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AIBU to want my sister to come and stay after my husband returns to work after his paternity leave?

(30 Posts)
Tunapie Sun 05-Feb-17 23:15:35

I am pregnant with my second child and this evening I suggested to my husband that once he goes back to work after the baby is born, my sister could come and stay for a week or two. My mother died a few years before my first child was born and I found it emotionally very difficult that she was not around to see my new baby and also to come and stay as happened with most of my friends. My MIL came to visit everyday, however, which at the time I felt very intrusive as she didn't offer to help with anything but rather just wanted to hold the baby. She even stayed during a health visitor appointment despite my hints that she should go home. Whilst my family did come and stay for a bit, it was not for long and i was mostly on my own after a couple of weeks after a caesarean. My sister at that time was not able to stay for long, but this time she will be as she is taking a sabbatical from work and will be quite flexible. My husband has reacted badly to this as he says he wishes to have time to bond with the baby and also our eldest child and that my sister will prevent him from doing this. This is despite the fact that when he is back at work it will be from 7-7 most days. I understand his feelings to a degree, but I also feel that I will need the support more at that time than he will need the time to bond. I also know that if I'd asked his mother to stay he wouldn't have a problem with it. Can anyone suggest a way to deal with this? I want my sister to come but not sure if it's worth it if my husband is in a sulk the whole time then holds it against me years later.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 05-Feb-17 23:19:07

Could she stay in a hotel or AirBnB nearby?

Derlei Sun 05-Feb-17 23:19:08

Perhaps if you worded it that your sister was to come and "help" with the housework, cooking etc, to alleviate you and DH so that when he comes home from work he can spend time with the kids.

I agree that he is being unreasonable and that your feelings count more during that time. You sound like you have been more than accommodating in the past

EmeraldIsland Sun 05-Feb-17 23:20:11

How old is dc1?

foxyloxy78 Sun 05-Feb-17 23:21:33

I would explain to him exactly how you felt with your first child and why you need the support. If you're open with him he'll understand why this is so important to you. Are you having another c section this time? If so, you could tell him how hard it is recovering from major abdominal surgery when having to tend to a new baby and a child.

Tunapie Sun 05-Feb-17 23:28:41

I'm hoping not to have another c-section but who knows! My eldest is 4, and will be at nursery some of the time but it would be a great help if my sister was around to help get out of the house in the morning and to play with her on her days off. I am more concerned that I don't neglect my eldest child during this time as well, and my sister could be around to ease the burden until I get the hang of having two children. But I know lots of people don't have help. Maybe if she only came for a week - could it be the prospect of two weeks that is off-putting Timmy husband?

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 05-Feb-17 23:28:53

Having reread, I want my sister to come but not sure if it's worth it if my husband is in a sulk the whole time then holds it against me years later. is worrying. Has he got a history of sulking and punishing you for things years later?

Tunapie Sun 05-Feb-17 23:31:17

*to my, not Timmie!

Tunapie Sun 05-Feb-17 23:37:08

Punishing is too strong, but he sometimes holds grudges which I have then been surprised at. Generally he is good with my family, and a loving husband and father, but he doesn't understand the fundamental impact that losing your mother has on your life and in my view thinks that having his mother around can help, but to me that just magnifies the loss. I'm not sure how to explain that without offending him as I do feel he does try his best generally. I feel if he understood that properly then he wouldn't begrudge my sister coming to stay.

NotStoppedAllDay Sun 05-Feb-17 23:37:26

Have you even discussed this with your sister? It may be she wants a bit of time to herself when she's on this sabbatical...

HeddaGarbled Sun 05-Feb-17 23:43:09

If you have a c section, you will need the help but if not, you probably won't. No one I know has had anyone stay with them after having their babies. I absolutely loved it when everyone went away and I was able to have my baby to myself and start caring for her without an audience.

Does he have to do 7-7? Perhaps that's your bargaining chip. I need my sister because you work such long hours.

