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How to control visitors?

(31 Posts)
LissyGlitter Mon 26-Oct-09 13:02:00

My second baby could arrive at any minute now, and I am getting more and more worried about visitors, particularly my ILs.

They are absolutely lovely, but they can be overpowering, especialy FIL. Eg the other day DD was going to her dance class, he turned up, let himself into our house, took her lunch off her and put the plate in the sink (still with spaghetti and toast on it, thus making more work in cleaning up the sink etc) put her tap shoes on her (even though I have told him many times that I like her to wear her outdoor shoes on the way to dancing so the tap shoes don't get worn out and she doesn't slip) and generally moved things about in my house (such as laying a bathroom towel over a puddle where she had an accident while I was out of the room, so I didn't notice to clean it until later). After the lesson, he asked DD (not me) if she wanted to come round to his for biscuits and to play with some new toys, and didn't return her until a couple of minutes before bedtime, and he had told her she was having a bath that night, without warning me, so I had to distract her while the water heated up (about an hour) and she was having tantrums because she was tired but he had been telling her how fun her bath was going to be.

So, he was being helpful, and I am grateful for that, but I can just see him being overpowering like that with the newborn as well, and not sure how I will cope when tired and recovering from a section.

I'm also worried that both sets of grandparents are going to turn up at the hospital when I am still catheterized and immobile, not to mention full of drugs, and fuss and mess and generally irritate me when I will just want to lie there, chat with DP and stare at our new baby.

DP suggests inventing some "useful" errands for his parents, eg going to the supermarket for us or taking DD to playgroup. He won't get any paternity leave because he is new to his job, but my mum will probably be coming for the first few days I am out of hospital (I don't mind her in the house, as we are close enough for me to be able to tell her if she is annoying me)

I know I will need help after a section, and I am very grateful to have them, I just don't want to end up snapping and shouting at them!

yummychoccycake Mon 26-Oct-09 13:18:26


I soo know how you feel, my ILS are exactly the same.
It was awful when I had DS1 it was almost like they were obsessed with him, and the more they were like that the more they were pushing me away which wasnt what i wanted as DH is very close to his parents.
Anyway it was getting me down so i told DH that he had to say something and things slowly getting better.
Now expecting DD1 and starting to dread what they are going to be like, it makes my blood boil!
9 years down the line my advice would be to put your foot down even if your not that way inclined-force yourself to do it!
This is your life, your home and your children and they should bloody well respect that! And if they dont like it then tough!

Sorry sounds harsh but i know how you feel and they cant just do what they are doing.
As regards to them helping you, tell them exactly what kind of help you need/dont need.
Lecture over- Good Luck! wink

FangsForTheMemories Mon 26-Oct-09 13:25:50

I completely understand where you are coming from. My ILs are exactly the same way and they irritate me so much. I wish I could say they meant well though. They don't, they are just irritating bastards.

I told my DH that NO ONE was to come to the hospital to visit when I had DD and I stuck to that. The only visitor I had while in the hospital was my DH and it was lovely. I put my foot down and won.

It you don't want a rush of visitors, then just tell them. It's your life, your birth and your baby so it is your decision who comes to visit.

Good luck

PreggoK8 Mon 26-Oct-09 14:39:35

LissyGlitter, that's awful! No wonder you're stressing! Just reading your post got my blood boiling.

Would your partner be willing to talk to FIL and ask him (in a v nice way) to back off a little bit? Maybe also remind him that it's your house and unless it's an emergency then knocking rather than letting himself in is more considerate, etc. It's poss he doesn't realise how much of a dick he's being. Has he ever been challenged over it? Or your MIL?

slushy06 Mon 26-Oct-09 14:41:08

I didn't tell mine I had had dd as on ds MIL actually came up to the labor ward and not only came in uninvited but dragged BIL in too as she is so uncaring she never asked a single question about what I planned for labor just that she expected to look after ds.

So we just told her I was only in labor 2 hours (actually 10 from regular cc but no one knows this but me my mum and dp)and there was no time my mum had ds and we said everyone was too tired to call straight away and only announced the birth when I was ready for visitors.

MIL did go to kick off (something about my sister seeing the baby before her and that he should have left me to go and call) on her way to see me but for the first time my dp shouted at her and told her if she cant be happy then don't bother coming in to see dd.

Definitely worked for me as there was no arguments or having to explain anything and they could not exactly complain once it was donegrin.

slushy06 Mon 26-Oct-09 14:44:17

As you are having a section maybe you could tell them the section date is a week later and say you went into labor and had to be rushed in.

QTPie Mon 26-Oct-09 14:51:26

I am very glad that the birth unit I am in has a locked door and has to buzz visitors in.... We will be leaving strict instructions that only expected visitors should be let in - all other visitors will be told that we are all sleeping and we will phone them when we are awake and ready to take visitors... (my MIL lives 200 yards from the birth unit - I could just see her trying to "pop in" all of the time...)


