October 2011 Moms

Advice and opinions, please! In laws and bringing baby home...

My immediate family lives down the street from me. My grandparents live very close, also. My husband's family lives 3 hours north. With my due date a week away, I just started contemplating which of my in laws would be coming when and for how long... On a normal occasion, my MIL, SIL, and BIL will come down for weekend visits and stay in our extra room. Apparently, this was their plan whenever the baby arrived. As a matter of fact, I think they were potentially planning on bringing other extended family members to stay with us for this special trip! I'm a little concerned with being overwhelmed having at least 3 house guests waiting for us the moment we get home from the hospital and the following few days. I love my in laws, but they aren't much help when they come. My MIL can be very helpful, but I'll also have my own mother by my side. We have plenty of generous people already cooking for us, so their won't be much for a bunch of people to do around my house... Being a first time mom, I'm worried about being stressed and emotional and having too many people (with not enough to do) just sitting around 24/7 for 2-3 days immediately after arriving home. I want to be able to adjust and bond with my baby and husband...and have a little personal space, too! My husband doesnt sympathize and just clearly doesn't understand. He tells me that I'm making him "uncomfortable" for asking him to set boundaries with his family's stay. I do want them to come, want them to be excited and share this with us, but I don't want them to become intrusive. He doesn't agree with putting them in (and paying for) a hotel for a couple of nights. He doesn't agree with his brother and sister just coming for a day trip. He doesn't want to ask just his mom to come alone for the time being while we settle in. I'm willing to compromise to keep everyone happy, but we've run out of "comfortable" options, it seems! It's kind of foreign to me that anyone's family would come and expect to stay in the home with a brand new mom, dad, and baby...esp with my whole family already here. Maybe I'm just a much more private person than my husband and his family. I struggle to see how having my in laws staying with me at this sensitive time is going to be anything but detrimental in the end. I also fear it becoming a source of problems between my husband and I. The last thing I want is to be upset with him. If nothing else, I wish everyone involved would ask me how I feel about it and what I'm comfortable with! Instead, I feel like I'm having to plan around their feelings... My husband resents me for trying to set limits on this issue. He literally thinks labor, delivery, breastfeeding, postpartum emotions, etc should be relatively straightforward and uncomplicated. I'd love another mother's advice on how I should handle this for my health and especially for my baby's. Should I call my MIL and be honest with her myself? Ideally, I wanted my husband to stand up for our new little family and our best interest, but we're coming from two very different standpoints...obviously!! HELP! Thanks :-)

Re: Advice and opinions, please! In laws and bringing baby home...

  • I would recommend waiting to see how delivery goes before deciding when ILs can come and where they will stay. I delivered 2 weeks ago and ended up hemorrhaging after delivery and needed a d&c. I have been completely exhausted and definitely could not have handled my ILs if they came right after delivery. They came this past weekend, and I still was not feeling very good. My DH was upfront with them about when they could come and how long they could stay, so that helped a lot. Maybe show your DH some of the birth stories on here so he can start to understand that things may not go perfect (but hopefully they will!).
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  • I can completely understand him wanting his family to see his new child asap, but he is being unreasonable.

    I am like you.  I need some space and I'm a pretty private person when it comes to all the PP things.  I don't want someone I'm not completely comfortable with watching me struggle to breastfeed, bleeding my brains out, and being generally uncomfortable while having to put on a fake smile.

    Your H needs to understand that this is mostly about your comfort level and he should try to shut up, stop being insulted and listen to his wife for a second.

    imo - I would want at least a week before ILs came to stay at my house.  Come visit? sure.  Sleep here?  No thanks!

