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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH's family wants to come visit to 'help' with the baby.

Their idea of 'help' seems to be to entertain him when he's awake and drag us all over hell and gone trying to be tourists (in a medium sized mid-western town in January) at all other times. I know, this is some previously unknown and very creative definition of the word 'help'.

I was chatting with my mom on the phone this afternoon, and she seems to think I'll be up for it at that point. I kind of think she's nuts, especially since that's about the time that colic and PPD can set in. I'd love some perhaps more on-the-ball advice from people who have done this before -- who is nuts, me or them?
 

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I wasn't ready for that kinda thing till about 3 months. when dd was 3 months we went on a family vacation. I could have done it a couple weeks earlier but it was great when we went. I felt good. dd born june 2 we went end of August. I had a 32 hr labour though and I did too much right after delivery so I took a bit longer to feel good.
 

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It's really tough to say. I think everybody is so different, & who knows how your baby's attitude & sleep schedule will be at that point. But having said that, with my 1st I was back to normal at 3 weeks PP. I think I was posessed by a bizarre mutant though, I mean I was even back to my pre-pg weight!! (I was sorely dissapointed when I had to actually *work* off the weight with my 2nd, haha) And with my 2nd, I was back to mostly normal pretty darn quick, & then we went camping in Yosemite when my ds was 8 weeks old & I had a fine time hiking & everything.
 

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This is my first baby, but my situation sounds a lot like yours. MIL was really eager to come ASAP, but her idea of "helping" is holding the baby while I feed and entertain her and do all the housework. I'm holding her off until 3 months pp because I really want time to settle in with my baby and establish myself as a mother before I have pushy overnight visitors. A lot of people I've told this to think I'm a horrible person for making her wait so long, but I'll do anything to preserve my sanity when I know I'll be exhausted and overworked. Can your DH help with entertaining them? Like could he take them off on touristy outings while you and babe stay home? If so, 8 weeks wouldn't be so bad. But if you'd be the sole entertainer I'd probably want to wait a little longer.
 

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are you going to them or are they coming to you - two totally different visits in my opinion. If you are going to them, you will probably be up for it, if they are coming to you and you have to clean house, cook for them and entertain then I would put them off longer. My MIL and SIL came when dd was 1week old and stayed for a week, I felt great and actually enjoyed their visit. I did go grocery shopping 3 days PP with babe in sling but that was all I did, my mom came over and cleaned my bathrooms and freshened up the beds and dh did all the cooking/ordering in and entertaining. We lived outside of Wash DC at the time and he would take everyone including my first born and they would go sight see and leave me and the baby home in the afternoons, then they would arrive home with dinner, it was great. I think my advantage here was that I was still so close to the birth that nobody expected anything out of me and I didn't offer to do anything. This was my second baby and Dh and I were pretty firmly established in our breastfeeding, cosleeping, gentle parenting style and we didn't get any flack from MIL or SIL like we did after our first was born. If it is a first baby I would want time to get comfortable in my new roll before taking on family that my question or disagree.
 

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At least 8 weeks. Before that you will still be adjusting to be a new family, getting nursing down, healing physically, etc.
It always takes me a good 6 weeks to feel semi normal, after 8 weeks, things are a million times better.
 

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We had family visit after just a week or so BUT they stayed at a hotel and dh was available to play tour guide. That worked out well- we'd gather at our place for breakfast and dinner (someone else cooked or we did take out) and in between I had time to rest. Later (maybe 3 weeks later) we had an overnight visitor and it didn't work so smoothly...

Another thing to think about- it took me about 6-8 weeks to get the hang of nursing out and about. (For a while I needed to get half-undressed and grow an extra arm to nurse comfortably....) Short trips around town might be fine but you probably won't feel like going out for an all-day tour. And your guests might not realize that you'll need to take a break every couple hrs to feed the baby (mine used to nurse for 30 min minimum and during a growth spurt every 1.5-2 hrs). I'll never forget doing errands with my MIL when dd was 3 months and MIL said "Oh I guess you can't just nurse her while we drive, can you?".
Things were different when they had babies kwim???
 

