirts home to be ironed so he's got them sorted post paternity leave. Brings cake with her. Asks anything she can do to help.

Yep, it's a good sign of who you should and shouldn't have around!!! Why had I not seen this before???

That wedding/newborn comparison is very very apt.

DM - helpful, but strictly on her terms, and in expectation of significant gratitude.

FIL - very strong views on things and the right way to do things. More interested in his own comfort and appearances than those of other interested parties, cost, practicalities, etc.


Springforward Sat 18-May-13 20:28:33

I totally would go with the wedding/ newborn comparison.

Decoy Sun 19-May-13 16:03:17

Every family is different, and what works well for some (such as the example given by SueDoku) isn't necessarily right for others.

Relatives should be guided by what the couple decide. Having a new baby is enough to think about, without having to appease everyone else.

Splatt34 Mon 20-May-13 08:40:25

haven't read the whole thread so apologies but this is something I feel really strongly about.


Before DD1 was born I told my parents (who live over 2 hour drive away) that we didn't want visitors for a week or so & no overnight for a while. so when my husband called to tell them she'd been born (on a Thursday night) dad asked if they could come on Saturday. We said no, it caused a bit on tension but am glad I did. Newborns are so dull I genuinely don't get this desire to see them immediately. Plus pass the parcel is really bad for them as far as establishing feeding etc.

fastforward to now and dc2 was due Saturday (still pg). My parents were suppose to be away this week and next but now not, so mum happily announces they'll be able to "pop down for an hour" whenever. I immediately said we'll need time etc etc but don't think she heard.

I had real trouble with breast feeding last time, I think partly cos I tried to get back to 'normal' too soon (I was in Tesco with a 2 day old). This time I want to concentrate on my little family and making sure dd1 is secure not on playing hostess

seeker Mon 20-May-13 09:02:18

You refused to allow your parents to "pop in for an hour" to se you and your new baby? sad

Numberlock Mon 20-May-13 09:16:28

I really can't believe what I'm reading on here. I feel like starting a thread where people can post about positive experiences they've had with introducing new babies to family members/getting support from family.

I have 3 sons and dread to think this will be me in a few years' time.

jeee Mon 20-May-13 09:24:16

Brave, agree with all who say play it by ear.

But re your mum - is there any reason why you don't tell her explicitly to get a B&B/Travel Lodge after the birth so you don't have anyone staying overnight? I know it's an obvious solution, but she may just assume she will stay in your house. It's even possible she thinks that it would be a bit rude to use a hotel when she visits you.

NotSoNervous Mon 20-May-13 09:24:36

YANBU when I had DD1 I did the same thing and people thought I was being terrible. W had grandparents come and visit and that's it. I know some people will be hurt but tough. I had just had a section, was sore, shattered and breastfeeding. Te way I saw it aswell was that I know people have been excited to meet her but me and DP have been waiting 9m so our time is a bit more important in the first days then Auntie sue who we seen every blue moon.

Enjoy your time with your baby because it goes so so fast. Don't let anyone change what choices you want to make

SueDoku You post on Saturday was interesting, but it's clear it stems from the nice person you are.

There are so many people here who don't have nice people as parents, ILs or other family, and the restrictions, bans, etc from the new parents are aimed at reducing the impact of the toxic behaviour from these parents, ILs, etc. It's sad, but a toxic person will not suddenly become a model of good behaviour just by becoming a grandparent.

I was lucky with my parents and ILs, but a friend of mine had problems with her own mum (her ILs were great). Her mum was monopolising the baby to the point that baby had to be grabbed back in order to be fed. That behaviour directly impacts on the baby's wellbeing, so I was not surprised when my friend told me she had banned her mother from visiting.

AnneElliott Mon 20-May-13 09:52:53

I don't think YABU. My mil was a pain when DS was born. She brought her other grandchildren to the hospital and had a tantrum when they weren't allowed in.

Came to the house and sat through a midwife visit and didn't think she should give us some privacy. It has damaged our relationship as we got on great before. Put you foot down and get DH to do the same.

Splatt34 Mon 20-May-13 10:24:30

My parents will not drive 2.5 hours, to "pop in for an hour" & leave. They will be here all day electing me to be up & down making them cup of tea while they cuddle baby, who probably just went to sleep. This is what happened last time so I know from experience.

my friend has a mum who arrives, cleans her house from top to bottom, makes their diner, takes toddler to nursery. I don't, so yes I will restrict their visits. they have come to our house 7 times since dd1 (2.5 was born) so it's not like they're here all the time helping out

DontmindifIdo Mon 20-May-13 10:40:16

Splatt's parents are like mine. And realistically, no one drives for 2-3 hours each way for a 30minute to an hour visit, they just don't. Anyone with family who live that far away are assuming a long visit. half a day at least.

My parents aren't bad people, they aren't toxic and nothing like the stately homes threads on here, but just a bit self absorbed and very hard work. Of all the people who are holding their parents at arms length seem to have a similar story, they don't want to cut them out completely but just need to be on top form to deal with them.

Numberlock - you would only have to worry about being managed like this if by the time your DSs are adults and having DCs, your DS and DIL have already realised you're someone who is a problem that has to be "managed" and will overstep, be a burden on them so they want to wait until they are physically and mentally able to deal with you. Don't be like that and it won't happen to you. (with the possible exception of your DS marrying a woman with parents like mine and they feel they have to put in the same rules for both sets of parents to be fair, which is hard on you, but hopefully you'll have raised your boys to be able to tell you this and you'll want to help support them with their nightmare MILs rather than put yourself first)

BTW - my MIL is nothing like my DM in the hard work stakes, therefore this time round, she's the one who's going to have DS overnight, will be invited to the hospital first (DH is under strict instructions he has to be there when my parents are in order to control their behaviour if I'm in no fit state, no fear for his mum), I've no worries about her visiting in the first few weeks. this isn't a "mother of daughter vs mother of son" thing.

CheungFun Mon 20-May-13 10:40:48

I haven't read all of the thread, but for me, I had my DM come up to stay with us on my due date as I wanted her to be at the birth with DH and I. DM then stayed for almost two weeks. If she lived close by, I would have preferred her to come over and visit than to actually live with us, but she lives hours away. DM helped making sure I put my feet up and did the washing, hoovering, cleaning up etc and DH did the cooking.

I had Dh's brother and sisters round on day 2 and this was pretty awful as they were just sat there and there was nowhere for me to sit down and they didn't offer me a seat, and Dh's sisters boyfriend was there too and he made some comments about the size of my tummy.

I also had Dh's dad round and he upset me the most as he kept wanting to give DS a bottle and at this time I was trying to bf (although that never happened in the end).

Next time, I will have DM, but the in laws will have time limits put on their visits.

Really I think it depends on the visitor and how helpful and respectful they are as to whether you want them in your face after giving birth!

Osmiornica Mon 20-May-13 11:09:34


I'm one of those selfish people who said no overnight visitors for the first 2 weeks. Both sets of parents live too far away for just a day visit (5+ hours away) and weren't keen on staying in the nearest town in a b&b (no local ones) so they came after 2 weeks. I don't regret it at all and would be fine about doing the same if I become a grandparent.

If they lived closer and didn't need to stay then I'd have had no problem with quick visits at all. Having someone staying in your home especially ILs who I didn't even know that well, and trying to establish bf and getting to know my baby would have been hell.

As it turned out the first 2 weeks were pretty awful and involved lots of visits from midwives to help with bf as my 1st wouldn't latch on. If I'd have been relegated to my bedroom all the time whilst the gps got to have the lovely cuddles inbetween I'd have felt hard done by - feeding on the bed was very uncomfortable and much preferred the sofa. Plus I was up all night feeding and wouldn't have wanted to have to creep around worrying about waking them up etc.

After 2 weeks my husband went back to work and I was confident in feeding outside the house so I was able to go out with my parents rather than being stuck in the house getting bored.

