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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is mostly just a vent. I rarely post here, but lurk every day so I feel like I know a lot of you!

My DH's family is literally planning on descending upon me and my baby when she's born. We're using a birth center, and I've already told them they cannot come to the birth center after she's born, because we'll be home very soon after the birth and there won't be much chance for them to do anything while we're there (besides watch me deliver the placenta, establish breastfeeding, pee, and get some sleep). They all want to come over right after we get home----we had to tell them not to come over until we call them and tell them we're settled in and it's a good time, but we had to reassure them (WE had to reassure THEM!) that we would definitely let them see her within the first day (and for some, they wanted "within a few hours" reassurance----MIL, specifically).

I don't get to have anyone but DH and the midwife staff with me when I birth, because MIL asked from day 1 (literally the day we told her we were pregnant) to be there for the delivery. "I was at all of my other grandchildren's births, and I hope I get to be there for this one" were her words. She was at the births of HER daughters' children---never a DIL's children. Her own MIL wasn't at her births, and the MILs of her daughters weren't at any of theirs, but she doesn't see any difference. I'd love to have one of my SILs be there as a semi-doula, mostly to run the video camera and such, but can't do that because it would offend MIL that I chose them instead of her. I could do it anyways, but then would have to deal with the ramifications for years, and don't want to ruin an otherwise great relationship. And really, beyond this whole thing, she is an awesome MIL who loves me very very much, and I'm very lucky---I know that. I don't want to jeopardize that. So I'm stuck.

On top of that, BIL (kind of a shady guy in his own life, but very cool with us) wants us to tell him when I've gone in to labor so he can drive the 14 hours down here (to SC) from NY and then STAY FOR A MONTH. Not with us, but still. He's staying a month because he wants to "help out with and spend time with the baby." For a month. 30 days. 4 weeks. A MONTH.

I feel like Noriega, I swear.

I just want to spend some alone time with my new, first child----every single one of them (besides BIL) have their own children. They've been waiting about 7 years for a new grandchild/niece/etc, but I've been waiting 28 YEARS for this baby! And have been doing all the work to get her here, I should add! I've been really persistent and consistent about the boundaries, but I just feel like we're being viewed as really selfish for wanting to be alone with our baby, and that we're going to have to fight at every turn to establish our authority as parents and will probably end up stepping on a lot of toes and hurting a lot of feelings in a very short amount of time. I know they love her too---I've been there with my nieces, I never wanted to hand them back---but they act like she's theirs, and not mine. And I always assumed that you take your cues from the new parents, wait for them to offer the baby to be held, don't barge in on their space and respect that they are time-strapped and visitors are a little harder to deal with than before. I was never taught this, it's just the way I always thought was the RESPECTFUL way to act!

And I swear on all that is good and holy, if anyone else tells me how I'm going to feel/act/be after she's born, I'm going postal. "Believe me, you'll want to show her off right away." "Trust me, you'll want the help." "Oh, you'll need the break, that's for sure." You know what? It's that kind of crap that makes me want to do everything myself and never ever ask for help or take a break. And that's not good for me OR the baby. But I'm the kind of person who would do it, just to show them that they're wrong, and not everyone thinks and acts like them.

Thank G-d my DH is taking off all 12 FMLA weeks and that we are blessed enough to be able to afford it. He knows he'll be in charge of running interference and being Gatekeeper, but I don't think he really gets what that means/entails and has thought about how hard it's going to be. He's just like "sure, I can do that, no problem." If he *got* it, I think he'd be a little more nervous.

I just wish they could be more like my family and BACK OFF!!!! My sister and Mom aren't coming down until a week after my due date, and only for 4 days, and staying in a hotel even though I offered them the guest room and said I really was cool with it. They don't want to interfere too much. Man, I love them. DH's family, however, lives in-town (within a 5-mile bubble) and could never handle moving farther away because it would break the insane hold MIL has on all of them.

I almost envy Noriega, because at least he got to be alone in his place. Sure, the music was a bit loud, but still.....
 

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: I'm sorry you're having to deal with this now. Do what is right for your family. Your immediate family is now your dh and your little one. You are the ones who get to decide. Please don't feel guilty about this. When you are ready, I am sure you will welcome the extended family with open arms.

