House Guest From Hell

by admin on January 8, 2014

With your advice on the submission about the couple hosting on New Year’s posted 1/7/2014 made me stop and think about a recent event with a family friend of ours.

For background I will say this, the family friend is my Hubby’s “ex-girlfriend” if you could even call her that and I have met her a total of 5 times including the visit I am about to recount. While, before the visit, I counted her an acquaintance bordering on a friend so was by no means a good friend or best friend.

This past July I gave birth to my second child. The birth was rough. I had a fever that did not respond to medications, an infection and my blood pressure had trouble stay up high enough ( this is relevant). I ended up with a C-section due to concerns over my health. They baby was just fine. My post-op recovery did not go so great and I had an infection that split the incision open.

Our friend, H, had scheduled a visit to coincide with my due date (baby was two weeks early) and we planned on her coming still for a supposedly short visit as we had asked her to cut the visit short since I was having trouble recovering. She cut it from 10 days to 8 days. Hubby was frustrated, as he had told her he wanted her to shorten her trip to give us time to rest, but we could not turn her away. So, she comes and the first day she is there is fine. It is after that that her trip goes downhill.

The next day she notices the natural postpartum problem of baby blues in me (I had them pretty bad). She admonishes me that I have no reason to be sad as I have a lovely house, wonderful Hubby and beautiful children. Yes, I have those but I also have no real control over my feelings as they are partly hormonal. After this talk I limit my interaction with her because the only things she apparently has to say to me are more criticisms about my lack of being happy (well, yelling at me is not really helping that cause, missy!) and the lack of cleanliness of my house (really? I had a baby 10 days ago). My Hubby and mother-in-law, who I will refer to as MIL, notice a big change in my attitude and are concerned. They are also not immune to H’s tirades.

My MIL thinks that she might just need someone to talk to and gets an earful of information you tell a best friend, not a woman you hardly know. H tells about her lack of sex life, depression over wanting a baby with a man currently going through a bad divorce, working too hard and her dying mother (this topic, I agree, needed to be shared and my MIL is a very caring person). H then goes on to tell her LIES. Tells MIL that I told H I wished my Hubby had married someone like H or married H herself. H tells my MIL that I felt like I was unwanted in her family. My MIL, completely confused, comes to me and asks me outright about these claims when H was not around. I told her, no, I love Hubby and my in-laws; and I have never felt like I was not part of their family.

It came to a head with Hubby. Unbeknownst to me she had been complaining about our diet, the cleanliness of our house, the cars we owned, the area we moved to, the lack of specific baby items she thought we needed and the list goes on. She complained to him that I would not go get a massage with her (sorry, but I just had major surgery and it is infected so lying on my tummy is out of the question). She wanted to hike and made my Hubby feel guilty for not wanting to take her. So, even though he really wanted to be with me and his children he took her. On the ENTIRE trip she did nothing but complain to him about our life and how we were not making her a priority. The moment she said this Hubby told her it was because she WAS NOT a priority at the moment.

That was the last straw for Hubby and me. He told her that he did not appreciate her coming in at what is both a difficult and joyous time and completely trying to take over. Nor did he appreciate her demeaning how he cares for his family. Hubby told her to leave. Crying she came to me and told me Hubby had asked her to leave. She told me she was going through a rough time and needed someone with which to talk. I told her that coming in at a time a family is adjusting to a newborn is not the time to come and air her baggage. I also told her that I realize that it is her vacation but I did not want her in my house any longer with what she had said to me, my MIL and Hubby. I asked her to leave as well. Hubby drove her to the airport later that night.

Were we wrong? She had baggage and was hurting, but it was not a time anyone in my house had the energy to deal with her. We have not spoken to her since.

Please, was this the correct way to handle the situation or were we wrong? 0107-14

I would have never invited anyone, including immediate family, to visit from out of state on the due date of an impending birth.  And rather than asking her to cut the visit short, I would have told her the visit was either canceled or postponed.    Your husband let this visit continue for far too long.    She would have been asked to pack up and helped to find a hotel room after the first tirade and particularly after her fallacious rants to MIL.  I am sympathetic to her woes in her life but that does not give anyone the right to haul their personal baggage into other people’s homes and dump it on them in the midst of their own troubles.