I really think if your parents live close by or are happy to stay in a b&b and entertain themselves it's a totally different thing.

BraveLilBear Mon 20-May-13 11:14:07

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for all your posts. I couldn't get on over the weekend and I'm blown away by all your responses.

This has given me so much food for thought, and I am very grateful. I've had a long conversation with DP about this and we have come to some conclusions.

Letting the grandparents come for a short visit is fine - the same rules will apply to DM and DF, and to the ILs, even tho ILs live round the corner (and will be no fuss at all).

We will probably ask other visitors to give us some space for a few days, although may phrase it in a 'we have no idea how we'll be feeling, we'd really appreciate it if you could bear with us until we can handle having a house full'.

I would love it if DM could come and stay for a few days, but I do tend to find her visits stressful at the best of times, and I am worried that we would clash. DP and I are not yet married, but she practically took over my sister's wedding last year, and even started referring to it as 'her wedding'.

She gets very militaristic and stressy, often combined with a smile that (god forgive me) I can only describe as a fake 'I'm a martyr' smile and this stresses me out no end. We experienced this a lot at a festival - DP and I had to frequently remove ourselves from her presence as everything was such a drama.

This is what I worry about: Early in my pregnancy (9 weeks) I ended up in hospital for emergency surgery on an abscess. She drove up that day, despite me saying visiting hours were strictly between x and y, and she arrived I think, during a meal time - ie a strict 'no visitors' time. I could hear her at the nurses station demanding to see me as she'd just driven all this way, and repeatedly requesting to speak to the nurse in charge. I was dying of embarrassment (was next to nurses station). They eventually let her in for five minutes and she was huffing and puffing about their rules. Thing is, she used to be a nurse on a ward herself.

It breaks my heart but DP and I simply cannot trust her to come and genuinely help, even though I'm sure she would try. She also has a track record of making a big deal about how amazingly selfless she is, when it's clear that her motivation is as much for people to like her as it is to do genuine good.

I would love for my parents to see their grandchild asap, but am deeply concerned that they will over-stay their welcome and that even a couple of hours 'won't be enough' and we'll never hear the end of it. However, it's a risk we'll have to take as I don't want to be seen to be blocking them from their first grandchild.

I think it's a good idea to start sowing the seeds now that we're probably going to want some space in the immediate aftermath, and that we really hope people will try and be patient with us while we work out what's best.

I am so excited to be a mum, but I am also scared to death of the amount of change I will have to adjust to in a very short period of time - all whilst being tired, bleeding and hormonal.

Really grateful for all your insights and experiences...

BraveLilBear Mon 20-May-13 11:20:17

Oh and re DP - he seems to be getting the message, we had some freinds over on Saturday and he was much more helpful than previous form (though still not quite perfect) so his hosting skills are improving grin

Re the evenings - it's more that he doesn't feel comfortable with a house full at the best of times. I don't think he's expecting quiet, he just wants to have the opportunity to wind down without being 'on show'. He doesn't mind some evening visitors, so long as they go home at a fair hour and it's not every night.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-May-13 11:33:44

Visiting a new baby is 100% about your needs and wants there is no way around that and no question about it.

Its nice they are snugly and cute and cute to look at the only benefit at all is to the visitor.

There are very few times in someone's life when they have to prioritise themselves over and above external relations,the mum or dad of this baby may very well be your daughter or son but as much as you may not like it the second they become parents themselves you are relegated to external family you are not and never will be as important to them as their own relationship with the baby.

Nobody but nobody can despute that the first couple of days at home are very different for the parents and the mum is usually also dealing with cramps pain bleeding and other things she may not wish to share.

Some parents may feel like they want to invite family and friends round and make a shared celebration of those few days others may not want to they may want to adjust in private with their own new family and not involve external family untill a few days have passed.

Both are equally valid wants or needs,and if your the type of external family member who thinks your own wants and needs are more important than the person who just gave birth and the baby's dad,because your desire to see the cuteness should over ride there's then the problem is with you and you alone.

Those of you who are fretting about being asked to wait 72 hours before you meet a new baby can any of you explain exactly why your wants are more important than the actual new parent's needs or wants?

DontmindifIdo Mon 20-May-13 11:50:25

Op from your description of your dm, then keeping her away until you are ready to see her sounds best. As for how to say it, can I suggest you acquire difficult pils? You could say to your mum that you are worried they will come over all the time and be hard work, that you think they are the sort to stay for hours and your not sure you can cope with them, so you thought you'd put in some rules. But you don't want dp to think you hate his parents, so she will of course understand she needs the same rules....

GlassofRose Mon 20-May-13 12:24:08

OP, please don’t make decisions now that will affect the lives of everyone involved for ever – if you don’t want people staying that’s fine (although actually, if they do stay, they will probably act more like useful members of the family and less like visitors) and you certainly don’t have to ‘play hostess’ - don’t be afraid to tell people what needs doing... but do let them meet your baby and absorb him/her into your family – after all, he/she is going to be part of what you describe as a close and loving family for the rest of their life. I hope that all goes well for you

Seeing as baby will be part of the family for the rest of their life, I don't see how not seeing the baby for three days is an issue?!

Weddings and Newborns cannot be compared at all. A wedding is a ceremony that you choose to share. It may be a "life event" but it's far beyond comparison.

Decoy Mon 20-May-13 14:20:48

Any new parents will have been waiting at least 9 months (and perhaps several years if TTC was difficult) to meet their baby. I'm sure everyone else can manage to wait three days!

seeker Mon 20-May-13 14:57:04

Just remember that there are lots of relationships which will be important to your baby. And he or she needs all the friends and relations she can get.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-May-13 15:03:19

Not at under 3 days old they don't.

The only relationships that matter at all to such a tiny baby are its parents or person who will be its caregiver.

GlassofRose Mon 20-May-13 15:05:43

I don't understand why it's supposedly so important a baby meet anybody but it's parents? My friends MIL waited 6 months to meet her grandson because she lives in Zimbabwe... it didn't hurt their relationship one bit confused

DuelingFanjo Mon 20-May-13 15:11:58

my son was in special care for 10 days, met my mil on day 11 and then didn't see her for another 3 months. They get on fine when she is here. My own mother didn't see him for 3 weeks as she was ill and they have a lovely relationship. Seeing a baby in the first few days of life is not important for building relationships.

BraveLilBear Mon 20-May-13 15:21:06

I think the biggest impact I'm seeing here is the impact on the relationship between parents and grandparents - it seems that the actions in the first few days/weeks of life - from both sides - truly has the power to do severe lasting damage to those relationships.

This will affect the baby as a knock-on - GPs may resent parents and possibly baby because of actions of parents, parents may resent and feel unsupported by GPs because of their actions, thus damaging their own parent-child relationships - both have the potential to lead to limited (or close-minded) interactions between baby and GPs.

While the relationships between us and baby, and between me and DP are absolutely vital, I guess this thread is really about the wider web of interactions and relationships...

seeker Mon 20-May-13 15:22:56


Ii just hate the drawbridge mentality that seems so prevalent on mumsnet. "My baby, my rules" and tough shit if you don't like it. Really sad.
And I know that people will come on here with their extreme anecdotes, and yes, there are obviously ghastly people into world, but most people are trying to do the best they can, and will be hurt and baffled at being shut out of their children's lives at such an important time. And the new parents have to accept some of the the responsibility for that hurt and bafflement. Just because you've had a baby doesn't give you carte blanche to a trample on other people's feelings.

seeker Mon 20-May-13 15:24:11

Absolutely, Bear. That's what I was trying to say- thank you for saying it so eloquently!

GlassofRose Mon 20-May-13 15:26:42

I understand it might damage a relationship between grandparents and the parent... but does a grandparent really have a right to treat their child in such a way because they aren't getting their own way? No

seeker Mon 20-May-13 15:27:54

It's not a matter of "getting their own way" it's being treated with common human decency!