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Hmm, maybe I should mention this to our own family...they're planning on hopping on a plane as soon as my water breaks (well, not that fast, haha, but that's not too far off...). Although they'll be helpful, maybe I should tell them to hold off for a few weeks. Thanks for this post, it got me thinking.
 

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I am so not into having people come over. I would put it off as long as possible, because you need to rest and not stress. Our families live within 10min. of us, which is good, because they can go home. It is bad though, because they can just pop in. I am not aswering the door!
 

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With my ds, my mom came 5 days after he was born - she came solely to help keep the house clean, make meals, and entertain baby if I needed a nap. She stayed for 3 weeks and it was AWESOME! When she first arrived she said, "I'll do everything around the house, but I will not help with Owen unless you ask me to. I know you're trying to bond with him and I don't want to get in the way of that."

Now, my mil came when ds was about 2 weeks old. Not so easy with her there. She felt like we should entertain her - sightseeing, trips to the mall, whatever - she just wanted out of the house. She also expected my mom to cooke and clean up after every meal - which while my mom didn't mind - it bothered me.

But, truly, whatever you decide - your family needs to know upfront what they can or cannot expect from you. So, dh (or you) should tell me - "sure, you come come when dc is 5 weeks old. I know you may want to get out of the house more than what baby and I are up for it, so dh will be your "tour-guide" while you're here, and I will let you guys decide on dinner plans (take-out or who will be making the food."

Above all, don't push yourself! Because those first few weeks are very tiring - and if you're bf'ing - you'll need all the rest you can get so that you can recover.

Steph
 

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depend on your back bone, i guess.

My mom and sister are coming as soon as i go into labor -- and i'd be scared to death otherwise. one will come first, when she leaves the other will come.

they are coming to take care of ME.

But I also have a BIL how is coming thanksgiving week to hunt -- and wouldn't it be cool if the baby is here too?

I have a MIL JUST like the OP -- my MIL thinks she is the baby to be taken care of, catered to, and so on....

and MI and SIL plan to come "right away".

whatever.

I have my rules -- and I will be living my life. The rest of them are more than welcome to be in the house; but I won't be playing their games.

Baby and I go NO WHERE but to 2 week ped and MW appt. the rest of them can go whre tehy want; i will print maps for them even.


And you know what -- if i feel like it i will be shutting baby and me in the bedroom to "sleep". With sis and mom there i might very well call one of them on the cell (down stairs) and ask for stuff.


The extra in-laws might annoy me -- they usally do -- cuz i know they won't do s^&t to help out..........but; i choose my battles with them .... i'd rather say "sure come" and then go on with my life than then try to fight the visit all together.

I am high risk for PPD and mom and sis are coming to help for that reason and i feel very confident in their denfensive tackes.


and a good thing to say is "sure I'd love for you to visit. I'd really appercipate the help with cleaning, laundry and the cooking. who knows what they house will look like then, good timeing. that would be great to give me a good soild week without choose at week 6 would be wonderful". don't ASK as much as just smile and act like (though you know it isn't ture) they will be working when they visit. may not do much, but might discourage them a little. AND lays the ground work for you to ASK them to do stuff -- specifically -- when they are there. things like "so do you want o go get carry out for us all, or do you want to cook the patsa tonight" (kinda like 3 year olds, give them a choice where you are happy with either outcome)

BUT

every PP woman has to do what SHE feels is best for her and her family. No matter what that is.

Aimee
 

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It totally depends on how you will be feeling pp. I wouldn't schedule anything until you know how your labor and delivery go, and how you and baby are feeling the first couple of weeks.

With DS I had a very hard long labor. I was SO lucky that my mom was planning on coming down as soon as I was in labor. Well I was suppose to be induced on Wed (lame) so I called my mom Mon and told her to come down asap. Luckily I went into labor on Tue morning and had my son Thurs morning. So my mom was able to fly down on Wed and be there for the majority of my hospital labor plus for 10 days after that. She was a god sent! She cooked, cleaned, helped with DS when I needed it, etc. If it wasn't for her I probably would have starved because I kept forgetting to eat, I just wasn't hungry. And as sweet as DH tries to be... he just doesn't think about that sort of thing. I am hoping my mom will be able to come down for this birth as well. Though this time there will be NO talk of an induction date so she probably won't make it for the delivery.

