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Newborn baby and visiting MIL

(41 Posts)
Sleepybeanbump Tue 01-Dec-15 14:34:37

Background- first baby due in a few weeks. Absolutely zero capable family or friends nearby and available to help so feeling v on our own compared with most people we know. But fine about it.

Parents in law live abroad (their choice- they retired to live in a hot country they have no connections with). It has caused issues in the past with them not being physically present to pull their weight eg a few years ago when grandmother in law was very ill and it all fell to me and dh, but I mention it now not because I mind they're not available to offer more support (I don't) but because where they live means that with baby we have a situation where they obviously and reasonably want to see the baby but it means dh and I end up having extended staya to deal with rather than more frequent flying visits.

So... A tolerable arrangement in my mind would be parents in law popping in for an hour or so, every few days, or a day every few weeks, or an overnight stay less often, for example, depending on how far away they lived. Or meeting up for trips out etc. But she lives far enough that the time and airfare generally means people want to stay best part of a week to justify it.

She has said she intends to fly over ASAP when baby is born and I am filled with utter horror at the idea of having to be in hostess mode for days on end. We need to broach it with her and basically say she needs to keep the visit to only 2-3 nights max at a time (even that fills me with dread, but nothing I can do about it). I know she'll argue and say she'll be no trouble, and we can just do what we want and she'll keep out of our way, but if someone is staying on your house you can't actually really behave naturally can you?

Contending with a newborn baby and a house guest is making me panic. MIL is sweet as kind but also exhausting- when we visit them she's in my face talking constantly from the minute I open the bedroom door in the morning to well past midnight and ignores all hints that anyone else might want to go to bed earlier than her.

So....we need to have the conversation with her and lay down rules. But I want an idea beforehand of whether people think I'm a selfish antisocial inhospitable so-and-so, or perfectly reasonable. How I feel is how I feel and I don't apologise for that, but it would help us to approach the conversation to know first if IABU or not!

Lozza1990 Tue 01-Dec-15 14:53:25

Tbh I don't think you will be on 'hostess mode' when you have a newborn. I doubt you would even give her a second thought grin. Have you thought about them staying in a hotel nearby for the week? Or you could simply say you would appreciate having a few weeks to yourself without any visitors (after that you would probably appreciate the help a lot more).

If they are definitely coming out ASAP then I don't think you are being unreasonable to limit the stay to a couple of days. The first few weeks are precious, if it were me I would probably ask them to give it 2-3 weeks at least then maybe stay for the week.

Foslady Tue 01-Dec-15 15:00:21

Make sure you lay down a few things - you won't be hosting, she will be visiting, if you need time out to sleep she respects that and if you need a break ask her to take the baby out for a walk in the pram. It doesn't have to be painful (unlike my mother coming everyday to help by cuddling the baby whilst I got on with my housework - every frigging day for weeks......)

Backawaynow2 Tue 01-Dec-15 15:02:18

No she shouldn't be flying out ASAP. She should come when she's asked.

I am soon to be a DGM btw.

When she does come she should stop in a hotel. Not with you

Why can't she Skype?

Those first few weeks are very previous and visitors should be limited to the helpful and those who don't stop long.

Tell your dh she needs to wait.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Tue 01-Dec-15 15:03:02

I'd ask for them to stay in a nearby b&b/hotel as you'd prefer a bit of privacy/autonomy whilst getting used to being new parents.

It's either that or they come for a shorter time.

Your DH needs to step up and let them know how you both feel.

yoshipoppet Tue 01-Dec-15 15:04:29

Could you cope with her being around for longer than a few days if she were staying in a hotel? It could be a good compromise. Once she has gone back to the hotel each night you and DH can get a bit of peace, or at least, as much peace as you can expect with a new baby.
Congratulations, hope birth goes well smile

NickyEds Tue 01-Dec-15 15:08:11

Don't worry yourself about this op. Tell your dh to deal with his mum. When I had ds it was Christmas time and my in laws showed up and stayed for 4 hours and that was too much! I think if they're insisting on coming up asap after the birth your dh should politely ask where they are staying. Don't let it be assumed that they'll be staying with you- you don't want them over night I promise! I think 3/4 short visits over 3/4 days with them staying in a hotel would be perfectly reasonable.

jennifer86 Tue 01-Dec-15 15:10:25

YANBU. You need time to get to know your baby and will not be up to hosting! Could they stay in a nearby hotel as PP suggested? If that's not an option you need to focus on yourself and the baby and not worry about your social etiquette - Don't sit in the living room hinting that you might want to go to bed and getting annoyed that she is not taking the hint. Just state you are going to bed and get on with it! Good luck.