DuelingFanjo Mon 20-May-13 15:28:27

"Just because you've had a baby doesn't give you carte blanche to a trample on other people's feelings."

and just because someone in your family has had a baby it doesn't give you carte blanche to trample all over theirs either.

Like someone already said, people who make this decision do so knowing what is best for them and what the consequences are.

GlassofRose Mon 20-May-13 15:31:44

No it's not about common human decency at all. What part of wanting time to adjust as a new family before welcoming other family into the equation is indecent?

You get women upset that their child didn't have children, a big wedding etc... You might dislike your child's choices but if you allow it to cause a rift then it really isn't your child's fault in my view. You shouldn't live out your parents wishes to maintain a happy relationship.

diddl Mon 20-May-13 15:36:22

Hope all goes well for you.

I think that it's a "wait & see" thing tbh.

You might find that you'd rather see people whilst still in hospital for example.

Restricted visiting, you /your husband don't have to entertain.

Then when you get home you can have a few days as everyone has already seen the baby.

I also find this "drawbridge up for 2wks" odd.

After giving birth twice I would hope that I can respect how a new mum would feel-daughter or dil-and that my excitement at becoming a GM doesn't trump their needs for rest.

I'd also hope though that if I said half an hr they'd trust me to stick to that.

A lot of the problems I think do stem from people having to travel & making "popping in" not really doable.

Your mum does sound hard work OP-why would she be expecting to support you??

Barring a csection/difficult birth, it's pretty doable alone!!

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 15:37:49

I wouldn't want to impose an arbitrary limit for the sake of it, but if I felt that I needed a little bit of time to readjust for my own sanity/ability to bond I would be pretty annoyed if PIL and my dad didn't understand that.

This is pertinent for me because I'm 37 weeks and my mil said they 'had' to see the baby as soon as it was born at the weekend. I didn't really reply, but also need to discuss with DH.

Shylepite Mon 20-May-13 15:38:19

Yanbu at all and its really sad that you're getting stressed about this at such an important time in your life. I made the mistake of allowing lots of visitors too soon and really resent the time I spent making cups of tea while my family were playing pass the parcel with my newborn. Make them wait until you are ready, they will get over it!

BraveLilBear Mon 20-May-13 15:41:15

In an ideal world, people would always think of others before themselves. And that includes respecting decisions and boundaries put in place.

In the real world, it's not that easy. Eg when I told my parents that we would be giving the baby it's father's surname, they reacted with shock, upset and implied that the (wider) family would disown me. The phrases 'I always assumed it would be an Ourname for at least a short while' and 'you should think about our feelings about this' were used.

There has been an underriding power/control squabble going on between myself and my parents throughout this pregnancy which has really taken the shine off what should be a very exciting (albeit frightening!) time, and has actually caused a significant amount of stress.

I think it is partly that context that makes me so worried about how they will act around the baby's arrival - it's as if they either see the baby as 'theirs' or they simply cannot accept that I'm a grown up even though I'm aged 33, a homeowner with a decent career, and a part-time stepmother.

This has all got rather deep, hasn't it! grin

GlassofRose Mon 20-May-13 15:45:05

"You should think about our feelings about this"

That's really self entitled of them. I feel for you because it is hard to do what you wish when you wish to remain on good terms with them. However, don't put yourself in a position you don't want to be in if you'll resent it!

BraveLilBear Mon 20-May-13 15:46:39

Thanks didl - essentially, I think she's trying to project this image of 'her as perfect mother' onto us to compensate for her mother being utterly utterly crap.

Her mum was very unsupportive when I was born, it seems, and she has always made a point about doing things as opposite as possible to how she was brought up. I think she sees it as healing her past perhaps?

I have two other sisters, one of whom has always said she'll be hiring in our mum for as long as possible to look after her and the baby! My mum loves the idea of this, but we simply don't have that same relationship.

Also, my DP and her don't get on amazingly so that adds to the challenge - she assumes DP will be crap, and DP assumes DM will take over and drive me/us both mad, not what we'll need.

Rosduk Mon 20-May-13 15:49:46

Wow, looks like I'm in the minority as I think yabslightlyu! I'm all for laying down a law to a certain extent but for grandparents not to meet their first grandchild for 3 days? They must be so excited im not massively surprised they are disappointed.

If it was me I would offer for them to visit for a few hours but perhaps not stay. Having a baby is a change, it does need getting used to but i could still make a cup of tea for people! I loved introducing dd to everyone!

BraveLilBear Mon 20-May-13 16:05:58

I agree Ros, and feel 3 days -point blank- is too prescriptive. As mentioned above (I know it's a long thread) I don't mind them visiting but only if it is short - we cannot have them staying and I am certain I won't want anyone there all day in those first few days at home. That is my concern.

If I was guaranteed to be in hospital for a while this defeats that as a problem as then visiting hours are very carefully dictated (by someone else!), but I do not have the confidence that they will respect a 'short-visit only while we settle in mandate'.

DP and I are now planning to leave the choice to them, they can visit in the early days (if I'm at home), but only for a short amount of time (ie 1-2 hours). If they choose to come up, then they will be welcome, but they'll also be expected to abide by the boundaries.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-May-13 16:06:33

I'm really confused now, how is politely asking someone to wait 3 days not treating them with human decency?

Some families actively want to be surrounded by guests and extended family but some don't both are equally valid view points but its the parents who get to make this choice for them not anybody else.

I can think of no valid reason at all ( excluding any cp reasons) why on earth my desire to see a less than 3 day old baby would be more important than than my son or daughters wish not to or of any importance what so ever to the actual baby.

If I was the type of person who would then turn that into an issue for my son or daughter or my relationship with the baby then that's my responsibility and my bad behaviour the fault would lie solely on my shoulders and it would be up to me to moderate my behaviour and repair any damage.

op as much as I disagree with the more traditional way of giving a baby its fathers surname and in my household prefer to give my children my surname,it is the more usual arrangement I'm stunned that they have given you grief over this after all its my understanding that for many years its quite normal for a child to share its fathers name.

Quite aside from my personal belief about child naming the basic fact is that if unmarried legally in the absence of a court order saying otherwise it is the mothers choice ( I'm unsure of the legalities of a married father but I imagine if you retain your name as opposed to taking his at marriage then if there is a disagreement then I would have thought it would be down to who gets to the registry office first or who gets a court order).

Either way if both you and the dad agree then its naff all to do with anybody else at all and Ime people who throw about the whole disowning thing are usually best kept at arms length.

diddl Mon 20-May-13 16:13:53

How was her mum unsupportive?

I didn't want/need support-not to the extent of helping out.

I did want GPs to be interested & visit regularly though-and being involved with stuff when we saw them.

But I never wanted them to come for the sole purpose of doing stuff for me iyswim-although I'm sure they would have if I've asked.

There's a difference between being available if wanted and doing stuff-wanted or not-because your own mum didn't!!

It's sad really, because it sounds as if although she is so desperate to be different to her mum-the end result is the same!

buswanker Mon 20-May-13 16:29:55

I am having my sixth baby soon. I have learnt to say that I don't want any visitors for at least a few days probably a couple weeks it's straight to the point but isn't too exact so if I feel better than I thought I would they can come over earlier.
People that stay half an hour and make tea and buy me a cake get invited first of course.
I dont care one bit if people think I am a miserable cow for saying it because if they had spent anytime at all with me in the 9 months leading up to the birth they would already know that about me anyway.
Your stepson should be an exception of course, he should be made to feel important and included as soon as possible but I am sure you realise that.

BraveLilBear Mon 20-May-13 16:37:51

You've hit the nail on the head there diddl - I think my relationship with her challenges her the most for this reason due to the many parallels between her and her mum. She moved away from home, I have, she's the first of her family to have kids, I am, etc.

