Post # 1
I have started thinking about a schedule for family visiting when the baby arrives in the spring. My parents and sister live about 4 hours away and his live on the other coast. I get along with his parents. My parents and sister live close enough that they can visit for a day or a night to two, meet baby, and then go home for a few months while we get our routine together and come for a longer visit later. His parents do not. When they come it will be for at least a week and they will want to come quickly (and just not telling them when I’m in labor is not an option because of the plans they’ll have to make either for flying or driving.) I don’t think I will want them arriving the day after the baby is due and staying for a week. I will be wanting to learn to change the diaper and soothe the baby, maybe trying to breastfeed. I am not going to be breastfeeding my one day old with my father in law in the room, and if I take my one day old to the nursery to breastfeed in private, my mother in law will complain that she’s not getting to hold the baby. She means well but when we called her one hour after getting engaged she asked if my sister in law was going to be a bridesmaid and when we called to announce the pregnancy she asked what the baby’s last name was going to be (I haven’t changed my name and it’s a point of contention). It turns out that I was intending to ask my sister in law because otherwise she’d be the only sibling not in the wedding party, and the baby is probably going to have my husband’s last name, but those were items we hadn’t discussed yet when we talked to her and they were the first things she asked and she didn’t give us a chance to discuss them before she started asking.
For what it’s worth I do very much want them to be a part of the baby’s life and I do think mother in law will help cook and clean and won’t just expect to hold the baby the whole time, but I also want some time with my baby before having week-long visitors. I just wish that they lived close enough to come and go. I would have no problem if they wanted to stop by for a few hours two or three times a week starting a few days after the birth. But having houseguests for a week at a time is hard enough without a new baby. The other thing is that my sister in law and her husband will probably want to come too and not only do we not have room for everyone, I don’t get along with her and she absolutely will expect to hold the baby the entire time based on her behavior with her existing nephew.
My final worry is that my brother in law had a baby he was not prepared for with a woman he had a one night stand with when he was a teenager, and my in-laws helped a loooooot with the baby who is now a wonderful 10 year old. We are more than a decade older and happily married and just will not need the same level of support, and I’m worried they won’t adjust to the difference well.
I will get over it and I know it’s my baby and they live on the other coast and I’ll obviously have plenty of time with my baby who they’ll see once a year and this is all just an expression of love. I am just sad that we won’t get that early time alone to adjust to being a family of three, and not looking forward to making myself and my house presentable for company staying a week right after the baby is born. What do you think a fair visiting schedule looks like in this situation?
Post # 2
I’m in a similar boat, and Darling Husband and I have been disagreeing about this already. My mother will be coming down as soon as I go into labor and staying for a week or two. I told Darling Husband once the baby is born, his parents could make flight arrangements, – for 2+ weeks after the birth. He thinks that’s too long to wait and not appropriate to wait that long. But like you – I’m going to be adjusting to a new life, major medical procedures, a crying baby, trying to breastfeed and learn how to change a diaper and maybe catch a couple hours of sleep, and dealing with my overwhelming inlaws won’t help that. I get stressed out and frustrated with my inlaws NOW, and can’t imagine being sleep deprived and having so much on my plate and having to deal with them too.
Post # 3
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
You absolutely can just not tell them when you’re in labor. And you absolutely can set up a routine for however long it takes you before they come. They don’t get to determine when they visit, you and your husband do. If that means they need to wait a week, then so be it. Don’t feel pressured to have them there right away, or to have them stay in the home with you if you think you won’t feel comfortable doing what you need to do for your baby and your comfort .
Post # 4
I can’t speak on personal experience (as we’re not even TTC yet) but this is something my fiance and I have talked about, mostly from reading experience here and on other forums. I too will want that special bonding time with the baby, and my fiance has said he really wants time to figure out how to soothe and do things without hovering grandparents who mean well, but who will impede on that learning curve. We’ve decided (for now, understanding our feelings may change) that we will ask for the first two or three weeks to be overnight visitor free. We figure after three weeks, we’ll probably be much more open to extra hands at that point anyway! But it’s super important for us to have that time alone first.
I would spin it that way if they ask. When they bring up visiting, tell them you’d love to have them come after X many weeks as you both want time to adjust first. How they react to that isn’t really your concern! They are adults and need to learn to deal with their emotions on their own. Plus you are still offering to host them, it’s not like you’re telling them to get lost!
Best of luck bee and just know from what I’ve seen, it’s VERY normal to want alone time first. Parents and in laws used to come help when the father would have to go back to work right away, but with improving paternity leave, it’s definitely decreasing in popularity.
Post # 5
If they want to come for a week and you are not interested in houseguests, they will either have to stay in a hotel or wait until you are ready. End of story and hill to die on.
Post # 6
I don’t understand why you can’t tell them to wait until the baby is a month old or something.
Post # 7
I would tell them:
1) the first month (or however long you want) you are happy to do lots of video calls but a visit is too much.
2) when they do come they need to get a hotel.
