Anyone else having problems w/family about the holidays? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 08-26-2006, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am getting so much crap from DH's family about not wanting to spend the holidays with them this year. They don't seem to understand me being due shortly before Thansksgiving and not wanting a bunch of people over or going to their house. I'm not going wanting to do much at Christmas either since it'll only be about 4-6 weeks from when the baby's born. I don't want to live in seclusion, but I also don't want to take a newborn around a bunch of germy people who all will want to touch or hold the baby in the middle of cold/flu season. Keeping the baby in a sling won't work as DH's family will not accept not being able to touch or hold the baby so I think it's best to stay away or at least limit the people we do see. Besides, I doubt that I will be up for visiting anyone especially since they live about four hours away.

Be honest - am I being unreasonable in not wanting to travel four hours only 4-6 weeks after having a baby and having a bunch of people I don't even really like handling the baby, especially during cold/flu season?

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#2 of 29 Old 08-26-2006, 08:23 PM
 
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Not in your ddc, but I feel the exact same way. Don't feel bad about it! It's normal to want to protect your precious infant from germs and not feel ready for travel when they are so young and have such immature immune systems. We made that mistake with our son (although he was 5 months old) his first Christmas and he came down with severe bronchiolitis. He could hardly breathe, and we were worried sick. Poor little guy...didn't make for a fun Christmas for us at all.

This year we plan on taking it easy and not receiving guests nor going anywhere. I've given this a lot of thought and it's always something I regret in hindsight so I might as well make the right decision up front.

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#3 of 29 Old 08-26-2006, 08:23 PM
 
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You are not being unreasonable at all...

A few weeks post partum is no time to be running around, it is a time to relax and recoup from the birth...

We haven't went to families homes during the holidays in 4 years now.. we invite people at X-mas to our home and they now know that if they want to see us they should come here... We ask people to bring things and make a kind of Potluck supper and have Fondue which has been our traditional supper for about 15 years now... That way we don't have much to do and the kids are in their own environments and we can get them to bed and then we have our big supper after they are in bed and can really relax too...

Also, One of the big things for us is that most of all of family members are smokers also so we don't go their homes any other time of the year either.. and before going there ould make me sick for at least a week (I am allergic) but now I can actually enjoy the holidays...

 
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#4 of 29 Old 08-26-2006, 10:31 PM
 
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Our families aren't giving us any pressure, but dw has not been particuarly understanding. Usually we go to her family for Thanksgiving and Christmas (though we don't spend the night, we live about 50 minutes away), and I told her that we probably wouldn't make it this Thanksgiving. I am due the 13th, but am expecting to go over (and possibly even have the baby on Thanksgiving). She said she couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to go if I was still pregnant or if the baby was already a couple days old. I told her that I'm not going ANYWHERE until the baby is at least 2 weeks old, and that if I'm still pregnant at Thanksgiving, there's no way I'm going to be in any kind of mood that will want to spend the day at her family's house! So, I told her the only way it would be a possibility for me is if the baby is already at least two weeks old by Thanksgiving, and even then it was a slim possibility. I'm guessing that when the time comes, she'll be more understanding (afterall, she'll be just as overwhelmed an sleep-deprived as I will be), but it totally annoyed me that she couldn't see my point now. We will still plan to go over there on Christmas, unless someone is really sick. But I have no issue with putting the baby in the sling and not letting anyone else hold him .

I definitely would NOT drive four hours with a 4-6-week-old. I wouldn't drive more than an hour.