Her mum refused to visit her, relying on my mum to do 90% of the visits and then whingeing if she didn't go down enough - another parallel that is ringing true at the moment. Conversely, my other two sisters live much closer by, are more willing to be 'mothered' ie take washing round and go home for mum love when times are bad, whereas I just try to get on with things myself.

I think my DM would have loved to have had some support after I was born, but never had that opportunity, and that's partly the reason why she 'expected' to be able to help with us.

CaurnieBred Mon 20-May-13 17:26:29

my parents came to stay the week before my due date, came to see DD and I in the hospital the night she was born and the next day then drove back home to Scotland. They then came back 3 weeks later for Christmas and stayed for a week. This worked perfectly for us but both my mum and dad just get on and do stuff and don't need waited on.

PIL (who live locally) also came to visit whilst in hospital and then popped in for short visits afterwards but I can't remember much about them so it can't have been too traumatic!

DontmindifIdo Mon 20-May-13 18:10:04

I think it sounds like your mum has a great idea of how she wants to be supportive to you, without bothering to think if it will actually be supportive to you - because acting like your DP will be useless, undermining him etc will not be a support to you in the long run.

It's also hard if she wants to continue with the "being useful" thing and being different to her mum that you don't want that. I know that MIL found it hard that DH moved away and coped fine without her help, whereas DBIL moved back in post uni and she looked after him, only moving out to move in with a woman who clearly looks after him (he doesn't do cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing etc).

diddl Mon 20-May-13 18:40:21

Sounds as though she's not coping with the not being needed by you.

And now that you're about to have a baby it has really hit home.

My husband hadn't needed his mum for years, but she didn't actually realise it until we married & I moved in.

I'm sure my husband's parents always thought that it was his duty to visit.

But it became a case off get off your arses or don't see him/GC as often as you want.

tangerinefeathers Tue 21-May-13 02:25:35

Of all the people who are holding their parents at arms length seem to have a similar story, they don't want to cut them out completely but just need to be on top form to deal with them.

this is very true.

I think so much depends on the relationships before the birth.

Of course, if you have parents that are going to come in, be warm and loving, hoover, cook, not monopolise the baby and do housework, then of course they are welcome.

But not all parents are like that. And the ones that aren't need to be 'managed'.

My own mother yelled at me as I lay on the bed having just giving birth because I hadn't called her earlier. She had been so worried, you see. She'd also called me relentlessly during the labour, adding to my stress. She arrived when the baby was five weeks old and expected me to be up at six having breakfast with her, out and about with my pram all over town, didn't like me lying in bed with the baby and would come in and say 'give me the baby' and put it in its bassinet (where it would promptly wake up), she also used to interrupt any daytime naps I was having as she wanted to be entertained.

After a particularly freezing outing to a cafe on the other side of town she wanted to visit, I caught swine flu which turned into pneumonia and was hospitalised for ten days. On my return from hospital she again expected to be taken out (I told her a firm no) and on one occasion took my baby 'just up the road' then rang me having caught a train to a market some way away, we had to drive there (heaving with people, dirty and cold) so I could breastfeed him.

Needless to say, when my next baby arrives in about 4 months I am going to be much, much firmer with her. I'm not going to give her the benefit of the doubt this time, because if anything her behaviour is getting worse as she ages. I don't want to cut her out completely, because that would cause so much stress for everyone and actually if I am straight with her it's fine, but I need her to stay away from me when I am feeling vulnerable as she has no empathy or ability to think of anyone apart from herself, and I can't be around that when I've just had a baby and want to focus on him/her and my DS (and actually enjoy the time, it's so brief and special).

And I am not going to feel guilty about depriving her of anything, all she thinks of is herself, whatever I do won't be enough, so I'm just going to please myself. I'm not even telling her the due date this time which is currently driving her nuts grin

sorry for rant. Still bitter.

I haven't read the whole thread but I'm going to be controversial and say I'd prefer to get visitors over and done with within the first couple of days. Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to have 2 straightforward births so haven't had to deal with cs recovery etc. For me, I still had that post birth euphoria and energy, the cumulative sleep deprivation hadn't kicked in, milk not in yet and before hormone crash at day 3-10 ish. Plus visitors at that earlier stage can tend to be more understanding about helping out/bringing food whereas a few weeks later they expect to be waited on more (in my limited experience)

MrRected Tue 21-May-13 04:51:04

DS1 was born at 2am. I was discharged at 9am, 7 hours after he was born.

DXM & DXF arrived at 4pm - after driving four hours from Manchester (with my brother and his GF) and stayed until 11pm - at least they didn't want to stay with us. My dad made a big fuss that DH and I hadn't made any dinner, cue us arranging a Chinese Meal Takeaway and then insisted that DH go off to the local pub for a cigar shock to "wet the baby's head", leaving me at home trying to fend off my rather drunk and maudlin mother.

I was exhausted and have actually never forgiven them for this intrusion. Stick to your guns, whatever you decide, it's YOUR choice.

MummaBubba123 Tue 21-May-13 06:39:39

You're right. They're wrong. Hormones, labour and new babies are hard enough without family crap! Plus, new babies ought not be exposed to sniffly old people anyway. Lol
I told people I needed a week but then changed my mind. 3 days is nothing!

claremp7 Tue 21-May-13 07:54:08

Bear you've described my relationship with my mother down to a t. Also live far away and have siblings who like to be mothered close to her!
My DD is 14 weeks and me and DP had exactly the same discussion. As it turned out I had to be induced so I called them that evening and asked if they wanted to come down.
I had a difficult time so DP was mainly with me in hospital so not home much with them. They helped out with picking him up and taking him to hospital and even to the pub! His DM took a massive step back and has been useless ever since.
My parents were amazing at home stayed for four days. They made tea for visitors cooked for us and did tge washing. Exactly what family should do!
MIL on the other hand demanded a cup of tea and said the house was a bit messy. As I said she's turned very weird. I think its jealousy.
At times when you need family you'll be surprised by who steps up
Your doing the right thing by just leaving it flexible and see how you feel.
My relationship between me and DM has been amazing since.

KookyKitty Tue 21-May-13 07:54:55

I'm 40 weeks pregnant with my first. As I have no way of knowing how the birth will be or how I'll be feeling I thought it best to tell family that we'll let them know when we feel ready for visitors.

They all say they totally understand, my mother and MIL are fine with it. It's not being selfish at all. Everyone has a different experience of birth, if you lucky enough to be up and ready for visitors great. But if you've had a tough time, are sore hormonal and just want time to recover and get used to being a parent, who the hell has the right to intrude!

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 08:35:29

I've kept up reading the rest of the thread with I alone then in thinking that visitors being asked to do housework is odd...unless you are a single parent etc. then I would be pretty put outbid I turned up to visit a baby and was asked to do the hoovering instead! Bringing a meal is pretty normal I think, but I've only ever heard of guests doing housework on mumsnet!

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 08:36:16

Sorry was meant to say 'I would be pretty put out if'

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 08:37:57

God made a right mess of that post...I meant to say what do your DPs do when the visitors are there if the visitors are making there own tea?!

Borntobeamum Tue 21-May-13 08:40:36

You're seeing it from your side - your Mum is seeing it from her side.
When you're in your Mums position you'll see it differently.
I couldn't wait to share our wonderful babies with their excited family and when my dds gave birth, they too wanted to do the same.
But we are all different.

DontmindifIdo Tue 21-May-13 08:54:07

Shellsocks - but would you claim to be visiting "to help" and then be annoyed that you were expected to help? Quite frankly, noone who has just had a baby is up for entertaining, or if they are, I've not met them. Some will put up with it in order to show off the baby, but it's family who insist they are 'helping' by cuddling a baby while the mum (who would otherwise just put her feet up cuddling her own baby watching whatever crap is on TV) is a help to her.

melika Tue 21-May-13 08:56:34

I think if you set down stringent requests like this, you may be making a big mistake. People want to celebrate your new arrival and maybe it would be best to let them do it by visiting. Staying over is a different matter, a little too intrusive for me. But IME the world and its cat want to see your new baby, get it over and done with.

