How do you deal with pushy, unwanted visitors after the birth of your baby?(45 Posts)
The subject line sounds really arsey, but I wasn't sure how else to put it...
I am due to give birth to DC2 in a few weeks, DD1 is 18 months old, so still needs a lot of attention and stuff doing for her (nappies, supervision etc).
When she was born we had many friends over to visit, who were mostly very considerate and it was nice to see them and to show off DD...however in hindsight I should have been sleeping or resting more, and so this time we have decided (well, it was my idea) that we will only have family visiting for the first couple of weeks.
My mum and MIL will (wonderfully) be here most of the time - to cook, clean and entertain DD - and basically help me with the boring necessities of the household so I can bond with DC2 and give DD enough attention. DH's circumstances are such that he won't get any paternity leave.
An old friend of mine is reacting very badly to my stance on visitors and thinks because she is such an old friend the rules don't apply to her...she's said that I'm her 'priority' when I have the baby...but I don't necessarily want to be, and I know her very well and know that she isn't like this and wasn't very helpful when I had DD. I really need her to back off.
I know people are excited about meeting a new baby - and don't get me wrong, I am very excited too and will want to see friends and show off my new DC...but I get so irritated by people assuming they can come over just to see the baby whenever they want. I remember the extraordinary exhaustion that comes with a newborn, and would really like to get my act and my head together before I am expected to host visitors.
OK. Rant over. Anyone else been in a similar position? Got any stories to tell?
My parents had form for
overstaying their welcome extensive visiting post-baby. With Dc1 they stayed the entire visiting hours the day after he was born (late evening). With DC2 they stayed 1-7pm the day after (again, late evening birth). With DC3 they were told to wait until my DM was sober which took a few days and that was the quickest visit, 4 hours. With DC4 they invited themselves over in howling snow, for lunch: DH and I spoke to them separately to say no, I screamed it down the phone: they still came.
DH fed them un-defrosted lasagne, I went to bed after an hour, then went out (with the baby) when I got up.
You can get a sign for the door, you can give them hour-long slots: your DM and MIL can help.
Stay in your pj's, don't brush your hair or put your make up on.
Do not offer tea/coffee or any hospitality.
Yawn a lot!
"It's trickier when it's people who you have to let visit, like relatives."
You don't have to let anyone visiting if you don't want to. That can be family or the bloody queen!
I am about to have mine any day now and I already said to my partner that once his close family have been - they are not to turn up again in 4 weeks time.
Specially if you are planning to breastfeed, you will have your tits out half of the time and you don't want not to feed your baby because of visitors.
DH and I are going to have a
death stare safe word so if it is all getting too much he can politely suggest visitors leave/offer to take them to the local pub (oh, he really takes one for the team )
It's our first so the hardest thing for me is knowing how I will feel. Right now I want the whole world to bugger off and leave us alone (39+2) but I am sure I will want to show him off too.
I like the tip about going off to bed. I really want to establish breast feeding without gawpers so this could be a good tactic.
I was over-visited after I had DS, EMCS, loads of pain, felt like shite for weeks.
When I was due to have DC2 I e-mailed my family and told them I wanted help only and wouldn't be making any tea for anyone. I got XP to tell his family I didn't want any visitors for a while, they had been the real problem first time round. Luckily they didn't visit for 2 weeks, and kept visits short.
Now I've had kids I can't get my head around people who want to descend on a woman + new baby fresh from hospital. I was much happier left in peace, watching tv in my pj's while I fed and rested.
I was going to start a thread about this very subject today as requests to see DC2 are driving me mad!
With DC1 we made the mistake of holding off the grandparents' visits until days 3/4 when I was trying to establish bf and the tiredness had really kicked in. I had planned to hand over DC1 to MIL for cuddles and retreat to bed, but DH and FIL then disappeared to do something-or-other (fix plumbing, I think) and I was left entertaining MIL and making her endless cups of tea. When I took DC1 to our bedroom to try to feed, MIL followed and walked in on me, tits out (me, not MIL!).
With DC2 (born a couple of weeks ago) we were wiser and had all grandparents to visit in the first two days, when we were more awake and DC2 wasn't yet a permanent fixture on my boobs, so they could cuddle to their hearts' content.
I understand that family will want to visit the new family member, but what I don't get is friends who can't wait to be invited or meet you at a neutral venue at a later date. This week I've been contacted by three friends inviting themselves over to meet DC2. I mean, I know that DC2 is adorable, and I love to spend every hour of the day and night looking at him, but I just don't have that level of fascination with other people's newborns when they are not related to me.
What kind of friend invites themselves over to visit a friend who has just given birth, is feeling exhausted/sore, and just wants to sit around in their pyjamas or nap, rather than force her to get showered/dressed, make you tea and forego precious sleep, just so they can cuddle a small baby?
In the case of my most persistent friend who also wanted her toddler DS to come with her (I put my foot down on that - he's a nightmare and would trash the place) she specified which days would suit her . I'll be seeing her in a few days anyway at a mutual friend's party, so I really don't understand why she won't wait. If someone can explain to me why they insist on seeing the newborn in the first two weeks, please do, because I really don't get it!