So if you are feeling awkward and unsure about asking her to leave, don’t.    In my opinion, it should have happened sooner than it did.

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

L.J. January 8, 2014 at 9:47 am

“but we could not turn her away”
“So, even though he really wanted to be with me and his children he took her [hiking].”

Your husband needs to work on his polite spine and get better at telling people no.

“My MIL, completely confused, comes to me and asks me outright about these claims when H was not around.”

Three cheers for your MIL! She did exactly the right thing. This story could have been far worse if your MIL had done anything else.

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Kirsten January 8, 2014 at 9:53 am

This is horrible. It’s just so horrible. And I *know* that posters are going to come on self-righteously telling you you were WRONG and should have slammed the door in her face, as they do for the entry below yours, but let us be honest, that is so much easier said than done. Few of us are brought up even to consider doing such a thing. Most of us are brought up conditioned to think it isn’t an option, so don’t blame yourself. She took horrible advantage – yes, you made mistakes but that’s life, you learned from it.

The one thing that did shock me was your husband taking this woman hiking. I mean…if I’d just had a baby with those kind of complications, and my husband took his ex-girlfriend (and a total b*tch) out of the house into the country for a day without me or my baby, I would have truly hit the roof. That is not ok. It just isn’t at all, it even sounds weird to me, and not because I don’t trust my husband. I don’t go off hiking alone with his friends either, let alone when he’s injured, in pain and struggling. His place was by your side, not with an ex who clearly still has issues with him and who is behaving so horribly.

But you have learned, and hopefully you are now recovered fully. If she ever crawls back out from under her stone, you know what to say to her! Horrible woman!

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ferretrick January 8, 2014 at 9:54 am

Oh, honey, no you were not wrong-you should have done it a lot sooner. Do you not see that this woman is evil? I’m not kidding. She is obviously painfully jealous and was actively trying to break up your family and steal your husband. Pulling husband away from you to take her on a hike alone? The clincher in a mound of evidence is the lying to your MIL and trying to sew discord between you and her. Undoubtedly, she thought she would endear herself to MIL by “confiding” in her and then MIL would become her ally in her quest to get your husband. Thankfully, MIL did not believe her lies.

Were you wrong to kick her out? H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS NO!!!! Frankly, I’m surprised you were able to do it without the help of a professional exorcist!

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bloo January 8, 2014 at 9:58 am

Admin is correct. A ten day visit with a barely – can – be – called friend would never* have been scheduled in my home, much less any where NEAR a due date. She should have been asked to leave after the first tirade.

*my personal choice to not have people I barely know staying that long in my house.

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Glitter January 8, 2014 at 10:07 am

I’ve never had a baby, but any complications aside, planning for someone to visit near to (or on!) the due date just seems like a bad idea. What if baby hadn’t arrived early and you’d been in labor when she arrived? Would she be in the hospital room? Of course she would she’s the type who’d insist she had to be in there and you and husband would be kind of busy bringing a new human into the world so wouldn’t have time to kick her out.

That being said, the woman is crazy. Yes, she’s going through a difficult and emotional time right now. The right people to lean on are not the people also going through a difficult and emotional time. Nor their support system (MIL). Surely she has another friend, family member, someone to lean on. If not, a counselor would be an excellent solution for her. But NOT the people who just went through a huge life change!

I might have kicked her out sooner, around the first tirade. But that comes from me putting with people for far too long when they need to be kicked out. Next time someone invades your space and then criticizes you for it, I’m sure they’ll be out on the their rear before they know what’s what.

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Lo January 8, 2014 at 10:09 am

I don’t have much sympathy for this person.

Frankly, she makes all of us who are friends with our exes and the spouses of our exes look bad. Because from what you’ve posted she comes off as jealous and mean spirited.