These good vibes go out to your MIL, hoping that her wisdom guides her to be understanding and peaceful around your birth plans:
:
 

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not in your ddc but i had to reply.
please set some boundries now - you don't have to be mean but be honest, if they don't get it, its their issue not yours.
from your post it feels like they are a wonderfull family but want to be involved in everything, your BIL staying for a month made me laugh, in a way its fantastic that he is so excited and wants to help.
If you don't tell them now before the baby is born you do risk going a bit postpartum and killing them all.
My parents and IL's didn't get to see the baby until it was at least 3 days old, the first 3 days are for my family to bond. We did have a lotus birth, a very good way to keep my mother away!
Remember to get your dh to back you up so you don't look like the mean DIL, they will respect you more for standing up for yourself and you might help future DIL from going through the same thing.
Good luck
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ~Sarah~ View Post
And I swear on all that is good and holy, if anyone else tells me how I'm going to feel/act/be after she's born, I'm going postal. "Believe me, you'll want to show her off right away." "Trust me, you'll want the help." "Oh, you'll need the break, that's for sure." You know what? It's that kind of crap that makes me want to do everything myself and never ever ask for help or take a break. And that's not good for me OR the baby. But I'm the kind of person who would do it, just to show them that they're wrong, and not everyone thinks and acts like them.
I'm going to "do everything myself and never ever ask for help or take a break." That's what I do. Normally. Everyone in my family is aware of this and all know that they can't and shouldn't impose themselves on me. Quite simply, I'd be the bad guy and tell them off. I don't care who they are or what they want to do, I am having NOT having this child because they want me to. It doesn't matter that I'm the "only daughter," "firstborn," "behind what my brothers did," or anything like that.

That said, my best friend (more like a sister) and husband will be in the birthing room. That's it. Family of any kind can show up at the hospital, but I'm positive it will be only a few people and then no one is visiting me until like one month later at my home. I will be busy trying to figure everything out and my husband will be there to help me. Extra people will make me insane. So, I'M NOT DOING IT!!!

My nature is that I do what I want and need to do. I don't really recognize family obligation. I don't like to be obligated, and I don't like obligating anyone else. This is no exception.

It frustrates me to see people having to go through 'dealing with family.' JUST SAY NO. It's your experience. After all this incubating nonsense and doctors and tests and basically hell, there is essentially NO ONE who can demand anything from me. Newp.

I think I just hijacked your rant with my own. Sorry about that. I fume when I start to think about what people think they deserve that isn't even theirs.

Sure, my mom is claiming grandparent rights and wants to hoard the baby every chance she can get, but she is also of the mindset that I should be the one to decide who, what, where, when, why and how.

As for in-laws... HA! Good luck getting through my front door!
 

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Thankfully I didn't have anyone asking to be in the room, one advantage of mil wishing I would dissapear....

What we did with dd is dh told everyone we would call when we wanted visitors. And didn't explain beyond that. Less room for complaints that way, "when we're ready" could be right away or it could be in a couple of days


One thing we added, very quickly, after dd was born was WE are inviting people. Its fine to share the news but please don't tell people they can visit. I had delivered at a bc and then transfered. We invited parents, siblings and dh's grandmother and all these other members of dh's family started showing up because mil told them I had the baby and come down to the hospital
:

It was not good, DH had to un-invite a bunch of people, mil was even more un-happy with me
We ended up putting the "no visitors" sign up on the door and hiding out inside

Word spread quickly though we only heard a couple of people get turned away and the 2nd day no one not even mil came without calling first

When I had the twins no one came without calling or getting an invite
I'm not worried about surprise guests this time
 

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Ugh, I'm sorry you have to go through this. I am sort of in the opposite shoes. My in-laws are so standoffish that they decided they aren't even coming to visit the baby (they live in Minnesota and we live in Boston) and would rather fly us out to see them at some point. I've come to peace with this already and I know it's better than the situation you are in. My parents on the other hand are the polar opposites of my in-laws and plan to be there for the whole thing and then stay after he is born. I'm ok with them being there after. We are a close family and I'm ok with it. My concern is that when it comes time to push I might want it to be just my DH and me in the room and my mom will be very offended if I tell her that. She not only expects to be there but even asked if my dad could be there. Thankfully, the hospital only allows your spouse and one other person on the whole maternity floor with you so we avoided this! Anyway, we lost my only sister unexpectedly 4 years ago and I know my mom will be crushed if she can't be in the room so we'll see what I end up doing. I agree with PP in that these are OUR experiences and in the end we need to do what's right for US! Good luck!
 

