Visitors staying after PFB arrives

(51 Posts)
Autumn12 Tue 29-Jan-13 16:35:37

I'm probably totally overthinking this as I'm not due to give birth for 6 months yet, but it's worrying me a little already. I'm anticipating being exhausted and not wanting people around for too long.

None of our family live close to us but my family are only about an hour away. They can easily visit after our baby is born for an hour or two and then leave us in peace. However, my MIL lives at the other end of the country. When she visits us it's always for 3 or 4 nights at a time. If I'm honest this is too long for me at the best of times.

I'm anticipating that she will want to come and visit once this baby is born and I'm really dreading it. She lives too far to come for just the day, and the train fare is expensive hence why she ends up staying for 3 or 4 nights and not just the 2 I'd prefer.

I can't broach the subject with DH as he thinks it's far too early to be thinking about this stuff, but I really do not want her to come and stay overnight with us in the first few weeks after our baby is born. I must admit that I do find her quite irritating at times which may be part of the reason why I'm worrying about this. She doesn't get out of bed until midday, and whenever she stays expects to go out every single night for dinner and/or to the pub. This caused some problems the last time she stayed as I'm still at that exhausted stage of early pregnancy and also don't fancy sitting in a pub watching people drink. So we only went out to eat twice in 4 days and she was obviously put out by this.

Anyway i'm probably waffling now but can I ask how other Mumsnetters dealt with this sort of sitaution? Am I being unreasonable and should I just grit my teeth and have her to stay?

CailinDana Tue 29-Jan-13 16:45:30

When I had DS my parents came over from Ireland a few days after he was born but they stayed in a hotel. Is that possible for your MIL? Having people around the house is stressful anyway but just after a baby is born it's too much unless you get on really well with them. You need to discuss this with DH and not let him fob you off, it would be a shame if this caused you stress when it's so easy to sort it out.

Autumn12 Tue 29-Jan-13 16:58:03

I don't think she would go for staying in a Hotel, she wouldn't understand the need at all.

This is a woman who wanted to stay over with us the night after our wedding (not the actual wedding night) and who got very emotionally manipulative when we refused. To clarify we met up with relatives, including MIL, who had travelled in for the wedding for a meal before they flew home. MIL had somewhere to stay, but she would have preferred to stay at ours. We wanted to stay in our newlywed bubble and not have guests, especially MIL, staying in our guest room. We also had lots to do after the wedding as well as to pack for a long haul Honeymoon. MIL is the type who would have stuck around the next day until we left for the airport, it would not occur to her to give us space to get stuff done. She could not understand this at all, and tried to emotionally manipulate DH about it right up until we left the meal and went home without her.

CailinDana Tue 29-Jan-13 17:02:17

In that case your DH needs to get right on it and sort it out. Let him bear the brunt of any manipulation, you just don't need it. I would advise insisting on a hotel, and briefing your DH on procedures for getting her out of the house so she doesn't turn up in the morning and hang around all day (which would make the whole point of a hotel redundant).

Is your DH good for standing up for you against his mother?

TwitchyTail Tue 29-Jan-13 17:33:05

Your husband needs to tell her she is staying in a hotel, not ask her to. Full stop.

I'm in a similar position as my husband's family live abroad and usually stay with us. They are actually very nice but it is always a strain having house guests, however accommodation they try to be, and it is 100% reasonable to have a blanket ban on overnight visitors in the postnatal period.

TwitchyTail Tue 29-Jan-13 17:33:46

accommodating, even.

Lozza70 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:41:39

The only over night guests that you should have with a new baby in the house are ones that only stay a day or 2 and do all the cooking and cleaning before getting out of your way for the majority of the day! Your DH is going to have to face this one sooner rather than later and insist on MIL staying in an hotel.

Lozza70 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:41:48

The only over night guests that you should have with a new baby in the house are ones that only stay a day or 2 and do all the cooking and cleaning before getting out of your way for the majority of the day! Your DH is going to have to face this one sooner rather than later and insist on MIL staying in an hotel.

GingerDoodle Tue 29-Jan-13 20:36:17

My folks were always coming to stay when our DD arrived last Sept. Around July I just said to my DM
'I don't want to appear like we don't want you to come - we do! But i'm not sure how I'll be feeling so could we book you a local B&B in case I don't feel up to having you stay?' They were fine about it.