Now, my MIL + 2 BIL are planning to come down during their Christmas break. She actually called to ask when would be a good time for them to come down, when I said sometime in January she said the only time they could come down was the week of Christmas during their break. WHY did she even borthing asking when? Anyways, she is a sweet lady but she has physical issues. She has leg problems so she isn't extremly mobile, she can walk fine, but she has problems kneeling down, standing for too long, etc. My BILs are 15 and 16... so no help there other than spending time with DS#1, which will actually be a good help, but they won't cook, clean, etc.

I am starting to get REALLY stressed about them coming down because I have no clue when the baby will actually arrive. I could be a couple days pp, I could still be pregnant, or I could be 3 weeks pp. With DS I had a REALLY hard recovery. I really shouldn't have done anything for at least 3 weeks, I was in constant pain, couldn't sit right, major back issues, etc. I know this labor will be easier but I really am not looking forward to sharing my tiny house during those first weeks of transition... at least not with the ILs. Not to mention BFing, pp bleeding, and all the fun stuff that comes along with just having had a baby.

Arg... I am so sorry I kinda went off. But if you have a choice I would give yourself as much time as possible.
 

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I think 6-8 weeks PP might be early, at least for me. I have an 8 week old now and some days are better, some are worse. There is not really a schedule that I can plan my day. It happenes still that close to noon I am still in my PJs, because he just wants to be held or tummy hurts or wants to nurse or we did not sleep good the night before and stay in the bed later next morning. I would try to put it off for later when you know more how comfortable you feel with your new little one. ANIKO
 

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I think it allllll depends upon your family dynamic. If they will be helpful to you and also understand if you don't go gallavanting aroud the universe with them , then it could be great. Some Moms and MIL's cook, clean, nurture, and get stuff done! That would be helpful.

I wanted people around to help me. But it was to HELP me and to get to know dd. So, It depends upon all that I would think.

Some people recover so fast, others feel really fragile. Its hard to know until you are doing it.

Good luck
 

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I think Steph/peilover010202 's mom sounds like the ideal pp visitor. I think pp visitors should be people you are comfortable being topless in front of and who you don't mind asking to clean the toilet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hollin
my situation sounds a lot like yours. MIL was really eager to come ASAP, but her idea of "helping" is holding the baby while I feed and entertain her and do all the housework.
That is my MIL to a T. Plus she's a really picky eater so I had to knock myself out coming up with something she would eat. Then while I was doing that she was clenching my fussing baby trying to jam a pacifier in her mouth instead of giving her to me when I asked to take her to nurse her. Forgive my little tangent, but I am 7 weeks pp and my MIL was here when I was 4-5 weeks pp.

I agree that 3 months is ideal. For health reasons my MIL and FIL could not come then, so I agreed to having them come when they did. I agree with the pp that if youf DH can be home the whole time to be a buffer and take them places that would make a world of difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, everyone, for the great advice.

We just had to dodge a bullet with the IL's visit already (MIL decided that it was okay for her to invite a bunch of her family whom we have never met to join her at our house when she visits without talking to us about it first. We put the kibosh on that pretty quickly, but she's testy now because of it.) so once the pissyness dies down about that, I'm planning on having DH chat with his mother and try to set some expectations -- specifically that he will be more than happy to take them out and show them our city, or whatever, but that if I'm not feeling up to being out I'll stay at home and that since the baby needs to be close to BF, the baby will be staying with me. I figure if they're going to be doing in-town stuff we can take two cars and I can come home and rest if I'm tired but if they want to do big touristy stuff which is all an hour away in Milwaukee, I'll park on the couch and watch DVD's with the babe and they'll just have to deal.