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  • Well I'm sorry, but he isn't the one birthing this baby nor does he know anything about recovery, breastfeeding, etc. I think you are being more than kind to offer to put them up in a hotel. You need to put your foot down now. You and your LO are your husband's family now and he shouldn't be worrying about his parents and siblings especially when you are compromising and being totally reasonable.
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  • I totally get where you are coming from. And I went through somewhat of the same thing with SO when it came to visitors at the hospital and afterwards. I am a private person and dont like people around me when I am tired or not feeling well so I wanted to not tell anyone, have the baby and spend time with him/her and then call people and tell them they could visit. In his family it is the opposite....they want everyone around in the waiting room and visitors right after. I love his family but I had to put my foot down and explain to him that even though I am just as excited, we don't know how long or tough the labor is going to be or how I will feel in the end. I would rather not have everyone at the hospital and then feel like they HAVE to come in to see the baby right after. Prepare for the worst is what i have been doing. Even though he really wanted to be able to walk out of the room and announce the sex, he finally saw where I was coming from and agreed. We have had non-stop people at our house since August and I just wish everyone would go away and let us spend time alone before the baby and spend time alone with the baby once we are home. I think a lot of guys just don't understand the exhaustion/hormone changes/etc that we women go through. If family starts to drive me nuts, I totally plan on using water works to my advantage so SO will get family out of the house. Haha! People think they are being helpful but when it comes to me, it just stresses me out. I dont like people hovering or asking me questions, I would rather cook my own food because I enjoy it, I like my house to be quiet, and if someone took over baby care and told me to nap...I would never be able to sleep. I would rather venture out of the house and see people at their house and then I can leave when I am ready. Hopefully you are able to talk some sense into your DH before the time comes. Good luck!
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  • image Tayloralex24:
    My husband doesnt sympathize and just clearly doesn't understand. He tells me that I'm making him "uncomfortable" for asking him to set boundaries with his family's stay. I do want them to come, want them to be excited and share this with us, but I don't want them to become intrusive. He doesn't agree with putting them in (and paying for) a hotel for a couple of nights. He doesn't agree with his brother and sister just coming for a day trip. He doesn't want to ask just his mom to come alone for the time being while we settle in. I'm willing to compromise to keep everyone happy, but we've run out of "comfortable" options, it seems!

    I'm thinking that if they need entertaining or become too much for you those first few days that I know who can entertain the company for you.

    Seriously though, it sounds like you guys have different expectations/traditions in your families on how intrusive extended family will be.  You've suggested some very fair compromises.  It sounds to me like he needs to give a little and remember that not only is this a decision you should be making together, but one that you'll be recovering from a pretty intense experience during.

    ETA: I wasn't in the position of having family visit that soon (had complications with delivery and was in the hospital until 5 days pp), but I can tell you that a few days out my milk still had not come in and I was struggling to BF.  I'd have not wanted an audience for that.

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  • Could they stay at your familys house since they live down the street? I think that would be a fair compromise.
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  • There is no way I would have had that much family stay with us after DS was born. I was always either breastfeeding, trying to nap, getting the baby to sleep and just spending wha quality time I could with my DH before he went back to work. We are taking a week to ourselves this time around too. If people want to stay in town there's a perfectly good hotel up the street but no one is staying here. Your DH needs to compromise unless he plans on entertaining all these people while they stay there, which I doubt he is. You both are going to be completely overwhelmed with a new baby, exhausted and trying to establish a new routine. This is no time to host a bunch of guests and I think it's a little rude for family just to expect they can crash at your house that early
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  • Oh my.... Earlier I wrote a post complaining about visitors, but they are just coming for a few hours... I could not imagine having anyone stay at our house.  The first few days really just need to be you and your DH and the LO.  You don't know what you're doing yet and to have all those extra people around trying to help and offer their opnions sounds like a nightmare.  I think you should tell your MIL that you're worried about being overwhelmed and if they would please stay in a hotel it would really help you out.  Good luck-- I know this is awkward!

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  • I am like you too - I need my space.  And I think THEY are being unreasonable for expecting you to play hostess with a brand new baby.  I set boundaries with my family and the ILs a while back - no overnight guests for the first week.  I wanted my space to bond with baby.  My own mother (who lives 3 hours away) is coming for the birth and then leaving for a week, and then coming back.  She understands that I want space.

    Your DH seems like he is being unreasonable too - you are going to be EXHAUSTED.  And, this is his family - so he needs to respect your wishes and communicate that with them.  I just can't believe that they would all assume that they can come and stay with you!!!  It's ridiculous to me!

    Maybe call the ILs and try to plan different weekends for them to come and give the first week to yourselves to bond as a family.  Then start asking people to select a weekend to come.  I couldn't imagine dealing with all of this!

     Don't stress - you are 100% correct for feeling this way! I don't blame you!

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  • I really appreciate everyone's input! Reading these posts at least makes me feel like I'm not being totally unreasonable! My ILs have a few options from which to choose...I just don't think staying in my home is going to be one of them for a few weeks! My hubby just might have to witness first hand how crazy this time is going to be in order to understand...good luck and God bless all you new mamas and mamas-to-be!
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