Because in some circles there is a sort of competition to see who can see the baby first/earliest. The younger the baby, the bigger the boasting potential. It happened to me, the subtle fighting for the lowest number of days. And the not-so-subtle bullying from my grandmother. (Not the lovely fluffy sort of grandmother, think bitter young woman aged into bitter old woman ).
They can take their competition and shove it up their arses...I want to nap, and it's difficult enough to find time for naps what with family visitors, deliveries of cards and presents for the new baby, and the procession of midwives and health visitors...
I do think that part of it is just because that's what you're supposed to do, visit a newborn, and people don't think beyond that.
Personally I'd rather meet someone for an hour in our local Starbucks or Costa with the baby. Yes, I'd have to get up and dressed, but at least I don't have to tidy or clean the house, make the tea/coffee, and I get to show off my shiny new buggy as well as my gorgeous baby
and stuff my face with chocolate muffins.
This is where your mum and mil are going to come into their own, they can and will quite happily tell people to bugger off. If someone rings and you know why they are calling just get them to answer the phone and say no their sleeping ill pass the message on.
I had a friend ask if she could visit the week after my DS was born. I was still in a lot of pain and feeling like I really needed my space. I asked her if she could hold off for a few weeks til I was feeling better. She hasn't spoken to me since. I came to the conclusion that she really wasn't the sort of person worth being friends with if she could react like that. I think any decent friend would understand.
At my antenatal day last week the midwife said that DHs roll shortly after the birth is gatekeeper. I am sure you can transfer it to MIL and DM.
Have also read on MN that a sign on the door is very effective. 'Do not knock or ring. New mother and baby sleeping.' Take the batteries out of the doorbell. Can you mute your landline phone?
red My midwife used the term guard-dog I think they must have gone to the same college
Agree with entrusting this job to the grandmothers. They'll probably relish the chance to be allowably rude to people.
I think all the politics (not sure it's quite the right word) are a nightmare in this situation.
With DC1 I had no idea how I would feel and told everyone up-front, before DD was born that we would let people know when we were ready for visitors. But it's who you 'let' visit first that always throws me.
For eg. I have 3 sisters, none of which I'm particularly close to and who would no doubt be most unhelpful. Yet I have at least 2 amazing friends that I've met in the last 18 months or so who I would want around from day one. They won't let me lift a finger and would probably be a lot more useful than DH!!
But having them around but not family would really cause trouble.
It all comes down to trying to please everyone and not offending people. Nightmare...
When ds2 was born DH arranged for his entire family (11 people) to pop in for coffee an hour after I'd got home from hospital. I was monumentally pissed off and punished them all by not letting anyone hold the baby
Ummm tricky one....Ok so mobile phone on silent / landline goes to ansaphone. Ansaphones are there to be used for such reasons!!!!
We used a Note on front doorwhich said "due to the recent birth of our dd we are very tired / asleep / feeding / please do not disturb.
Ifthere is a knock on door - just ignore (give family a code for special knock!!!!).
Your family and YOu need to be a priority and no one else.
Also when people do start to visit politely point out you are looking forward to seeing them but will just have an hour as you have a dr's app / health visitor ap etc. Then you have an excuse ready and can justifably clock watch and turf out!!!
When people arrive point out where the tea making facilities are ;-)
Adding to what helen says, don't just point out the kettle. Point out the dishes, the laundry and the hoover. When my sister-in-law came to see us for the first time after the birth of my eldest, she spent the first half hour of her visit in the kitchen up to her elbows in mugs and soapy water of her own volition
I found that leaving my mum or DH to do all door and phone duty with too tired call back in a week as the answer for the first week helped lots. Then whoever came round would be given a pile of ironing or washing up etc to do before tea or a cuddle. At the end of the day it is a tiring time. You can just put any 'rudeness' on your part down to tiredness. if she does not like it she is not really worth bothering about.
I was thinking about this as I wandered about the house planning
ignoring stuff that needs doing...
What we need is a sign. A laminated "Beware, here be mumsnetter!" sign. With a growly monster on it, and a url that will lead them to a thread detailing how unwanted guests will be, in the mind of the new parents, subjected to disembowellment by blunt spoon...
Do we think it's a goer?
What a great idea, LIttleMissFlustered! Better even than the polite "please do not disburb", as it truly educates the reader...
I never felt the need to hibernate. I was glad of lots of company and support around me in the early days. Maybe I'm just weird. But I wanted to show my baby off to the world.
its easy, sont tell them that you have given birth until a few days later.
the visitors absolutly PISSED me off with ds1, we never got a bloody meal for twats knocking on the door and as we were young and the first of the group to have one they stayed late and had no concept of the idea that for us sleep was mopre precious than gold, i actually fantasised about killing some of them.
so with ds 2 we didnt tell any one, my mum had ds1 for us and didnt breath a word until a week later. why bloody not.
another ploy is for the guard dog person(totally agree) to stand firm on the door or phoine and say you and the baby have a virula infection that renders you both vulnerable to others germs and the dodctor has advised absolutlky no visitors until you are better...
at dd 3 we were older and simply said no visitors welcome for a week, end of ,no lies needed piss of world.... i had an old friend who was 'devestated' at this but i kind of felt that if she had our best interests at heart then she would have understood..
i NEVER EVER visit new mums until asked and then only to drop off food and presents , kiss baby and never stay for the cuppa.
good luck and stand firm for your dcs sake.
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