Post baby, in-laws visiting--am I selfish?! — The Bump
October 2012 Moms

Post baby, in-laws visiting--am I selfish?!

I'm just wondering what the rest of you are planning on doing with family following the birth of your DH informed me yesterday that he would like his family to come out while I'm still in the hospital, stay at our house, and then stay a while after I come home.  This is NOT cool with me.  My DH only plans on taking 2 days off of work, which would prob be while I'm in the hospital.  That would leave just me and the LO with this family.  Hells no.  The previous plan was to have them come for Thanksgiving or we would visit them (which I don't think I'll be up for an 8 hour drive to Ohio--but we were going to wait and see)  I'm due Oct. 28th, so Thanksgiving would have given me a nice settling down period to get me and baby on a schedule and let me figure out how to take care of a newborn(this is my first!)  I'm already stressing out about being able to breastfeed, so I want to have time to get used to all the changes, and I feel that having houseguests for a week will really mess me up, emotionally and physically.  And I don't want this added stress to affect my ability to BF and take care of LO.  My family lives 30 min away, while his fam is 8 hours away.  He doesn't want to hurt his family's feelings by asking them to delay their initial visit--he feels they'll be hurt b/c my fam will be there to see the baby right away. 

But I explained to him that I probably won't even want my OWN family around me much once I first get home, and if I want my mom to stop by and help out for an hour here and there, that's different than having his mom, dad & sister with us 24/7 for god knows how long (his dad and sister don't work so I they have no limit on how long they can visit).  They would have to stay with us b/c they can't afford to stay in a hotel.  Plus, if I don't want my family around, I feel comfortable telling them to give me space.  He's always scared to tell his family his wishes (this is a perfect example) b/c he doesn't want to hurt their feelings.  I feel like my wishes and the baby should trump all of that.  Am I being insensitive and selfish?  I would hope his fam would understand that having a baby is stressful and I would appreciate some time to get settled...but who knows.  We haven't gotten along in the past and I don't want them to think I'm doing this b/c they're not my fave people in the world (long story)...

By the end of our talk I was in tears thinking about how stressed and unhappy I would be to have houseguests, so he agreed to ask them to wait a week before they visit.  Is a week too much to ask--and would you want more time than that even? (STM's, what was your experience?)  I'm just really worried about BF successfully and trying to limit my stress at first.  Sorry for the long post/vent!  I just hope I'm not the only one facing this situation.  And really, my DH is great, even though he does sound like a d-bag in this situation...

Re: Post baby, in-laws visiting--am I selfish?!

  • Just say no to house guests right after baby. My whole family arrived right when we got out of the hospital and it was a nightmare. Stand your ground!!!

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  • I think a week is more than fine... DH's family lives 15 mins away and I already asked that they wait until I'm settled at home (except mil, she can come see baby at the hospital)... I think you are entitled to your space with LO.

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  • It's not too much to ask at all. Like the others said, stand your ground. My MIL overstayed her welcome and forced herself on us right before our wedding and only 1 week after moving into our new house - she came and stayed with us for a month! So, I made it crystal clear that we need time to adjust ourselves and while family is welcome to come visit during the holidays, we will not be asking for assistance around the time of birth.  Good luck! =)
  • I'd tell them you can't have houseguests, and that you might be better off having them come stay a week or two after you're home, once you're a little more settled, but regardless, yo'ure not entertaining/cooking/cleaning - they're going to have to hold their own weight.

    DH emailed his brother something similiar.  he was planning to come down from memphis right when when I was having the csection and we pushed back.  I'm going to have to recover too, and I really don't want guests, and if they're going to come I'd much rather they come a week or two after once I'm more myself unless he's open to staying in a hotel and only coming by for an hour or two here and there. DH said to me that how would I feel if my sister couldn't come by and I said it's different, she can go home, and won't be staying there, and besides, she's my sister, I don't feel so uber uncomfortable breastfeeding or being naked around her or  my mother and I guess I can deal with his mother, but she needs to be more help this time around than she was last time.

    Sometimes you have to stand your ground and do what's best for you and your DH and LO, regardless of whose feelings get hurt. 

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  • Whew that makes me feel better!  I'm going to bring it up again so that we for sure are on the same page and I don't want him waiting til the last minute to let them know what our wishes are :)  Thanks!

  • I would not want people staying at my house either. If they wanted to come and stay in a hotel fine.
  • image RVASC811:
    I think asking them to wait a week is fine. You can give them the option to come earlier if they stay in a hotel, and if they can't afford to do that, then they will have to wait. I don't think that is unreasonable at all. 

