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How long should my foreign inlaws stay when our first baby arrives?

(54 Posts)
Bunnylion Tue 09-Apr-13 08:44:51

Im due tips summer and my foreign inlaws will be flying in from a long way away soon after to see the baby.

They are nice people but as I have only got to know them in infrequent short bursts, I find their visits (even when I don't have a baby) quite stressful. I am getting very anxious about the baby visit.

I'm quite a quiet person who enjoys my own company and when they are here it's... intense - they just don't stop talking, they also constantly micro managing how I look after my house and my DH and they always seem to be over my shoulder whem I'm doing anything. I find it very draining.

I saw them once during my pregnancy and they wouldn't keep their hands off my belly, so I can only imagine how much time I'll get to cuddle my baby when they come over once it's arrived.

They are planning to visit after my DH has used up his paternity leave, so it'll just be me, baby and them - 24h/day.

They have said they want to come for 2 weeks but MIL wants to stay on for a month or longer.

I have a history of depression and am at mid risk of postnatal. If I do develop it and am having a tough time early on, I'm so worried that their visit will not only drive me insane but be quite damaging to my early bonding weeks with my baby.

I also have my own mum who I want to spend a lot of precious time with during these early weeks, and it could be more difficult to talk to her if there are always other people in the room. My mum is currently going through chemo and this time will be precious.

But I know that they should and would love to spend as much time as possible with their first grandchild, I just don't know the best way to plan it all without driving myself to dispair.

Any experience or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Bunnylion Thu 11-Apr-13 18:10:49

zipzap her mil only lives an hour away from my ILs so I think they just did the odd pop-in, definitely no overnight stays let alone a month.

But living in another country to my ILs makes the pop-in a bit more difficult.

Bunnylion Thu 11-Apr-13 18:12:29

strangeglue excellent advice! smile

popebenedictsp45 Thu 11-Apr-13 18:21:56

That is really good advice StrangeGlue. I wish I'd been more assertive after DC1's birth. I remember making lots of cups of tea and trying not to cry while the baby was passed around in the front room. I am usually very stroppy and assertive but just crumbled with the post-birth hormones. I will be prepared next time, practicing it in your head is very sensible.

Bunnylion - maybe you could tell your ILs to practice driving on the 'wrong' side of the road in their head!

minimuffin Fri 12-Apr-13 16:04:23

Bunnylion well done for speaking to your DH about this, and he sounds great and supportive. Everyone's said all that needs to be said really - this is a very bad idea. The phrase "emotional rollercoaster" doesn't begin to describe the first 4 weeks or so with your first baby! You have no idea how the birth will go and what kind of recovery you will need. You are so vulnerable physically and emotionally and will need a lot of emotional and practical support, which is difficult to get from someone you barely know. The baby will just need you and DH.

If you're breastfeeding too, there really is no-one who can "help". With a tiny newborn, you mightn't really want anyone other than DH changing nappies, cuddling, trying to settle them. It's a very primal instinct and you may be surprised by the strength of it (I was). That all changes in a few months once the baby is settled and your days have fallen into a pattern and it's actually nice to have visitors. There is no pattern to the early days with a baby and that is what can make visits at this stage so tough. Even from people you know really well.

Just an idea - if MIL is unhappy with this, you could ask DH to speak to his dad, remind him how it was MIL's own mum who came to stay when DH was born, ask how she would have felt having her own MIL there - rekindle some memories of the firstborn period. They really do fade. I say all this as someone with 3 DSs so I will in all likelihood have to deal with this issue myself. I hope I can stamp on what is undoubtedly a powerful urge to bond with a new grandchild and remember how the only person I really wanted around was my own mum - not even my dad or sister particularly. Good luck!

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