My BIL and SIL had twins, didn't let us see them til they were 6 weeks, I can't be bothered with them at all, I still feel slighted at this.

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 08:57:20

But I'm asking what does the DP do? I was pretty immobile so I sat still while looking after DS or talking to visitors while they held DH did housework, made cuppas etc?

TenaciousOne Tue 21-May-13 08:59:10

I wish I had my mother around for a few days after DS was born. My father saw DS when he was hours old (came to the hospital) but the only person I wanted was my mum. MIL came to see him at the hospital and then again when he was 10 days old but expected me to make tea etc... If your mum is offering to be helpful, take her up on the offer.
Oh and even the people FF stayed in longer than six hours, everyone who gave had a baby as the same day as DS was born were there 24 hours after the babies were born.

DontmindifIdo Tue 21-May-13 09:10:49

Shellsocks - not all couples can afford the dad to take a full fortnight off, either financially or because of work pressures. Plus, not being too funny, but paternity leave should also be for the Dad's benefit, doing housework, fine - once that's done, rather than also having cuddles with his newborn child, being expected to entertain a never ending stream of visitors? how is that fair?

Actually OP, is your mum basing her "you'll need help" from not only thinking your DP will be crap at looking after you, but forgetting that these days there is paternity leave?

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 09:17:13

I agree there will always be exceptions but its quite a common comment here that visitors should only be allowed if they do housework, don't think they will all fall into an exception!

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 09:19:21

And re entertaining visitors on paternity leave I think we will have agree to disagree on that one as this thread demonstrates...some people think it's ok and a lot of others think you should be left alone for weeks!

GlassofRose Tue 21-May-13 09:23:03

Melika - Correct me if I'm wrong but are you stating you can't be bothered with your twin niece/nephews because you felt put out because you had to wait 6weeks to meet them confused

kasbah72 Tue 21-May-13 09:42:20

It sounds like your mum is as self-obsessed as her own mum, but is acting it out under a different guise.

I personally loved having family visitors to show off my baby and I really really didn't expect to feel like that beforehand! However, I had a definite meltdown on day 3 when the hormones, milk, lack of sleep, attempt at hostessing etc all collided in to one snotty mess. My Mum promptly packed me and the baby off to bed and sorted out everyone else. She was brilliant.

Can you turn the whole thing around a bit and make your Mum feel unique and helpful within your own boundaries? I mean, instead of saying what she CAN'T do, come up with a list of things that ONLY she can do and keep laying on thick how helpful that would be?

I am thinking of things like... cooking stuff for the freezer, picking up a newspaper on the day of the baby's birth so you can keep it, taking charge of collecting addresses together for all the family friends she wants to be notified of the baby's arrival (and get her to send out a picture to them that you choose so she REALLY feels like this is her moment in front of her own mates!), cleaning the kitchen/bathroom/whatever, washing a bundle of newborn clothes in advance, keeping a note of all the 'firsts' the baby does when you call to tell her about them so that they can be collated in to a 'first year' book, making sure that everyone else knows that you need rest, bringing a cake to that barbecue etc.

I would also emphasise that your midwife has suggested you need some extra bonding time with your stepson and the baby as a family only, which makes sense but you know is hard for everyone else. However, as she is so important, of course she will be able to pop in for a couple of hours etc etc. and you would really appreciate her help in telling others that only select few (gps) can come in that first few days/week.

I also wouldn't wait for her to offer to stay in a B&B. If you have one nearby and are happy for her to stay there, then give her the details and say that you really appreciate them making the trip but of course (as a mother) she understands that a new baby is so disruptive at night for those first few weeks and therefore no-one is coming to stay but if she wants to stay locallly she is more than welcome.

Oh, and another thing that I bet is bugging her... if you live closer to your inlaws then she will be SPITTING with rage and jealousy at the thought that they might see more of her precious grandchild than she does. That is insane and completely not your problem. However, some subtle "of course dp's parents have said they will only pop in once a week at the start to give us time to bond" might be good!

MummytoMog Tue 21-May-13 09:59:11

I loathed having visitors from my family - was actually fine with close female friends, but my parents, my sister, my in laws, made me want to scream. I would give yourself at least a week on your own. If you change your mind, fair enough, but the worst thing ever was my mum piling into the hospital with my father in law, having been specifically told not to, the day after I'd had a brutal forceps delivery and DD was still in special care. I can't imagine how much worse it would have been if I'd had a section (nerve damage meant I felt nothing for a week or two, so no real pain. Just lots of stitches) and been in pain as well.

ivanapoo Tue 21-May-13 10:31:22

I felt like this a bit - but we filled the freezer, accepted visitors on day 2 and 3 then had a week to ourselves. I did nothing except sit on the sofa and feed/cuddle DS while people popped over.

Now, the thought of my son when he grows up not wanting me to meet his child as soon as possible really upsets me. I wonder if I might react like your mum!

ComtessedeFrouFrou Tue 21-May-13 11:20:04

I am 20 weeks and starting to think about how DH and I will deal with this.

Both sets of parents are well meaning but can be difficult and overbearing in their own way. A little while ago, my DSis announced she was pregnant with DC2 (due shortly after my DC1) and my DM said "I won't know where to put myself!". I thought to myself "how about you actually ask what we would like?"

TBH I have always found my DM to be supportive only on her terms and at times that suited her. I have done most things in my life without her being on hand for support (or even approval sometimes) ad she has no hesitation in making her disapproval known. Having coped by myself for so long, I'm damned if she's going to start claiming the credit by being all "supportive" now by offering criticising and judgement just when I need them least

BraveLilBear Tue 21-May-13 11:30:45

Kasbah - thank you! - <copies and saves> there's some fantastic ideas in there, and I think the idea of giving her something to help with would be a great way to make her feel included.

Dontmind - she knows about paternity leave, hence the offer of coming to stay after DP returns to work. DP says she could stay a couple of days but not a whole week - he will need some mental space and finds 'company' exhausting. He knows there won't be much peace and quiet to be had, but he just wants to be himself and he can't do that when other people are around.

Sorry to hear of so many difficult experiences, but nice to know there are some good parents out there! The thing is, how do you know how yours will behave when it comes down to it?

kerala Tue 21-May-13 13:29:56

This topic makes my blood boil! Surely for heavens sake it is ALL about the new mother/baby/father the grandparents if they are worth their salt should put all their selfish feelings to one side and listen to what the new family want. If they dont want visitors fine. If they want support there from day 1 fine. For this short time the new parents needs come FIRST this self obession by the baby boomers drives me mad. They had their turn when they had their own children.

My mother came to stay when we had DD1 and was absolutely amazing. She helped establish breastfeeding, put our minds at rest and did housework,grocery shopping all the cooking. On day 3 she said she would go and give us some space as a new family - have never seen DH look so horrified! He begged her to stay - she didnt but showed what a brilliant support she had been.

ILs on the other hand have the empathy and emotional sensitivity of my garden fence. I left hospital with prem DD2 they arrived the next morning to stay for 4 days. They had not brought any food with them and expected business as usual shock. DD wouldnt feed and I had midwives calling round every 3 hours and was expressing every 4 hours and they wanted me to cook them sodding dinner I dont think so. DH was running round after them and looking after DD1 so suggested a take away. "But I dont like curry" said FIL. I have never come so close to murder.

seeker Tue 21-May-13 13:34:54

"this self obession by the baby boomers drives me mad. They had their turn when they had their own children."


kerala Tue 21-May-13 14:10:13

I know it was a mean comment but my ILs were MADDENINGLY unsympathetic the one time since I've known them when we needed a little bit of support.

Every minor ailment of theirs is treated with serious faced gravity yet my emergency c section and sickly baby weren't even acknowledged. Grrr rant over!

seeker Tue 21-May-13 14:26:32

So why does everyone behave as if the ghastly examples are typical and the lovely ones the exceptions? It's all very odd, and sad.

