October 2012 Moms

How to limit visitors (one in particular)

My mother and I have a strained relationship.  She lives in another state so I don't see her that often.  She visited for Easter, and it was pretty bad--it's stressful getting ready for her, and she's a total passive agressive drama queen.  She also tried undermining some parenting decisions my husband and I made with my daughter, and told us that we shouldn't put her in time-out because she's "just a baby" (and almost three years old "baby").

This visit convinced me that I do not want her to visit during my maternity leave.  She visited with kid #1 for a week--she stayed in a hotel but came over from 7am-9pm every day for a week.  She came to "help"--which translated to her asking me what is for dinner and offering to hold DD so I could clean.  It was a stressful week where every parenting decision was questioned and commented on. 

I wouldn't mind a normal, 2-3 hour visit, I just don't want to spend every day for a week with her.  I'm planning on telling her that because our family is making a big transition with a new baby and my daughter needs some time to get used to it, we are asking for no guests.  She is going to hit the fan when I tell her, and I feel guilty about it.  Anyone in the same or similar situation?

 

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Re: How to limit visitors (one in particular)

  • I think that's fine, just be honest. If she wants to freak out, let her.

    My Mom wanted to come 'a few weeks before the birth' and stay 'for 5 or 6 weeks after' I told her absolutely no way. She can come for a week or two afterwards when things have settled down a bit.  I thought she would lose it but she didn't. She did her little hurt sad face thing and then that was the end.

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  • I don't blame you at all.  I also had a very stressful time after my first was born almost 4 years ago and want to do everything I can to not have a repeat performance.

     I know that if I told my mom I didn't want any guests, she would take that to mean everyone else BUT her.  Maybe you can also say that since this is the second time you'll experience it, you don't think you will need the help of someone staying all day and most of the night as you did before. And then maybe you can already decided, or suggest, when you think you would be the most helpful time for your mother to come by (during nap times, in the morning to help get your older one ready for the day, etc).

    I wish the best for you!

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  • We had guests immediately after dd was born-- my mom and dad, sis 1 with baby, sus 2 with baby. It was hell. I had a third degree tear and was having nursing issues. I should have been in bed with baby, not entertaining. We won't be doing that again.
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  • image Nudger's Girl:

     I know that if I told my mom I didn't want any guests, she would take that to mean everyone else BUT her.  Maybe you can also say that since this is the second time you'll experience it, you don't think you will need the help of someone staying all day and most of the night as you did before. And then maybe you can already decided, or suggest, when you think you would be the most helpful time for your mother to come by (during nap times, in the morning to help get your older one ready for the day, etc).

     I think the bolded part is great advice.  I actually had a conversation with my mom this weekend about her not being in the delivery room with us.  Instead of saying "Mom I don't want you in there." I said  "DH and I could really use your help watching DS either at our house or in the waiting room during delivery."  She was so excited about being asked to help with a specific job that I don't think she realized I was really giving her the job to keep her out of the delivery room. 

    Good luck to you!

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  • I too have a strained relationship with my mom, albeit, she lives in town so I don't have to deal with the week long visit - I can't imagine what it would be like if I did. This is my first so I don't know what the future will hold but I think it's so unfair that we have to feel guilty about telling our moms to back off. I don't know about you but my relationship with my mom is completely toxic and she's super controlling and VERY judgmental. Sometimes I wish she could wake up and understand if she didn't make me feel like that then maybe I would let her further into my life.

     

    I take solace in the fact that the cycle stops with me. I wish you the best of luck. I say just rip the bandage off and don't feel guilty in the slightest. It's your life and it's her fault that your relationship came to this point.

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  • When DS was born we came home from the hospital a day early only to have by DH's brother (that I dislike) and his new wife as our house guests. We had to make them supper, get the guest room ready since we had both been at the hospital for days and try to settle in with new baby. It was miserable. Then weeks later my SIL told my mother in law that she got to hold my baby for 3 hours in a row. I wanted to scream at her. Yeah, because I was cleaning up after you the entire time, I didn't get to be with MY child. With child #2 we told everyone they were not allowed at the house for a while.She was 4 weeks early and DS had the stomach flu so it was pretty easy to keep the visitors at bay. Good luck with your mother.
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  • I agree, you have to do what's best for you and your family.

