To not want a house full of guests with a newborn?(45 Posts)
I feel like a horrible ungrateful cow. But here it goes.
My whole family lives overseas. They don't speak English. I get on really well with all of them - DParents, sisters and their husbands. They come over as couples/small groups once/twice a year. DH and I visit them once/twice a year. We always put them up here when they visit, and they do the same. All good.
I'm expecting my first DC in the summer. First grandchild and niece/nephew for them all so it's a big deal. Also we're from a culture where family is very tight/intense (southern Europe). I've lived in the UK for ages and I find that attitude a little suffocating now.
AIBU to dread their visits when the baby is here? I had to have a chat with my mum to make her see that it's not ok to book a flight for a few days before the baby is born. That could mean they're here for 2-3 weeks before the baby is here. Or the baby could be early and it would be bad timing altogether. Also I want some peace and quiet for the last few days before I give birth, and DH and I want some family time before they descend on us. They've now said they'll come over as soon as the baby is born - hopefully I'll be able to say I need a couple of days to recover. I can't expect them to fly up for 2-3 days only - it'll be a minimum of a week, I expect. We used to have 2 spare rooms but one is now the nursery, so we can only comfortably host 2 of them, plus 2 on an inflatable in the lounge. They might all come at different times which could mean 3 x 1 week. DH doesn't speak a word of our language. I get quite stressed when they visit as I spend all my time translating. I never manage to enjoy my meals or whatever we're doing as I'm doing all the talking/explaining/negotiating culture differences. Also we live rurally and unless they rent a car, DH and I have to do all the driving.
Normally I just put up with it and overall I enjoy their visits, although I'm knackered when they leave. I can see I will get really stressed with a newborn in the mix.
AIBU to wish they booked the B&B down the road and perhaps got a hire car? I really don't know how I can suggest this without them taking offence. I feel so ungrateful as well - I'm pretty sure DM will be a huge help both with the baby and household chores. DSis is a nursery nurse. DDad is getting on a bit and finds this country a tad confusing but he's wonderful with DDog, for example - one less thing for me to do when they're here.
Shall I try and focus on the positives? Is there a way I can make my life easier in this scenario? I will of course grit my teeth through it all. It's my family and they've supported me throughout my life. The very least I can do is offer a bed for them to see their first grandchild when he/she's a few days old. I just wish it wasn't so intense and 24/7.
Any advice welcome. Sorry for the essay!
Have they made any attempts to learn English? Why don't they rent a car?
Can't you say what you've said here? Stressful because of language, driving, bedrooms. Please get a hire car and stay in the B&B but visit lots.
Your feelings of resentfulness will last longer than theirs of offence I think.
Thanks Rabbit. I think my parents are too old to learn English now. My sisters and their partners have a bit of English, they just struggle to use it. Car and B&B can make their trip expensive - I feel bad when it's not strictly necessary. They're not able to drive our cars as insuring them costs a fortune without a UK licence. Have tried before.
I could certainly explain things to them in a tactful way. People wouldn't dream of sending guests to a hotel where I'm from - it's just a different culture. Hence why I think they might feel rejected and take it personally.
YANBU. We are X pats living very far from the uk. I made it clear no visitors....and we had None until DD was 4 months old. It was heaven.
The thought of a load of people tramping round my house whilst DD fed every hour for those 4 months.....hell. Enjoy your baby!
I totally understand the cultural stuff. I also understand not wanting a house full of guests when you have a new baby - I didn't either. Is there anyway they could make their visits later in the year? Could you lie and say you have, building work or similar? I know lying is wrong but delay tactics may have you the breathing space you need to adjust, and look forward to the babysitters arrival?
Put a stop to this at once. It'll be hard but be firm and tell them you won't be receiving visitors until you and your husband have settled in a bit. My parents tried to pull exactly the same thing and my mum went all mad Euro mamma when I told her not to come for three weeks, but it was ABSOLUTELY the right thing to do.
If they're your family ensure they feel at home and act as if they are. They are welcome if they make meals and help out and give you space when you need it.
Maybe get them to book flights for a month after baby is due
Just say you won't be having visitors for X amount of weeks and apply that to everybody, UK or abroad. We did and felt a lot less pressured. We actually were ready for visitors really soon which was nice. However, I wouldn't have been ready to host for a while. Good luck with everything
One thing I regret when I had dd was trying to please people, entertain, keep others happy. Next time I am not getting out of my pjs and everyone can call if they want but I won't be making an effort.
Mind yourself and your newborn, it's hard, it's tiring and emotional.
Op, take it from me, you will be so emotional and hormonal you may well throw them all out of your house. I know I did.
Think about it this way, these first few days with your pfb are days you will not get back. Ive read too many threads on here from new mums saying they feel really upset that their memories of their child's first days at home are dominated by pushy, annoying relatives. Don't let this be you.
Put a stop to this at once, they don't have to come the minute the baby arrives. You wont want this, trust me.
First of all, I agree with all the others - this just won't be a pleasant experience with a newborn, and you'll be at your most vulnerable after giving birth. It's OK to upset your parents - it's better than upsetting a woman who just had a baby.
This might be the time for your husband to do a Duolingo course in your language, to get some basics. Are you planning on using your language with the baby, so it becomes bilingual? It'll be easier if he has some notion of what you're saying. Being the translator is exhausting, can DH and your parents use Google Translate to communicate? Not perfect but something at least. I'm kind of hoping you're not Greek here...
Another thing - you're not advised to put the baby in its own room until after six months, so you might have a bit more space than you thought initially. Maybe your parents could stay with you, and siblings in the b&b?
Totally agree with PPs. Having a newborn can be a big change and you will need your space - or them to allow you to stay in bed for a fortnight while they cook, shop, clean, leave you alone until you decide you want to socialise.
