How to manage long distance guests after birth(65 Posts)
Have been thinking about guests after I give birth (hopefully in Feb) and just wanted to see whether IAMBU or not!
DH and I live nowhere near our family and friends (all the grandparents to be will have to travel for at least three hours to visit). My thoughts at the moment are as follows:
No guests for first three days to allow recovery time
No overnight guests for at least the first month as will not be up to hosting. Will suggest local Travelodge for people who are travelling a long way.
All visits must be arranged beforehand and be mutually convenient.
I don't think that this will be an issue for my family and friends who for one thing know me well and how introverted I am but also have quite a bit of disposable income so won't be bothered by the Travelodge.
However ILs are not as wealthy so I'm worried that it will cause stress for them.
AIBU to have these boundaries in place?
you're very generous taking guests for hosting overnight after just 1 month.
i wouldn't have them in the house for at least 6.
Nope. I had inlaws staying to help with DIY and I wanted to kill them. I agreed as I knew how stressed dh was about said DIY. My parents stayed in a hotel.
Would play it by ear and see how you feel
Depends if your ILs are the sort of people who need "hosting" or not.
Mine are too, so I sympathise (although they were local enough to pack of home again after I'd made the tea and biscuits 12 hours after giving birth [thanks for that DP.....])
Would they sort out their own meals and air beds, or not?
You may want visitors during the first few days, if you end up in hospital for a while you may be yearning for some company. Sometimes it is easier to get it over and done with then your new normal life begins. You can shout FIL make the tea, brother go and buy cakes, mum get some more chairs out. They make noise, they tidy up, then go. Maybe say you will let them know when you're ready to have guests.
All my relatives are reasonable people and would never expect to stay over after a new baby or turn up without checking first. I dont think they would want to be woken up all night by a crying baby.
Are you in a position to pay for a travelodge for your mil and fil?
You don't need to plan this in such detail do you? See how it goes at the time?
I think it is a bit odd to make such rules
MIL came to stay for a few nights after I had DS2 and she was a godsend. Utterly, utterly wonderful; she made meals, walked the dog every morning and evening, she got DS1 up for school and she even took DS2 for little strolls so I could get an hour's afternoon nap.
I know hosting can be tricky but if you have the kind of people staying who'll chip in, it can't hurt to lean on them a little. However, if they're not the sort who'd help out, Travelodge sounds a great middle-ground.
Also, I don't always think the first-three-days rule is always fair on Grandparents. My Mum, Dad and MIL were just so thrilled about the Grandchildren's arrivals that they met them as soon as we were home, in fact with DS1 I stayed in for 5 days (difficult labour and post-labour surgery) and my Dad was the first one to meet him, only a few hours after he was born. I wouldn't have wanted him to miss that for the world.
No visitors for at least a week or more, see how your recovery goes. 3 days is nothing, your milk should be coming in by then and you might just want to flop around in pj's .
I think boundaries are good. But also play it by ear.
I had parents stay from 3 days after birth. They stayed for 8 days.They live aLONG way away so DMum insisted on doing most of the cuddles and holding and I let her. In retrospect it really affected my bonding. Plus I felt compelled to have the house clean.
Essentially I put my needs last so it did not really work. Put yours first - whatever they are- and you will be fine.
My mum stayed straight away. She cooked, she cleaned, she provided tea 24 hours a day.
I didn't invite my self centred Mil who turned up (and knew I'd had reconstructive surgery and was suffering with many many stitches) and told me to move onto a different patch of sofa as she wanted to sit there it was better for her posture whilst holding the baby.
I think it depends who is staying really.
You could always say people can stay if they're prepared to cook etc. If they want the hotel experience they can stay in a hotel. Plus you can point out staying in a house with a newborn is very noisy at night. And even then will they have to help.
For your first I'd definitely agree with no overnight guests to start with, yes at least a month but maybe try to allow flexibility for longer if you feel you need it. Please have the conversation now because we had no end of stress with PILs wanting to stay and just not understanding I wasn't ready after forceps and 3rd degree tear, MIL crying on the phone so wasn't what we needed on top of hormones (me) and tiredness (both of us).
Definitely agree too though that overnight guests can be very helpful with subsequent children IF they are going to help with the older one(s).
I am going to go the other way and say that providing your delivery is straightforward, get the visits out of the way ASAP. You are on a high of euphoria for 2 or 3 days and run on adrenaline, and though sore etc (on my experience ) you feel able to cope with people around for shirt visits. Once that adrenaline wears off and your sleepy brand new baby is not so sleepy and is getting you up 10x a night you won't feel like seeing anyone.
I had DD2 on the sat,came home on sun, did family visits mon and tues and then had time for just us where we could sleep in tje day whilst DD1 was at school if we wanted to, without worrying about who's coming over later to visit.
excuse the crappy spelling, typing on my phone whilst I feed the baby
Could you get t your IL a couple of nights in the travelodge as a Christmas present?
I'm sure they're something like £19 a night if you book a fair while in advance.