OP, it was obviously a huge mistake to invite someone from out of town on a vacation that coincided with the birth of a child– I’m not sure what you and your husband were thinking. Nor am I sure what your guest was thinking accepting such an invitation. Unless she was supposed to be helping I can’t imagine how that was supposed to work. But since it was done and she accepted then she had no business burdening you with anything.

There aren’t a lot of situations in which I think the guests should have to go out of their way to make the host as comfortable as possible. But here’s one of them. Anyone visiting a household so soon after the birth of a child ought not only to be on their best behavior but at their most helpful. Not because the parents of the new arrival demand special treatment but because it’s just WHAT YOU DO. You offer to go to the store to pickup whatever’s needed. You offer to cook, you offer to clean, you offer to look after the baby so mom can get some much needed rest. I don’t have children and I know this. I’m not even good with babies and I know this. You do these things because a woman who has just given birth is in no condition to cater to the needs of anyone but the infant.

In your condition so soon after surgery and having a tough recover she should have been bending over backwards to make herself useful. This isn’t something only family and close friends do, this is humane behavior; common courtesy when welcoming a new addition to the household. If you’re going to be in the home with a newborn the newborn is the priority.

If you want to be treated as a guest and enjoy a relaxing vacation with friends you don’t show up after a baby is born.

And anyone who treats your feelings during a difficult time with “get over because you have it good” is not worth knowing.

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Cat January 8, 2014 at 10:10 am

You sound like a lady who has the true Emily Dickenson spirit, but you got really fed up. Telling someone who is depressed that she has no reason to be depressed is not helpful. Either you have had a tragedy from which you are recovering or your post natal hormones are pulling you down. Lots of women get the “baby blues”. Come to that, she has no reason to be so critical.
I don’t have a problem with your letting her come if she had taken the view that you needed rest and help. She could have done the cooking and cleaning for you, let MIL help you with the baby, and you could have had time to heal while hubby knew the home fires were safely burning.
Instead she played the “my tragic life is worse than yours” and used lies to try to prove it. She gets no sympathy from me.

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Wild Irish Rose January 8, 2014 at 10:13 am

Three cheers for your MIL for not buying into H’s rants. H isn’t a friend. I’m not going to bust your chops over not giving her the boot earlier, but I wouldn’t invite her back either. Ever. Hope you and your family are doing well now.

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Yet Another Laura January 8, 2014 at 10:14 am

Congratulations on your little one! I hope all is well with you and your family. That sounds like a horrible nightmare of an experience.

Of course you couldn’t turn her away. Who can make a no stick when they are recovering from major surgery with complications or being the primary support for the person recovering? This woman was an invading army of one.

I’m with Admin. You were not rude and kicking her out was a long time coming. She should count herself lucky you and your family were as tolerant as you were. The one feeling awkward should be this woman.

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Kimstu January 8, 2014 at 10:19 am

@OP: “Our friend, H, had scheduled a visit to coincide with my due date (baby was two weeks early) and we planned on her coming still for a supposedly short visit as we had asked her to cut the visit short since I was having trouble recovering. She cut it from 10 days to 8 days. Hubby was frustrated, as he had told her he wanted her to shorten her trip to give us time to rest, but we could not turn her away.”

That right there is where you made your mistake. Yes, you CAN turn away even an invited guest in an unexpected household or medical crisis. Etiquette requires you to be very apologetic if you have to do this, but you are not required to prioritize your pre-existing commitments as a hostess above the needs of the crisis situation.

In fact, a properly-behaved guest, on learning that their hosts were having to cope with any seriously stressful situation, would instantly offer to put off their visit (or terminate their visit if they’d already arrived). The first thing out of H’s mouth as soon as you told her that the baby had come early should have been “Wow, congratulations, how exciting! But are you sure you’ll still be up for the visit we planned? Perhaps we should reschedule it for another time when things are calmer?” Then you could have gracefully acquiesced while telling her how sorry you were to miss seeing her.

But it’s clear from the rest of your story that H is nothing like a properly-behaved guest. This is not a woman anyone would want to have around even if they had nothing more stressful to deal with than sipping Mai Tais on the beach between massage sessions at the spa. Your consolation prize for enduring all H’s selfish attention-seeking and fault-finding is that you can now drop her with a clear conscience and never have to put up with her again.

