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Family politics and jealousy

(8 Posts)
LuckyOwl28 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:46:54

We live away from all friends and family with husband being in the forces, and have always strived to be fair in visiting both sides of our family equally.

It's never been a noticeable problem before, but since I've been pregnant it seems a subtle rivalry has started to take place - with both sides seemingly getting jealous of the other if we spend time with them.

This weekend for example, the in-laws invited themselves up to see us which I wasn't comfortable with to start with (being 39 weeks with my first). I felt pressured to be the hostess and go out each day to show them the sights and have ended up shattered. My Aunty and Nanna (who are like my parents as I have no contact with them) heard that the in-laws were up so invited themselves up as a 'surprise' for Sunday lunch.

We only have a small two bed so have offered my Nanna the spare room when the baby's born so she can come and see the baby while I'm still in hospital as she's 87 and is getting here and back by train. I can't help but feel the in-laws think my side of the family are getting preferential treatment and there was quite an awkward atmosphere when they left. They are not normally like this, and I know it's only because they're so keen to be involved and help and see their grandchild etc, but it's left me really stressed out worrying that we've upset people! They do a lot for both of us but

My plan for the weeks leading up to my due date just involved being me and my partner - going for walks, generally chilling out and enjoying our last moments together in peace. Now me and my partner are stressed out, and thinking if it's like this now it will be much worse when the baby actually arrives. Already both sides are 'booking in' weekends with us and I just wish things could be more flexible until we have a routine established!

The obvious resolution is to have a 'chat' with both sides, but it's going to be so awkward and I could just do without it at the moment to be honest!

Sorry for the long rambling post - I know a lot of you have much more pressing issues than this, just wondering if anyone else has experienced similar with their family??

hartmel Tue 02-Apr-13 13:22:50

I'm almost in the same boat as you. But not as bad. It is mostly my side that gets jealous. When we spend more time with in laws.

I don't know what to tell you, but you are not alone..

lexib Tue 02-Apr-13 13:46:50

I've been predicting the same thing here... We have only one spare bedroom, and my dh's family will be visiting from the states so obviously should remain with us (my family are about an hour down the road). However...

What if we dont want either off them here? Can hardly palm off people making such a long trip to see the little one. But then if they come in advance, predicting the birthday date? Are they going t be here when i got in touch labour? And I've read way too much about the issues around who knows when you're actually giving birth. All id love to do is keep it simple and maybe even go into lockdown for a month after birthday (friends have done this, to help wit routine etc and obv accepting initial short visits).
It feels like wedding planning already, and we only just did that!
Dh, me and baby. Sounds simple huh grin

dinkystinky Tue 02-Apr-13 13:54:32

Ah, they are very excited and love you and your DH very much - and cant wait to meet your child.

What we did was impose a no visitors ban for a couple of weeks post birth - people could come visit during the day (there was no keeping my dad and inlaws away) for a couple of hours max but couldnt stay. It worked out well - they came, brought food, cooed at the baby, made sure they did the washing up - and left. We also talked to both families saying we needed time to find our feet as a family - which meant we didnt want to be booked out every weekend. They accepted and adhered to that. So, just talk to them both and say what you're thinking/feeling and it will be fine. And good luck with the baby arrival.

LuckyOwl28 Tue 02-Apr-13 15:25:40

The 'lockdown' period sounds perfect!

It's just how to go about things without upsetting anyone. I'd rather my husband spoke to his parents now to nip things in the bud before it gets worse.

It would be ideal if they could just pop in for a few hours and go, but as we live 4 hours away they would have to either stay the night here or a hotel.

Think I will leave in the capable hands of the other half - he's more tactful than I am and less prone to emotional outbursts wink

DontmindifIdo Tue 02-Apr-13 15:35:28

OK, you get your DH to talk to his parents and say that you are under a lot of pressure from your family to stay after the baby arrives, that you both think it'll be a bit much so he thinks it's best if you say no overnight guests and not staying all day unless people are going to help. <que much agreement from his parents, he can lay it on thick about how hard work his ILs are etc>

then of course you have to have equal rules so would they be ok with the same rules? Of course he's sure they wouldn't be any bother, will understand that LuckyOwl might need to physically recover if she has a tough birth, can't be expected to play hostess - how great it is that his parents understand this, oh mum, you're so understanding, wish MIL was like you - how do you think he should approach the staying in a hotel thing with MIL? Perhaps if he says that his parents are happy to do that... what would you say mum?

He wants to make the most of his paternity leave to bond with the baby and look after LuckyOwl, and is worried it's going to be making endless cups of tea and entertaining his in laws and lots of other visitors, thanks mum, you're really good at knowing how to handle tricky people, I'm so glad we don't have to worry about you and Dad pushing in and being difficult, I bet you hadn't even thought we'd expect to put you up in our little house and you are far better at getting that a woman who's just given birth won't want to entertain anyone!

Then you call your mum and do the same conversation in reverse. Both think they are the 'good' grandma, the other is the difficult one... wink

LuckyOwl28 Tue 02-Apr-13 15:41:37


That made me properly LOL

Love a good role play.

Sounds like a plan, thanks grin

BrianButterfield Tue 02-Apr-13 21:05:16

We didn't let people stay for a good few months (well, my mum stayed on her own for a couple of days but that's different as she's an actual help and doesn't need entertaining). ILs etc had to stay in a B&B, of which there are many in this town, even on the same street as us. I'm sure they were annoyed (as we are usually treated as a free hotel...) but tough shit, to be honest. It worked for us and I'd do it again.

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