Family and pregnancy. (Bit long winded!)(10 Posts)
We live in Australia, have been here about two and a half years now. I am expecting DD2 in Feb. I have not really settled here, do not like it and miss home terribly. My homesickness has been made worse by pregnancy hormones! Last week, after my latest sobbing fit, my DH made a good suggestion. Why don't we invite a family member or members over here for when the baby comes? We can pay for them out of our savings as really it won't be much of a holiday for them, they'll be mostly keeping me company and helping to look after a newborn and a toddler. Great idea, I thought, I want my mum mostly, so I got onto Skype and asked.
Mum and Dad were great. No problem, they said. We'd love to. Name the date and we'll be there. Anything you want. Fantastic. All good. On Skype to family again a few days ago and my brother, who is 25 and lives with them, says, so I hear we're all coming to visit you. It seems that my mum and dad have invited him along too. Now, I love my brother, we get on mostly, but in small doses. I would however love to have him over to visit but not when I've just had a baby. We only have one spare room, no where for him to sleep. And we live out in suburbia so nothing for him to do either. After the birth of DD1 I was on crutches for a few weeks due to SPD, so couldn't do anything, go anywhere. I'm suffering a bit with SPD again so the same thing could happen. And apart from all that, I just don't want to host loads of people. I'm pissed off because now I have to uninvite my brother from something I haven't invited him to in the first place! I'm worried I'll hurt his feelings and I'll come out of it all looking like a cow.
No point asking my mum and dad to handle it, they are very much of the head in sand, ignore the problem and it'll go away type. And they don't see what the big deal is anyway, why can't he just come and sleep on the sofa? "All he does at home is sit around watching TV, so he won't mind not having anything to do", etc. etc.
So am going to be firm and not be guilted into anything. I can see the whole thing snowballing into a general holiday for the three of them, where I'll be run ragged driving them places, cooking nice meals, washing etc. No way. But need help in wording it. How do I tell my brother he can't come over to visit without sounding like a bitch? How do I word this? Bear in mind he's the youngest, bit spoiled, sensitive, can be very rude, sarky. I have an older sister, but she's even less diplomatic than me so don't want her to say anything. This has the potential to blow up into family row if I don't handle this right, and then no one will come to visit me!
Its hard! So annoying when wires get crossed. I would bring it all onto you so say (very clearly no pausing!) That you feel bad but you want to be totally selfish about this trip and just want mum to focus on you, you want to pay for your mum because it wont be a holiday it will br work for her..lay it on v thick about how nervous/worridd you are and you are sorry but you just want to be selfish and have mum all to yourself.
Suggest a later time for little brother to visit and just apologise but firmly say it wont work for him to accompany.
Anyway he is 25!!! Really doesnt need to be tagging along!!
you are pregnant - you have free reign to be as
bitchy undiplomatic as you like
just tell him that he is not invited this time, sorry.
I really think we women should embrace our inner bitches much more, in the face of blatant piss-taking like this.
Well said TanteRose.
Kalevala, which is worse, coming off looking like a cow or coping with crutches, a toddler, a newborn, a house short one bed for the number of people in it, and one of those people is someone you would only like to see in smallish doses even at the best of times?
This is all about you. Go for it.
Tell your brother you are sorry he has got the wrong end of the stick, but that wasn't the plan because it wouldn't work for you at all. Tell him it's most unfortunate the wires have got crossed somewhere along the line and that him visiting along with your parents right after giving birth is completely out of the question. Then have your DH or sister back you up.
..And let the wounded feelings happen. Anticipating manipulative people's wounded feelings is how people like your brother get spoiled.
You will never be able to please everyone, so you might as well aim to please yourself first and foremost.
Gosh, thanks everyone. You're right, I know you're right, I just have to talk to him and be honest. Usually in my very typical Irish family the standard line is the more the merrier, sure come along, you can sleep on the floor, it'll be great craic. But not this time. I've been reading lots of "how do I deal with family member wanting to be in the delivery room/have my two week old baby for a sleep over/come to stay for three months" threads to help me prepare. He really will have a crap time, I know that, I just have to try and make him understand that, not for him to think that I am freezing him out, which is a sensitive issue with him. Oh well, it is helping lots with my homesickness issues!
Would you be paying for him to come over as well? Could you ask him to pay for his own flight?
If that is a non starter, say it will be lovely to see you, I can't wait. I thought that given the problems I had last time, it would be best if Mum and Dad came first and when the baby is x weeks old, you can come out for a couple of weeks.
If you are paying for the tickets, will you be booking them as well - you could just book the tickets on that basis, one misunderstanding deserves another. 'Here are the details of the flights I have booked for you, I can't wait to see you all and am really grateful for your understanding and support.' If your head in the sand parents make an exception and raise the question of your brother not coming for the whole time, give it to them with both barrels in your head and then just say, you think this way suits best and you don't wish to change it.
You are doing far too much anticipation of how he will react. You and he are separated by thousands of miles, literally half the globe and while you are still a family member, obviously, you are not in a situation where people are going to be crossing the street to avoid you because of putting your foot down.
You are also separated from any other family members whose noses would be put out of joint by telling him this is about you and specific needs you will have once the baby is born for help and support, given you will be in bad physical shape and suffering from no sleep and a toddler to deal with, for months. From what you have written, your sister would be on your side and willing to do some straight talking on your behalf and I think you should rope her in and do some serious putting the foot down.
The more you pander to this brother the bigger a nuisance he will be in the long term. You and your DH need to stand up for what YOU need, and given that he probably thinks you will be paying for his ticket, this is something that needs to be cleared up soon, and really, let the chips fall where they may. Don't be a doormat. You have a brother who has far too much neck and there is no law that says you have to put his sensitivities ahead of your own perfectly legitimate needs. By keeping on doing that every time he behaves badly (and this is bad and really rude behaviour on his part) you and your parents are creating a monster that you will be stuck dealing with for years.
I also don't think this rude behaviour should be rewarded by a paid holiday to Australia where he would be your guest and stay for free even at some later stage. If he's so keen to visit you then he needs to pay for his own ticket. I bet that prospect would make him pause and ask if this is something he really wants.
Quick update: all sorted. Mum and dad had a chat with my brother, and he was completely fine about it all. He apparently wants to concentrate on looking for a job in the new year, and agreed it didn't sound like much fun sitting around with his just-given-birth sister! I'm really pleased, hopefully he can come out later on in the year as well. And now I can get all excited about my mum and dad coming over to meet my new baby and spend time with DD! Thanks everyone!
P.S. this 'embrace your inner pregnancy bitch' is great, have been happily saying "No thanks, I'm not interested", and "I don't want to do that, sorry" all over the place. I recommend it!
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