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#5 of 29 Old 08-26-2006, 11:00 PM
 
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No way would I travel to my inlaws so that THEY could benefit from seeing the baby
My inlaws are, well, different anyways...and even though I love my SIL and I know she would LOVE to see this baby, I'm not driving 6 hrs in winter, possibly in snow (from OH to IL) and ice just to see them. My dh is deployed and so it would be me, a new baby, and a 4 yr old dd...no way in hell.
I'm also not really accepting any family for the holidays. My folks will come here to help with the new baby, but not for 1.5mo! I expect to see them for Thanksgiving of course, but I will be on my own for xmas...which is ok. I already have it all planned out ! I will have my 'mini-xmas tree' out so that we are 'festive'...and I will have Carly pick out a present for the baby etc...and Santa will come...but it will all be on a nice small scale! I"m kinda excited!
Anyways...I wouldn't even CONSIDER making that trip...the family will understand and they will see the baby next year or whatever....
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#6 of 29 Old 08-26-2006, 11:56 PM
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We're actually offering to do Thanksgiving breakfast here. That way we don't have to bundle the kids up and drive 1-2 hours to someone else's house. Stress over what they should and shouldn't touch/play with. If the baby gets tired I can put him down in his own familar environment. If I need to nurse him, I don't need to stop the car or find a quiet room in someone else's house. But even if we weren't gonna do it, I would expect DH's family to understand why we wouldn't be attending the holiday festivities that soon after baby.

 
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#7 of 29 Old 08-27-2006, 01:32 AM
 
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I don't feel the same way that you do, but I definitely don't think you're being unreasonable! You have every right to protect your newborn with your mama-bear senses!

My MIL is flying from more than half-way across the country to be here for my son (while I'm in labor at the hospital). She's getting here on the 8th, I'm due the 12th, and I went 9 days over with my son... so who knows! But FIL, SIL, BIL and his fiance are all coming up the day before Thanksgiving and staying through the following Monday. They'll be here because we're having the baby baptized on Thanksgiving and they want to be here for that (very important to my husband and I... and our family in general - no one wants to miss it). Bonus for me is that my MIL is an excellent cook, we don't usually get to see them for and holidays (my husband is a pastor so we can't really travel then), and I don't have to do anything other than be in bed with the babe... or be in the livingroom with the babe. They were here for my son's baptism (16 days old) and they saw me pretty much nursing him or him sleeping - and they were great with it. So I'm totally comfy with them being here since they're supportive.

However... if I got the sense that they were going to be ignorant or trying to get the baby away from me or something, they wouldn't be here. Period.
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#8 of 29 Old 08-27-2006, 01:43 AM
 
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I was just talking about this today. I'm due just prior to Thanksgiving and have no interest in holiday pressures. It's an adjustment period and I won't travel even an hour with four children to please my mother.

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#9 of 29 Old 08-27-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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The most traveling I am doing these holidays is a mile down the road to my mom's house. If I had anything over 40 minutes (which is how far town is away) I would not be driving there this year. Nor would I want the party at my house with a brand-new baby, there is always time later on when everyone is well rested, adjusted, and healthy.

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#10 of 29 Old 08-27-2006, 09:14 PM
 
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I don't think you're being unreasonable at all - as far as I'm concerned 4 - 6 weeks pp is still part of your 'babymoon' - I certainly wouldn't want the added stress of driving a longer distance.
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#11 of 29 Old 08-28-2006, 04:29 AM
 
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I agree you are not being unreasonable. I wouldn't go or have them come either.

However, if this is going to have ramifications past the holidays, that you do not want to stress over, then perhaps you could plan a specific day when they come to you. Pick Dec 26 or 27th... and say "OK, 4 hour drive fo you all, so drive over here in the morning." (Heck no you should NOT be doing the driving). "We welcome you to have brunch with us, exchange gifts, have a nice dinner, and then make the trip back." I would add to that "We will supply a casual brunch. MIL - please bring beef for the dinner, SIL please bring appetizer and soup, BIL please bring Dessert." Or whatever, you get the idea. Whomever doesn't like cooking can be responsible for doing dishes. Now, everyone has a responsibility and is contributing something. They get to see babe. But luckily it is in your house, with your germs that baby is used to, and they only get to see babe for that one day.
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#12 of 29 Old 08-28-2006, 09:07 AM
 
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NO! I don't think you're being unreasonable at all! You stick with what you know in your gut is best for you and your family and the rest of the family can just deal!
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#13 of 29 Old 08-28-2006, 09:24 AM
 
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You are absolutely not being unreasonable. My DD was born in early October and we skipped Thanksgiving that year. We offered to host Christmas but asked family (nicely) that if they had colds or didn't feel well, to please use their best judgement and stay home. No one had a cold. We also asked people to wash their hands before they held or touched her. No one minded at all. They were very understanding.