    I think this is a good idea.  If they can make alternate arrangements as long as they are not staying with you.  You are not being selfish at all.  Bringing home baby and breastfeeding is going to be a huge transition for you and your H.

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  • If you're already stressing about it now, you definitely will be when they come. I think they'll understand that you want time with your LO and time to develop your home routine.
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  • I think you're being more than reasonable and the issue of houseguests after the baby is born is something you and YH need to be on the same page about. 
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  • As long as it is somewhat even grounds with your family and the IL's then it should be fine. I could see a big arguement if you were having your whole family but refused IL's. My parents are staying with us for a wk after LO is born, his parents are only 2 hours away, so I imagine they will visit the hospital.
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  • Oh heck no would I let my in-laws stay with us when the babies get home, let alone while we were still in the hospital. You need time to spend with the baby by yourself so you can bond and get into a routine. I can't imagine struggling to BF with my MIL and FIL there and I certainly wouldn't be comfortable doing it in front of them. 
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  • image runningmango:
    It's not too much to ask at all. Like the others said, stand your ground. My MIL overstayed her welcome and forced herself on us right before our wedding and only 1 week after moving into our new house - she came and stayed with us for a month! So, I made it crystal clear that we need time to adjust ourselves and while family is welcome to come visit during the holidays, we will not be asking for assistance around the time of birth.  Good luck! =)

    Oh my god, this would be my worst nightmare!! 

  • I think it's totaly reasonable not to want house guests for a while after having your LO.  With DS I had some BFing issues and I spent A  LOT of time around our house mostly topless trying to get him to latch on and at first he nursed for an hour every 2 hours.  You need to be comfortable "learning the ropes" in your own home, without any guests.  Luckily our families live near by so they came for a quick visit to the hospital and then they would call ahead when they wanted to come by the house for an hour or two.  You just need to emphasize to your DH that the priority here needs to be your recovery and your new baby, he can set reasonable expectations with his family on visiting gently, if it hurts their feelings then really it's their problem, you and LO are and should be his priority.
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  • First off - I don't think you're being selfish at all. If you feel like you need that time without guests, then you should have that time without guests. A week isn't really asking a lot.

    I'm in the opposite situation - DH's family lives somewhat nearby, and my family lives 6 hours away. My mom kept saying how she was going to come out as soon as the baby is born. Like in your situation, she would be staying with us and I'm not comfortable with having a house guest right away. I had a talk with her and told her I would rather her wait a week to come out. She seemed a little hurt at first, but I explained that we wanted a little bit of time to get used to things, and that we would be more than happy to have her after that first week. I'm sure she still doesn't particularly like having to wait, but she's okay with it. I would just have your DH stress that it's not that he doesn't want them there and that he'll be more than happy to have them after that first week.


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  • You are NOT being selfish at all!! My birth instructor even has said to us that a good window of about 10-14 days with a new baby at home is good before you start having visitors. If someone wants to drop by for a half hour to 45 minutes, okay fine, but having people actually STAYING with you? Hell no! I would be flipping out at my DH!
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  • Thanks girls!  All your responses have given me even more great points to bring up with him to support my feelings :) 

  • My mom was here (she lives 5 hours away) for a week around the time DS was born.  She came the Saturday before he was born and left the Sunday after (he was born on a Monday).  It was extremely helpful to have her around when we were in the hospital and got home.  The next week my mother in law (she lives an hour away) came everyday all day and it was not helpful at all.  I think it really depends on your relationship with them.  If they are the kind of people who will be helpful (my mom cooked, ran errands and cleaned and then took the baby when we needed to sleep) you may appreciate it.  If they are not (my mother in law hogged my son and barely let me feed him (I was bfing)) then I would delay their visit or have them stay in a hotel.
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  • image irish city girl:
    My mom was here (she lives 5 hours away) for a week around the time DS was born.  She came the Saturday before he was born and left the Sunday after (he was born on a Monday).  It was extremely helpful to have her around when we were in the hospital and got home.  The next week my mother in law (she lives an hour away) came everyday all day and it was not helpful at all.  I think it really depends on your relationship with them.  If they are the kind of people who will be helpful (my mom cooked, ran errands and cleaned and then took the baby when we needed to sleep) you may appreciate it.  If they are not (my mother in law hogged my son and barely let me feed him (I was bfing)) then I would delay their visit or have them stay in a hotel.