I had overnight guests immediately after returning from hospital, it was fabulous. It was all family and they not only bought and cooked their own (and our) food and washed their towels, they did the rest of the household, too and played with the older sibling and all I did was sleep or care for the newborn. They also went out and bought stuff for the baby like a day bed for downstairs etc. Such a big help.
Guests who need cooking for/ beds made for them and general entertaining, certainly much later.
I think it sounds good and in line with what I would do, except two things. You might want to ban overnight guests for longer than a month. I think at least 6 to 12 weeks. I really struggled with breastfeeding and having my own space was important. Also the day I got home was when the baby blues hit big style. I didn't know what was going on and I felt so overwhelmed. All our family lives far away (mine are on another continent), but DP's brother and his partner came up the next day and it was exactly what I needed. The partner has a few kids and gc. She made me realise everything would be OK. So selected visitors early, the sort that definitely cause no pressure, could be really helpful!
the best trick is to push the hosting back on to them. So for example have a family buffet a few days afterwards but get them all to bring the food and use paper plates etc.
Then go and stay with them after a few months.
Its lovely actually
so long as everyone goes home at night
We were in your position. Asked family visiting from a distance to stay at a hotel (have small house). Only one of my siblings actually stayed in a hotel and didn't overstay their welcome. MIL stayed in our house for 5 days, and would have been longer if I hadn't put my foot down. Don't get me wrong, we loved that family instantly wanted to meet their new family member, but there's a line between helpful and imposing. It was six days, from leaving hospital to the last visitor going, that we actually first had time alone together as a new family. Not to talk about not getting enough space to try and estabilsh breastfeeding without all the 'helpful' comments. Then there was FIL, who switched on the footy and expected food and tea all day. If we have another, I'll be locking the door for at least a week!
It depends massively on the guests, in my experience.
My parents came for a few days when I first got back from hospital. They really mucked in and shopped, cooked and cleaned, did the washing and the garden. They were very clear that they were there to take that load off dh and I so we could focus on our new baby. On the last night they sent us both to bed after I'd done the late evening feed and they settled the baby so we could get some sleep. They left us with a fridge full of food and dinner for that night all ready to heat up later.
My ILs came and sat on the sofa and expected to be waited on hand and foot as though nothing had happened. They got irritated that the baby was asleep or that I wanted to go somewhere private to breastfeed. They were exhausting tbh!
If your guests stay in a Travelodge will they still expect to be with you for all meals etc? Just asking because that actually still feels like a lot of hard work to me, unless they are the sort to pitch in and help.
My family were all hundreds of miles away when I had ds. It didn't occur to me to send them to a hotel if they wanted to meet their grandchild, but I did ask them to bring their own bedding.
Do you think that perhaps your great list of rules and regulations is more a control thing? From the second you get pregnant pretty much all control over what is happening is out of your hands. I am just speculating here, but do you think these rather rigid rules are just part of you taking back some of that control?
My suggestion would be to ask everyone who wants to book in a visit to wait and see how you feel before making any arrangements. Warn them that overnight visitors will have to fend for themselves/bring food/tiptoe about whilst you and baby sleep. Most people are surprisingly good at gauging these things and unless your family and friends are complete monsters, you will find they automatically run around being useful.
By all means warn people that you are unsure of how you will cope, but I would hold off insisting that anyone who wants to visit has to fork out for a hotel.
YANBU not to want them, I certainly wouldn't want house guests
ever but I agree with PP that you are being a bit prescriptive with the timeframe. I imagine you with some kind of spreadsheet
I had a tear and it was a total PITA to have to keep going upstairs to BF if FIL was around ( he would have been ) and you really need time to adjust/bond/sleep/take care of yourself.
Can you offer to pay for the travelodge for PILS? It may be the wisest money you ever spend. You will still have people "around" though which could be problematic. I would want to wait at least a couple of weeks tbh.
Thanks for all the comments and advice
Appreciate that this plan may go entirely out of the window once the baby is born! And as people say it will depend on how long I am in hospital. If for a while then visitors coming then will definitely be a good idea. My fear is we announce the birth, people immediately drive down, I am discharged and arrive home to find everyone on our doorstep!
I do want a plan of some sort. My family are very formal and we have a formal relationship so they will probably appreciate a plan and some boundaries! IL s are complete opposite and have no boundaries so am keen to put some in although I don't want to be strict and make anyone feel that I am depriving them of access to their grandchild/nephew etc.
I'm not sure how helpful people will be and that is also a concern. Whenever we have guests we are always assured that they will help out and won't be any bother and yet I always seem to end up running around sorting out food, drinks etc.
Also last time they were here when I was about 25 weeks pregnant my ILs took all the seats leaving me standing I don't believe there was any malice about it just a lack of thought. My parents also expected me to run around carrying their luggage etc so I'm a bit dubious about offers of help!
Will take on board everything people are saying though and discuss with DH but also retain a certain amount of flexibility in terms of how the birth goes etc
I am a lover of spreadsheets mintoil! I think what people are saying about control is very true. I hate feeling out of control and am very prescriptive with things. I keep endless lists and freak out if plans change.
Need to be more flexible!
I meant to say, I agree with whoever said that sometimes visits in hospital are easier to manage.
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