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You have every right to protect your family time and space after baby is born. I don't get the assumption that every family member must immediately descend upon the new baby. That special aura surrounding the birth of your child is not something that you can get back, and each time a guest enters and exits, they take a bit of that aura with them. You have every right to protect it and have your wishes respected.

My own mother lives halfway across the country and she asked if I wanted her there for the birth and I asked her to come about a month later. She's cool with it. However, I had to tell my MIL a couple of weeks ago that I don't want ANY visitors in my home for at least 3 days after the birth. I'm homebirthing. My friend Linda will act as my birth and postpartum doula and will be staying with me and cooking for me and driving dd#1 to dance lessons, etc. and that's all I want. Now whenever I speak to MIL on the phone, she manages to throw in some jab about "...when we are ALLOWED to see the baby" and "When you LET US see the baby..."
Whatever. If she wants to have a problem with it, that's her choice.

Protect your birth space. It's not selfish, mama.
 

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Oh mama, I get it...I really do. You would think that with this being my third pregnancy I would have figured out how to handle this stuff by now,but all I can say is this...do your own thing. Whether or not they are there, whether or not they like it, just do what you have and want to do. I have had to set some pretty strict boundaries each time, not out of wanting to exclude anyone, but because it is MY birth, MY baby. The best thing that has worked for me is to just do what I need/want to and pretend like they are not there. They eventually get the message. They may not like it, but that's not your problem.
 

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I think I'd be tempted to get home from the birth center and per "MW instructions" be resting in bed topless and baby attached for hours to establish bfing, per instructions again of course.

I hope your DH is able to be the gatekeeper, otherwise it doesn't sound like a great way to get bonding/bfing off to a good start.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ~Sarah~ View Post
This is mostly just a vent. I rarely post here, but lurk every day so I feel like I know a lot of you!
Welcome...sorry you needed to jump on for a vent!

I just want to spend some alone time with my new, first child----every single one of them (besides BIL) have their own children.

you have every right to this, they've had their babies or possibly will...

I've been really persistent and consistent about the boundaries, but I just feel like we're being viewed as really selfish for wanting to be alone with our baby, and that we're going to have to fight at every turn to establish our authority as parents and will probably end up stepping on a lot of toes and hurting a lot of feelings in a very short amount of time.

Unfortunatly things will probably change with your relationship with your family due to having children anyway. It did with mine, especially if you choose to raise your children differently from how they did. Now is the time to establish those boundaries and not back down even if they view you as selfish and seem hurt by it. They need to realize that you are the parent and what you say goes. My mom was upset when DD was first born cause she didn't get to hold her much. After she confronted me I reassured her that it isn't that she isn't capabale it's that I want my baby. It is my job to change her, feed her, comfort her, hold her and it is what I've looked forward to my entire life. She relaxed a bit more and then as she's seen me parent over the last 4 years she understands this is just the type of mom I am. DD now spens the night at her house and they go do fun stuff together... My sister is not coming up for DDs b-day after baby is born cause she claims her family can't be 100% healthy, so she's just not coming...that's fine with me, it's not worth the risk. We'll go see them when baby is 3-4 mo old. My MIL was offended when DD was first born I wouldn' tlet her change her diaper...she didn't ever understand, she just backed way off which was sad but the way it had to work...she came around after a while more and I learned she's a doer so if I give her chorse to do she is happy to be helping in some way...so laundry, dishes, cleaning, meals and she's a happy women, as am I!!!

And I swear on all that is good and holy, if anyone else tells me how I'm going to feel/act/be after she's born, I'm going postal. "Believe me, you'll want to show her off right away." "Trust me, you'll want the help." "Oh, you'll need the break, that's for sure."

I was/am a hands on mom. If I want anyone to help me it's to clean, cook and play with DD...that's it. Otherwise I will take care of DD and baby, that's my job and I love it! Dh will be home to help me adjust for the first 2 weeks but with the first one all I needed was someone to do the house stuff (as I hate doing it anyway).

Thank G-d my DH is taking off all 12 FMLA weeks and that we are blessed enough to be able to afford it. He knows he'll be in charge of running interference and being Gatekeeper, but I don't think he really gets what that means/entails and has thought about how hard it's going to be. He's just like "sure, I can do that, no problem." If he *got* it, I think he'd be a little more nervous.