    Yes, this is what it would be like if my mom stayed with us vs. the MIL.  Plus, I don't mind if my mom sees my boob while I'm BF.  My in-laws on the other hand--there are things I'd rather keep private (like my boobs).

  • With our 1st my BIL and his new wife came the day we came home and stayed 2 nights. It was aweful! My IL live 2.5 hours away and they came the day he was born and went home that night. Then 4-5 days after we were home, about the time DH went back to work, my MIL came and stayed with me. It was wonderful. She cooked, cleaned and preped meals for when she left. AWESOME! With #2 I said NO to overnight visitors. We had learned our lesson. Our DD was early and needed alot of care, DS had the flu along with my parents because they had kept DS. We were so mentally, emotionally and physically drained that one afternoon, about 6days after she was born, my DH called his Mom, her and my FIL came up that night and took care of all of us. They did laundry, cooked cleaned and took care of anything we needed. They were perfect at not overstepping and doing just enough. They stayed about 3 nights and we could never pay them for everything they did. However, I realize my IL are rare!

    If you think that they are going to cause stress I would say no, a week after is fine and DH needs to be home when they are there.

    I have already asked my MIL to wait for the phone call and plan on coming up and staying again. She enjoys doing it and we love having her.

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  • IAM3BsIAM3Bs
    1000 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary

    I'm feeling the same as you are!!  I feel like I'm going to want some time just for DH and I to bond with the baby and get used to having another person in the house, and I feel like having family staying with us could interrupt that time as well as make it difficult to get on any kind of routine or schedule.

    I know my parents are going to come up... my mom has mentioned being in the delivery room and staying for a week after- I had to tell her that I'm not yet sure if I want anyone in the delivery room other than DH (they can definitely come to the hospital though and be in the waiting room- I may or may not let her into the delivery room...) and I think she was a little taken aback at first, but she respected my decision and will let me make that decision on the big day.  Then in passing we were talking about DH being squeamish and not wanting to cut the cord and my mom was like "I'll do it!!!" and I was like uhhh... if DH doesn't do it, the doctor will do it, because I don't want DH feeling like it's something he should have done and missed out on, plus, again, she may not be IN the delivery room.  I know mom is going to want to stay for a week, and I've told her that I appreciate it, but I want time to think about it, and that I may decide that I don't want visitors that first week, but that both she and MIL can come up for a week later on (not same week...!!!) and again, she *said* she respected the decision but also made a comment that she wanted her mom around that first week when she had us, and that she didn't think I'd mind if she were running errands and cooking and cleaning and stuff.

    I just don't want to have to worry about anyone else hogging the baby while I'm trying to BF or get the baby & myself on some kind of schedule- or trying to tell me what to do.  I'm open to advice, really, I am, but I want to ASK for it, not be given it unsolicited.  I've always been much more independent than my mom, so I'm trying to figure out how to say exactly what I'm thinking without hurting her feelings. I think she just always imagined she'd be in the delivery room w/her only daughter and all that motherly stuff.

    I just don't know... Personally, I try to tell her what I'm thinking as I'm thinking it so I don't spring it on her all at once and hurt her feelings... this way she can kind of think on it for a bit.


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  • I didn't have anyone around after DD was born and it was my best advices.  DH took the week after off and then after that I wanted alone time to figure things out myself.  Neither my mom or MIL breastfed so I didn't want them barking orders at me with no experience in it.  My mom came off and on a few days here and there the weeks after.  My MIL stayed a few days a few weeks after too.  But not immediately.

    This time is slightly different since I have DD so I think I will want the help this time.  Do what's best for you.  Neither of our mom's were upset and didn't take offense to me wanting some alone time.

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  • I think you should stand your ground and tell him no.  

    My family lives half way across the country.  My mom and younger brother were up for the birth of DS.  They really didn't do much other than help with laundry and cook after I had him.  The IL's didn't come visit till DS was about 3 weeks old.  That was perfect for us bc I had a routine.  We DO get along with them very well so I didn't feel stressed at all. 

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  • I have to agree - it will depend on how you feel about them ultimately, and on how helpful they will be.  My husband is taking the first week and possibly the second week off work.  We have already established that those two weeks are ours.  Our families are local, so they will be at the hospital when he's born, but we are limiting visitors there and at home for the first two weeks.  After that, we will most likely relax those rules a bit, but at least for that amount of time, it's going to be the two of us and our baby - getting to know each other.  