And congratulations to you and your husband on your new baby!

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Alie January 8, 2014 at 10:21 am

You are well shot of this person. The only thing you did wrong was not kicking her out sooner, and frankly, with your situation I understand why it was hard to work up the energy for that kind of conflict.

On the whole, you need to stand up for yourself more. I am godmother to my best friend’s son. I was there when he was born. And I didn’t even for a second consider staying in her house (if I had I would be there to give her a break from baby, not as a guest) for a long while after her kid was born. A ten day visit from a barely-friend right around the due date? Horrible, horrible idea that you guys should have said no to even before complications arose. It’s not rude to say “no.” But I’m not blaming you guys for this instance because it’s clear it was a bad situation.

I’d recommend never seeing someone like this again. It’s clear she’s no real friend.

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Mae January 8, 2014 at 10:27 am

I think @ferretrick (#3) hit the nail on the head. She is jealous and wants your husband. @Kirsten (#2) is right- it is easy to say you should throw her out or shut the door in her face, but it is much harder to actually do, especially in the moment.

I find it very strange that your husband’s “ex-girlfriend” not only planned to *vacation* at your home for *10 DAYS* but it also coincided with your due date. That seems…sketchy to me. I know some ex’s can end up as friends after a split, but *vacationing* at an ex’s home when their wife is due to give birth? It seems like what she was really “planning” was to take advantage of your family at an already stressful time and intentionally cause discord in your marriage hoping that your husband would get back with her. What an evil, scheming b*tch.

I think that would be the last time she “vacationed” in my home.

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AE January 8, 2014 at 10:30 am

I don’t think you’re wrong at all…except for not facilitating her departure with a catapult.
I also think this is absolutely the sort of person the cut-direct was invented for.
She comes in at such a time and tries to stir up trouble between you, hubby and his family?
Grrr…

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Abby January 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

Is H mentally ill? I am not trying to do an armchair diagnosis, but I am just shocked at her thought process. So, first her plan is to visit her ex boyfriend immediately after his wife has a baby. That’s already weird. It sounds like she is not close to the family, so why would you arrange a 10 day visit, particularly around a time like a new birth?

Second, even without berating the sick wife, lying to husband’s mother, she still expects the ex to take her HIKING when Ex has new baby, young child, and sick, recovering wife at home? And then whines that she is not being treated as a priority? She expects a woman who has met her four times previously who just went through a difficult pregnancy and birth and is still recovering to not only host her, entertain her, but also keep her house and cooking to H’s standards? And play armchair therapist?

H is a nightmare and has a tenuous grasp on reality, but I agree with Admin she got away with it way longer than she should have. Glad she was finally asked to leave.

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The Elf January 8, 2014 at 10:32 am

Something like this suspends etiquette. She should have been told, before she came over, that plans have changed due to your ill health and the new baby and you can no longer host her. Or, that you can host her but only for X days. So sorry. This is where the polite spine needs to be invoked.

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The Elf January 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

Bloo, I wouldn’t tolerate a 10 day visit from people I am close to and love, much less from more casual acquantances. I just need my space! I’m happy to put people up for a few nights under normal circumstances, to meet up with visiting friends and take them out for dinner or a day or site-seeing, but NO WAY IN HELL would I ever agree to a 10 day visit. Even from my best friend or my immediate family, even if I was in good health, even if I had the entire time off work and didn’t have other schedule considerations.

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Stacey Frith-Smith January 8, 2014 at 10:39 am

I’m sorry, OP, but WHY couldn’t you turn her away? You’re exhausted, frustrated and you weren’t able to help this person materially in any case. In the meanwhile, she used you and quite viciously. What was it that she expected your husband to provide? sex? attention? family? love? money? a home? The fabrication she told your MIL makes it seem like she would have been happy to wave a magic wand and have you just disappear since you were so inconvenient with your postpartum complications and even (apparently) your existence. She sounds perfectly awful and the things that she was going through don’t entitle her to multiply the misery of others. You can sympathize with the troubles of another person while realizing that you cannot rescue them and also while realizing that your own family must come first, second and last- always. By that I mean merely that no one’s abominable behavior need be tolerated in your own home and that jealous, manipulative, deceitful and malicious persons need not remain in your sphere. At the first sign of such insanity she should have been told that, as she was so unhappy with the terms of the accommodation, you would be unable to host her any longer. (As in, one second longer- please do call a cab and hubby will be happy to place your luggage on the porch.)