As it happened I really wasn't bothered, DD was a week early and they stayed with us for a week. By the end of it I was grateful to have my house back tho!

Hassled Tue 29-Jan-13 20:40:07

Is there any chance you could throw yourself at the mercy of your family and see if she could stay with them?

Failing that then you're going to have to be tough. You really, really will not want to be the hostess to a demanding guest when you've just had a baby. If she has to come, it needs to be to the nice B&B/Premier Inn down the road.

Is she the sort of person who respects a doctors opinion?
I found saying the following bought us much needed time:

'the doctor and midwives have said house guests are not a good idea for newborns and new parents. The advice is to have short visits starting with family and very close friends but not have people staying over night.'

Autumn12 Tue 29-Jan-13 20:56:36

My family don't have the room unfortunately, plus they are still an hours drive away. They wouldn't want to drive her here and back every day.

DH can stand up to her it's just that if he doesn't see a problem with her coming then he will think I'm making a fuss for no good reason. I'm going to have to sit him down and make him discuss it or else I'm going to drive myself mad.

vamosbebe Tue 29-Jan-13 20:59:21

I would suggest get your DH to organise this. My DM came for three weeks and didn't lift a finger, not even one nappy change. I was an absolute wreck after an enormous episiotomy and DS had colic, I found it very very stressful and wish I could turn the clock back.

You need to talk to your dh. Tell him that it is worrying you now and therefore needs sorting now. If he says/thinks you're making a needless fuss, point out that you will be pushing a football out of your fanjo and what you want goes. If your dh is likely to take the line of least resistance, you need to be making more fuss than his mum.

Before you talk to dh, have a think about when you might be up for overnight guests again. A month? Two months? Three?

If MIL does agree to a hotel (in preference to huffily staying at home and bemoaning that fact that she hasn't met her grandchild) make absolutely sure she understands which meals she will be eating at your home, how many days she will be welcome for and that your dh will not be available to go out with her in the evening.

Its probably best to be in the room when your dh makes the phonecall!

Autumn12 Tue 29-Jan-13 21:39:31

Well I had a chat with him and its ended in a big row!
I asked him if his Mum had mentioned visiting after the baby is born and he said she hadn't. I asked him what he felt about visitors staying when the baby is here and he tried to fob me off by saying that he hasn't thought about it and didn't need to think about it now. I told him it was worrying me and he just said that I'm always worried about something.

I refused to drop it as I know that he wouldn't go away and think about it, he would just forget it and never bring it up again. So I asked him to think about how he imagined we would feel after the birth exhausted and trying to get to grips with a newborn. He just kept saying that he hadn't a clue. I mentioned to him that if his mum wanted to visit that she could maybe stay with her step daughter who lives about 45 minutes away. He said that it wouldn't go down well with his mum. I asked him if he felt it was an unreasonable request and he said it was and it wasn't "welcoming".

It descended into a row after that as he suggested that we might welcome the help from his mum and that she could help by holding the baby. He wouldn't entertain a reasonable discussion about it so I ended up telling him the truth, which is that his mum would be no help as she would sleep in til lunchtime and spend each evening drinking . I also pointed out to him that his mother irritates him at the best of times and so imagine what it would be like after days of little to no sleep.

We are now in separate rooms and not talking. Not how I wanted it to end up at all.

lechatnoir Tue 29-Jan-13 21:58:37

I'm sorry your first discussion about this hasn't gone well but PLEASE don't back down. When I had ds2 my in-laws came to stay to help with ds1 & it was a bloody nightmare & we normally get on ok hmm MIL took it upon herself to 'help' me with my newborn - I couldn't do anything on my own, I never felt I could just sit/feed/cuddle him, she had very strong views about breast feeding ("you'll never fill a baby that size without formula shock) & being the hormonal wreck so many of us after post birth this ultimately pushed me to the bottle which still bugs me as I successfully fed ds1. Honestly don't do it - if your dh wont countenance mil going to a hotel then call her when you go into labour to stay & 'look after DH' for the night or 2 you're in hospital but make it crystal clear you come home with DH & baby alone.