This time around I'm due in early November. We're doing the same thing mentioned above.
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#14 of 29 Old 08-28-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread, but I honestly get so sick of people expecting the woman who just gave birth to bring her baby to THEM to see instead of vice versa. I told DH we are not going ANYWHERE for awhile after this one is born. I don't care who planed "surprise" baby showers!!

I would not travel four hours with a newborn period. What a PINA. They need to eat ever couple hours and be changed. You would have to keep making pit stops to take care of the baby. UGG.
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#15 of 29 Old 08-28-2006, 06:22 PM
 
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I agree, it is not unreasonable. I almost wish my parents and IL's lived far enough away that we could avoid thanksgiving altogether... but my parents live two blocks away and my IL's about 12 blocks... certainly no cooking for me though, and not two xmas's like last year! If you are feeling pressured just tap into your mama tiger instinct and know that your IL's can take care of themselves, your new baby can't.
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#16 of 29 Old 08-28-2006, 08:43 PM
 
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Not unreasonable at all. My DH's parents have asked us several times to consider driving the 10+ HOURS to DH's grandma's for holidays. Ummm.... not going to happen. We would have to stop constantly for breastfeeding. And I really just want some time to rest and enjoy my little family We will call and chat with everyone- and send some pictures, and that will have to be good enough
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#17 of 29 Old 08-28-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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I just started thinking about this the other day...I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. I think YOU have to do what feels right for you and your family. I have so many issues to deal with in terms of my (very pushy, passive aggressive, manipulating) mother in law before the birth that I figure this one I will tackle after the birth or when it comes up...Since this is our first babe I honestly have no idea how I'll feel or what I'll feel like doing for the holidays.
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#18 of 29 Old 08-29-2006, 05:32 AM
 
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With my dd we travelled to my parents (half way across the country) when she was 2 months old for Thanksgiving. Then we travelled from CA to NY for Christmas to see dh's family! : It was ok, but I was NOT planning on doing that again. I had actually planned to not allow anyone to visit for several weeks before or after the birth so we could have time to ourselves to adjust to the new babe. I wasn't planning on us travelling to see either family until next spring or summer.

However, I just had my whole perspective on things change this Saturday. My parents told me that Mom has metastatic cancer. So I am planning to make a trip to Oklahoma to see Mom and Dad sometime before this baby comes. My mom asked if they could come for Thanksgiving and I will be *thrilled* if they can do so. It looks like she may only have 3-4 months though, so that may not happen. Personally I don't care if my mom and dad are here around the time the babe arrives (my due date is 11/23, Thanksgiving Day).

I DO NOT want my MIL here within a month of the birth, but she may be coming the 8th of November though. : I have had serious issues with my MIL for almost 15 years now and I don't really want her stressing me out before the babe arrives when I already have so much other stuff to deal with. She was here for 3 weeks after dd was born to help us. I really appreciated her help but unfortunately having to depend on her for that long and put up with her crap for that long really strained our relationship even worse. So I really don't want her here then. But after hearing that my mom is probably not going to make it it is much harder to tell my MIL that she can't come. She hasn't been able to come see dd since March or April and I know she wants to see her as soon as she can. Unfortunately November may be the earliest she can come.

It's funny how you change your perspective on family visiting when these things happen.
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#19 of 29 Old 08-29-2006, 05:51 AM
 
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I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.

I plan on skipping Thanksgiving gettogether, since baby is due Thanksgiving Day. So whether baby comes before or after that day, I will NOT be wanting to travel 2.5 hours to the inlaws' house. We told MIL this early, and thankfully she understood (Thanksgiving is HER day, since she loves cooking). We will visit them for Christmas, but that's usually at MIL's parents' house, which is only about an hour away, and we just go there, eat lunch, visit, and come home. I don't mind doing that with a 4-6 week old. In fact, by a couple weeks into it, I'm ready to get out and do normal things. It killed me to wait 6 weeks before going out in public when I brought my preemie home (6 weeks put us just a few days before his due date). I needed to GET OUT. But I wouldn't have wanted to do a 4 hour car ride either. Just a 10 minute trip to Walmart was fine.