DuelingFanjo Tue 21-May-13 14:28:11

"This will affect the baby as a knock-on - GPs may resent parents and possibly baby because of actions of parents, parents may resent and feel unsupported by GPs because of their actions, thus damaging their own parent-child relationships - both have the potential to lead to limited (or close-minded) interactions between baby and GPs."

so the GP shouldn't be so bloody childish to let something like this effect a child who is really blameless. They should grow up.

higgle Tue 21-May-13 14:34:06

If you are normaly a busy person you may get bored. When DS2 was 3 days old we were out shopping for presents for the midwives who delivered him and I drove him up to my mothers house - 90 miles to meet all his elderly relations a couple of days later. I felt totally turbo charged and couldn't wait to get back to doing all the things I'd been too tired for when expecting him.

DontmindifIdo Tue 21-May-13 14:48:12

Seeker - i think it's not that people act like the bad examples are typical, the expectation is that you'll let grandparents come and visit as much as they want and you'll be one big happy family, the problem is when allowing that means allowing "hard work" people to have access to you when you are vunerable. (Mind you, having talked about this in real life, I've realised that of all my 'mummy' friends, only 2 have both sets of grandparents who respect boundaries and aren't hard work, everyone else seems to have at least one side who are nightmareish and have horror stories/regret letting them stay post birth.)

For most people, it's not a problem up until the point you have DCs because really, if you are both working full time, and live a bit away from your extended families, then you can grin and bare it for family visits now and then.

Its when you become a parent that the 'problem parents' become something you have to manage and deal with, or don't deal with it in advance, assuming somehow becoming a grandparent will make them less selfish, and then be on threads like this talking about how your parents/PILs behaviour in the week post birth hurt you so much and has damaged your long term relationship with them.

reading back through this thread, there are several woman who are still upset by family behaving badly around births that happened nearly a decade ago - it's often for only one or two days the grandparents "got it wrong" and yet that has perminately damaged their relationship with their DD/DIL and subsequently meant that their relationship with their DGC is not as good as it would have been (I certainly limit my mum's access to DS because that's also limiting her access to me). These people might have "got it wrong" a lot of other times as well, but on those times you are more able to forgive it/accept it's their way/manage them, but those first few weeks with a newborn are so intense that it's even more important. As hurtful as it might be for said nightmare new grandparents to be kept away or be limited to short (IME reasonable) visit times of only a couple of hours, it's actually in their best interests to stop them acting in a way that's going to mean they have a crap relationship with their DC and DGC from then on.

I really really hope when I'm at the age to become a granny, DS doesn't look at me and see a problem he's got to manage, or let me be a nightmare and them manage the aftermath of my bad behaviour with his DP....

BraveLilBear Tue 21-May-13 14:54:02

That's an interesting take, higgle. I think one of my biggest concerns is that I'll be in a state of (mental) shock immediately afterwards - in a whole new world with no clue how to cope, plus pain and physical weakness on top. <hoping I may be wrong, but that's how I feel at the moment!>

seeker Tue 21-May-13 15:01:37

I suppose I find the idea of a "mumzilla" almost as irritating as the idea of the universally mocked "bridezilla".

Having a baby can be difficult and challenging. However it does not excuse you from considering other people's feelings and conforming to basic courtesy.

kerala Tue 21-May-13 15:08:24

It does excuse you from usual "hosting" duties though - something some GPs (my ILs definitely) couldnt get their heads round. Dontmind is quite right - DH and I were utterly self sufficient, wft, professionals who had never needed any help from parents. We did then though, just for a few weeks we were quite vulnerable. And my ILs were shit - utterly unhelpful and yes it has affected my view of them I can't help that. When the chips were down they weren't there for us quite the opposite.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 21-May-13 15:44:40

Basic courtesy is asking when its ok to visit and not making a big deal about someone wanting to settle in first.

It is not nor has it ever been about insisting you come as and when you please irrespective of whats going on in the other persons house nor is it putting your desire for a cuddle of someone whilst they are brand new above the person who just push that baby out.

You ask when its ok,you don't infringe or over stay your welcome you don't put people out and you don't intrude when people are not at there best unless they actually invite you to.

seeker Tue 21-May-13 16:03:59

The point is, it doesn't excuse anyone from basic courtesy and consideration.

The examples people are giving would be horrendous in any circumstances- regardless of the presence of a new baby!

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 16:09:41

sock basic courtesy in both directions should be expected other than in extreme circumstances?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 21-May-13 16:15:37

Of course it should.

Asking "when can I pop round for a cuddle"

Answer "how about the day after tomorrow"

Nothing at all lacking on courtesy about that on either side.

Khaleese Tue 21-May-13 16:16:16

We took a week, it was lovely.

It's a big thing so tough if they don't like it.

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 16:27:12

But examples here are people saying no for days and weeks, not reasonable IMO (other than in the extreme)

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 21-May-13 16:39:17


The op is talking about 3 days most people on this thread are saying in the op's situation 3 days is reasonable.

seeker Tue 21-May-13 16:40:02

"How about the day after tomorrow" is not considering the feelings of grandparents.

"This afternoon- but I'm absolutely shattered, so could it be a really short visit? Say half a hour? And on the way, could you pop to the shop and get......"

Khaleese Tue 21-May-13 16:40:09

I almost died having one of mine, i was really poorly. One of the aunts tried to get admitted onto the ward for a cuddle.

She was heartbroken, felt left out, devestated, refused to visit for weeks it affected her so much. I couldn't even walk to the fucking bathroom.

it's perfectly reasonable to do whatever you want. Giving birth is no walk in the park, feeding is a nightmare to establish and do you really want to be popping your bits out with loads of family round, sat on a pile of cushions to help with the three hundred stitches in your vagina.

seeker Tue 21-May-13 16:41:47

"it's perfectly reasonable to do whatever you want"

No it isn't!

Your aunt was incredibly insensitive and rude- and would have been, even if you hadn't just given birth.

seeker nor is it fair to ask (grand)parents who live two hundred miles away to drop in for half an hour. If their visits need to be more lengthy, why isn't it fair to ask them to wait?

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 16:43:04

sock sorry I read your post wrong...I think for GP being asked to wait 3 days is strange (overnight visits I totally agree can wait for a while) and the courtesy on both sides would involve IMO the GP visiting soon after birth, but not out staying their welcome (and not being asked to do the housework either wink)

seeker Tue 21-May-13 16:43:09

They can stay in a B and B and visit for half an hour a day. And take any older children out for illicit treats.

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 16:43:31

Actually, what seeker said grin

shellsocks Tue 21-May-13 16:45:56

horry why not? They would be limited by visiting hours if you were in hospital?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 21-May-13 16:55:09

Just after giving birth is a perfectly acceptable time in the short term to put your needs over someone else's wants whilst maintaining courtesy.

3 days old is still newborn.

If seeing a baby before its 3 days old is so important that you would consider a refusal and polite request to visit on the Wednesday if made on the Monday a slight against you or not being shown courtesy then it probably means you over think things like that a bit because its highly unlikely to be intended.

HazleNutt Tue 21-May-13 17:04:56

If OPs mum would be fine with an half-hour visit, I doubt there would even be an issue. As you have read here, many parents and ILs would find suggestions about staying in B&B or limiting the length of the visit very rude and upsetting as well.

BraveLilBear Tue 21-May-13 17:44:43

I think the biggest thing is managing expectations... this whole pregnancy has taught me that everyone even slightly involved has a whole ream of expectations that they feel they are entitled to.

Eg surname issues, the fact that we're choosing kids first and marriage later (we're 33 so hardly spring chickens), visits...

