What to do about the in laws when baby is born..(59 Posts)
I feel like I'm in a massively difficult situation when it comes to my in laws and have no idea what to do, so any advice would be appreciated. My husband is Spanish and his parents still live in Spain. This is their first grandchild and they are understandably are very excited. My dilemma is that whenever they come to visit, they always stay with us, sometimes for up to a month at a time. I understand why that is necessary but it's something I do find very difficult. I would never EVER stop them but I'm an incredibly private person and I find it so hard not having my own space. It's a hard situation for me to be in at the best of times let alone when I've just given birth. They are lovely people but don't speak English and I speak very little Spanish (although I do understand most of it). I really have no idea what the solution is. When I come home I would really like to spend the first couple of weeks with just my husband, our daughter and I, so we have chance to bond as a family of three. I'm also going to be trying to breastfeed which I understand can be quite difficult to establish so I can imagine I may feel quite stressed. Plus I'm very shy and don't really fancy having my father in law hanging round while I'm trying to get used to it! On the other hand I totally understand that my parents will be able to visit and see the baby fairly soon after she's born (granted they wouldn't be staying with us 24/7 as PIL would have to). Is it fair that I ask my husbands parents to give us a week or two to ourselves before they move in for god knows how long?? Do you think I could possibly limit the amount of time they do stay this time? Does anybody have ideas that would keep everybody happy? I'm literally desperate. I can't even talk to my husband about it as I'm sure it will end up with us arguing and I really don't want that. I also don't want him or his parents to feel that they aren't welcome, but equally I feel like I'm going to need some alone time at the beginning. I've thought about suggesting they stay somewhere else this time and just visit us as and when but I know that won't go down well . Any input I would be grateful xx
They should stay in a hotel. You won't want guests for a month seriously. Get your husband to sort this out
I would suggest that to avoid any accusations of favouritism you apply a blanket no visitors at all rule for the first week or two and then when they do come, their visit should of course be time limited. Or they stay in a hotel. You’ll have to discuss with your husband sooner or later given they’re his parents.
Jesus christ OP you're so ungrateful, they want to stay with you to help you out and bond with their grandchild!
...just joking ;) I see so many responses like that on "visiting the newborn" threads though. Honestly I think you will need to explain to your DH that the first week (at least) is a no go due to recovery. You will be bleeding, leaking milk, having baby blues, establishing breastfeeding - it's really no time to be putting pressure on yourself and as the one pushing the baby out of your vagina, you are the one who gets the final decision on this.
A 1, 2 or even 3 week old is just as cute as a brand newborn. Newborns don't need or want to bond with anyone but their parents in the early weeks, they will not be missing out! When are you due? I think you should get your point of view in to your DH early and if needs be show him threads full of women on MN and the like saying how awful it is to have even visitors who pop by in the early weeks, let alone visitors who expect to stay in your home for weeks on end! Good luck
I really think they should look in to an air bnb thing. I wouldn't want them in my house when I've got a newborn either so you're not unreasonable to want them elsewhere.
Thank you all! I feel slightly less of an awful person now.. I have left it a little late in bringing up the subject because I'm due on the 2nd December (but they have advised that I be induced early at 38 weeks so will be mid November) but I've been reluctant because I've been trying to avoid starting an argument. I know we do need to talk about it though.. I just have to be tactful! I think that the best solution is that they stay elsewhere, I just don't want to offend anybody..
All the points you made in your original post were very reasonable. Explain these to your DH, plus adding in that his parents might want a bit of piece and quiet too, and ask him to speak to his parents about the situation.
They come over when baby is born and stay in a hotel / airbnb. Then they're in exactly the same position as your parents and visiting hours can be shared out fairly.
Thank you both, I'm glad it's not just me that thinks it will be difficult having people stay when I've just given birth. I will suggest the hotel/air bnb thing and see how it goes. It's just a one off and I don't think realistically it's too much to ask that they compromise just this once?
I think they may want to stay with you - is your MiL or FIL helpful with washing/cooking etc? If so they may be a godsend.
I think you're right not to have visitors straight away if you're trying to bf. it can be stressful.
I'd say come over 2-3 weeks after the baby is born but let three stay with you
Your I laws are Spanish - what’s the norm in Spain? If the norm is both sets of parents move in you’re screwed. I speak from experience. Luckily for my cousin not me
"My dilemma is that whenever they come to visit, they always stay with us, sometimes for up to a month at a time. I understand why that is necessary but it's something I do find very difficult."
It's not at all necessary! They could very easily stay in an Airbnb (or similar). I think that's definitely the best option all round if they're staying for a whole month at a time.