My own parents live 45 minutes away, so we'll probably see them at Thanksgiving either way, and do Christmas with them too. But that's easy, and they'd be willing to drive out to our house no problem.
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#20 of 29 Old 08-29-2006, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good to know that I am not being unreasonable. DH looked at me like I was crazy when I said I probably wasn't up for travelling this year.

I have no problem with a small gathering, but I just don't think I'll be up for a four hour drive with a multi-night stay at a hotel that soon after birth. DH's family has large gatherings at Christmas (they cram about 50 people into a small ranch house on Chrismas morning with a similar gathering on his mother's side on Christmas eve) and with it being cold/flu season and living in the Midwest, I don't know if I want to expose a newborn to that. My parents will probably come to visit at Christmas, but they live 10 hours away and are both teachers so they can't just take a couple days off to visit later but will be on winter break at that time so it works out. Like I said, I have no problem with small gatherings, but not everyone at once.

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#21 of 29 Old 08-29-2006, 09:46 AM
 
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I'm not in your DDC, but I was a couple years ago and I would *love* for someone to be able to learn from my mistakes.

DD was due 12/4ish and made her appearance unexpectedly on 11/23, a few days before Thanksgiving. We were released Thanksgiving morning. Our parents were ok with us just going home (because they'd already gotten to meet her!) but other family members wanted us to come straight from the hospital to the family dinner!! It's a good thing we didn't, because it turns out the two most insistent ones had the flu. :

But I was feeling guilty, so the next day I said some friends and family could come by, as long as no one was sick, anyone who smoked washed and changed first, etc. I figured if they staggered their visits, what could be the harm of it? Well, dh's cousins showed up with their 1-year-old son, who had a cold and was rubbing his nose and then touching *everything.* Smokers showed up and washed their hands, but hadn't washed their hair or clothes. I got so stressed out trying to be polite and social but feeling like a mama bear wanting to protect my child at the same time. To top it off, my milk came in that day! All of a sudden I was engorged and sore, my breasts were too big for dd to latch on easily, so I'm sitting there trying to learn how to nurse for the first time with people and noise and distractions . . . ugh. It was horrible. I was exhausted and stressed, dd was stressed; I finally fled into the bedroom in tears. DD went on a 19-hour nursing strike on the right side and we ended up back at the hospital the next day for a SEVEN HOUR consultation with an LC.

We knew better with ds. I came home and holed up in bed with him for a solid week. DH politely kicked out anyone who stayed more than a few minutes. All visitors were asked to bring food or clean something when they got here. Even though we had a much rougher start with ds and I had some more healing to do, I recovered much faster and was in better spirits this time.

Claim your babymoon, mama. If anyone gives you flak, remind them that aside from labor(!) and giving birth(!!), your placenta is the size of a dinner plate so that's the size wound your uterus is healing from after birth after the placenta detaches. No one would expect anyone with a surgical wound that size to be up and about immediately, would they? Much less drive 4 hours (which would be more like 8 with a newborn needing to stop and nurse every 1-2 hours for up to 45 minutes at a time).
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#22 of 29 Old 08-29-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrum97
I have no problem with a small gathering, but I just don't think I'll be up for a four hour drive with a multi-night stay at a hotel that soon after birth.
Oh, and a hotel... Yeah, I wouldn't want to be doing that at 4 weeks! Wait until you and baby are settled into a good sleeping routine before tackling the hotel thing. It's so hard to be in a hotel, worried that your crying baby is going to disturb all the other people there. And at that age, you don't know if you'll be dealing with a colicky baby, etc. That would be way too stressful. :
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#23 of 29 Old 08-29-2006, 02:13 PM
 
