I know it's too early to be thinking about stuff like this (at least that's what everyone tells me) but I can't help it! I'm hoping you fine ladies can give me some advice :) (it's lengthy, sorry!)
Here's some background info about me and my husband's families:
- We have been married for nearly 4 years and have a 2 year old son. We moved from Cleveland, OH to Portland, OR when our son was 18 months old (nearly a year ago). All of our families live far away- mostly in Ohio but also a sister in Chicago and my parents are traveling (mom is a traveling nurse) so she can sort of be wherever.
- Our relationship with my husband's family is rocky- always has been. We do not get along at all- it's a weird situation though because they try hard to be on their "best behavior" (they are total brown-nosers) but are kind of two-faced and have hurt us too much in the past for us to trust them. We also don't agree on many issues (they are very conservative, we are not, for example), hence we just try to keep our distance. Hubbs is firstborn, first out of house, first married and they cannot let go.
- As a relevant example, when our son was born we were having a hard time with breastfeeding and the day we got home from the hospital they were hounding us about coming over so that we could celebrate my FIL's birthday (which was also that day). We allowed it, but FIL was grumpy because everything wasn't about him- we obviously had a newborn to attend to and care for, and we were exhausted and had just arrived home (we had to beg for just one hour to ourselves once we arrived home, which they reluctantly gave into). So selfish- so frustrating.
- In-laws live in Cleveland and both of my husband's siblings live at home with them (and take the parents' side because that's the side of things that they hear). Sibs are ages 24 and 18.
- My family is spread out geographically (chicago, cincinnati, NW ohio, and my mom can be anywhere) and we don't have a good relationship with them, either. Very different, very different parenting styles, we don't agree on many issues. We have a relatively poor relationship with them but it's not as dramatic as with the in-laws.
- My mom wants to be here on the west coast (chances are not great that she will be in Portland, exactly, but somewhere nearby, perhaps WA or northern CA) for the end of my pregnancy/birth of the baby. She would be here for approximately 6 weeks after the baby is born, based on the EDD.
- neither set of parents is particularly "helpful" when it comes to having a new baby OR watching our toddler. Additionally, we have never let either set of parents babysit for our son because we do not trust their judgement (we are also vegetarians and don't trust them not to feed him meat. They don't agree with our diet.) There are a slew of other issues- my stepdad is a chain-smoker, in-laws are crazy evangelicals, etc- that keep us from wanting them to supervise our kids. Also, they are all more likely to monopolize the baby while I do dishes, laundry, etc. than to offer to help around the house while we spend time with the baby.
So, when it comes to visiting post-baby we have some issues to think about. Namely:
1. I don't want my mom to be here all the time (if she ends up being nearby for work). She is the type to drop in unannounced. I am also nervous to discuss this with her, especially until she has a firm placement that I know would have her very nearby.
2. Hubbs is off work for two whole weeks and then goes back half-time for a while so he can be here with us. We don't NEED the help, though I know a few extra hands won't hurt. To that end, we have wonderful neighbors that we consider family that we trust to watch our son if we need some time to nap or just decompress.
3. We do not- do NOT- want any out-of-town visitors for at least the first two weeks. Husband is on vacation, we want time to bond as a fam and establish breastfeeding, and I want time to heal a bit from childbirth before we are hosting guests 24/7. When do we let them know this?
4. We will not be induced (having a birth center birth with midwife) so it's possible that baby will show up +/- 3 weeks from due date. Because of that, we don't want people scheduling flights based on our EDD (which we have kept a secret and opt for a "mid-november" due date). We think telling them they can schedule a flight once we are in labor/baby is born is the best option. Thoughts? (they will be so mad)
5. Hubb's siblings are in college and have finals mid-December. This might cause issues with them visiting since early-to-mid-Dec is when we are thinking would be an optimal time (we don't want to host people for holidays, either. Our tiny 2-bedroom is wayyyyy too small for that) but they will still be in classes/finals. After that is Xmas and New Years. Then they go back to class. We'd like to avoid having the parents and the sibs come at a separate time (unless it's very spread out. We don't want to be hosting visitors nonstop, if you can't tell :)) so how do we navigate this?
So, if you were a laidback parent who wanted to relax and enjoy your newborn without a ton of stress from out-of-town parents you don't get along with, what would you do???? :-)