Post # 1
So, it’s the first grandchild for both my husband and I’s parents. My parents live in the same city, but my husband’s live a 12 hours drive/1 hour flight away.
My husband thinks it’s OK for his parents to come stay at our house for awhile immediately after I give birth.
I find it so frustrating. I understand it’s his parents, and I definitely want them to feel involved and to see the baby right away, but I don’t want them staying at our house for longer than a few days. I would be fine if they stayed at a hotel and didn’t camp out all day at our house. I’M the one who will be recovering, bleeding, going through crazy hormonal changes, and trying to breastfeed. I’m a very private person, and his dad has definite boundary problems. (He’s retired, and literally hangs out at my BIL’s house all day while no one’s home.) I get along with them, but it’s not like they’re my own family.
Anyone else out there in a similar situation? Is there any nice way to tell in-laws that you want your own space and time to recover and bond as a family… not including them? Anyone else with a husband who seems slightly offended that you don’t want his parents around 24/7?
Post # 3
@bug-in-a-rug: You have my sympathy. You should definitely say something by explaining as you say needing your own space to recover, adjust and bond as a family.
Post # 4
I haven’t had children so can’t comment from personal experience but my best friend was in exactly the same situation. She was dreading it and it turned out to be the best thing for them. Don’t get me wrong, there were niggles but generally it worked out better than expected.
If it was me though I would say that NO ONE is STAYING at the house during the first week as you and your hubby need time to bond with baby, people are welcome to visit but not for hours at a time. After that they are welcome to stay / visit for longer but on the understanding that you and hubby and baby will need SOME alone time. I hope it all works out for the best.
Post # 5
@bug-in-a-rug: one of my friends went through this, tho they had a bad relationship to start. How in the world are people so blind to this? New mom does not want anyone except maybe her mom hanging around directly after birth. Yes, it is their grandchild but this is an incredibly overwhelming time. You’ve gone through the birth, have hormones coursing through you and are trying to figure out how to care for an infant. I mean, breast feeding is HARD. Do you want fil sitting next to you on the couch while you work on it? Or worse to have to hide in the nursery every time? Can you tell I have strong feelings about this???
Your husband needs to understand that this simply is not the time for house guests. I would say you need at least 3-4 weeks unless they are able to come, stay in a hotel and restrict their visits to 1-2 hours per day. An hour flight isn’t so long- maybe they could come for 2 nights early on but stay in a hotel and restrict their visits?
i am a total bitch and would flat out tell hubby no way Jose are they staying. And if they come for a short trip and can control themselves with short visits, they better be prepared to be useful- load the dishwasher, make dinner. One week old is not pass the baby time yet.
Post # 6
Yeah that’s ridiculous. You need to create a routine and you need to soak it all up and have time to relax without feeling the need to “entertain” on top of anything else! They should come for maybe 2ish days but be prepared to only visit for an hour or so and then leave you alone. OR just wait a few weeks before coming and then spend a few extra days.
Post # 7
@bug-in-a-rug: H3ll no! And you don’t tell them, your husband tells them. Surely there’s somewhere else they can stay, even it’s a hotel.
To put it bluntly, you’re the one recovering, so your needs come ahead of theirs.
I actually had my SIL stay with me helping out for a week, but she’s a mother herself and brought her 9 month old, and we had a great bonding time. Quite different to having a guy around the house.
Post # 8
My doula said that mom and baby should be confined to the bedroom for the first 3 days after you come home. This is so that your uterus can heal. Otherwise you will be sore for a long time.
Not sure how true this is as I have never had a baby before, but it sure sounds like a good reason to avoid dealing with inlaws! And people wouldn’t want to stick around so much if you’re just going to be in bed sleeping most of the time.
I don’t know why visitors want to spend SO MUCH time with the baby immediately anyway. I mean, won’t they feel awkward?
Post # 9
Honestly I wouldn’t even want my own parents staying at our house right after that, let alone his.
Post # 10
You aren’t out of line at all hun! The first days with your new baby are precious and its your chance to bond together as a family and get the hang of being a new mom. You shouldn’t also have to think about in-laws wandering around your house day and night while you’re healing and adjusting.
H and I had people come visit at the hospital for a few hours the first day to see the baby and make sure I was okay, but after that we asked people to give us the first week with no visits at all so we could have our privacy for me to heal and get the hang of having our first child without the distractions of people coming and going. And I definitely wouldn’t have been fine with people actually staying at the house with us right after I had the baby! If you’re uncomfortable with it, tell you H it’s not happening and have him talk to his own family-that’s for him to do- and see if it’s possible for them to stay at a hotel. Even if they’re there to “help” it’s always stress having people stay at your home and you don’t need that directly after giving birth.
Post # 11
I really think it is up to you. With my first child, my in-laws came from across the country to stay with us for a week- but I love my MIL, so she was a definate help. But if you don’t want them there- that is perfectly acceptable as well. Let them stay in a hotel.
Post # 12
Absolutely do no let them stay not for one day! Im worried about people just stopping by when baby is born. Especially as a first time mom. Thats dh and i time to spend with baby and learn the ropes of parenthood. We dont need other people stressing us out as we do that. In addition to the healing youll be going through. I say just flat out tell them you are not going to feel up to visitors for a few weeks but would like to plan for them to visit after that! Having a plan for them to visit in the future should help ease the pain!
Post # 13
My IL’s were in the waiting room waiting for me to have my first baby…I didn’t have that space. It’s to be expected from them. The second child though, they didn’t even call me, or come visit until about 4 days after he was born.
ETA: Take advantage of them being there over night or whatever. You’ll need help. Cleaning, cooking…etc. They’ll be helpful. You’ll appreciate it.
Post # 14
@bug-in-a-rug: DH’s brother and sister-in-law had a baby Sept 2012. They provided information on rates and booking a several nearby hotels to DH’s parents (her parents live 15 minutes away) and explained that they need time to adjust to parenthood and aren’t comfortable with anyone staying at the house initially. There were a few grumbles, but in the end they complied and it was fine. I think you are totally within your rights as new parents to want some alone time and time to adjust to the baby, not to mention recover! Just be honest and firm.
Post # 15
My sister’s in-laws did this when her daughter was born, and it was really hard on her. All they offered to do to “help” was to hold the baby – didn’t lift a finger to help with laundry, dishes, etc., and they found themselves playing tour guide when they needed to be focusing on her recovery and establishing their new family routine. It was actually quite disruptive in the long run – my sister did so much walking around the city with them that it caused problems with her stitches and they took much longer than they should have to heal. Arguably worse, though, is that BIL spent more time hosting his parents than bonding with his daughter and figuring out how to care for her, and they kind of defaulted into a pattern where my sister did most of the hands-on parenting. My niece is now close to her second birthday, and my BIL still hasn’t figured out how to change her diaper without assistance, etc. I know that’s really frustrating for my sister.
Post # 16
@bug-in-a-rug: I would hold my FI to it to defend me and take care of me right after birth! Your partner should definitely be on your side. Honestly, I think husbands should worship their wives for going through all the craziness to have children. Men have NO IDEA! I would just give him a very gory explanation of all the bodily processes and how you’ll want time to yourself and baby. That should do the trick.