I felt AMAZING after DC1, and welcomed everyone into the house. After DC2 I felt horrendous and tired and hideous and just wanted to take to my bed. DH invited a teenage cousin to stay when DC2 was 10 days old. It was fucking awful and I still can't quite forgive him (DH, or the aunt who, having had two children herself, allowed her teenage son to come and stay on the say so of my DH, without thinking it may be a ridiculous and selfish idea). Dc3 I felt amazing again, but this time stayed in my PJs for a fortnight and ate cake. It was bliss. I really enjoyed my time with my baby, letting my body heal and get the feeding sorted.
So. Ask them to stay in a hotel for a shorter visit or Skype until you're confident you're ready to have a house full. The situation has changed. Everyone needs to adapt. Not just you and your baby.
YANBU at all. People above have put it much better than me.
As for how to broach it, I think you need to be really brazen and upfront. Just tell them factually what will be happening. Get on the phone and say something like, "let's talk about you guys coming over when the baby's born. It'll work for us to have you here from [X - X weeks/months old]. Would you prefer to stay at this B&B or that hotel? Oh, no, we really won't have space for anyone here." I know it's easier said than done but please don't allow those precious early days and weeks to be ruined.
Breastfeeding can also be stressful and very tiring. Having too many people around you might make you feel pressured and more stressed. Visitors can sometimes offer unwanted advice and opinions and that is not what you need when you are trying to get the hang of feeding.
Maybe wait and see how you feel after the baby is born? I was just longing for my family (all abroad) to meet our baby and was on the phone to my mother Very frequently. Your mother probably wants to come and help and take care of her baby (you) and doesn't expect entertainment or to be "hosted"...
I guess the nursery won't really be used anyway as baby will be with you? But I'd use it as an excuse to say parents only. I think having mum and dad around will be a huge help anyway and you'll be busy feeding or trying to get sleep that you won't have time for translating. Just make sure you know your boundaries and they follow. Sleep when baby sleeps. Eat when you can. Tell your parents what they could do to help so they're not just hanging around. Your OH will probably be tired too so having spare hands would be good whilst you and oh just recharge your batteries. It can work. Tell the rest to come when you're feeling stronger.
My in-laws are Italian and the culture there means that all the relatives hang out in the hospital waiting for baby to be born. I'll always remember getting to see our new DN in her incubator in a tiny room before we flew back to London, whilst poor SIL was recovering from the inevitable c-section they all get given there, on her own in a tiny room. Babies are taken away from the mothers there straight after the birth and kept in a separate room (no rooming in). I felt awful for her and determined to give birth in the Uk should my time ever come.
PIL and SIL came to visit about 2 weeks after DS was born and that was fine. MIL did try and 'assist' with BF, much to my horror when she actually touched my boob, but otherwise didn't meddle too much. They stayed for about 4 days, then MIL came back on her own a few weeks later for a longer visit.
You won't know until you give birth if you'll need an EMCS or a longer recovery time, so I'd absolutely insist they hang fire until baby born and you've had a week or two at home as a family. As they're your family and not in-laws it should surely be easier to insist?
Ps I get you re how tiring translating etc can be. I speak Italian but it gets tiring having to translate my thoughts from English into Italian, speak it, process the answers etc.
I'd seek to have them come for 2-3 days when LO is a couple of weeks old, even if they want to stay longer, with the longer visit when LO is closer to 6 months/year.
Most people will say you don't have to see anyone until you're ready and that's true, but it will have an impact on your family relationship and you have to consider it.
I think you've got a good excuse in that you only have one spare room and the baby will be waking up throughout the night. You could say that your husband might need to sleep in the spare room if you need to bring the baby into bed with you. Say you're happy for your husband to pick them up in the morning and drop them off in the evening (sorry, I can't see any way around this.)
I really wouldn't tell them they can't visit. First grandchild? You'd never be forgiven!
On the car insurance issue, I have an open-drive policy on one of the family cars that allows anyone over 25 with an EU license to drive it with comprehensive cover. I'm in Ireland, but I'm pretty sure the same sort of policy existed when I lived in the UK. It's more expensive than not having open drive but far cheaper then individually insuring people as and when they need it.
I had a similar issue although I gave birth in my Southern European home country. My hospital room (luckily for me and everyone else in the maternity hospital) was private so no one stuck to any sort of visiting hours. On day three after a CS I had visitors from 9.30 in the morning until 9.30 in the evening when we fell out with FIL who wanted to bring his girlfriend's sister, whom we had never met, because she apparently loved babies and I was too exhausted to say yes. I don't have an answer for you, we found the whole thing extremely intense and suffocating, we run back home, a few countries away, as soon as possible.
I knew this was going to be a "visiting new baby" one.
Tbh I'd take the oppprtunity and say it's all too much. The thing is also how you see visits going in future?
My parents arent from the uk and they've had to handle a lot of these issues, they're really glad they tackled it early. When I was a teen there was a major period of offence as my parents had a lot to cope with (they both developed health issues and just couldn't bear being in visitor mode) but everyone got over themselves. I think you have to be really clear about boundaries in situations like this.
It sounds mighty stressful and I don't blame you for being worried!
What is your mum like? Will she 'get' that you might want to stay in your pyjamas and feed the baby in bed? Will she support you and do all the cooking and housework so that you can hold the baby?
If so, it might be worth asking her to explain to all the other family that they can come maybe 3 weeks after the birth, once you have had time for newborn cuddles and got feeding well established. Would she take the flack for you?
I do hope this all works out for you.
My compromise suggestion would be that you invite your mum & sister to come over when DH returns to work so you can all slob around the house and they can help take care of you all.
After that I would make a point of inviting them over for a Christmas thing???
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