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I have flat out told everyone that I am going only to my mil's for Christmas... it's just her, her dh and adopted son... and she keeps an immaculate house. I don't care what others think about my decision. I have no desire to subject my newborn to everyone's germs and possibly RSV. In addition to that, I've told my "barhopping" fil that he isn't holding the baby at all!!!! He didn't like it. He said, " well I'm his grandfather" and I responded by saying "well, I'm his mother and what I say goes, and I say you aren't holding him because you're constantly around questionable people in smoky disgusting bar rooms". Stand your ground momma..
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#24 of 29 Old 08-29-2006, 10:30 PM
 
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We're not sure what we're going to do about the holidays. I'm due at Thanksgiving. Our familes are divided between Louisiana and Ohio, and I'm not thinking I'll be interested in dragging a newborn to either place by Christmas-time. Too much hassle at the airport, too many germs, etc.

No one has given us any grief about it, and there are tentative plans for family members to come visit us at various points during the holidays. I rather like the idea of a quiet first Christmas with just me, DP and the babe. I think we may go make some visits after New Year's.
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#25 of 29 Old 08-30-2006, 03:46 PM
 
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my family wants us to go to thanksgiving in NY and I told them no way! i want to relax and get back to my family after this surrogacy!

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#26 of 29 Old 08-30-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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Nope, I've told the entire family that Thanksgiving is canceled this year. No one is coming over and we are not going out. (I hope DH supports this when the issue is pressed then!)

Christmas will only be held at my house, under my rules.
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#27 of 29 Old 09-01-2006, 12:08 AM
 
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I'm due Thanksgiving day and we are staying put! The MIL is hosting the big family dinner at her house. I told them that if I went into labor for sure that day, then she and my sister in law could come later to see the baby, as I don't want a horde coming to the house during cold season....

I think Christmas Eve Dinner *usually held at MIL's house* will be cancelled for us, for the first time in like 13 years....but hey, I don't want to drive an hour on a possibly cold and snowy day, be up late when I'll still be in the tired 24/7 on duty mom mode, with alot of possibly cold or flu carrying folks around a 4 week old.....Christmas Day we usually stay home and that's the plan for me.

Dh is already taking time off and will be doing all the cooking with 'references' for making the favorite stuff. If we both tired, it's frozen pre made up casseroles!

I have two boys, 4 and 2 and enough to deal with I think. So hopefully they will understand I'm not exactly gonna be up for doing much of anything this holiday season, including shopping for extended family. I hope to get my sons stuff done before hand, as baby might come early and then I'll not be going out for at least 6 weeks. Just a personal thing. I tend to nurse 24/7 to really get that milk supply established early on and hate being out shopping and or doing errands and not have a clean, relaxing place to do it at!

I hope you get support on your decision! You will have your hands full as it is, without worrying about family issues like that!
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#28 of 29 Old 09-02-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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We already told our families we are not attending any Thanksgiving celebrations (although we might allow them to come over briefly to bring us food and visit - I think it will be the first time I let family other than grandparents see the baby who will be about 4 weeks old). Christmas is going to be a surprise...I am not traveling, sorry!

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#29 of 29 Old 09-02-2006, 01:23 AM
 
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Am I crazy?
I really WANT to go to CA for Christmas (we're in NY). I'm due in the end of Nov, so I know it will be somewhat exhausting, but my family is spread all over the map and they have all gotten excited about meeting in San Diego this year. Some people I haven't seen in years- and, on top of the new baby, most haven't even met DH yet (we met just over a year ago).
The complicated thing is that his parents are coming over from Italy for the holidays for sure. Traveling with them and the baby might be a little too much for everyone- they speak no English and have been on a plane only twice in their lives. But I know I will have some sort of a breakdown if my whole family is all together and I'm stuck out here with the IL's alone. Just their visit worries me- we get along great, but they will be staying with us, unable to go out and do things on their own because of language...sort of like having two more children around all of a sudden.
Is that kind of travel unrealistic? I do wish I could claim a full month of peace and family rest before all of these things came up...
I just miss my family in general- plus would be nice to introduce baby to my niece and nephew who will be there.
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