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MIL and first/new baby

(86 Posts)
sailorcherries Sat 08-Apr-17 19:09:28

I'm due 6 weeks today but should be having an elective c-section in just over 5 weeks. This will be my second child but my partners first, and his parent's first grandchild.

My partner is taking his two weeks leave to help, and should be able to schedule it for the very first day our baby arrives due to the nature of delivery.

After he returns to work my parents have offered to help with the school run and odd jobs about the house. They have also said they'd do the shopping for me and/or drive me to the shops if I feel up to getting out (can't drive until 6 week pp check up, apparently).

My parents live 3 minutes away by car, if that, and already look after my DS before and after school everyday (they offered, don't shoot me down in flames). I normally drop him off for breakfast on my way to work and collect him after work or they drop him off depending on what they're doing after school that day. They also don't mind taking him to his after school activities when I'm working. I lived with them after DS was born and they have a very good relationship with him, and I think MIL is worried about her being pushed out with new baby as a result of this.

My parents know me and know when I need space and when I need help. I'm socially anxious and they understand my boundaries and can just tell when I need to be away from people/don't mind just sitting with the tv on.
My parents won't intrude on my space and have said they won't mind doing a spot of cleaning then going home, no pressure on me. They just want to help.
My father is self employed and mum is partially retired, making it easier for them.

However my MIL has decided she will take a weeks annual leave after OH goes back to work. She intends to come for 8am every day that week to feed DS, dress him and take him to school (DS is almost 7, he can do 2/3 of those alone). She then wants to stay every day and 'help', by which she has said will involve cooking, cleaning and taking the baby to let me rest.
I know she means well and I know she is excited, but I do not want that. I don't want someone with me 24/7. By week 3 I'm hoping that I'll manage fine and maybe only need the little support my parents are offering. I feel really uncomfortable already at the thought of someone I don't really know being around at such a vulnerable time. While she is lovely and we get on well I've never spent time alone with her and don't want that to happen for the first time 3 weeks pp.
She has also got her sons old pram from the loft and washed it all down, as well as having some baby clothes at her house for when she has baby, during this leave time and then after.

Obviously she will see baby and so on but I'd never leave a baby so early and it feels like she expects me to.

I don't want her to take annual leave and do this.
Aibu in feeling that way? Should I just let her do it for the sake of relationships?

Underthemoonlight Sat 08-Apr-17 19:15:30

I would get your dh to have a quiet word with her

AndersArms Sat 08-Apr-17 19:19:36

OP I feel for you. I think you need, for the sake of good relations, to try and strike a decent balance. Your MIL wants to be involved and help.

Perhaps have a think about what you can tolerate and then enthusiastically suggest that. For example, I'd hate someone around at 8am but by the afternoon you might be grateful to have some company and help with making dinner / dealing with DS homework etc. Ask/invite her to do what you will want, let her see she will be involved, and don't be afraid to tell her when it doesn't work for you. Use that phrase.

Also, tell your DP what you want and get him to help manage his mum's expectations and tell her when she needs to go home/ wait for an invitation etc.

Musicaltheatremum Sat 08-Apr-17 19:22:19

I drove at 3 weeks after both sections. You just need to feel comfortable doing an emergency stop.

ADayGivingMeHope Sat 08-Apr-17 19:23:21

I second getting your DH to have a word.
I'd also make it clear that she won't be having / taking the baby anywhere if that's what you want, my dc are nearly 3 and they've never stayed overnight anywhere and only very recently been for short days out without me or DH.
My in laws assumed the dc would stay with them when young so I or get DH to do it had to be firm and set the boundaries with them very early on.

Trb17 Sat 08-Apr-17 19:24:45

YANBU. I'd not like that at all either. Get your DP to support you on this and have him refuse this offer.

You can invite her round as often as you like but make it clear that it'll be when you feel up to it. If you don't do this now you'll make a rod for your own back and have her calling on you making demands whenever she wants for years to come.

Musicaltheatremum Sat 08-Apr-17 19:25:48

Just re read your post. Just to give you some hope I found both sections very easy. I was on paracetamol by week 2 and was running around as normal (though avoiding heavy lifting) by the second week. I had some friends who were similar. You won't be as tired after an elective section either as you won't have been in labour for hours.
I know not everyone is the same but I was amazed at how quickly I recovered.