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Margaret January 8, 2014 at 10:41 am

The visit was supposed to occur before the baby was born. When the baby came early, that should have been the end of the visit, at least as far as her staying in your home. Should the visit even have been planned for that time? Well, probably not, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the guest had suggested the time, not the hosts. And too bad for her if her poor planning threw a kink in her plans and she had to stay in a hotel or cancel. Even if you had had the easiest birth and recovery in the world, I think it would have been inappropriate for her to stay in your home. I don’t even think people should visit for more than a few minutes at a time in the first few days after someone has a baby, unless they are asked to stay longer. And that visit should be “how are you”, “what a beautiful baby” “Is there anything I can do to help/Here, I brought you food so you don’t have to cook.” And then to be a horrible guest — unbelievable! Take the baby out of the picture — same story, but instead of giving birth, OP had had sudden, unexpected major surgery — who in their right mind would still think it was a good idea to carry on with the visit, and BTW housekeeping better be up to standard too. The guest carrying on with plans was thoughtless and inconsiderate. Her behaviour upon arrival was horrible and rude. Of course the visit should have been cancelled, if not by her, then by you, but I understand how hard that can be. I’m glad you two finally turned her away, and hats off to the MIL for trying to run interference.

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Shoebox January 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

Good grief, no, you weren’t wrong.

I’m strongly inclined to agree with ferretrick’s take on the situation, but even given the most charitable spin possible, this woman clearly has issues that you would likely have been in no position to handle even at your best. For whatever reason, she couldn’t or wouldn’t recognise that, so it was up to you and/or support team to make it clear.

You did, albeit not nearly as soon as you should have, and in the process learned that you have a family willing to stand by you in crisis. Although I don’t think I’d be able to resist, once the dust settled, having a gentle air-clearing with Hubby as to why H was allowed so much access to your lives to begin with, to the point where, even in the best-case scenario, this uneasy acquaintance was scheduled to spend ten days as your houseguest on or around the same time as the birth of your child. As it fell out, she was hanging around the house badmouthing you and everything else and was *still* able to coerce him into taking her on a lengthy solo outing. That needs to be addressed.

For now, though, you can just be grateful that you escaped a flatly impossible dilemma with your health, your child and everything else you value intact. Reading some of the back entries on this site should help you more clearly realise the kind of horrifically pointless, draining emotional vortex that can arise from endlessly trying to fix what can’t or won’t be fixed in others.

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JackieJormpJomp January 8, 2014 at 11:23 am

She “MADE” your husband fel guilty? I don’t even… I can’t imagine mine letting someone do this while I was post-sugery and clinically depressed…. Your husband needs to get his priorities in line.

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Abby January 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

@ Margaret- I think that is incorrect. The way I read it, she actually planned to come ON the due date, but the baby came two weeks earlier. She had planned all along to be a houseguest at the same time the baby was expected to arrive.

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hakayama January 8, 2014 at 11:28 am

Post #18
Congratulations on the baby.
Congratulations on a good MIL.
Above all, congratulations on getting rid of H for ALWAYS.
I agree with most of the posters, except those who do not understand/relate to your being totally ambushed, sent into shock and unable to even think clearly. Much less having the energy to take action in midst of that ridiculous situation.
And now, for my “armchair diagnosis”: H belongs in an asylum for the criminally insane. She may have not reached, nor ever will reach the physically violent stage, but the potential for damage is staggering.
Yup! I’d say that sometimes just one very telling incident is enough to arrive at that conclusion. For the nitpickers ;-) among the co-commenters, it actually was a series of incidents. Or does every evaluation have to be done by the double blind control group method? ;-)

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DGS January 8, 2014 at 11:50 am

1) H is a horrible person. She is not a friend, and she never has been a friend. She is a jealous, manipulative liar who probably, had designs on your husband. She is not someone to communicate with or spend time with ever again.