QTPie Mon 26-Oct-09 14:53:23

Just to add, you REALLY need to clairfy with your in-laws that the key is for EMERGENCIES only! I would absolutely hate that.

It sounds as though your FIL is trying to be helpful (even by letting himself in), but in a typical "man" sort of way (they mean well, but often just don't think). Be easy on him, but very firm...


slushy06 Mon 26-Oct-09 14:56:55

with regards to FIL being a little to friendly with the key I would walk round the house naked and scream when he lets himself in he wont do it againgrin

QTPie Mon 26-Oct-09 14:59:24

He he Slushy! grin


rubyslippers Mon 26-Oct-09 15:01:11

you can ask the hospital to not let them in

also, a sign on the door asking people to come back later as mum and baby are sleeping

take the key off your ILs

you need time to recover and rest and not be worrying about visitors

Comma2 Mon 26-Oct-09 15:08:50

Poor Lissy. Can you tell them to not come to the hospital as is the truth? How long are yo going to stay in there?

Our hopsital recommends to a) claim there is is a very short visiting time window (really its 24/7) swine flu is a good excuse, and b) have the baby in the nursing room when visitors come where nobody is allowed in, but people can have a look through the window and thn go and have a chat with you. They will also not let anybody in that isn't invited, and only two at a time, which is marvellous.

Gosh I hate it when anybody but DH touches my newborn babies...complete hormonal monster, but there you are.

And yes, your FIL sounds like a well-meaning clueless man of the older generation. What a pain.

LissyGlitter Mon 26-Oct-09 16:36:45

He doesn't use the key, I just sometimes forget to put the latch on so he can just open the door. He seems to think that, because he knocks first, it's ok. When I go to theirs, I always knock and wait for them to let me in, and they always say "oh you don't need to knock, just let yourself in!" and don't seem to get that I am hinting that they should be waiting for me to let them into my house!

I can't lie about when the baby comes, as they will be babysitting DD for us.

My parents have told me they will be in the car as soon as they hear I am in labour or on the day of the booked section (they live 2.5 hours away) and I don't want to tell them not to as I think they are feeling pushed out anyway by us living so close to the ILs (three doors away). But then if I let my parents in, I have to let the ILs in as well. And my two sisters.

I may try breastfeeding constantly, and leaving my boobs out to air, FIL would probably get embarrassed and leave!

FifiForgot Mon 26-Oct-09 18:20:24

LissyGlitter - I know where you are coming from. When I had DD, my PiL said that they would be in the car at the first sign of labour (2.5 hour journey for them) and that they would be at the hospital before my Mum. I had a total fit and told everyone that I wanted Mum to be first to see the baby (we lost my Dad the year before and I knew it was going to be awful not having him there). They did eventually arrive 2 days after DD's arrival, mainly because I had a terrible delivery and ended up on IV morphine for 2 days and DH said I wasn't up to visitors. They couldn't stay with us because we had no room, so they stayed with Mum and went home the next day. I think they felt put out, mainly because they spent 2 weeks living with SiL before each of her children arrived and stayed for 2 weeks afterwards!

This time, we DO have room for them to stay, but I have told DH that I DO NOT WANT PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE when I come home. I'm having a planned section and we have agreed that they can come for a visit the day after the baby's arrival, but can't stay with us, I really couldn't cope with that. I suspect that we will have to go and visit them as soon as I feel able, but at least that will be on our terms. We haven't told them yet, I think DH is waiting for "the right time" i.e. when I tell them!

I would tell them that the hospital has a very strict visiting policy and that you can only have a limited number of visitors for a short time each and there is no visiting immediately post op. I had a section with DD and I was on Labour Ward until the next morning and then on the High Dependancy ward until the following day - visiting really was restricted.

hobnob57 Mon 26-Oct-09 21:54:25

Lissy I had this problem with MIL last time and you're really making me think that I might have to lay down the rules this time again.

She was round every visiting time (twice a day) for the whole time so when she wasn't there, DD was asleep and I felt that I never got time to bond with her at all sad. Combine that with mega hormonal mess and physical wreck after emcs and it all got quite ugly. And she turned up at the house every day for the 1st 3 weeks too. My mum was over from Ireland helping me with recovering from the section, which was fine. MIL just brought more and more 'stuff' for the baby and hogged all the cuddles when I really needed to get her feeding sorted (wasn't gaining weight properly). When we did say something it wasn't well-received, which is what puts me off saying something this time. Will have to speak to DH about this again.

But as someone said, it does get to a point where you have to say something and it saves a lot of heartache to say it at the outset smile

QTPie Tue 27-Oct-09 10:25:50

I think that the best way is to set out ground rules FIRST - rather than getting to the point when you can't take it any more and...

Apparently, according to my SIL, my MIL "expects" to move in with us for a month after the baby is born shock. MIL hasn't discussed this with us... but will get a firm "no" when she does.