    So no, I don't think a week is too much to ask.  I would personally ask for two weeks.  It will not kill the grandparents to not see the baby when he/she is brand new.  If them being there will stress you out to the point where things will be that much more difficult, you have to stand your ground. 

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  • AlyD11AlyD11
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments

    I totally understand.  I live in Australia, and my ILs live about 20 min away, however my parents are in Germany and this is our first.  My mom is coming out a day or two before I am due and staying with us for a month.  This was a big discussion in our house and I really felt like I needed the support and wanted her to be with me at this time. DH wanted nothing and no one for a few weeks. We compromised that only my mom would come and not my whole family.  I totally couldnt handle my dad and brother too!!

    My mom is totally not pushy and will mostly do all my chores or anything that I need.  I also wanted the support of having her around and I try to figure out what the heck I am doing!!

    The ILs were a little miffed and afraid that they would be left out. ( I dont know how this is possible as we see them all the time and I only see my family once a year but ANYWAY) My DH has already had a little chat with his parents that they would be welcome to stop by whenever they want and will come to the hospital, however there may be times that we will say no and they won't be able to come over. Same goes for my mom, there will probably be times where I will ask her to take herself off for a few hours so we can have some time.

     We have agreed no one will be in the delivery room, however they can all visit afterwards. IE just drop in for an hour or two, now sit in the room for 2 days.

    Thankfully DH is very good at saying no, and I have already advised him he is the gatekeeper of our house and he is in charge of telling people to go away when I can't take it anymore.

    Compromise, but make sure you are both comfortable with the plan. Plus if you do it now, everyone has a chance to get used to the idea and can get over the upset now, rather then when the LO is here.   

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  • Aw honey..I'm in the same boat as you!  It's the norm for them and my hubby almost cant even say "no" to his single mother.  She will be offended but oh well.  As a happy medium, I suggested she stay in hotel with other relatives until they head back home...inviting us to stay for only 3 nights "to help".  I should manage that and I really want to come home alone to my house with my hubby and baby to bond.  She's so annoying.
  • My family and ILs all visited within a week after our births and actually were very helpful.  They also weren't offended if I took the baby off to our bedroom to nurse or even just to nap and they helped with dinners and dog walks. 

    I think asking his parents to wait a week after the birth is a good compromise and then making sure you put a time limit on the visit - 4-6 days would probably help also.  You sound like your DH and you are slowly getting the same mindset, so I wouldn't stress about it too much yet. 



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  • I'm in the same situation. We moved across the country and found out about the baby a month after we got there. 

    When my husband said they want to come and stay, I was flipping out. I really don't want them there and I do agree that having your own mother help is different than your mother-in-law. My MIL is nice, but she can't cook, she doesn't know me well enough to help clean or run the house and we don't know one another well enough for me to want her to be washing my underwear, you know? So, this means she, her husband and my SIL will be there for weeks holding my baby while I feed them and get stuff done around the house. It's a nightmare to think about.

    The reality, though, is that their son just moved across the country with his new wife and this is the first time in their lives that they have had to deal with an empty nest. Now, there's a new baby (who doesn't love a baby) and their first grandkid and she's going to live across the country, too.

    Our daughter is ours, but she belongs to my parents and his, my sisters and his, my extended family and his, just as much as we belonged to our grandparents and aunts and uncles growing up.

     My advice (and what I'm doing with my husband) is putting it to him honestly and working with him to find a positive way to spin the whole thing. For example:

     1. I want them to see the baby, I'm just nervous about all of the variables (a c-section, a tough labor, struggling to breast feed, a fussy baby) and having to navigate any situations where they want to help, but I don't know what help I need and we're all feeling like we're getting in each other's way.

    2. I don't want to be exhausted the whole time they are here. It'll make me feel terrible if they are all enjoying one another while I'm lying in bed. If we're going to do family time, let's do it all together.

    3. It's tough that the baby is born around the holidays, but it happens and we need to just get through this year with a newborn rather than killing ourselves to get to every grandparent's house to take pictures. If I'm able to make it, then we will, but if I'm beat, we'll make a point to visit in the early spring. (Our DD is due the week before Thanksgiving, so add to their anxiety the fact that their first and only son will not be home for ANY of the holidays for the first time.)

    Try to offer positive alternatives and be upfront, but respectful of their feelings when you give your reasons. It's much better to say you just don't want to be a wreck when they visit trying to adjust to your baby AND host them, rather than saying you just don't want a house full of people. The latter will make them feel like outsiders and that's when trouble starts. 

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