Sleepybeanbump Tue 01-Dec-15 15:11:23

Dh is going to have the conversation- he's totally with me.

B&B was mentioned a while ago but even that stresses me out as she'll turn up on our doorstep in the morning and then I'll spend all day stressing about how to politely get rid of her again...

CrumbledFeta Tue 01-Dec-15 15:11:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lighteningirl Tue 01-Dec-15 15:15:18

I loved having my mil she stayed for a week arriving within an hour of us getting home I was very weak after a bad labour couldn't really walk and God bless her she did everything. The rest of the time she was the interfering bitch from hell but that week she had a complete personality transplant and totally pulled it off. She even held my hand while they cut my stitches She stayed for a week after both my dc were born and it was the best thing ever. Twenty thirty years ago this was the norm.

Nottalotta Tue 01-Dec-15 15:21:58

Don't have them to stay. My mil is lovely. Nice, quiet, helpful. She came to see me and baby in the first week (i was home alone post c section) and stayed all bloody day. It was exhausting. Halfway through i thought 'surely she can see I am shutting down and Will go'. Nope. Why i didn't just tell her to go i don't know, i think i just expected she would leave.

There is no way on earth i could have cope with overnight visits. Get her to stay in a hotel, and visit for a couple of hours a day - she can bring you lunch and do a bit of housework while she's there.

NickyEds Tue 01-Dec-15 15:25:27

B&B was mentioned a while ago but even that stresses me out as she'll turn up on our doorstep in the morning and then I'll spend all day stressing about how to politely get rid of her again...

It can't be suggested, just totally assumed that they won't be with you!!
"We'd prefer it if you left it a couple of weeks before your visit. Where will you be staying?? What will you be doing with your days whilst you're here? we won't be having anything more than a short visit a day so you'll have plenty of time for sight seeing"

If they ignore your wishes then you really don't have to be that polite!!

TheWordOfBagheera Tue 01-Dec-15 15:34:48

How about saying you'll be spending the month establishing feeding, routines, and bonding so won't be up to proper visitors. She could therefore choose between a) coming to stay with you at 5/6 weeks or so, or b) coming at the beginning but finding her own accommodation and visiting for an hour each day.

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 01-Dec-15 15:35:33

Has she booked her flights yet? If not, just dont mention babys due date / arrival until after you have been home a few days (if needs be say "sorry weve only just got round to telling people as it was a very complicated and long birth and tbh, it was the last thing in our minds".

dreamingofsun Tue 01-Dec-15 15:37:22

my MIL was very helpful....stayed up during the night with them so i could get some sleep etc. however, not all IL's are the same.

Bearing in mind that a baby may be anything from a month early to 14 days late she clearly can't book the flight till you've had the baby.

husband needs to have the conversation with her. it should be along the lines of we'll discuss flights once baby is born, and we know how long the hospital stay will be. don't book anything till we have spoken first

then i'd see how you feel when you come out of hospital and play it by ear then. that will inevitably give you some time, unless there are lots of flights from her home country i guess

Cheesewithbread Tue 01-Dec-15 15:37:23

This sounds just like my situation With MIL.

I got wheeled out from recovery after section and my MIL and Mum were there with my FIL and Dad. It was way too much.

Wish I'd told no one to come to the hospital. Like you, MIL just told me she was coming for when they arrived. When I uttered a word she said 'well I will want to see my grandchildren' so hard!

Thankfully though we said they couldn't stay. We had a 2 bed flat in London at the time so it was easy to justify. She stayed at a relatives close by and travelled in for a few days and then came back a couple weeks later and did the same thing but then when the twins were a few months old she was staying. We had to give up our bedroom as we were sharing the room with the twins anyway.

It's so so hard. When we put the twins in their own bedroom we insisted that they stay in a hotel or at the relatives when they visited. It was just too much what with MIL constant advice! Twin was stirring one morning at 7 and she came in the bedroom where we were all sleeping! We had twin in bed with us - I think they were 4 months or so. Then when we were up she gave a lecture on not starting having children in the bed with us.

Now we have moved to a house and she stays for long weekends and it's always like a royal visit. Drives me bloody nuts. I think insisting that they stay in a hotel that time did help, they only stay for weekends now and don't linger when DH has to go to work on a Monday morning. It kind of works.

Try and set some boundaries, even if you are borderline rude because some MIL just don't get it unless you are! Shouldn't be the way I know! I think it's also important to be fair. If MIL can't stay, don't have your mum stay etc. being a new mum or mum to be entitles you to be completely hormonal so don't worry if you act out of character if it gets too much!