Parents need time and space to bond with their baby... the occassional visitor is fine, but someone else constantly getting in the way or taking over is counter-productive.

Uninvited visitors are bad - could insist that they call before popping around? Then you can always say "no"


Mybox Tue 27-Oct-09 10:32:38

Could you just stay in your bedroom with your newborn and say the doctors told you to do this so you can rest and get bf started. They can bring your meals but your baby has to stay with you all the time.

LissyGlitter Tue 27-Oct-09 21:48:02

Hmmm, my 16 year old sister visited today and I mentioned I was thinking of not having any visitors at all for the first 24 hours (ie when I will still be immobile and catheterised/on a drip etc) and she said "oh, except for us obviously) I said no, I mean everyone. Only me and DP and the new baby, maybe DD briefly if I am up to it. She made a face and said it wasn't fair, that they just wanted to help. I said that I would be tired and would probably just want to sleep anyway, so she suggested that they could take the less-than-one-day-old baby for a walk! She also said that she visited within an hour of DD being born, and that was fine. I did point out that I barely remember that visit, and she laughed about how out of it I was and said that it didn't affect anything...never mind that breastfeeding, recovery and bonding with the baby were all hard to get started after all that stress.

I'm hoping this is just her being daft and teenage and that the adults of the family will appreciate where I am coming from.

hobnob57 Tue 27-Oct-09 22:22:30

I hope so Lissy. If they think about it hard enough they'll realise what a selfish attitude it is.

KnackeredOldHag Tue 27-Oct-09 22:27:27

We told everyone that the hospital had a rule that no-one could visit c-section patients until 24 hours after the operation. Worked for us grin.

KnackeredOldHag Tue 27-Oct-09 22:29:21

Oh we also told everyone about the "no more than 2 visitors at a time" rule....

hairyclaireyfairy Tue 27-Oct-09 22:34:12

We banned all visitors for a week after dd was born, got called all the names under the sun by family but was not having a repeat of when ds was born. Horrendous birth followed by sil and bil staying for 3 hours in the private room i was given because of said horrendous birth!! In fact come to think of it it was all dh family, mine were ok.
Have groundrules and stick to them, be in bed asleep when they call round, ignore the front door and put mortice lock on.I will be doing exactly the same this time round and dont give a toss how they will feel, much more important that you and dp bond with baby, good luck

I have the same sort of issue here too. When I had ds I had been in hospital for less than 24 hours before my mil (and sil and her new boyfriend) all jumped in the car from 3 hours away, and declared they were on their way and wanted to stay with us.

Sil and her boyfriend were apparently staying at ours on our first night with a new baby because it was "convenient" as they were on their way to visit someone in the next town. hmm

I had nowhere for three of them to sleep, and not enough bedding. I was really upset and had to beg the hospital staff to discharge me, we got home about 30 min before they arrived. I had to put baby on the floor in his carseat and rush round to tidy up (I'd had really bad spd beforehand so the place was a mess) I felt so, so resentful.

Though sil and her boyfriend left the next day, mil stayed 9 days and it was a bit of a nightmare (she was very fussy over who came to visit, and how often. All MY friends and family, naturally! Even told me what I could and couldn't eat, and that I shouldn't go outside etc, wouldn't leave me alone when the mw came round to discuss my stitches etc - aargh!) So I only saw my big sister etc for an hour or two here or there, when I really wanted to have her there instead (my mum died when I was 23)

So I'm due my second in may, she still lives 3 hours away, and I know she'll expect to come down and stay for a week (and for dp to devote the best part of a day collecting her and taking her home) but tbh I'd really rather this was about me and the baby, not her wishes. Last time it was almost two weeks before dp and I had a single moment alone with our baby, and I found the whole thing really stressful.

I'm having this baby in a hospital but I've been offered to transfer to a tiny local midwife centre for some R&R for a couple of days. My family and friends all live locally, and I'd love my big sister to be properly involved this time instead of shoved out.

I just don't know what to do, at this rate I can see us travelling down to her with a 3 day old baby and probably another 2nd degree tear just so we have the option to leave...

Gah, sorry for the long hijack, I didn't realise I needed to get that out! blush

Comma2 Wed 28-Oct-09 13:17:55

shock james What a horrible story! Tell mil to clear off!
I didn't have anybody for three weeks last time, it was lovely. Seriously, the best time I have ever had I think.
This time MIL comes for two weeks, which may be okay as toddler needs to be amused and I'll have a csection, but am entirely prepared to miss the best part of it all because there won't be any privacy, and MIL is given to exuberant hysterics on how fabulous everything is. Could be worse, but sigh.

Comma2 Wed 28-Oct-09 13:19:41

Sorry Lissy about your sister. sad You really have to put your foot down though; it sounds like a teenage daft thing to me. She'll get it when she's in your situation...

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