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Visitors after baby's born(17 Posts)
MEGA LONG POST ALERT!!!
After some advice, hopefully this is the right forum to ask in.
I'm due DC2 soon and I'm having a stress out about visitors. I'm part of a large family and I live about a 7 hour drive from my parents and DH's parents. My mum is a school teacher and so her and my dad will only be able to visit for a weekend when the baby is born. My inlaws also want to come down to stay with us when the baby is born. The trouble is, they will want to come for about 4 or 5 days and stay at our house. The other issue being, I find my inlaws very difficult and they've always been very unsupportive of my parenting choices. They are completely overbearing. To give a bit of an insight, if DC1 misbehaves and I give her a time out (which I always do in a very calm manner), they will start shaking their heads, asking why I gave her into trouble etc. They tried to force me to give my breastfed baby a dummy when she was little, tried to force me not to breastfeed etc. When my MIL spends time around our 2 year old, she'll do things like touch her hand and say "oh your hands are cold sweetheart, you should have a cardigan on!" Then if I put a cardigan on her, 20 minutes later, she'll be touching the back of her neck saying, 'oh it's warm now the sun's out, you feel far too hot! You need that cardigan off now.' Sorry, these sound like ridiculous examples as I write them, but it's just the constant undermining really wears me down. There are many, many other issues their too, frequent bad language infront of my 2 year old, FIL smoking while standing right next to 2 year old, trying to get my to put my finger into glass of wine and then in DC1s mouth if she cried as a baby etc etc.
I really can't face the thought of them staying that long. I have already told all our family that we want some time alone immediately after the baby is born so we can bond as a family. We feel this is particularly important for DC1. It would be different if our family lived locally and just wanted to pop in for a couple of hours, but the reality is, we will be putting them up for the duration of their visits. It's not just parents visiting, it will be all our siblings coming down at various times with their families too.
Anyway, my gut feeling is that I need to tell DHs parents that they can only stay for say 2 nights. The only problem being that flights to where we live are very expensive if not booked far in advance. They won't be able to book in advance due to not knowing when the baby will arrive. That leaves them with the option of driving but they are in their 60s and the drive does take it out of them. Traffic can add a substantial amount of time on too. So would it be fair of me to expect them to drive down this far for such a short time? They do have lots of savings so they could physically afford to fly but it is definitely overpriced when booked last minute.
I honestly can't bare the thought of them staying full stop when I'm at a vulnerable time and adapting to life with a new baby.
What do I do??? Please help!
You need to stay strong on this one - you need time to adjust and settle into life as a family of four, especially for your older child's sake.
Tell them they are welcome to visit but unfortunately won't be able to stay and will need to book a hotel. Repeat as necessary.
That would be ideal, but I also have a difficult mother who wouldn't take too kindly to that idea, especially since she's only down for 2 nights and won't have seen us since Christmas! We'd have to have the same rules apply for all family guests. It really saddens me that the arrival of a baby should be about the mother, father, child and any siblings but parents & inlaws so often feel that it should be all about them I just feel so stuck between a rock and a hard place
Tell your in-laws and the rest of the family no overnight stays then make an exception for your parents (let them know to keep it quiet) if anyone asks there was a last minute problem with their hotel booking!
I'm in a similar position that both sets of our parents need to travel to see us (luckily not as long). My parents have said they will just come for the day initially (probably at the weekend due to work). But pil will probably need to stay over (longer journey) - I've spoken to dh and said if I'm home from the hospital im only comfortable with one night as I won't want to breast feed in front of fil and don't think it's fair on me. If I'm in hospital longer I won't care if they are at our house! But then there are siblings and friends who live further away - again might impose a 1 night at ours limit (they can always book a hotel if wanting to stay longer) and also that they don't all come together (which I have a feeling is what will be wanted but an additional 5-6 adults, potentiobally 1 child and 1 dog in our house would be too much!)
First of all, get your DH to do the dirty work and tell them no overnight guests as you are recovering from birth and establishing breastfeeding and will be topless most of the time.