Good luck for new arrival!

Katastrophe13 Tue 01-Dec-15 15:37:27

After I had both my babies I was completely exhausted and emotional. I would have hated having someone (even my own mother) staying in my house. All I was interested in was lying on the sofa, bonding with the baby and getting feeding going. It was a lovely, special intimate time that me and DH shared and I would have hated to have someone else there with us. DH was able to take care of all the house stuff. It is when the other half goes back to work that you really need the help. Can you put her off till then? Congratulations btw 😊🍾

dreamingofsun Tue 01-Dec-15 15:38:50

my god i have heard it all now. i just hope that when my grandchildren arrive my kids tell me about it at the time and not a few days later. even if it is a complicated birth.

josephwrightofderby Tue 01-Dec-15 15:48:45

What rings alarm bells for me here is that you say that a visit will equal 'hostess' mode. That suggests to me that your in laws are not 'family' in the close, trusting and practical sense of 'people who come around and just muck in with what is going on'. I'm not saying you don't love them, merely that they're clearly more distant (and more high maintenance) in their behaviour. I think this is something that just happens in some middle class families - PIL become a burden to be entertained and fed and waited on, rather than 'mates' who can be relied upon to muck in and help out in a difficult situation. If that's the case, I absolutely definitely would NOT have them in the house until you feel comfortable.

It's not about them being in laws - it's about them being pains in the ass as house guests!

moggle Tue 01-Dec-15 15:56:47

I would present it as a fait accompli.
"Of course, you won't be able to book flights until the baby's here"
"Of course, it'd be great if you can come over once DH is back at work" (gives you a couple of weeks breathing room if he's on pat leave and it's so nice finding your own way just the two of you while he's off work)
"We've found a lovely hotel for you to stay in while you are here"

You do need DH to be on the same side as you here. Are there no other relatives she can stay with as that would be perfect.

My SIL recently had my niece and her mum came over from abroad the day after the baby was born with no notice! Luckily SIL's cousin was able to have her stay (SIL is very much into doing things her way and doesn't have a typical relationship with her mum). Mum came back again to stay when my brother was back at work and stayed in the spare room that time (but they cancelled the delivery of the new bed and kept her on an air mattress to make sure she didn't stay too long! Possible solution?!!)

toffeeboffin Tue 01-Dec-15 16:00:41


We 'hosted' MIL and FIL for three nights just after DS was born. It was more than enough. I had an EMCS and they were just too much (also not English-speaking which added to the trouble)

They did NOTHING. Just fluttered around the house. They were supposed to be helping but were just a total pain. I was trying to BF and they were just in my face.

Promised to bring food but instead just ate all of ours. MIL told me that she was going to bake me a banana bread:

A. Just bake the damn thing at your house and bring it with you? More simple, no?

B. Don't use all our butter/sugar/ eggs etc to make the fucking thing. I was livid.

They drove me insane.

KaluzaKlein Tue 01-Dec-15 16:00:46

I've just had my first baby and my parents live abroad. Husbands parent live in the same country but several hundred miles away.

We asked them to give us two weeks post baby to settle in and both were totally fine with that. I'm not keen on house guests but surprisingly both sets of parents were very very helpful (mine always are, very good guests, his can be more high maintenance.)

You need to present it as a done deal, present the two week wait as set in stone, and imply very very strongly that you'll need help, and not be in hostess mode. Dh needs to back you up and you need to be on the same page.

"We'd love to see you. Of course we want two weeks to bond with baby and establish breastfeeding, that's natural, but after that it'd be lovely to have your help because haha, I won't be able to do anything and it's lovely of you to offer to do the laundry/shopping etc...especially after Dh goes back to work..." If she kicks up a fuss, you need to say something like, "you'll get so much more out of a visit when the baby is a few weeks old. Right after the birth I'll be exhausted, we won't know when they'll be born, how long I'll be in hospital etc - there's no point you coming then. We will all enjoy it so much more once we've found our feet a bit - then we'd love to see you."

woodwaj Tue 01-Dec-15 16:20:36

YANBU I've recently done it and I'm annoyed I didn't put my foot down and say B&B. Our routine only fell into place once they left it was hard when they were here. They pretty much know now that when they come here it's not in our house. They still come whenever they want though without asking I'm working on that one fconfused

TheCarpenter Tue 01-Dec-15 16:58:56

I had my mum there from day 1. She's respectful ,not intrusive and DH adores her. MIL wasn't told until DC was a week old. She is the opposite of my DM.

dreamingofsun I imagine what happens will be up to you in a rather indirect way.

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