Headofthehive55 Sat 08-Apr-17 19:25:55

What is ut about these people who inform you that they are coming to your house to do x y and z? Most reasonable people wait for an invite.

BeansMcCready Sat 08-Apr-17 19:26:28

Can you say something like 'what would be really helpful would be for you to take some time during the summer holidays so I can spend some more time with DS whilst he is off school, and I'll feel more able to leave the baby for short periods of time as he/she will be older, it would be lovely to see you during that third week but perhaps dropping round for a cuppa and a cuddle after work each day would give me time for a quick rest and would be really appreciated. And we would love some of your delicious home cooked lasagne/ whatever if you could bring some round!'

Or rather than taking a whole week, ask her to take a day each week for five weeks - she will really get to see her grandchild as they grow that way and it might be easier for you to deal with!

RainbowsAndUnicorn Sat 08-Apr-17 19:31:54

I'd say no to all if you don't want MIL involved. Imagine how hurt she would be if you excluded her but your parents weren't. You may be the MIL one day.

Most people are fine within two weeks of a section so if your partner is off for that period it should easily be enough and the rest can just visit.

fuzzywuzzy Sat 08-Apr-17 19:33:32

I'd tell her straight she's not taking the baby anywhere so early on.

And 8am is too early, suggest she come round in the afternoon when your ds is home and she can make his tea and cook for you and your husband and clean up.
If she wants to help.

Are you and your husband on the same page regarding his mums 'help'?

I'm not against mil's helping out, I'm expecting what will be first grandchild for IL's, my mil really really wants to be at the birth after considering it (& DP telling her no straight out), I'm at a point where I've realised I don't mind and it would be support for DP which is important and I do love her & want her to be a sort of the experience if she wants. But she hasn't imposed herself on me and hasn't mentioned it since DP told her no.

You can tell her she shouldn't take annual leave and you'll ask if you need more help. And that as grandma she'll be the first person you'll ask and also make olans to have her over (with DP present), so she can get time to cuddle baby.

But I'd tell her straight right now so you don't need to put up with it when you're recovering from surgery.

sailorcherries Sat 08-Apr-17 19:36:19

I'm so glad I'm not being unreasonable.

I obviously don't want her to feel unwelcome and don't want her to think my parents are more important, it's just the way life is that means they are a) closer and b) understand me more.

I am hopeful that by week 3 I'll be mobile and can then meet her for coffee or something. I had an emergency csection with DS and, unfortunately, took ill some time after it which meant I wasn't great for a few weeks (but did go back to uni at 7 weeks pp).

My DS also has sleepovers with his grandparents maybe once a month, however he also lived there for five years. He also goes to his dad's EOW.

I think MIL is hopeful that means new baby will be doing the same but it's a completely different situation. DS only stays when OH is night shift and I'm working late (parents night, discos etc) or once in the school holiday (but I still see him before bed and the next day).

FIL wants to watch baby on Fridays too, but doesn't wake until 1pm as he is night shift Thurs-Fri. My mum doesn't work Fris at all and they expect baby to be collected/dropped off on a Fri after my mum watching them for the morning and then either OH or I to travel the 20 mins to their house and collect baby after/before collecting DS from my parents.

It just all feels too much to me sad

anotherdayanothersquabble Sat 08-Apr-17 19:36:28

If she feels like she will be excluded from your family while your parents continue seeing you all every day, it might be a good idea to try to allay these fears while maintaining the space you and your babies need.

Maybe she thinks she will be helping and that getting DS ready for school will be difficult three weeks in..

Could you decide what sort of help might be useful and offer that instead she could do that? I used to find the mornings OK but school pick up and the afternoons were a challenge. I wouldn't have been happy with anyone taking my babies out in the early days but ocassional holding while I did things was nice...

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 08-Apr-17 19:38:03

I'd say no to all if you don't want MIL involved. Imagine how hurt she would be if you excluded her but your parents weren't

Do what you want, you're the one having the baby. You have no obligation to anyone else, after all it's not like your parents will be around your house all day everyday. I would actually make it very clear to mil that this is yours and your partner's first child together and you are the parents. All the business with the pram and clothes makes it sound like she's expecting to be playing mum.

sailorcherries Sat 08-Apr-17 19:41:55

rainbows she wouldn't be excluded. My dad, for example, plans to come down at 8.20ish to get DS and take him to the school bus. He'll ask if I need/want anything and if I say no he'll leave. He'll then get DS from the bus and bring him home and ask again.

