Parents wanna help after baby comes what works best? — The Bump
August 2015 Moms

Parents wanna help after baby comes what works best?

We have 3 sets of parents, my H parents are remarried. All of then want to help when baby comes and all of then live out of town 2+ hours. I don't want to offend any of then and also don't want to be overwhelmed by too many cooks in the kitchen. Not sure the best way to make everyone feel included with all of them wanting to see the baby and help me after he/she comes. Anyone else with a similar situation? MIL also pushing staying with us and I'm really not sure about that...

Re: Parents wanna help after baby comes what works best?

  • My recommendation would be to put down a firm, "No overnight guests for the first 2 weeks" rule or something similar. It is hard adjusting to motherhood and getting into a sleep (or lack there of) routine. Personally, I wouldn't want any extras long term (more than a few hours) during this time. I would have your DH draw the line in the sand with his family and you with yours.

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  • Similar situation but have my parents, DH's parents, and my grandmom all wanting to be there within a month of kid being born. They're from out of state and family expectation is that they would stay with us in our teeny 2 BDRM apartment. We're going to try first week to ourselves, and limit each set of parents to 7-10 days with a few days in between for a break. Our goal is to get everyone out by the end of the month. I doubt how much "help" I am really going to get, so its really just making sure the grandparents get their special time with their first grandbaby. Easier said than done. :-) 
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  • edited March 2015
    My mom and my MIL were a great help for us! My goodness I don't know what I would've done without them. They cooked, cleaned, watched baby all while giving me all the space I needed. It's up to you OP on who you want there. It's hard to give advice when we don't know the relationship you have with your family. We will be doing the same thing this time. I'm sure they will be of even greater help this go round because in addition to the NB we will have a 2 year old.

    Stand your ground if you aren't comfy with those arrangements. It's your decision!
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  • My advice would be to definitely talk about the visiting situation before the baby comes- this way everyone is on the same page. Your DH can talk to his parents and you to yours. I personally am a very independent person and my MIL tends to be very overbearing so my husband spoke with her before the baby came and she was very respectful of our decision in wanting to do this ourselves and while she could visit we didn't need overnight guests (but she only lives 35 mins away) . I agree with above as breastfeeding is a great time to have some alone time or for people to take a break and leave ha

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  • Of course it's easier said than done, but I would try to schedule them each for a week at seperate times. From watching my SIL, who wanted everyone there, it was really stressful, not all parties get along, she felt a little bit like she needed to "host" everyone (planning meals, etc) and then once they all went home she had no help!! So try to space them out and explain you really want everyone to visit and "you are sure they want to help" so to make it less overwhelming you'd like them to come seperate weeks.
  • We have 3 sets as well. I know all will want to be here to help. The only one I'd really want is my mom. My MIL is too opinionated and would be giving way too much advice and my mom will give me space to figure it out. My dad will want to stay but will refuse to stay in the same house as my mom. I'll probably just tell everyone that it's tradition in our family for my mom to stay with us for awhile (she did with all of my sisters kids) and invite them over periodically in the first few months.
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  • Just make sure everyone understands helping regardless of the length of their visit. With DS we had guests that were awesome, like- brought fresh fruit and put in loads of laundry and did not overstay...and others that were bumps on a log making more work for me and DH - and not recognizing when they should leave.

    Preset boundaries are any new moms best friend (after the peri bottle :))
  • Any chance you have family or friends near you who could host your variety of parents overnight? We have a similar situation with 4 sets of parents so my mom is going to my brothers, his mom to his grandma's, his dad will stay with us and my dad will come later. It's the first grandchild on both sides so I didn't have the heart to tell them not to come but also didn't want my house bursting with people.
  • I mean I have three sets of grandparents luckily and unluckily everyone is 10 minutes away. I know my mother and step mother are helpful, laundry, cook, clean, besides helping out with baby. My mother will hold the baby and that's it. So I know we will be ordering out or left overs when she comes over. I have an extra bedroom if anyone wanted to stay but in situation they don't have to.

    I would never say no to help. But scheduling will be your friend. Set the boundaries of when they are invited and when they are not and stick to your guns.
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  • As everyone else said, it depends on your relationship. I will absolutely have no in laws over for the first week at least. Luckily I know no one will try to stay with us. MIL will hold the baby and that's all. Then not give her back when she cries. It bothers me a lot. Then she ignores DS (now that he's older) and will do no chores. To me it's far easier to do it alone.

    My mom can come over for short visits but she will entertain DS and help around the house. So it's totally different.