Secondly, it won't look fair if your parents stay and they don't and it may well cause bad feeling, which could cause problems for your DH in future. However, it's your baby and you're the recovering post partum patient. It amazes me how often relatives put their own wants centre stage above that of the mother and baby.
We had to tell my MIL that we were having no overnight guests, not even from my side of the family ( which was true) and she still kicked off massively and threatened to disinherit DH etc. In the end, we stood our ground and she had to accept our terms. She did calm down eventually. DH has the patience of a saint.
Stand firm- it's NOT about them, it's about you and your little family unit. And let your DH break it to them.
I would ask them to stay at a hotel as well it's too stressful having people in your house plus it's enough change for your DD without having even more people fussing over the new baby it could be quite over whelming for her. I've found that being a bit sneeky helps 'sorry mum but if you stay they will want to stay and it's so stressful for me I knew you wouldn't want me stressed I told DP you would be happy to do it for my sake' to mil DP says 'sorry mum OP doesn't want her mum staying because it stresses her bf in front of her dad I knew you wouldn't want to stress her I told her you wouldn't mind one bit staying at a hotel, I knew you would just want what's best for us just now' shocking manipulation I know but not many people would have the brass to say I don't give a shit about your feelings tough luck we're coming.
kiki22 - that's a great idea. I must remember this.
To me, it was unthinkable to have overnight guests when we had our first baby ( and our second come to that)..
When I visit a newborn, I keep the visit short out of solidarity with the mother. To expect to stay overnight and be hosted by new parents to a newborn is very rude unless you are there to be a non stop help, not a spectator who needs cups of tea and food.
Stand your ground OP. They've got a long time to get to know your baby. They don't have to cram it all in within four days. Very selfish to expect that.
I agree that they should stay in a hotel too. Also, why don't they sort out their travel for 8 weeks after the due date that way it won't be last minute.
It works a treat they get to be the kind considerate people who don't want to put you to any hassle and you get no house guests win win
Thanks for all your advice. I'm so pleased that you don't all think I'm being ridiculous. Some great ideas there so I'll sit down with DH and try to come up with a plan that works for us. Another thing that has really bugged me is that, after DH telling his mum that we'll be having a bit of time alone straight after the baby's born, she proceeded to phone my husband and tell him that she's booked a week off work from the due date it's just infuriating. Hormones probably aren't helping matters but I've just had enough of it all! hopefully it all works out okay in the end.
Oo op this is the only case where I would say to a pregnant women - I hope you go a week over due!!
She'll just have to unhook her week off! It doesn't entitle her to override your wishes!
Oh my god op your post got me stressed just reading it!
No. Just no.
I cannot understand why parents insist on coming to stay when a baby arrives - it is absolutely the last Thing you need with a newborn.
Stand your ground. Don't have any visitors until you feel ready.
It really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things if one parent gets upset or feels put out - it is not about them.
Why risk the extra pressure and stress when the only important thing here is that you have time to recoup and bond with your family??
Just tell them all no visits until well after the birth.
PIL live 4 hours away. They'd stay in a hotel. Surely your families know those early days are both precious and difficult? What happens if you have to have a cs and your dh is having to do most of the work as well as look after your guests? Do any of them have other relatives in the area they can stay with?
Agh. I have this. My dad lives in France and is travelling over to the UK for a few weeks around when baby is due to be born. His 'base' will be in a city about four hours from us, so when the baby is born and he comes to visit, he will need to stay overnight. I know he is really excited (first grandchild) and I want to involve him and let him enjoy. But... I am really reluctant to have anyone stay overnight during the first few days, as I think I will feel crowded/stressed (I am a stress monkey at the best of times), and my DH in particular will hate it as he really wants to make sure that we spend special time, just the three of us, as he only has 2 weeks of paternity leave to take.
I haven't actually managed to talk to my dad about what his plans are yet. I have no idea what to do. I'm thinking of talking to my in-laws (who live 45 mins away) and asking if they would mind awfully putting my dad up for a couple of nights as a massive favour to me...
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