Zelda's Mom, I know just what you mean about picky eaters too... My IL's are still horrified at the things that DH and I eat. They think fresh veggies are gross, and believe that butter, salt and pepper are IT for spices. I've been wracking my brain since I got PG to try to think of something we can feed them when we're here. So far, it's going to be a whole lot of ham sandwitches and pot roast.
Ewww. DH is SO going to owe me Indian food when they leave!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Belleweather

Zelda's Mom, I know just what you mean about picky eaters too... My IL's are still horrified at the things that DH and I eat. They think fresh veggies are gross, and believe that butter, salt and pepper are IT for spices. I've been wracking my brain since I got PG to try to think of something we can feed them when we're here. So far, it's going to be a whole lot of ham sandwitches and pot roast.
Ewww. DH is SO going to owe me Indian food when they leave!
Pot roast was definitely on the menu when my inlaws were here. I was really pround of myself for coming up with a good meat and potatoes meal. But then MIL fussed because I didn't remove the skins from the potatoes. The next day I made pork tenderloin with leeks and she turned up her nose at the leeks.
 

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To the OP -- I had the EXACT same situation as you!! My ILs came when DS was about 6 weeks old. I had a cesarean, so I was just barely feeling healed, but of course still very much in the learning stage of babyhood. Anyway, MIL is not the most helpful person and basically has a totally different parenting style than us. For instance, she would hold DS while he cried and cried and not offer to give him back. She never nursed, so she didn't know about the let-down reflex when your baby is upset. She would say things like, "OH, it's OK for them to cry!!" While he sobbed and sobbed. I would literally have to wrestle DS away from her. It sucked. And she didn't clean up after herself, only made one meal, didn't do any laundry, and generally lectured us on how to care for DS. Oh, and she NEVER changed a diaper!! She said, "Now that I'm a grandma I don't have to change diapers!" Funny how my mom ALWAYS changes his diaper.

OK, sorry for the rant. I agree with a previous PP that it depends on your family dynamic. Mine with my MIL is such that I would never want her to stay here again when I have a newborn!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hollin
MIL was really eager to come ASAP, but her idea of "helping" is holding the baby while I feed and entertain her and do all the housework. I'm holding her off until 3 months pp

This is also my in-laws to a T. With DS, I had DH tell them in advance not to come til DS was 3 months old or so. MIL and SIL are good with babies/kids and will change dipes (sposies only tho).

Why is it that my mom and sister can come, help with the baby when needed, cook, clean, grocery shop (and even pay for it!), do laundry and the in-laws don't do ANY of that stuff? I just don't get it.

We are struggling with what to do when the new baby arrives, it's looking like my family can't come til about 6 weeks later, and MIL might be the only option for any kind of help. But all it will be is watching DS and making me cuckoo. Not sure what to do there...

Belleweather, consider also that you (hope not) might end up with a c/s for some reason and the time it will take you to feel better will be much longer. That is what happened to me with DS, and I felt pretty crappy for going on 2 months. It made me doubly glad that I didn't "allow" in-laws til later.

So I vote for "THEY ARE NUTS!" not you!
 

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Hey Greenmansions, it sounds like they would be more trouble than they're worth! Why not just go it alone without the "help" until you are ready for them? My parents are somewhat helpful, and my inlaws are a disaster. With our first, my parents came at 5 days and the inlaws at 3 weeks, both ostensibly to "help." My parents were ok, they cooked good meals and cleaned up after them, but I would have prefered just to bond with DS and DH at that point, while fending for ourselves at mealtime and letting the house get messy. My inlaws came at 3 weeks and nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. I had some ppd, and I totally freaked out at DH and told him next time it was 3 months for them. I held to it. With the 2nd my parents weren't allowed to come for 6 weeks and his weren't allowed to come for 3 months. They all complained but I held firm and I am really glad I did. I swear I am better bonded with #2 because of this special family alone time. Don't worry about "help". Pre-cook meals and put them in the freezer while you have time. Either hire a cleaning service to come in once or twice during this period to clean your toilets or don't worry about them at all. But if your inlaws are stressful, keep them at bay until you have re-equilibriated. That snoogly new baby time goes away so quickly, and you can never get it back again with that baby. Revel in it, relish in it, and protect it with all your might!
 
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