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How to be diplomatic about DH's family coming to visit new baby

(29 Posts)
MrsHuxtable Mon 29-Aug-11 17:30:54

I'm only 17 weeks pregnant and already stressed out about this issue.

For various reasons and if all goes well, our first baby will be born abroad in my home country. I (and DH for some of the time) will be staying with my father from 35 weeks til the new baby has a passport and we are both fit to travel back.

Now, DH has just had a call from his sister who wanted to know, especially for the grandparents, but also for the rest of the family which airport it was best to fly into for when they want to come and visit us to see the new baby. There has been talk before about all of them wanting to come after the birth.

I adore DH's grandparents BUT I can not see how this visit would work out at all. Yes, my dad has the additional space in the house so everyone could stay but he has a very stressful job and will not be able to look after any visitors, especially if they don't speak the language.
I assume I will be quite busy getting to grips with my first baby and breastfeeding, DH doesn't drive, so who will be entertaining all these guests???

I mean, a due date is just estimated, so how do they want to book flights now?
Also both DH and I are not getting on with his mother at all (she's very toxic), and having here there is really not an option. If we let the grandparents visit however, we won't get around his mum and sisters as well. That's 5 extra people we're talking about!

How can I ,without hurting the grandparents, explain, that it would be better if they just waited those 3 weeks after the birth til we are back in the UK? I don't want to push them away, it's their first great-grandchild but seriously...

What will I say?

defrocked Mon 29-Aug-11 17:33:07

its up to them to arrange their own accommodation and their own entertainment/transport

just say baby is due on x and leave it to them

BeStillMyBeatingFart Mon 29-Aug-11 17:36:38

Don't say anything.

Get your husband to do it.

Is this your first? You'll tired, cranky and possibly a bit sore in places. You'll want peace and quiet for the first few weeks. They'll understand, if they don't understand then they don't deserve your company.

bubblesincoffee Mon 29-Aug-11 17:38:43

If you and dh don't want them to come, it's up to DH to tell them.

If he does want his family to come, which is understandable, and it's lovely that thye do want to, then tell them the airport, and give them a list of hotels nearby and list of car hire companies. Hopefully they will take the hint that they will be expected to fend for themselves.

PrincessScrumpy Mon 29-Aug-11 17:42:48

I think it's fairly standard for in laws to want to come and visit the new baby and the fact that they are happy to fly out is more than many would. My dh is currently on the phone to his mum arranging their visit for after our twins are born on Friday. I think they want to come the following weekend, but I'm having a cs so dh is making it clear that they are welcome but will need to bring own bedding (to save washing for us) and be willing to do housework and cook etc. I think it's about laying down boundaries and maybe asking them to stay at a hotel.

I would help them organise accomodation but then I get on with pil (mostly). Otherwise, promise them lots of pictures and ask them to wait 3 weeks (I know mine would hate to wait that long). My parents will be meeting them at a day old but that's because they will be bringing dd1 to meet them.

Basically, work out what you and your dh want, then he must tell them. I never talk about this kind of things with in laws (or money), as I feel dh needs to do that - if he offends them it, his mum will forgive him easier than a daughter in law.

aliceliddell Mon 29-Aug-11 17:42:59

BeStill your name makes me laugh every bloody time. You utter moo. I'm tragically crippled with a weak bladder. Can't do unplanned mirth. Agree with you and defrocked, this shouldn't be your problem.

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld Mon 29-Aug-11 17:48:12

Agree with op's. It's your DH who needs to sort this out. Get him to give them a list of nearby hotels and car hire. Suggest they book flights/accommodation/transport once baby is born just in case s/he is late.

SouthernFriedTofu Mon 29-Aug-11 17:49:13

I actually think what you wrote in your OP was very diplomatic. Send a lovely emial explaining just like that (don't ring because phone calls have away of going to whoever is the pushiest and if dh is flustered he might not be able to explain fully your reasons.) Tell them you would love to see them at such and such a date (say 6 weeks after you are due) but you will need some initial time with baby before you will be fit to have people around.

MrsHuxtable Mon 29-Aug-11 17:51:58

I feel like I'm being horrible.

It's DH's grandparents that want to come especially and I adore them. I would have no problem if his mum had to stay in a hotel. The grandfather is not very fit healthwise so I would feel mean making them stay in a hotel. The next one would be quite far away anyway. It's just a small town, not a city.They also don't have the money to afford one. How about driving in a rented car on the other side of the road the first time at that age??? I really feel like they would have to stay with my dad for us to be able to look after them. Maybe I'm over thinking this...I am really grateful that they want to come and make the effort though.

FlubbaBubba Mon 29-Aug-11 17:57:11

It's tricky - but your idea of just asking them to wait for a few weeks makes perfect sense for all reasons already stated; better for your (mental!) health; better for their pockets; better for their health; babies in first month are sweet, but boring! First month is spent asleep, pooing or feeding grin Much more fun once they can interact a bit, and stay awake or unfed for longer than half an hour at a time.

I would speak to the grandparents themselves, then email or text the pushy mum/sister.

SouthernFriedTofu Mon 29-Aug-11 17:57:36

Tell them to come 6 weeks later. They had children they will understand. You really aren't being horrible.

SouthernFriedTofu Mon 29-Aug-11 17:58:03

Also lie about your due date

exexpat Mon 29-Aug-11 18:00:06

I had both my DCs overseas, and I made the grandparents wait until I had actually had DS1 before booking flights to come out, and also made sure that they didn't all come at the same time, so my parents arrived when DS was about 6 weeks old and I felt settled enough to look after guests, and the in-laws arrived a couple of weeks after they had gone.

