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When should distant grandparents come to visit new arrival?

(18 Posts)
KirKel Sat 30-May-09 00:22:59

DH and I live a short flight away from our hometown (Scotland to South Coast England) we are expecting our first child in 4 weeks and are unsure when to invite grandparents to visit.

I am not sure how I will be feeling after the birth and how much a period of adjustment and bonding we will want. I would like my parents to come visit after a week or so - my Mum is my Mum and I won't feel the need to make an effort for my parents if I am out of sorts in any way but my Mother-in-law is a nursing sister can be overbearing and an "I know"/assumes you don't person. She still niggles at DH and I wouldn't want her to pass judgement, or comment, on either of us. I don't want them all to visit at once as it might overwhelm but I'm not sure I have a choice as DH will say it's not fair to have my parents visit before us and thinks anything more than a week is too long.

Please help with your suggestions and experiences!

thanks, K

GlastonburyGoddess Sat 30-May-09 00:28:01

Personally Id say about 2-3 weeks after the birth, after your mum has visited. your most likely be feeling ok at this stage and you need to be careful not to overdo the PFB thing, id say 2-3 weeks would be acceptable, if you can fend them off for that long that is!

KirKel Sat 30-May-09 00:29:25

I'd like to point out that his Mum can be a great support at times - pointing out when DH should be more understanding during pregnancy for 1. Sometimes she puts things down to him being a man though as if that vindicates him. It's not that I don't generally get on with her it's just that I don't feel comfortable enough with anyone but my parents (and Gran) when I am feeling sick let alone after childbirth when my hormones are all over the place and I'm sleep deprived .

GlastonburyGoddess Sat 30-May-09 00:35:04

Tbh I think if in your situation i would tell both sets of parents how you feel eg you dont know how much time your need to adjust etc and that you will ring and invite them when you feel ready and up to having visitors

ipanemagirl Sat 30-May-09 00:49:11


I would get your ma in as soon as possible, no one can ever criticise a woman for wanting her ma, that is universally a truth for all cultures - call it in!

If you want to breast feed I would keep anyone overbearing as far away as possible for about 6 months! Because it can be hard to establish bf and criticism of you or people making you feel self-conscious is enough to scupper even a determined bfeeder.

If you don't want to breast feed keep the overbearing away for about 6 months! Because everyone else wants to feed the baby but I think the baby's mother (and occasionally dad) need to do that bonding thing and not have a newborn bloody handed about like a cuddle sack fufilling all the unfulfilled needs of every bloody person in the family who wants a bloody squeeze.

Leave the parents alone unless they beg you to come relatives!
Friends - bring baskets of muffins, cake and cookies!
Come with a meal or an offer to do some laundry
Be as fierce as you can muster, it's precious time!

ipanemagirl Sat 30-May-09 00:50:09

I'm kidding of course about 6 months, but you know what I mean, I just think too many people descend on new mothers.

KirKel Sat 30-May-09 00:51:32

Thanks Glastonbury Goddess - this has been suggested but time off work and plane tickets have been brought up as reasons this won't work. It's not like we know exactly when she'll arrive though. I feel so much pressure to invite them all down practically as soon as she is born and I know my DH will not like, or understand, why I would want my Mum (& Dad) to come first. He'll want them all at once.

ipanemagirl Sat 30-May-09 00:55:23

Please put your foot down with DH.
They don't go through what we go through.
A houseful could be exhausting for you.
You don't need a bunch of people coming with their agendas.
I think it is really precious time and I hope you can bring DH round to see that.

My sister (exmidwife) says being fierce about your baby's beginnings is one of the first tests of parenthood. Sometimes we have to put our foot down in a new way with family. I had to a few times after my ds was born and people to accept it.

Good luck!

KirKel Sat 30-May-09 00:56:15

ipanemagirl - I do want to breastfeed

Niecie Sat 30-May-09 00:58:05

Can they come down and stay in a hotel instead of with you?

I would be inclined to think that having them stay for a period of time will be very difficult but if they are staying in a hotel they can visit for say, an hour a day and then clear off for the rest of the time. If you feel able to cope with more then all well and good but if you don't then you can send them away and they can find something else to do.

Tell them they can come after your parents have gone if they are prepared to stay in a hotel but that you can't put them up for the first month/6 weeks if they chose to stay with you.

Try and get them to come when your DH is still home too so that you don't have to deal with them single handedly and don't be afraid to go and feed the baby in another room if it all gets too much. Feeding is the perfect get-out clause for a lot of things!

KirKel Sat 30-May-09 00:58:12

ipanemagirl - I'll try to discuss it with him tomorrow after I have a few feedback reasons (like yours) to back me up when I'm reasoning with him - thank you!

ipanemagirl Sat 30-May-09 01:10:13

Kirkel, please forgive for my bossy tone. It's late and I've had a whole week of half term and 2 children on my own, DH away so I am frazzled and perhaps being insensitive.
Familial pressures are enormous, I do understand.