     

    I kind of have a similar situation.  My MIL is evil but luckily lives states away.  There is no way she is staying in our home after baby arrives.  I'm a FTM and I can just see all the comments about how I'm not doing anything right.  I told my mom I'll need help but from people who love me, not someone to criticize me and drive me crazy.  I can't stand being around her now, I can't imagine post partum with a newborn and no sleep.  I've been laying the groundwork with my husband for months but if he doesn't have the guts to tell her then I've decided I don't care if I hurt her feelings (and I know it will).  It'll be better than having to endure a long stay.     

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  • image iadanza:

    I take solace in the fact that the cycle stops with me. I wish you the best of luck. I say just rip the bandage off and don't feel guilty in the slightest. It's your life and it's her fault that your relationship came to this point.

    I agree with this 100%.  Although I don't have children already, I know how my mother will be just based on our history.  She offered to stay with me for 6 weeks and I told her that I appreciate the offer but that I think I will really need the time alone with the baby and my husband.  I also told her that once we are settled into a routine, we might talk about some short visits.  Honestly I would be fine if I never saw the woman again, but I figured compromise is important.

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  • There is one thing I learned from planning my wedding is that you have to put your foot down and more often than not the offended parties get over it.  I learned that my sanity is much more important.  I know when the time gets closer for me to have my munchkin (which is the first grandbaby on my side of the family) I will be quite specific when it comes to when and how long people will visit ("Sure soso, you can come for the weekend you will just have to stay in a hotel").  I find that approach works really well with people coming to visit.

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  • This is SUCH a helpful thread for me to read as a FTM.  I have a strained relationship with my mother as well and have a feeling that she'll want to act like the mom to my baby because she knows best, of course.  I am also really worried though that I will need extra help when the baby arrives.  Do you guys think putting her up in an apartment here and asking her to come mornings or afternoons only sounds like a good plan of attack?  She is retired but my dad is not so I'm nervous that if she comes up for a few weeks she won't have anything to do but hang out with us.  I really do love my mom and I know she will want to come and help when she finds out about the baby, but I just want to set up the right parameters so that this will be a good experience for both of us.  Luckily we live in a one bedroom so there's no way she can stay.
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  • This thread had nudged me out of my typical lurking state...I also have a very strained relationship with my mother who lives out of state (although if you ask her, she'd say we have a normal relationship...not even close).  I am DREADING even telling her about my pregnancy, as I'm dreading the ensuing conversation about her visiting.  I've already decided that I'll tell her we want to be alone as a family for a few weeks - no houseguests...but she'll react poorly I'm sure as all the rest of mine and DH's families (parents, siblings, etc) live locally so will get to meet and visit the baby way before she does.  Dread.  And to add to the issue - my mother is a post-partum doula...so I'm sure in her mind had been planning with certainty that she'd come be here right away...um, yeah, no thanks.  I wish I could tell her just to come for a few days or to stay in a hotel, but there's no way she'll stay in a hotel (she'll cry poverty) and no way I can see bringing myself to say anything less than a week - the guilt. *sigh*  And it all just blows...like a PP, I'd be fine not seeing her much at all (i.e. ever...), and this whole issue is so overwhelming.  I don't want her here doula-ing me and telling me how to parent or what to do or commenting on what I do or whatever.  

    I have to say...there's some comfort in knowing I'm not alone in this situation.  I often feel like I am, as so many women WANT their moms around for all of this stuff...I just can't relate to that at all.

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  • I think I am just going to make a max stay limit and publicize it early and often.

    My mom = 1 week

    MIL = 4 days

    MIL & FIL = 2 days (and she follows him around like a puppy so it will be both of them) 

     

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  • Thanks for the suggestions!  Unfortunately, it's hard to limit the visits because once she flies in, she wants to stay and not waste the money on a plane ticket for a short visit.  Maybe I can put off until a three day weekend around Christmas...
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