On a normal day I'd drop DS at their house for the bus and dad would get him off it before taking him to after school clubs while I work.

My parents aren't doing anything different really, but also wouldn't mind grabbing shopping for me or helping hang a wash up etc if they were out/had 5 minutes. They certainly wouldn't stay a whole day.

Also as a MIL I wouldn't make that offer unless DIL had asked before hand. Obviously I'd say I'd be there to help and just ask, but wouldn't plan on taking annual leave and spending 5 full days at the house.

It's not about not wanting her here but about not wanting her/anyone here all day.

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon Sat 08-Apr-17 19:42:28

Have you had a c-section before? I was still pretty ill at 3 weeks (but mine got infected which apparently is more common in emergency ones than scheduled).
So in short, I probably wouldn't refuse all help from MIL as you may actually end up really needing it (even if it's just so you can go and nap and recover).
Both myself and SIL found our usually overbearing MIL help after c-sec

eurochick Sat 08-Apr-17 19:43:57

Just say no. You might recover well. I was signed off to drive at 11 days post section. I could do an emergency stop at 6 days (moved the car on our driveway to check) but my insurer wanted GP sign off (many other insurers let you self-certify).

I would have hated having my mil around. I was quite happy sitting with my boobs out trying to get baby to feed once she was out of hospital and expressing. I liked pleasing myself and my new mini dictator and no one else!

(I was particularly focussed on driving as my husband doesn't and my baby was in nicu a few miles from home. Driving myself was a lot more comfortable than being bounced over speed bumps in mini cabs with crap suspension several times a day.)

lazyarse123 Sat 08-Apr-17 19:44:25

I think you are being a bit selfish as your parents are having your other dc practically full time apart from school. You need to find sometime that you are happy to have her, perhaps afternoons as has been suggested. You don't need to be confrontational about the baby staying, just wait until it's suggested and say you are not ready yet.

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 08-Apr-17 19:44:36

There's no reason for her to be at your house all day.

finova Sat 08-Apr-17 19:46:37

It's actually likely it will wear you out more having her there to 'help' from 8am!
It's not fair when you're recovering from surgery.
It's also not fair on your older child either as he'll be adjusting to his new sibling so I'd keep things as consistent as possible for him.
I'd say both your needs trump gets as 3 weeks post partum!!

I'd suggest she comes say from 4 till 6 or on one of the weekend days.
Or one day a week for a few weeks arriving at about 11am.

Trb17 Sat 08-Apr-17 19:46:57

This baby is yours, not your PILs, so you and your DP are in charge of what you allow.

Don't be afraid to say no.
Don't allow people to guilt you into things.
Don't do more than you feel happy with.

Of course you'll be closer to your parents so it's natural for you to see them more. However if your MIL and FIL respect boundaries then I'm sure you'll find ways to involve them at your pace and at your comfort level. If they don't show that respect then they make their own bed I'm afraid.

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 08-Apr-17 19:48:27

I think you are being a bit selfish as your parents are having your other dc practically full time apart from school

Except they're not.

Vegansnake Sat 08-Apr-17 19:49:37

I've 3 sons,I bet I will be that mother in law,trying to help ,trying to bond with a daughter in have everything covered with your parents,you have no need for her...but she needs you,and your child will love both sets of grandparents the same...

UppityHumpty Sat 08-Apr-17 19:52:04

Why do you need help from any parent? Can't your DP take paternity leave plus holiday or arrange flexible working to do drop offs/pick ups for your other son? Tbh it def sounds like you're excluding your mil from your posts if you want your parents doing the care taking work for your DS instead. Sometimes you have to manage things yourself.

Corabell Sat 08-Apr-17 19:53:19

"Most people are fine within two weeks of a section" oh, sure they are hmm

While you will be well in your way to recovery you will still need to pace yourself and be building your stamina.

I think your MIL has good intentions but needs some guidance on how to channel those intentions. It's wonderful that she would like to cook for you, but this doesn't need to happen in your home - she could cook and drop off a meal while having an hour or so with you and the baby? It would be helpful to have someone to do washing in your home but perhaps it's too personal ( with all the post partum leakage).

What do you imagine that you might need help with? I think the pp idea about suggesting she takes leave later or spreads it out over a few weeks could be a good compromise.

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