Dh has a hard time confronting his mom, so I'd be sure to set the boundaries in some way yourself. I made a sign to put on the hospital door and on our home door that says in a respectful way how much we love visitors but that we are recovering and bonding, so feel free to call our cell first before knocking and see if it's a good time to visit, a few other things about washing hands and smokers, and "please do not be offended if mom or dad ask to have their baby back or ask that you keep your visit short" Thank you for sharing our joy and respecting our wishes!

I just wish they could be more like my family and BACK OFF!!!! My sister and Mom aren't coming down until a week after my due date, and only for 4 days, and staying in a hotel even though I offered them the guest room and said I really was cool with it. They don't want to interfere too much. Man, I love them. DH's family, however, lives in-town (within a 5-mile bubble) and could never handle moving farther away because it would break the insane hold MIL has on all of them.

I love people who truly understand respecting people's space! Thank goodness you have it from at least one side of your family!!!


Don't worry too much about hurting peoples feelings (but always say things respectfully) really you only get this time with this newborn once, you don't want to have regrets that you didn't get to spend it the way you want and again as a parent you end up having to be the bad guy quite often to do the things you feel best for your child. Good luck!!! Sending Hugs!!!
 

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Crashing your DDC to give you some support. I dropped a BOMB on my mom when I told her I wanted a babymoon and that while they were welcome to be at the hospital when we delivered and got home to settle in, that I wanted the first week of us at home with each newborn to be US at home with the newborn. So mom and dad (and ILs) drove here, were here for the births, helped us get ourselves home, and then left us for a week. I'm sure they weren't thrilled. But Oh well. Then, after we had had our week, my mom came and stayed for a week, and then my MIL stayed for a week. Which was great. But it was SO wonderful to have that first week as just our new little family (and then new family of 4 from 3) that I would have dealt with anything to do it. You don't have to be mean, you can be very gentle, but firm, and let them know that while you can't wait for them to all spend time getting to know the newest member of the family, that the first few days after birth are very, very special to you and you want them undisturbed with your husband and new baby, then you will be ready and excited to open your home to everyone to welcome the new little one. Think of it as practice for parenting a very persistent, emotionally turbulent toddler/preschooler.


I come from a family where everyone does everything together, so this was a huge adjustment for my mom - I will hand it to her, she handled it like a trooper and any anger/sadness she had she didn't shove in my face. Which is one of the reasons I love her. I mean, she did express some disappointment, BUT also verbalized that this was MY new family and that I was the one who got to decide how to do things.
 

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I love this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShineliketheSon View Post
I reassured her that it isn't that she isn't capabale it's that I want my baby. It is my job to change her, feed her, comfort her, hold her and it is what I've looked forward to my entire life.
and this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShineliketheSon View Post
I was/am a hands on mom. If I want anyone to help me it's to clean, cook and play with DD...that's it. Otherwise I will take care of DD and baby, that's my job and I love it!

To me, helping out a new mom means doing everything EXCEPT taking care of the baby (unless that's what new mom asks you to do specifically). THankfully both my mom and MIL understood this and they did house stuff and cooked while I focused on baby, when they came to visit. This doesn't mean they never got to spend time with the babies, it's jsut that I was their primary caregiver from day 1.
 

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I guess I am lucky very lucky. I've never really had over zealous ILS or family- but at the same time its kind of a downer too.I don't get a lot of help ounce I am home and tend to have to jump right back into daily life and not have the babymoon period. Yes they do take the kids when I am in the hospital but that's about it. My mom helps how she can but also works full time. This time she'll be stopping by the day I come home and making sure my teens haven't totaled the house I've been cleaning w/ocd for the past month, which is a great relief to me, and bringing a meal for the freezer. My dh is from Mississippi and all his fam is down there I've never actually even meet them so don't expect to even see them till we go there for a visit- well maybe his younger sis will come some time but she's only 18 so ???

But this is the first time I have really close girlfriends since I was way younger and now they are starting to talk about coming and seeing the lo. But none have asked what they can do to help- and they are big on being of serivce to others! Weird. They want to be there for the excitement of seeing him but that's it. Kinda selfish to me. Some are even proposing being there for the birth! Yum no! It'll be me, dh and my bf thank you.

