Anyone experience this? — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

Anyone experience this?

First off, it's great to finally find a place for dads! Until having a child, i never realized how much dads are left on the sidelines at times.

I posted in one of the other forums but wasn't sure if it was the appropriate place so i wanted to check in here to see if any other dads have found themselves in a similar situation:

First-time father here. My son was born two weeks ago and my wife's parents have been staying with us since we came home from the hospital and plan on staying for two additional weeks. They've been extremely helpful, cooking and cleaning and my wife's mom also assisted her with breastfeeding for the first time, which is really only something a mother can do. They've been very nice to me as well.

What I'm wondering is how common it is for parents to stay a month with new parents? The problem we have is that we're in a 1 bedroom apt. My wife's family is also Greek so the three of them speak Greek the whole time and to the baby. I really haven't felt like I've been a big part of the joy and excitement of bringing home a newborn—or had any of those proud father moments that I always envisioned for the first few weeks. In fact, I've felt like a stranger in my own household. I tried talking to my wife about it and I think she sympathized, but I feel as though her bond with her parents is stronger than the bond we share. In other words, I'm most likely always going to play second fiddle to them.

My wife's parents live out of town but now I'm wondering (dreading) if they're going to be coming to stay with us every weekend. They've been inseparable from the baby since we came home from the hospital. I would venture to guess that they've held the baby more than I have in the past two weeks.

The other big issue is my parents only had a brief few hours to see the baby at the hospital. I'm very close to my parents and I know they feel a bit hurt that they haven't been able to see the baby. They live out of town and there's no room in our apt since my wife's family is here.

I certainly hope I don't come off as a selfish person, as I completely understand my wife's need to be with her family after giving birth. I'm also very appreciative for how much her parents have helped us during these two weeks. I just can't help but feel left out, as well as sad that my parents are being left out of the picture during this time.

Also, am I crazy to think that staying one month in our 1 bedroom apt is kind of.....insane?

Re: Anyone experience this?

  • While its very nice that her parents are helping out there has to come a time when it needs to be you three so yall can bond. I felt like i was back up quarterback when my little one was born andy wifes mom was here. I understand somewhat that chain of so called pecking order. Wife has kid,wife takes care of daughter,wife needs help, her mom is there to take care of her baby. And you well when her mom dad are takeong care of her your the wate boy geting everyone what they need. Things get easier for you but offeer things like burpping her or chageing diapwrs or baths great time for baby and daddy to bond
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  • I think a month is overkill. I've heard a week or two weeks, but never a month. The point of parents coming to stay is to help out while your wife recovers and for you guys to get adjusted to a new routine. I wouldn't think this would take longer than a few days actually.

    I think you telling your wife how you feel is appropriate. I would be craving family time with no parents if I was in your situation. Plus it does sound like your parent's are being left out too.

    I do have one question. Have you gone back to work yet? If yes, maybe sucking it up wouldn't be a bad strategy. You're going to have those proud moments when your baby gives you that first smile. I remember the first 6-weeks is all about just trying to stay up to speed on sleep.

    If you haven't gone back to work I would suggest asking your wife to tell her parents that you guys can handle it now and would like to just have family time before you have to go back to work.

    With that said, even if you have gone back to work, I don't think it would be inappropriate for you to ask your wife to say you guys can handle it and would just like to have some family time.

     

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  • Also, I don't know what her parent's are like, but don't be afraid to take your baby to hold or do whatever. They can't tell you no. Don't be rude, just stick out your arms and say, "daddy wants to hold you now". Or I'll change that diaper, I'd like to give the bath tonight.
    Wulfgarwildbutterfli2001Salsera29
  • I think it is appropriate to set boundaries, for both sets of parents, now grandparents.  Staying a month in a 1 bedroom apartment is overstaying your bounds, especially if they go out of their way to push you out with the speaking exclusively in Greek, etc.  Obviously, you need to handle this situation with a great deal of tact, but to say "I've greatly appreciated your help, but we need time to bond as our new family of 3."  Should be looked at as a valid point and respected.  At that point, you need to have a healthy talk with your wife as to what you expect in terms of limits.  You need to tell your wife that your parents haven't been able to bond with your child because the apartment is crowded enough as it is, etc.  Again, tact is key obviously, as her hormones are still balancing out, but to set limits, saying that her parents shouldn't be staying more than 1 weekend a month to allow bonding time just the 3 of you, and to allow other family (namely yours) access to the baby seems fair.  If she, or her parents don't understand, then they are being quite selfish in their own right.
  • Why cant your parents come and stay at a hotel? I hope you're not planning on asking your wife to have them stay at your place. It's different with her family staying, but I would be uncomfortable sharing my bathroom and limited living space with inlaws, especially during the first 6 weeks, when there's postpartum bleeding, learning to breastfeed, changing nursing pads...etc. too many intimate things happen furing that time that I would not be comfortable with my inlaws to be around. It's about privacy, which is completely different with my own parents, as opposed to other people. FWIW, my mom stayed with us for a few months after delivery, she came from overseas and was our babysitter after I went back to work. We also spoke in our mother tongue quite a bit. My husband picked up some of it during that time and that was not an issue. If he wanted to hold the baby, change him or whatever, he did. He also worked full time and only took a couple days off after delivery, so most of baby related stuff was on my shoulders. I would have been pissed if he said mom needed to go and we could handle it. Thankfully, he knew better.
    Synnovus
  • @hopanka - I'm guessing even if his parent's stay at a hotel it would be too crowded in their apartment for 6 adults and a baby. If I traveled to stay at a hotel I would want to spend most of the day with whomever I came to see. I don't see that happening in this case.

    There's also a difference between coming from overseas to out of town. They live close enough that he thinks they will be staying every weekend. It's not this one month, it's every large block of family time in the near future he's worried about.

     

  • Thanks for the advice and support. It's been a rough couple of weeks with so many people in the apt. We had a short break where it was just the three of us and it was pure bliss. Luckily, my wife agrees that this stay has been too long. She's also asked her parents to speak more english when we're all together. I've been much more vocal which has helped a lot. As a previous poster said, it's really all about being tactful. She understand and sympathizes with my position. We agreed not to ask them to leave as to not hurt their feelings, but we've also agreed to put limits on future stays. Now if i can just make it through the last week!
    Salsera29
  • JtikiJtiki member
    edited November 2014
    I think a month is a bit excessive by American standards. But in other cultures, 2-3 months is the norm. Are her parents first generation immigrants? I don't know anything about Greek culture, but you may want to have a discussion about child rear practices. Otherwise they may be giving you lots of advice you don't want.
  • I feel for ya. We don't have a baby yet and my in laws regularly come down from nj to fl wayyy too much. I can't imagine when a baby comes. We actually finally had a talk with them and so those visits will be kept shorter in the future. In your case, I think you're doing the right thing waiting it out. You should have set the boundary before they came, but you live and learn. Maybe they can still cut it short by a week if your wife can gently tell them you need to bond just the three of you.
    Me 42, DH 33, TTC for about a year naturally (but no protection for 4 yrs). Together 6 yrs, married June 2014.
    CD 3, FSH of 15, E2 67, AMH 0.43, LH 6.2, normal HSG test
    DH good count but low volume, 87% motility, 1% morphology
    IUI#1 - Nov 2014, 100 mg clomid and HCG, 2 large follies 20 & 16mm (7 follies total). BFN
    IVF# 1 Jan 2014, 225 Gonal F, 225 Menopur, Ganirelix, 4R/3M/1F w/ICSI - PUPO!
    image

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