Post # 1
Hi Bee’s I have a situation I’d like some advice from anyone who has kids already.
I’ve been polling all my friends and young family who have babies/on mat leave/or were in the last few years and I’ve asked things like “what is your day like, what kind of schedule do you and your DH have… what kind of demands are you dealing with from family, what do you think is reasonable for seeing family?”
The thing is from what I gather (the short version) kinda goes like this (the couples who seem to be “happy” with how they’re working it):
Weekdays are kind of a writeoff in terms of spending “quality time” together….. mom is generally up on night shifts and home all day…so when dad gets home he is on dad duty and gives the mom a bit of a break to become “human” again 🙂 lol….so she can go have a shower, take a nap, go to the store etc…etc…. so your not really spending a whole hell of a lot of time together.
Then on weekends you have 2 days…. 1 of the days whichever is more convenient…is a “get shit done day”. So all the stuff that a new mom (especially in the 1st 6 months…) cant really get done on her own will need to get done then with help from dad, so the big grocery shop, house cleaning errands etc etc.. (so busy day). Then you have the other weekend day to spend however…so spending it together as a family or visiting with family (the grandparents) or friends etc.
This is what I need help with… is it reasonable given all of the above that I would like ot have every second weekend “off” from the family/inlaws? I know as soon as they find out were pregnant the first thing out of their mouths is going to be about how “were going to be spending every single weekend together”. If I only have one day a week to have not running around….Im sure as hell not spending it carting all our crap up to their place or having company ALL DAY at our place. I want to alternate every second sunday so we see DH family one week and the next have it as an “us day” for bonding as a family the 3 of us (doing or seeing whomever we choose).
I know we’re going to be in for a battle with this bee’s so tell me….. how do you work it? do you think its important to carve out time for the 3 of you/wish you had more time alone as a family if you have pushy IL’s?
Post # 2
shanbp: Do you drive and have access to a vehicle when DH is at work? After the first couple of months when you are no longer so fatigued, it’s fairly easy to do shopping and errands with the baby. Small babies basically eat and sleep, so there are a few months anyhow where you can get things done during the week and save weekends for family days.
Post # 3
shanbp: We don’t have children yet but what you’re hoping for is not at all unreasonable in my opinion. It’s your baby, you make the rules. It’s lovely to have people wanting to spend time with you but not at the sake of your sanity! You need time as a family (just the three of you) as well as relaxation time.. you can’t be running around out of the house 7 days a week you’ll go crazy!
A good compromise at some stage could be to have a day every so often that your IL’s look after baby (once you’re ready to be seperated) and that’s time for you and your husband to spend together just the two of you (you’ll need that too for sure!).
Just be clear about how you’re going to work things and make sure you and hubby are on the same page (and are a team.. if the IL’s put the pressure on, he has to be firm as well)
I can assure you when we have children, I will absolutely have boundaries when it comes to ‘visiting’!
Post # 4
julies1949: I do drive…but I know that from all my gf’s I see struggling in the first months its hard! I guess it depends on the baby but I know 2 of my friends right now cant take their babies into malls or stores because within 10 min they are FREAKING-OUT… like no idea why…. but they have meltdowns and then my gf’s have to just drop everything and leave. I know once theyre a bit older and 6mo + its ok but man…. Ive been there with them and its crazy. One of them had to just give up going out doing those things unless she had someone with her. (I kinda thought she was exaggerating lol… until I was with her one day)
Its also about the fact that we both agreed that we dont want to spend every weekend with family….. like we both want to have time for just us and the baby. DH family are nice people…but they are very…. “too much” at times and especially f we;re going to be spending entire days with them (not just showing up for supper and leaving 2 hours later…they’re gonna want significant time = whole day). I dont think that would be good for our sanity lol. The thing is trying to explain this to IL’s when the time comes….”yes we are going to be doing our own thing every other weekend”. Its gonna be brutal :s
Post # 5
Miss_E_xx: totally! I mean I agree we will definatly need time for just us as a couple for sure, but even just us as a family because DH works long hours and wont really see the baby much except for weekends and if the baby happens to be up when he gets home on weeknights 🙁
the thing is the only day the IL’s could really see/take care of the baby is in fact like a sunday (because they both work odd hours) and they will want to be with us as well. Im sure it will happen and they will love to babysit whenever we need, but I just want to make sure DH gets quality time with the baby. (this may or may not explain it all but DH parents are from italy….so hardcore attached italian parents who think we need to do everything a certain way and if not its all drama lol)
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Well we do have a kid, and we see our families maybe once every other month. Even that is pushing our tolerance levels. We’ve both reached the age where we no longer care about practically killing ourselves to make other people happy. We take care of eachother, DS, our careers, our relationship, our home, and our pets. If we can fit our families into that schedule without going nuts, then fine. If not, “Sorry, Mom and Dad, we’re busy living our lives. Talk to you later!” My Mother, in particular, tries to be clingy and overbearing. But she can only do that if I allow that behavior to occur in my life, which I don’t.