My maximum is a week, although I get twitchy after a few days. I don't know how you survive a whole month!! And when you've just had a baby, overnight guests are far from ideal, unless it's your mum and she's staying to help YOU recover from the birth (not just to see the baby).
Do you even have space for them? Obviously the baby will be in your bedroom at first, but you will still need somewhere to change the baby and keep all the stuff, and for us that space was the nursery. You might also want a bed set up in a different room for you or your DH, in case one of you needs to catch up on sleep while the other looks after the baby.
Oly - my mother in law is good with cooking and cleaning but father in law is quite messy! I got so stressed last time they were here but felt I couldn't say anything about it. He's used to my mother in law cleaning up after him I suppose.
Imlistening - I'm not sure what the norm is with regards to having a baby but I do know that whenever friends or family visit your city or whatever you should invite them to stay with you. Apparently it's offensive if not but that's just what my husband tells me. Definitely haven't got room for both sets of parents haha! But luckily mine don't live too far away and would never expect to stay.
AnotherEmma - a month was EXTREMELY difficult. Especially as I was 20-25 weeks pregnant, experiencing constant heavy bleeds (so panicking all the time), working full time, tired and hormonal. Had to just grin and bear it really. I can imagine it would be much worse with a newborn though. I'm sure I'll be an emotional wreck. We will have space because we are currently in the process of spending about £20000 to convert our loft to make sure there is space for them when they visit 😩😩
Give them the choice of coming late November, but not staying over ( if you need a reason then you can lie and say that health visitors advise no overnight guests at the start in order to settle the baby into the home ) or they can come mid December and stay for a week. They only live in Spain, not bloody Australia, visits don't need to last a month!
Could they not stay with your parents for a week or two then come & stay with you ?
Joinourclub, that's a good compromise I think! I will definitely suggest that. I know my husband is going to want them to stay for Christmas though so I may suggest late ish December if he insists on that. My mother suggested I limit the time they stay with us then we take the baby to see them in Spain when she's a reasonable age. I know a month seemed excessive to me too!
With respect OP you are going to have to start being more assertive with your husband about your in-laws. I think you know this but you're worried about offending them and maybe arguing with him - have I got that right? It's important for him to understand that looking after you and the baby are going to be his priority. If he can't be clear with his parents about what you need, there's a bigger problem.
And yes culturally i completely understand your husband it would be rude to not have them stay, unless it was with your parents. Family is really important in Spain,
I had a crap birth with my first by my relatives came to visit me in hospital, as it meant so much to them. At the time I was exhausted but actually looking back on it I feel glad that my children meant so much to them and how unconditionally they love us.
'I really think they should look in to an air bnb thing. I wouldn't want them in my house when I've got a newborn either so you're not unreasonable to want them elsewhere'
This x a million! It's rude to stay for so long unless the host has suggested it or at least okayed it, even before considering the addition of a newborn. And it's really not good that you're having to stress about it at this time.
Just say no overnight visitors until you give the okay (I don't suggest saying in a month or whatever as you just don't know how you'll be feeling) but they can stay elsewhere and come for brief visits. TBH they should just wait til you've had the baby and see how the land lies, they're not a million miles away!
OP is not Spanish though, she doesn't have to go along with everything they want just because "it's their culture". My husband is also from another country (not Spain but not far!) and of course I respect his family's culture and accommodate them where I can. But there are also compromises to be made. And in the case of having a baby, it's for them to respect the OP and how she wants and needs to do things.
As per previous posts, they are coming from Spain not from Australia, so even under normal circumstances a month is a very long time for a visit.
Personally I’d rather have 4 visits for a week than one for a month - if planned flights aren’t prohibitively expensive.
The key thing here is that you really don’t know how you will be after the birth. Even if all is textbook, as a new mum you’ll be tired, trying to establish feeding/routines, wanting to be in comfy clothes, BF’ing on the sofa whilst napping whilst the baby does.
The last thing you will want/need is overnight house guests (even the most helpful) where you feel you have to feed in a bedroom, have responsibilities for being a host, not being able to rest when you can, sharing bathrooms etc etc
It’s understandable they will want to see the baby as soon as possible, but that can’t encompass staying with you in those first few weeks.
Staying at a hotel and visiting for a few hours for - just like your parents is fine. But that is a few hours - it’s not turning up at 9am and staying until 10pm.
If they want a longer visit then they need to wait 3/4 weeks for you and your DH to get used to parenthood. Even then they shouldn’t come for a month - a week at most.
Your DH gets to lay the ground rules here when he’s the one whose gone through labour, has sore leaking breasts and is bleeding, exhausted and emotional due to a hormonal flood.
You really need to stand your ground here. Those first days/weeks are so important and you’ll regret it if you spend them feeling a stranger in your own home who has to tiptoe around house guests.
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