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  • gmd88gmd88 member
    My Hubby's parents will be flying in after the baby is born, likely as soon as possible. Apparently they get baby-fever. That being said I am on ok terms with them but certainly not comfortable around them (rocky past with them) and my husband is always on eggshells with them. Unfortunately, his two brothers allowed their parents to stay in their home when they had their children. My husband doesn't want to be the "bad son" who makes them stay in a hotel. Regardless, I am 110% sticking to my guns that they will not be staying with us. And I don't feel that that is unreasonable. It is asking a lot to stay with us and I am setting the boundaries. It may be different if we were very close to them but either way I feel strongly that I don't want to have to be entertaining house guests. My husband is usually on my side but he's giving me some grief over this one. Stick to your guns!
  • @gmd88 good for you for putting your foot down on not having overnight guests if you are not comfortable with them. While I do believe a marriage is a partnership and many decisions should be equal say, I don't necessarily think that is the case when a woman is recovering from child birth. It can be such a difficult time and I don't think any husband has the right to say that someone will be sleeping at your house if you are not comfortable with it. After all, he isn't the one who will still be physically healing as well as potentially adjusting to BF'ing if you are going that route. He needs to understand that this is a lot different than having a tooth pulled or something silly.

  • It's good to read other experiences with this as I have been struggling with it for awhile. My parents want to hop in the car as soon as I go in to labor and possibly be here for the birth (ha, NO!) plus an additional 10-14 days after that. It's their first grand child and they live 15 hours away so I understand their excitement but it is mine and my husbands new baby and we need time to adjust and get to know out daughter before anyone else shows up. I'm pushing for them to wait a week, but hopefully two, before they show up. I also don't have the best relationship with my mother and will likely be spending the majority of the time arguing and/or being annoyed by her. :( I wish I had a mother who I know would be helpful and supportive so I don't have to draw any lines in the sand so early, but I'm not that lucky and I will just have to stand my ground.
  • gmd88gmd88 member
    Thanks @Miz_Liz‌! I agree. I understand his point of view where he feels that he needs to follow what his brothers did but honestly they have plenty of money and can easily afford their first class flight and fancy hotel. Sorry hubby!
  • gmd88 said:

    Thanks @Miz_Liz‌! I agree. I understand his point of view where he feels that he needs to follow what his brothers did but honestly they have plenty of money and can easily afford their first class flight and fancy hotel. Sorry hubby!

    Does your guest room or where they would be staying if they stayed with you need any work? If so, tear it apart, throw paint drop clothes over furniture and stuff and then your DH can tell them, "ohh I am so sorry but you guys are going to have to stay in a hotel we are in the middle of re-doing/painting the guest room." He can save face and they can get a hotel. In some ways I am lucky my in laws are close enough that they would not stay over, but in other ways I am extremely jealous that yours need to get on a plane to come and see you!! Mine think they should be here EVERY F'ING WEEK!

  • abmommy15 said:

    Any chance you have family or friends near you who could host your variety of parents overnight?

    I love this idea! I didn't really have any out of town visits the first couple weeks, but if I had this definitely would have helped with my sanity. All I can say, is know and trust your own limits and desires. I actually didn't mind the hour visits, but the help was too much for me. I was, however, in a really small apartment at the time and unable to really get away.

    I feel like having them hosted by someone else will allow all of the grandparents visiting time the week of the birth without feeling too overwhelmed.

  • Both of our parents live out of town. My mom and dad will be with us first. I personally Think it's important/special to have your mom teach you the ropes so to say. I told my in laws they can come 10 days after baby is born.

    I've learned you have to be straight forward and clear.
  • gmd88gmd88 member
    @Miz_Liz‌ hahaha yes the 3000 miles are a blessing ;) unfortunately we rent so we can't do too much to the guest room. Otherwise that would be a great idea!
  • Kimk1616 Do we have the same mother? I swear your situation is 100% identical to mine! I hate to turn them away since it's their first grandchild, but couldn't she wait for a few days or even a week?? I don't want the first few days of my daughter's life to be any more tense or stressful than they have to be.
  • I have set some boundaries with both of our parents.  We will have the first week to ourselves so that we can figure things out and bond with our new little girl.  My mom is local and welcome to visit during the day, but no one is to stay over.  The 2nd week my Mom might stay with us to help me get stuff done and hopefully help me get more sleep since DH will be back at work then.  My MIL & FIL will be coming the 3rd week although I could really go without my MIL's 'help.' I love her dearly but her way of helping always creates more work for me b/c she half-asses everything.    I may try to get them to stay in a hotel nearby so I can get a break from her at times.  She has already started telling me how my SIL does everything and I need to follow her lead.   I figure as it gets closer to that time I will really get my boundaries set in stone.
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