There are still a wealth of issues we still need to address eg my father's smoking habit, the fact that my parents are divorced so we will have to give them the same treatment, but at separate times ie if mum stays three days one weekend, dad will expect to the next weekend - then there are my sisters etc to consider, too (if the ILs suddenly go from being supportive to high maintenance I think I'll have a breakdown!).

My family are very set in their ways. Once something is in their head, they assume that's the way it'll be. So no-one has raised the issue of visiting etc with us yet, which means they're either assuming they can have carte blanche from the word go or expect we will be like every other new parents they know (who all seem to be based close to their families with very different set-ups), or worse, that it will be like when they had us, with visits from a huge number of people from the off (admittedly this was in hospital, but continued at home, too).

Because of their staunch attitudes, we felt we had to tell them that we were trying for children in the first place so they could get their heads round it.

I honestly would not dream of making assumptions about new parents without asking first, but it seems we do not think in the same way!

seeker Tue 21-May-13 17:51:51

"If OPs mum would be fine with an half-hour visit, I doubt there would even be an issue. As you have read here, many parents and ILs would find suggestions about staying in B&B or limiting the length of the visit very rude and upsetting as well"

But they would then be being unreasonable. That's what I mean about it going both ways.

DontmindifIdo Tue 21-May-13 18:23:07

thinking about this further, the distance causes another problem, because you've not been forced put the same boundaries in that you would have if you lived round the corner from your parents. so if they are the type to turn up and monopolise you for a whole weekend, rearrange your kitchen wihtout asking, turn up to your house while you're at work, let themselves in and then tell you off that the breakfast pots were still in the sink at lunchtime and the kitchen was a mess and gosh how could you go to work leaving yoru house like that? (all my mum has done to my brother and his DP who do live round the corner from them, how my DB has held on to his lovely DP after inflicting such a MIL on him I don't know) - then at some point you'll have had it out with them and made them realise they can't treat you like a child anymore. They will have seen you regularly with your DP and can see that you can cope fine without needing "help".

However if you live a long way from them and visits are more formal affairs because they need to be properly arranged, involve an overnight stay, they are more like guests and you put up with their more 'trying behaviour' (and they might be more likely to be on their best behaviour), so you don't deal with it before hand. It's easier to just avoid the issue until your at the having DCs stage.

My bastarding hospital was trialling unlimited visiting hours (11-8 iirc) when I had DS2. <shudders at memory> Even with the "restricted" visiting hours with DS1, people visited for up to ninety minutes, which felt like a long time, particularly when either the baby is trying to feed, or you're missing a chance to sleep.

And plenty of people get home and visitors say "ooh isn't it nice that we can stay as long as we like now". One has to have a large pair of cojones to say "actually I'd like you to leave now" because they think they aren't any trouble just sitting on your sofa eating all the bourbons, because in fairness in any other circumstances they wouldn't be in the way.

SomethingChanged Tue 21-May-13 19:50:54

It is tough when GPs are visiting from a distance, especially if they are really excited and not happy to just stay for as long as you would like them to. Everyone's relationship and experience is different.

I just wanted to add on a positive note that having a baby completely changed my relationship with my own DM (for the better!). I was always pretty independent before but she was so supportive and the person I wanted to cry to. She was the only one who just calmed down and listened. We saw the GPs on day 2 (for about 45 mins each) then not until we were ready. We left it that as soon as we were ready they'd be the first to hear. I'm honestly not sure how my DH would have coped if we hadn't had time as just the 3 of us.

Oh and looking back with a year old baby now, none of this has affected our relationship at all, there'll be so many other opportunities to spend time as a bigger family in future.

MumnGran Tue 21-May-13 20:11:40

OP - speaking as a Gran who's experience of DGC arriving is fairly fresh, this is a difficult one for your Mum to swallow .....but she needs to get over it, and that will only happen if you talk to her in a bit more depth about it all.

My DD and I are lucky enough to be very close and also pretty honest with each other. I am also fortunate to help care for DGC a couple of times a week because, at the moment, my support is needed. I was privileged to visit them (by invitation) in the hospital on Day 1 .... despite the fact that they had had a very difficult first day.

Why am I rabbiting on about this closeness ...well, because I was quite stunned when my DD said recently that with the next, she would not allow any visitors to the hospital. My internal reaction was to feel rejected with no concept of why....did I do something wrong? etc Because we can talk openly, she explained her reasons (which have nothing to do with me per se) and they are very understandable .....but it still stings a bit and feels as though she doesn't want me.
However, it is my issue to get over, not hers. It doesn't mean she doesn't love me, or wants to exclude me ..... and I have had to take her thinking on board.

I think it is very natural and normal for your Mum to feel that "not wanting her in the hospital, or in the house 24/7" equates to rejection. What you need to do is find the time to chat with her, and explain as much as you can about your reasoning, and that it isn't about not wanting her. Tell her about your fears of coping well enough. Open up, and give her the reassurance that she needs

No - of course you don't have to. Nor do you need to justify any of your choices (before I get flamed from all sides). What you want is right for you and that is all that matters .......but equally there is little point in not trying to talk it through with her on an emotional, and completely honest, level so that she understands better......and your choice doesn't "sting" in the same way.

A new baby is a time for joy, not a time for schism, and one or two heart-to-hearts at this stage may save all sorts of anguish later.

Numberlock Tue 21-May-13 20:15:05

Can I ask what her reasons were?

MumnGran Tue 21-May-13 20:37:32

Numberlock has taken me 5 minutes to reel in my rant about the NHS, on this matter, so I can answer you sensibly!

Her reason is simply the levels of exhaustion in the first 2 days.
Timing meant that she arrived back on the ward in the morning after 24 hours without sleep - and then had almost zero support with new baby who (for a couple of reasons) did not feed or sleep properly in those first few hours. Without visitors, she would have let DSIL care for him while she managed to get a little sleep. As it was ... she stayed awake, and then (again because of little ones issues) was up almost all of that night.

By the time I next saw her - at home on the afternoon of Day 2 (and, again, by invitation!) - she had had 3 hours sleep in the previous 60 !!
So, yes, I absolutely understand her reasoning ....although pray that it doesn't pan out the same way next time.

^And now the rant ...... I was appalled that any woman could have been discharged from a maternity unit with the levels of exhaustion she exhibited. My poor DD could barely string a sentence together, let alone care for herself and her baby. I could not believe that the NHS can basically leave a newly delivered woman to get on with it, without offering any support on the ward. Is it so difficult to allow staff to care for a newborn so that a new mother can get sufficient sleep on Day 1 to be able to go home in a good enough physical state to actually care for herself and new baby? My DD has a brilliant husband, and lots of support (when she wants it!). What if she had been un-supported? doesn't bear thinking about.
I was genuinely horrified by what new mothers today are subjected to. Maternity seems to be a factory production line, these days, compared with the care offered to new mums in my day^

Numberlock Tue 21-May-13 21:30:09

Welcome to our NHS, have you only recently moved to England? grin

Numberlock Tue 21-May-13 21:52:33

I'm glad you've come to terms with her decision but would have thought it was more of a reason to have you visit - to hold the baby while she slept.

MumnGran Tue 21-May-13 22:29:59

I respect the fact that it is her DH who needs to do that. smile
It is a bonding time for him, too, and I think it can be easy for women in the family to swoop in with help, and leave Dad a bit on the periphery.

As I said previously- I am truly blessed in having a very communicative relationship with DD & SIL, so I am just guided by what they need at any given time because I know they will tell me.

As for the NHS ... I do despair. I know midwives themselves are saying that staffing pressures are too great, and just wonder if it will take a real tragedy to highlight the issues. Just wish they wouldn't give it the gloss of being "the right way" for women ... because it isn't. There is so much benefit to being looked after well for a couple of days before going home and no baby was ever harmed by being given a bottle by a midwife, or having a nappy changed by a nursing aid, in the first hours of life while mum recovers from labour by getting some sleep!!