Tunapie Sun 05-Feb-17 23:46:51

Yes she's quite happy to come as she'll be living abroad and wants to come back to see the baby and my eldest. But she's very understanding and wouldn't stay if it was an imposition. Having written this down now it feels like a bit less of a problem. Perhaps my husband and I just need to start the hypnobirthing classes and relax a bit!

Somevampsarehot Sun 05-Feb-17 23:57:26

I had my sister come and help out the week my husband went back to work after I had my second ds (and my second c-section). She lived 2 minutes away though so it's a slightly different situation. She was an absolute godsend. I'd do what @derlei suggested and really emphasise that she'll be there to help around the house too, so he gets more quality time with his children when he's home, as opposed to trying to catch up on housework that you wouldn't have had a chance to do (or may not be able to do at that point). I do think he's being a bit unfair though. It will be a big change being on your own with a newborn and a 4 year old for 12 hour days!

christinarossetti Sun 05-Feb-17 23:57:27

It sounds like having your sister there will be a comfort to you, practically and emotionally.

Lol at 'you probably won't need help' of you don't have a c section comment above. I had a very easy birth with my youngest, and my 2 year old was at nursery 2 days a week, but I'd have loved someone to be around to ease the transition into having 2 children.

Emotionally, you're still coming to terms with your mum's death, so someone who can really understand this and support you would be invaluable.

If you explain it in these terms, would your dh have a better understanding of your needs?

coconutpie Mon 06-Feb-17 00:08:31

So your husband doesn't want your sister around and then expects you to be happy with his mother around because he thinks she's a replacement for your mother? That's essentially what he's saying. How bloody insensitive can he be? I would tell him that your MIL is not your mum and she is not a replacement for your mum. You found her daily visits to be quite intrusive and unhelpful and you need support from your own family while he's at work all day.

ToastieRoastie Mon 06-Feb-17 00:08:39

I'd have loved help with my second DC. I don't get the superwoman thing of 'of course you won't need help'. I'd love help now and my DC are 10 and 7!

OP this is a one-off situation where your DSis is off work and happy to help. I don't know why your DH is being unsupportive. Your DSis isn't in competition with him.

If you explain the reasons as you have here - that you'll be missing your mum, you don't know how hard it will be to wrangle two DC, it would be lovely to have someone at home to hold the baby so you can focus on oldest DC - will he listen? He's got your DCs entire childhood to bond with them, two weeks of having an extra person round in the evening will make absolutely no difference to his ability to bond.

Tunapie Mon 06-Feb-17 00:16:30

Thank you, good advice. I have no idea what I'll be like with two children, I just remember that I was so tired the first time round and did find it a bit lonely until I made it out of the house. Will have another go at pesuading him, thanks again.

Goodasgoldilox Mon 06-Feb-17 00:19:40

Your DH sounds a little insecure.

That you know you will be really missing your Mum at that time and that sis is someone who shares the loss and can help you should be enough .

He will want the best for you as well as for the children... but sounds worried and perhaps a little envious of your sister?

Stress that she is there for you - not to take the children away from him.

You could also point out that while he is at home - on paternity leave- he will be all that you need even in such a sad situation.

highclere Mon 06-Feb-17 00:26:24

Put your foot down OP. He needs to be told you need the emotional support of your sister at such a bittersweet time and not long days alone learning to cope with 2 children and missing your mum's help.
It's only a week or two. I'd risk the grudges - he has the rest of his life to "bond with the baby". That's just a crappy excuse for selfishness.

Caterina99 Mon 06-Feb-17 00:33:44

I'm expecting my second and am already planning that I wont be alone with both of them (my DS will be 2.5) for about 6 weeks. 2 weeks of DH paternity leave, 2 weeks of my parents and 2 weeks of inlaws. I'm having a csection and I think I'll need the help. They might not all run completely after each other, but it's hard being alone all day with no one to help.

I'd rather they lived locally and could just pop in for a few hours a couple of times a week. But it's a 10 hour flight so that's not possible. Your DH is being unfair. He's not going to be spending all day with your sister as he'll be at work anyway. She'll be a great support for you

Italiangreyhound Mon 06-Feb-17 00:37:55

Tunapie I am so sorry to hear this.