And you absolutely can choose not to tell them when you are in labor. They can know after the baby is here and then arrange their travel plans. They absolutely don’t need to be there on day 1 or even day 30 if that’s not what you want.
Post # 8
I agree that you don’t need to tell them when you are in labour, give yourselves a day after birth even if you want, to delay their arrival. Or, as other bees have suggested, tell them they can arrange to come 2 weeks after your due date (and hopefully at least a week after your baby is born haha) or something. You can always send pictures and videos and even Skype in the meantime.
Its hard when people live farther away. Still want to come but a short trip doesn’t make sense. But I do think it’s fine to ask people to wait a bit. You may end up recovering from surgery. Breastfeeding is a struggle at first. Asking for a bit of time to sort things out is fine.
Post # 9
anonbee3584 : for our first we rented a house about a half hour from ours and all of us stayed there. No cleaning beforehand and cooking wasn’t a thing I needed to keep up with either. It took the burden of hosting away.
As to nursing away from family, that’s what I did. I’m not interested in pulling out my boob in front of anyone but my husband. How can she complain she’s not holding baby enough if you are nursing it? She wouldn’t be holding it then anyway!
Regarding the visit, give them a date that they are welcome. My second is due around Halloween. Last time my mom dragged dad out before baby was even born. This time I told her that my husband and I were going to spend his short paternity leave with just us and they can come two weeks later. SHe’s not thrilled and thinks I’m going to struggle more than I expect but it’s not like I won’t be doing the kids on my own when they are gone, too. Might as well get used to it. Foot down. They’ll live.
Post # 10
Hotel hotel hotel. No overnight visits for the first few months of life. It will be better for everyone, have your husband tell his mom he can help find a good hotel or Airbnb anonbee3584 :
Post # 11
You don’t have to ask them for anything; you get to tell them what works for you.
No one should be coming during the first month; you need to recover and establish routines and get used to being parents.
No one should be staying in your house, especially not for a week. Hotel and rental car; scheduled visits for an hour or two, with your husband there to entertain them, since they are his guests. No one sits on your sofa for eight hours, hogging your baby.
If they overstep during your post-partum time your relationship with them (and maybe with your husband) will be damaged forever. Set boundaries; enforce consequences. They have nothing you want; you have everything they want–that gives you all the power. It’s your house and your baby.
Recommend you read some of the post-partum threads on DWIL. Very eye-opening and empowering.
Post # 12
We are expecting our second this month and whilst we do have both sets of grandparents nearby we also have my lovely SIL asking when to visit (she won’t be staying with us) but I can’t give her specific dates as we cannot guarantee when the baby will be born.
Personally for the first two weeks I am giving that time to myself, establishing Breastfeeding and helping our eldest adjust to the new addition. Yes we will probably have the grandparents visit but for me it’s more important they spend more time with our eldest than the newborn.
If your ILs need to book flights for good deals then I’d tell them to book for 4-6 weeks after you’re 40 weeks. That gives you time if you don’t deliver then (and lots of mums don’t) to still recover.
Unless your house is big enough I’d also strongly discourage houseguests until baby is older.
Post # 13
JiminyCricket : Trust me when i say I understand what it is like firsthand having a difficult Mother-In-Law and setting up healthy boundaries is important and it is totally fair to give that timeline needed before you are ready for visitors after the baby is born but I think the rules have to apply equally for both sides of the family. It isn’t fair that your family gets to come right away to see the baby right away while his family has to wait 2+ weeks. It is just as much their grandchild as it is your mom’s so I can see why your husband might be bothered by you ultimately saying its ok for your mom to come right away but his parents have to wait.
Post # 14
I think your husband should talk with them about it. We have a 2.5 month old baby girl and I absolutely took the time I needed to bond with her and for all of us to bond as a family of three. I told my family that I do not want overnight visits for the first month or so. I also said no hospital visits. Also they tell you breast feeding is hard but I didn’t know how time consuming it would be. I had it easy and even then I basically had my boobs out almost all the time at first until I established a supply so it’s not just a matter of walking away to feed. The baby is cluster feeding and getting used to it and so are you. I couldn’t have fathomed having to deal with visitors. They respected our wishes and came when we were ready. It’s not like the baby will know them better if they see her right away and asking to be there when you’re not comfortable is very selfish of them. I feel like most people get it and wouldn’t want to intrude.
Post # 15
soexcited123 : I didn’t say family – I said my mother. For me, it’s important for me to feel supported with someone I trust around me who has been through the child-raising thing before. Unfortunately, that is not the situation I have with my Mother-In-Law, and I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest they wait a couple of weeks until we adjust to this life. For me, part of adjusting is having a good support system with me, and that will involve support and guidance from my mother. I can nurse in front of my mother, where is that is not something that would be possible around my Mother-In-Law.
We have a difficult relationship. Most trips when we go see them, I am judged, ridiculed, and left in tears. So you’ll have to agree to disagree when I think allowing my supportive mother to be with me, and not a woman who brings me to tears on the best of days, right away is the best course of action.