OP ... had no intention of hi-jacking the thread blush
My advice to you remains the same .... be honest, but talk and talk some more with your Mum, with a little understanding that you are still "her baby" .....she will be on your side, once she understands your thought process smile

cinnamonsugar Tue 21-May-13 22:48:35

Yeah, I can't think of anywhere less restful than the maternity ward I was on. Or anywhere less conducive to the establishment of breastfeeding - and I was in a hospital that was working towards full Babyfriendly accreditation.

I was on a post-natal ward for just under 24 hours a few days before I had my baby. I was utterly exhausted, not having slept for 24 hours, and was trying desperately to sleep - the people opposite me were performing an exorcism on a baby not 6 hours old, shouting. The phones of the people on either side never stopped ringing.

I had planned a homebirth, but transferred to hospital right to the very end and had an EMCS. I was put into bed flat on my back and couldn't move from that position for over 24 hours because the bed was broken - so flat on my back after major surgery with a general is how I had to try learn how to breastfeed with no-one to show me how to do it properly. I discharged myself early because it was so awful in there. Like I said somewhere upthread I think, I am grateful for every visitor I had.

MumnGran Tue 21-May-13 23:02:24

the people opposite me were performing an exorcism on a baby not 6 hours old, shouting What????????? WTF????? you are kidding?

cinnamonsugar Tue 21-May-13 23:10:44

MumnGran Sadly, I'm not kidding. The mother was not long there from the labour wards when the father (I assumed) arrived and then there was a lot of loud chanting and praying over the baby and commanding to do with evil spirits. Felt like it went on for ages.

pmgkt Tue 21-May-13 23:14:56

My mum came and stayed for the week after dh went back to work. It was lovely cos that mother daughter relationship changes, plus I knew she would be helpful and not interfere. My dad however is a very bad house guest at the best of times so told him to rent a house for a week and he can pop over in small doses. Don't think he liked it to start with but he got used to it. I think it reasonable to say no overnight guests but if they are happy to come during the day and then leave in the evenings to go to hotel , is that really so bad.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 21-May-13 23:19:21

Don't be prescriptive. You won't know how you'll feel. 2 hours away is near enough to pop over for an hour or two at first, even if you're in hospital.

As for 'evenings to yourself' - don't get your hopes up! Chances are, baby will be joining you on many evenings, and probably you or DP will take it in turns to stay up.

BurntCheeseStinks Wed 22-May-13 09:37:23

We limited our family's visits, told them before the baby was born that we would be doing so, but that we weren't sure exactly what we'd want from them and when as we hadn't had a baby before. We said we wanted to make sure we had sufficient time as a new family to bond and work out what we were doing. We looked up some local B and B's 'just in case' we'd feel happier for them to stay locally and pop in for visits, and said things like 'I imagine it'll be very helpful if everyone who comes also brings a meal for the freezer...'. MIL who I thought would be offended at not being able to stay with us just laughed at us trying to plan so much and suggested we wait to see how we felt. Once DS arrived, we got all excited and wanted each visit to go on for ages so we could show him off, but everyone remembered what we'd said and didn't overstay their welcome, and each time we were in fact relieved when they left so we could carry on staring at him and smiling at each other. we really needed the times when it was just the three of us. Apart from anything else, visitors hold the baby when it's crying, meaning the new mum holds it when it's crying or feeding-unpleasant for mum and baby not to have shared happy, contented, sleepy snuggles even jus for a few hours, which at that stage is a large proportion of the baby's life!

Ixia Wed 22-May-13 10:35:38

We banned visitors, day or overnight for 2 weeks :0 both sets of parents would have had to stay overnight and that was not going to happen!

It was one of the best times Dh and I have had, he normally works such long hours, but it was 2 weeks of just the three of us. I had a struggle with breastfeeding, but it meant i could sit downstairs with my top off, no worrying about visitors, no rushing round tidying. Bliss.

My mum was fine with it and she is grossed out by breastfeeding, so i'm glad i got chance to sort out the bfing first. MIL, probably not, but she has never said anything.

BraveLilBear Wed 22-May-13 10:51:27

Mumngran thank you so much for your unique insight. Your DD is very lucky to have such a wonderful mum.

It is a very good idea to attempt a proper heart-to-heart but it is rare we get the opportunity. She has an awful lot going on in her own life - my parents are under 60 so still work very hard full-time, she is in the throes of a new relationship and also has my other two sisters to worry about, which means that conversations generally turn in her direction.

I am not an emotional over-sharer at the best of times (she came to stay just after my early miscarriage and she never once asked me how I was, so I never even told her about what had happened - although I did mention it at a later date), and live in fear of upsetting her - when growing up I ended up being her confidante through my parents' divorce and when she gets upset I feel very guilty, so I do try to avoid confrontation at all costs.

But equally, it might help if I try to explain myself. I have tried so far, but it seems she just thinks I'm being selfish.

Additionally, I have no problem with people coming to the hospital (within reason) to visit - but the issue is not knowing how long I will be in for, or what state I will be in.

Btw, we know the 'us' time in the evenings won't be just me and DP - but we need 'us' time as a threesome, too!

MumnGran Wed 22-May-13 12:33:55

LilBear ....
I am the worlds worst for wanting to organise and cross bridges ahead of time, but in this case I think you just need to wait for the big day and see how you feel before deciding on visitors. You can pre-warn people that you may be OK to have visitors, but equally might not be able to see anyone ......and that you promise your DH will keep them up to speed.
That keeps everyone happy that they will be in the loop, gives them a heads up that visiting might not be a free for all ....and leaves you able to make your choices depending on how you feel at that time.

My daughter is also protective of me, and guilt trips herself if she thinks I am upset. Thats love.....and it comes as a bit of a shock to us parents of adults, when you turn the tables and become uber-protective of us :-)
If you haven't been able to talk openly and easily, then maybe this is the right time to start? - as you are on the threshold of becoming a mother yourself. Do you think your mum held back on asking about the miscarriage (I am so sorry sad ) for fear that talking about it would upset you more? that is quite a common reaction.
I sense a lot of love and real caring exists within your family ......if you can start to tell your Mum more about your emotions, you may be happily surprised by her response when you do.

BraveLilBear Wed 22-May-13 12:49:31

Thanks mumngran - I hadn't thought that perhaps she doesn't realise how responsible we feel for her mental wellbeing!

The miscarriage was difficult, but it was early, and happened before we had told anyone we were even pregnant. I wanted to tell her about it, but simply didn't have the opportunity despite some one-to-one time with her. I didn't feel like she wanted to know (she never asked me how I was at all!), and thought it would be too selfish to bring it up.

I need to sort my relationship with her out - I need her to be onside to shield me from the wider family (including my dad) but that's not going to work at the moment as the message will eb construed in snarky comments to everyone about how 'we don't want anyone to meet our baby' etc!

This is all so messed up <digs out Jeremy Kyle number>...

MumnGran Wed 22-May-13 13:16:33

Brilliant idea to start out by telling how much you need her help.....all mums of adults have times when we feel totally redundant. We mostly are grin but it does feel good to still be needed now and then.
That is just what I meant by getting her onside. You can explain what you want her to explain to others ....and unless she has the intelligence of a gnat (which I doubt!) she will apply what you tell her to herself least to some degree. You can spin it any way that works for you .....not wanting to feel judged by people until you have a handle on caring for your newborn .....wanting to make sure you are functioning enough to ensure house is sparkling etc. Just be as honest as you can ..... but make sure there is plenty of time, so that if you hit a sticky patch in the conversation, you can talk it around and end on a good note.

One final thought may end up wanting her there, after all, so don't be more adamant than you need to in case you want to backtrack. It might be best to take an "I think I am going to want to ......" stance. I expected to be kept firmly at arms length in the early stages, as my DD is very very independent. The reality has been an added closeness, more invites to pop over than I ever expected, and asking for my thoughts (I hate to say advice!) on the usual mothering issues we all have at the start.
That said.....I never ever "pop-in" grin

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