My dear father died of a heart attach when I was pregnant with dd. I worried the shock of it would make me lose my baby, it did not, and she is now 12. His loss did slightly taint the arrival of my beloved and long awaited child.

However, I do really believe that we can try and manage our grief and sadness, sometimes and for me his loss was very much part of normal life in that he died in his 70s from natural causes. Sometimes a death can really be very dramatic due to the the age the person is or the reason they die and in those circumstances I really think we need more help, through counselling, to come to terms with this.

Can I please suggest that you seriously consider some bereavement counselling. It may well be helpful to you in coming to terms with the emotional side of the loss of your mum.

However, there is another emotional side and that is when you say "...my husband is in a sulk the whole time then holds it against me years later." This is really worrying.

I would also suggest if you cannot find an amicable solution that supports you and recognizes your needs here that you suggest a relate or similar appointment to work through this together with your dh.

In terms of the practicalities...
If he will be out of the house from 7.00 to 7.00 then I think you will need help and company too, this is something your dh needs to understand. You may not be able to get out and about to toddler groups etc, friends may not be free to visit so you may find it quite hard and isolating.

I'd talk about it with him and see what he suggests for help.

I'd suggest:

-Your sister staying with you but on the understanding she skedaddles up to her room when he gets home so he can bond with baby
-Your sister in a B and B at night but coming over to see you daily
-A mother's help to work for you temporarily (being paid for) to help you
-A cleaner to work for you temporarily (being paid for) to help you

My mother did not come and stay when I had dd (by C-section) and I would have found her quite difficult as she was recently bereaved (having lost her husband, my dad).

My dh was very supportive and certainly was not out of the house 7-7. I think your dh needs to understand that you may well need some support and if he cannot give it, then he needs to help you find it.

Oliversmumsarmy Mon 06-Feb-17 00:40:37

How long will your dh spend with you after the baby is born. Maybe he is wondering why you would still be not able to look after your baby and your little one.

FWIW I don't really know anyone who had parents come to stay for any length of time, a few days at the most then you just get on with it.

I don't have any family at all and by week 2 I was driving dp to work. I had my 2nd c.sec and an 18 month old.

scottishdiem Mon 06-Feb-17 00:41:34

I'd tell him that sister is there for you when he is at work to help and that she wont shoosh him off the new baby when he is holding or bathing or changing nappies. That, basically, she will not get in between him and the new baby.

Italiangreyhound Mon 06-Feb-17 00:41:48

I would have found someone in my house holding baby, not helping and staying for health visitor appointments would really impair my bonding with baby!

Did your dh consider this with your first child?

I was in hospital for several days with dd at first and being surrounded by nurses etc did not help bonding.

confuugled1 Mon 06-Feb-17 00:46:30

Could you suggest that your sis comes for 10 days - 2 weeks but that she just comes for the week days when he wont be around but at the weekend she'll go and visit other friends / buffer off elsewhere so that he gets to have lots of family bonding time with you and the DC without your sis around when he is around a lot?

Not sure how your sis would react or if she has convenient friends to visit!

But depending on which day of the week your baby is born and your dh goes back to work, having her there for 2 sets of mid weeks might feel a lot less daunting to him than having someone to stay for 2 weeks straight.

Also think that is one of those times that you will be the one recovering and getting used to juggling 2 babies, experiencing flee pleas nights etc so actually it's not a joint decision and it's certainly not his decision to make about you needing support but yours.

Maybe point out that once he has carried and squeezed a watermelon out of his backside or via significant abdominal surgery then he too will know what support he would like. But as he hasn't done this yet, and you have, you know what you need and that you were hoping that he lived you enough to recognise that you were talking about something from a position of experience and requirements which he seems to be dismissing as irrelevant which you are finding unsupportive, unloving, controlling and upsetting and you thought he of all people would be more understanding.

Then make sure you invite mil for the day while your dsis is there but away for the weekend and most importantly while your dh is there so he can deal with her!

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