Due dates are such unpredictable things, it really doesn't make sense to book in advance - DS was one day early, but DD was 9 days late and I stayed in hospital for five days, so if anyone had booked to come when she was born, they would probably have been due to leave by the time I left hospital.

If you are planning to be back in the UK within a few weeks of the birth anyway, I think you should emphasize this, and the unpredictability of due-dates, and how exhausted and unsettled things are likely to be with a newborn, and say that you think it would be better all round if everyone waited to meet the baby until you were back in the UK. But they may not want to listen....

Ragwort Mon 29-Aug-11 18:01:04

Can't you be totally vague and say something along the lines that it is not definite that you will be going 'home' for the birth.

Otherwise, just be firm, state quite clearly that it is your intention to come back to the UK (or wherever you live) as soon as possible - no need to go into long details about the passport issue - and you will be looking forward to introducing your baby to them in <insert place of your choice> as soon as possile. Full Stop.

SinicalSal Mon 29-Aug-11 18:01:34

Why don't you sweetly suggest that they wait til you are at home? That buys you a few weeks (you can put any number of weeks you like on it) to get to grips with newborn and you won't be putting your dad out.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 29-Aug-11 18:06:36

I think that you have to be honest and remind them that your dh doesn't drive and that you will not be up to fetching people from airports and ferrying them around - you will be at home, establishing breastfeeding and generally recovering. Remind them that your dad is working full time so won't be on hand for these things either. Probably, they just haven't thought it through in all the excitement of a new baby.

However lovely they are, it is not a good idea to commit to having guests stay when you've just had a baby - this is time for you and your dh to adjust to parenthood and you need space and time to yourselves. Guests need feeding and they will end up wanting lifts to places and you will feel rude for refusing. So the likelihood is that you will end up doing things that you really don't want to do. this breeds long lasting resentment, however much you like people.

Best to tell them that if they really do want to visit, you suggest that they stay in a larger town or city and hire a car and make a holiday of it and you will see them for some day visits. The best thing really would be if they waited until you came home.

They are not really thinking about what will happen if the baby is late or premature and in hospital for a while, or if you have a CS and physically (and legally) cannot drive for 6 weeks.

Also, this is your dads house - not yours and it would be wrong for them to assume he is happy to act like a hotel for your extended family. He might not want lots of people descending on him.

Il's can get very enthusiastic and quite selfish at times like this, so best if you decide what you are happy with and then let them know.

MrsHuxtable Mon 29-Aug-11 18:07:41

I think that's what I will do. Be vague about it all. I mean, this birth happening in my home country is all depending on me being well enough to travel in the first place.

And yes, I plan to be back in the UK within 3 weeks.

I guess, I just have to let DH tell them to not book anything until we know for sure what is happening. I'd have no problem with them visiting for a couple of days if I was giving birth here. It's just all the extra hassle of me already being kind of a guest at my dad's house and then having over extra people...

RedHotPokers Mon 29-Aug-11 18:10:46

Can you kind of blame it on your dad? Say that you don't want to put him out given that he will already be having extra house guests (you, DH and baby) and maybe say you are very worried about how he will cope with work, newborn etc.

And maybe also give them some guff about how your MW thinks you may be early (or late??) and you would hate for them to pay all that money for flights when either you would be back in the UK by that time, or that the baby wouldn't even have been born yet.

Alternatively, your DH will just have to lay it on the line, and tell it how it is!

pigletmania Mon 29-Aug-11 19:05:47

Give them a list of the nearest B&B or hotels etc

pigletmania Mon 29-Aug-11 19:08:37

I would tell them that its best to visit once you are back in the UK, it will only be a few weeks time. Don't feel mean, its very difficult with a new baby and not fair on your dad.

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Mon 29-Aug-11 19:19:15

Definitely fudge the due date. And maybe instead of the GPs visiting you overseas you could set up SKYPE for them so that you can keep them informed and they can see the baby? You don't really know when you'll be giving birth so arranging flights etc would be problematic and it sounds like you won't get them without your MIL. Being a guest in someone's house and having guests is also a bit awkward. You could arrange a special visiting time when you're back, maybe going to them if they live a distance away.

emjanedel Tue 30-Aug-11 13:26:16

How would your dad feel if you were having the baby and he had to wait 3 weeks to see Grandchild. I think it is unfair. My PIL didnt see dd for a week after she was born 9their choice). I would advise them to book flights after the birth and stay in hotel. How would you feel in their position? xxx

SouthernFriedTofu Tue 30-Aug-11 13:56:57


assuming the dad doesn't htink its all about him, he wouldn't mind waiting a few short weeks! FFS

I would never ask a family member to take me and my entire family on after they've had the most life changing experience possible, and whle most women are (at least) suffering from baby blues as well exaustion.

waterrat Tue 30-Aug-11 14:09:55

I don't think you should be vague - that means you aren't dealing with it and will have the worry on your mind right up until you give birth.

They have been new parents themselves, I bet if you sit them down and explain that you are nervous about those first few weeks, really want to get to grips with breastfeeding/ bond with baby on your own - and that you dont see your dad often and would like some time with him. I think you may find they are more understanding if you are clear with them - if they are nice people they will not want to upset you. It's ridiculous that they want to fly out - its three weeks not three months.

Be firm - you have got to protect yourself and your feelings so that you dont have this on your mind nearer the birth.

waterrat Tue 30-Aug-11 14:10:54

and be open about your concerns re. their own welfare - perhaps if you paint a clear picture of the day to day reality - ie. you wont have time for anything but your baby and there will be nobody to drive them anywhere - and explain its causing you worry already.....they will get the idea.

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