Post # 7
Spending part of every weekend with your family or in-laws is pretty crazy unless you live really close together (and want to see them). I am only an hour from my parents and even that can get hectic trying to bring baby over there (you have to bring a lot of stuff with a baby!). I think once a month is enough, but I could do every other week with my parents. But that is only assuming they drive to see us as much as we drive to see them.
You are within your rights to limit the amount of time. I think even once a month is a good amount if that is what you wanted. I would definitely need a weekend “off” from seeing people at least every other week. So, this month my parents came up on the 14th to babysit so we could go out. This past weekend I took baby with my parents to see my grandma/family. After this weekend I am really looking forward to not seeing anyone at all next weekend!
You can probably decide as you go, just don’t let them talk you into doing something you don’t want to do. If you need a weekend off, tell them you need a break and aren’t having visitors or going anywhere.
I have a 2.5 month old, but I loved having visitors or going to visit people on maternity leave. It can get very isolating being at home by yourself so I liked using our weekends to go visit people when I was on maternity leave. Now that I’m back at work, I definitely am not going to spend every weekend visiting with people.
Babies are very portable when they’re young. I took mine to Target, Buy Buy Baby, grocery stores, department stores, furniture stores, etc in her care seat or stroller and I don’t think she’s ever cried in any of the stores. She will also sleep in the car so it’s pretty easy to travel with her (aside from having to bring half your house with you!). It’s a little different when they’re older and need more to get to sleep or have more set schedules.
Post # 8
If I had to spend time with my family or IL’s every other weekend, I’d be bonkers– and I love them!
When DD was tiny, that was the easiest time for me. Yes, all babies are different, but for me, it was easy peasy to get out of the house nearly every other day to grocery shop, run errands, or get out of the house. I did all my housework during the week. It was so easy. DH and I still had lots of time to spend together.
Now that she’s 2.5, we have to grocery shop together, or I can’t manage her on my own. lol We have lots of time after she goes to bed to talk, and spend time together. Weekends, yes, since I work full time, I have to spend at least one of those days doing all my laundry and catching up on housework.
We see our inlaws usually monthly, on our terms.
…and that’s how it’s gotta be. People need to check with you before appearing at your house to visit. They need to understand that you don’t always want to entertain or travel. Yes, they will want to spend time with baby, I am sure, but it’s most important that you, DH and baby get time together first. You just have to make that clear to people early on.
Post # 9
honestly every child is different so I don’t think you’ll have a great idea of what your time needs will be till after. If you start bringing out your baby from the start I think they tend to be easier. My daughter always seems more well behaved when we are at the store and it helped me get out of the house as well. I know if can be overwhelming but trying to come up with a set schedule now for visitation might make your more frustrated if it doesn’t work out that way.
Hopefully your inlaws will understand your hostess abilities are limited. But actually on maternity leave is when I was able to get the most stuff done…. she slept 8 hours during the day so there is a lot of down time. Just try to put it out of your mind and take it as it comes!
Post # 10
Non-mom here! I think it’s totally fine to limit your time with in-laws with a new baby. I would maybe phrase it carefully though – instead of “you can only visit every other weekend,” maybe say that you and DH are saving every other Sunday as a quiet day with baby or a “parents-baby day.”
Post # 11
Invest in a baby carrier, I get so many errands done, including groceries, going out to eat, etc., while she sleeps in the ergobaby.
Post # 12
shanbp: with or without every other weekend is a lot of time. your husband needs to explain to them that you guys need space. you’re adults- there is no reason you need to see his mom and dad that often.
Post # 13
mamadingdong: I think that too! I know exactly what my DH is going to say “we cant say anything until after the baby is here and they are actually doing it” (like he doesnt believe in pre-talking to them about anything because they will freak out …..I think thats dumb and I plan on planting the seed as soon as they know I’m pg 😉
Post # 14
lovekiss: im at that place right now… but unfortunatly my DH is still very much in the “pleasing them as to not cause drama” stage >:/
He’s getting better, and I think that once the baby is here he will be so tired and sick of people he will end up telling them to back off without a lot of prompting from me (I hope). I could do the once a month thing easy… but DH family is all about the more time is best! ugh
Post # 15
kes18: well the funny thing is we only live about 20+ min away from the IL’s but they think its like ….the farthest place on earth hahahaa. We used to live less then 5 min away and the odd thing is they never used to bug us the way they do now… its like simply because were a tad further away they make huge deals about how much they see us (when in reality its the exact same as it was before). Its so exhausting