Autumn12 Tue 29-Jan-13 22:10:37

Her visit will need to be pre booked as she will need time off work and also to book her trains. She lives hundreds of miles away you see. So it wouldn't work to ask her to come and look after DH, plus what would happen is they would end up off doing stuff and I'd be sat in hospital alone. Or worse she would tag along with DH for every visit.

She isn't very good at boundaries. She is the type of person who goes along with you everywhere when she visits. She even tagged along when we had to make a dash to the post office ten minutes before it closed making us even later than we already were.

The thing is DH is saying that she may be helpful but I know she won't be. She doesn't even like babies and has made that clear on many occasions. But she may still want to visit so that she feels part of it and to be able to tell other people that she came.

tasmaniandevilchaser Tue 29-Jan-13 22:20:59

If she needs to pre book everything, then sounds like a good excuse to make her come a bit later say a few weeks after the baby is born "just so she'll be sure of meeting the baby, in case he/she is late". That gives you a bit of time.

She sounds a right pain. The post birth period can be very overwhelming for some -it was for me. I didn't want people around, i felt like i'd been hit by a bus. I was stressed before DD arrived at the thought of my house being overrun by guests after the birth, so i can understand your worries. You've still got some time for your DH to understand.

Autumn12 Tue 29-Jan-13 22:29:59

Yeah maybe I can get around it that way by asking her to book for September.

DH has made me feel like I'm being a cow and picking on his mum. I won't want any long staying visitors but none of my family would dream of asking to stay.

Maybe I am being a bit selfish but DH will have maybe 2 weeks off for paternity leave. I want it to be the 2 of us together for that time learning about our new roles and getting to know our baby. I don't want to have someone else there for a good chunk of that time.

Kiriwawa Tue 29-Jan-13 22:39:53

You are not being remotely selfish so don't worry about that smile

Your DH has had his mum around all his life - he is used to her emotional blackmail/lack of boundaries but there's no reason why you should have to put with it, especially when you've just given birth.

TwitchyTail Tue 29-Jan-13 23:26:28

You are not being selfish. You are being reasonable. Your husband and mother-in-law are being unreasonable. I don't actually know anyone who would think it was acceptable to stay with a newborn and a woman who has just given birth (unless expressly invited). Plus it's a recipe for disaster - hormonal and sleep-deprived woman + screaming newborn + difficult mother-in-law who doesn't like babies and doesn't get boundaries... the outcome won't do anyone any good in the long term.

Give your husband a chance to calm down and hopefully see sense, but don't back down. You are the one giving birth - you get to make the decisions here.

NAR4 Wed 30-Jan-13 08:47:09

Point out to your DH that after you have given birth you will need several baths a day as well as various lady products in the toilet that you really don't want the world/his mother to be privi to.

Def say he needs to tell her she has to stay in a hotel and maybe even give her the hours you will be available for visits.

Make it clear to your DH that you expect him to stay at home with you and the baby and not leave you alone to take his mother out for the evening.

As Twitchy said it would be good to point out how tired and hormonal you will be and you wouldn't want to end up arguing with his mother and cause any upset.

Autumn12 Wed 30-Jan-13 08:59:47

Thanks for all of the replies everyone.

We spoke briefly this morning and he says that he was tired and irritable and claims that he has always said no visitors for a month. If he has then he hasn't said it to me.

I'm not happy that he jumped down my throat last night. He still accused me of being cruel to his mum this morning. I'm not at all I'm only singling her out because she is the only person that this issue may crop up with.

Good that you're talking again. Keep being friendly and polite, but don't back down. No visitors for a month sounds reasonable. If you can, let it go that he never said that to you. Let him have that one, he's showing you that he has come round to your way of thinking but doesn't want to admit it directly.

But keep gently but firmly pushing through with this. Get things clear. Not 'we'll see' because that makes everyone on edge from now until when the inevitable argument happens months down the line. Keep it polite, friendly, but clear. You deserve to be the two of you with your lovely new baby without any clouds hanging over it.

Autumn12 Wed 30-Jan-13 09:19:56

Well he's speaking to me but I wouldn't call it polite and friendly wink

He still thinks I'm being unreasonable towards his mother. He stormed out this morning complaining that he has to keep every woman in his life happy at the expense of his own happiness.

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