I am just going to try and take it one day at a time and not answer the phone when I don't want to talk or see anyone and if I need company I will. Considering even putting a note up on the door saying closed for company please call or return at (certian date). There is things I'd like help with but those a not just random- I have needs I'd like met and If people want to help then they have to fill them (now I am being slefish) but that's part of helping out. As for caring for lo- If I need a nap or shower yes you may be able to hold the baby then but i plan on wearing him as much as possilbe and dad will want this time too- alone w/the fact that lo has 5 sibs that will all want to hold him and I have to share w/them too.


Try not to stress and just be firm. Give suggestions on what you want done and need. I think there have been great things already put on this thread!GL
 

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You are completely within your rights to have some time with your own baby! It's really wonderful that they're all so excited to spend time with your child, but you're the mom! You get to decide what your comfort level is and what your needs are. It sounds like you've already told them they can see the baby really soon after you get home, but if it were me, giving in to their pushiness would make me so resentful that it would damage the relationship in a lasting way. Maybe they could come for a VERY brief visit once the baby is home (like 20 minutes) then be told to stay away for three days? One way or another, I would seriously consider establishing an hour or two each day for visiting hours, then refusing to answer the door or the phone the rest of the time.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peony View Post
I think I'd be tempted to get home from the birth center and per "MW instructions" be resting in bed topless and baby attached for hours to establish bfing, per instructions again of course.
Seriously, my 1st thought was breastfeed. It's something only you can do it can take "hours". Plus, if the baby needs "kangaroo care" per the "ped's/MW/Dr." orders, what are you going to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all of the really good advice and support, everyone! I guess I need to remember that I can choose which I regret----changing/damaging my relationship with the ILs, or missing out on the babymoon I've been looking forward to for so long. And of course, I'm not sacrificing the babymoon for them.

And they have been a really awesome IL family so far, so maybe it's okay if that goes a little bit south and I end up on the same level as the majority of people----with ILs that are "pretty good." Nothing's more important than my relationships with my child and DH, right? Right.

The sign on my door will probably look more like a manifesto, but that's okay. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest, everyone----one less thing to inhibit my relaxation and readiness to give birth!
 

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oh geez - they need to back off already! I would consider not calling until you've had time to bond and everything. Dude this is your guy's baby, not theirs!

And only you will know what you want for afterwards, not them.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ~Sarah~ View Post
I guess I need to remember that I can choose which I regret----changing/damaging my relationship with the ILs, or missing out on the babymoon I've been looking forward to for so long. And of course, I'm not sacrificing the babymoon for them.
Just remember - YOU aren't changing/damaging the relationship. You are simply standing up for what you know is right for you and your baby. If they choose to have hard feelings, THEY are changing/damaging the relationship. Don't take responsibility for that. You have enough on your plate. Enjoy your babymoon!
 

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Not in your DDC, but I wouldn't tell any of them when you're in labor and I wouldn't call them and tell them the baby has been born until you're ready to have them pop over (maybe wait a day or two!). I'd try and place some limits like no more than a 30 minute visit, especially if they all want to come over for that first visit.

And, to be able to pull it off, you and DH need to start avoiding them now to throw them off your trail lol. (Not answering their calls, waiting a day or two to return their calls, not allowing unexpected drop in visits, etc)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ~Sarah~ View Post
The sign on my door will probably look more like a manifesto, but that's okay.
I'm still thinking you can do this really gracefully and politely, but firmly. I'm one of the ones advocating for you, but I don't think setting up boundaries has to be rude (at least, not in your initial offering...if they become beligerant, then you can be a little more forceful). I'm thinking something like,

"MIL (or whoever you're talking with), I'm so happy that you all are so excited about meeting the baby, and I'm so happy to be adding to such a great family group. I do want to let you know that things are going to be a little different than you're used to with other new additions; we're going to be spending the first few days as a new family alone, getting to know our new baby, and won't be having anyone over for a few days. This has nothing to do with anything other than DH and I wanting to have our own special time with our newborn baby. It has nothing to do with slighting anyone, it has to do with how we want to spend our first few days as a new family. I'm sure you remember how special the first few days are. Let's set up a visit with you guys about a week after we get settled in at home!"

I wouldn't post any manifestos until someone tries to breach this....hopefully, if they're as decent as they seem to be in other arenas, with you ointing out that things WILL be different than what they're used to in a nonaggressive, but firm way (and you recognize that it is different than they're used to but it's not about you not wanting/trusting them, but your oqn experience instead), they'll take the hint and not push it. If they start to push, then I'd prepare the manifestos.


Good luck!
 
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