I remember being in hospital with ds and mil and fil and bil turned up in the hospital at night without warning having driven 80 miles to see ds! Also dh had a couple of friends who came in the next day to see us. These visits were very offputting as I was trying to establish bf which is not easy for everyone, it's often really difficult. And if any of these visitors are not probfing it becomes really awkward. The other things rels did with both ds and dd is stick their fingers in the babies mouths! I mea I'm not OCD but I really think no one but the mother (or non-moronic father) should stick anything into a newborn's mouth!

For those who don't bf, they have to constantly hand the baby over to others. I actually think that isn't good in the first few days. I handed dd over to my mil who I wanted to visit near the birth of dd. But dd was distressed when I wasn't around. Babies know their mothers, they want to be close to them and the mother should be given loads and loads of support so she can lie in bed with the baby and bond. I genuinely think it's an important stage and it can easily be trampled on by generations who would find everything I've written to be woolly nonsense!

Maybe you could do some research into the subject and use what you find as an argument for ensuring an environment to suit you. You could call a bf counsellor and ask their advice, or your midwife or a LaLeche league person. If you really want to bf you have to be prepared to create an supportive environment. Ime that can mean keeping negative people at some distance until you're confident. You may be confident in a couple of days but I think it's naughty to bully new parents into commitments. No one knows what kind of birth they're going to have and how they'll feel afterwards.
Forgive the rant! I wish you all the best for what you want!

ipanemagirl Sat 30-May-09 01:12:47

Honestly, I get so angry on this subject!! I could seriously go on a march with a massive banner saying


slushy06 Sat 30-May-09 11:15:12

I would say at least two weeks before you have them come and stay with you. If they come before then they won't get a chance to see baby with bf as you will bfeeding alot. But things start to settle down after two weeks. How long are they staying.

Rockdoctor Sun 31-May-09 14:05:02

Hi Kirkel - I had a very similar dilemma as my mil lives abroad, a couple of hours by plane. I insisted that she didn't buy tickets or make arrangements until after the baby was born. Fortunately dh was supportive as he has had a "difficult" relationship with her in the past. She waited until we invited her which was about three weeks after the birth and once I had bf under control etc. I remember her walking into the living room after dh had picked her up from the airport, I was sat on the sofa bf little one, and she just came and sat quietly next to me without saying a word. From what you describe, she is a lady who is probably similar to your mil, I had never had that kind of experience with her and it turned out she was great for the whole of her stay. In answer to your question I would say two to three weeks but be prepared for previous behaviours to change - even for the better - once she meets the new arrival.

PS I'd kept her waiting a hell of a long time for her first grandchild so I guess she felt she had to be on best behaviour smile

nosleeptilbedtime Sun 31-May-09 22:26:20

Hiya, theres no point in trying to plan it yet, your baby could be 2 0r even 3 weeks late and you may need to spend a week in hospital (hopefully not but you never know) Or baby could be early. They can't expect you to give them a schedule on this just so they can buy a plane ticket! (it is possible to get tickets for domestic flights at very short notice)

After the baby comes YOU and the baby are the most important things, not what other people want. (I've just been through this myself!)
Good luck and congratulations smile

MustHaveaVeryShortMemory Sun 31-May-09 22:26:37

Your baby could quite realistically be born anytime between 37 and 42 weeks. So how can they book flights/holidays now? They could end up visiting for the week before it arrived....!

Also, everyones experience is so different. You may have an angel baby that latches on in minutes and never gives you any problems. Or you could struggle for a few weeks and be really glad there's no one else in your house. (Although I agree with the motel and muffins sentiment).

ipanemagirl takes a really hard line on this but I think shes absolutely right....

PinkTulips Sun 31-May-09 22:41:10

while i agree that your mil should give you a few weeks space after the birth and your mother should get to come first i just wanted to point out that, irritating to fuck as it might be now, you really will appreciate having in laws that care about their new grandchild and are so keen to see him/her.

when dd was born the mol visited for 2 hours when she was a week old, then didn't see her again til 5 months.

with ds1 she took several weeks to come and spent a few hours, then didn't see him til he was over a year.

ds2 is 4 months old this week and she hasn't met him yet

dp's brother and sister have never met ds1 or 2 sad

i'm not saying this to make you feel guilty about how you feel now, you're dead right, you won't want mil there for a few weeks as even with an easy newborn it's tough going at first, if your baby is difficult you'll resent any intrusions even more, i lived in my pjs for months after dd was born as i just couldn't cope with getting dressed things were so rough.

but in years to come when mil is doting on your lo and they're completely in love with granny and have a good relationship with her you'll really appreciate her love and involvemnet smile

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