2) No one but the most immediate family or dearest friends who come over with the specific purpose of helping the new mother, the new father, and the siblings, if any, should stay in the home around the time of the birth. It doesn’t matter if the visit was scheduled twenty years in advance, and the person is a long-lost cousin you have not seen since diapers; the visit gets postponed or terminated. A new Mom, particularly one recovering from a tough delivery and dealing with illness on top of regular post-partum recovery, is not to be saddled with caretaking duties for anyone other than her children.

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AnnaMontana January 8, 2014 at 11:50 am

Hi,
Sounds like this girl shouldn’t have been there at all. I am pregnant and reading your post has just given me the courage to ring my friend and tell her she will be unable to visit when the baby comes. She had a mini-fit, but I carefully explained that we needed bonding time as a family. If she comes, she will not be allowed in. (Polite spine be dammed!) So thank you so much.
In your case, OP, you have the right, as a pregnant/new mummy to chuck whoever you want out of your house. Ladies hormones go crazy during pregnancy, let alone what they must be like after birth, and I recently read on a website the following phrase. It has really helped me deal with my personal stresses.
“Pregnant Mommies are not only given a ‘rude’ pass for 9 months, for a whole year after their baby is born, EVERYONE should cut them some slack….from the cashier in the supermarket to the mad old lady on the bus. She’s a new Mom, people, LEAVE HER ALONE.”
I have actually re-written this as a post-it and stuck it to my mirror and have another one stuck to the inside of my pregnancy notes. That way I have a constant reminder that everyone should back off and leave me alone, if that’s what I need.
Seriously, you’re hormonal, tired (I assume), trying to routine your baby and keep your home/family life running….kick rude, obnoxious guests out, with no thought to them. If she could be that rude, she deserves a slap!

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acr January 8, 2014 at 11:53 am

I give OP, her DH and her MiL huge huge props. Yes, not cancelling the visit was a tactical error, but I can also see that perhaps people who are more extroverted than myself might actually welcome and enjoy the company of a beloved family friend during this time. Also, people like H are very very good at catching people at weak moments.

I don’t really blame the DH for taking H hiking. Perhaps he thought he would get her out of everyone’s hair for an afternoon and then maybe she’d stop her incessant whining. It sounds like when she complained about not being a “priority” he set her straight.

Even though there were some misteps, this story is chockful of awesome shiny spine moments. MiL doesn’t fret over what H told her – she goes to the OP and asks, thus clarifying the situation. DH tells H she isn’t a priority and tells her to leave. OP holds firm and backs up her hubby’s demand that H leave. Good job everyone!!

I won’t ever give H the courtesy of calling what she did “airing her baggage”. Her actions were deliberately cruel, spiteful, and mean. OP, I truly hope that you, your DH and your MiL cut H from your lives forever. This woman is POISON.

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Angel January 8, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I wouldn’t have believed this story, except that I have a dear friend who went through something similar. But this was her hubby’s “work friend” who insisted upon visiting right after she gave birth. My friend didn’t have complications like the OP did but she still had to deal with a house full of in-laws, her hubby’s work friend who had trouble taking the hint, and also she is just generally a very, very nice person who has trouble saying no. This is why I can sort of understand the OP’s dilemma. But especially with the complications and the infection and all of that–the OP was putting her own health at risk and her hubby really should have been the one to put the kibosh on the visit. Part of being married is being on your spouse’s side–but especially at a time like that! And an ex-girlfriend would be very far down on my list of possible post-childbirth visitors. I think the hubby is mostly to blame here. It should not be entirely down to the OP to kick out unwanted house guests–she just gave birth for pity’s sake!!

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denise miller January 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I wouldn’t volunteer to host anyone in my home for 10 days at 38 weeks pregnant, much less with a newborn.

You can turn guests away. You can turn them down. You can put your immediate needs for you and your family first. No one would fault you for it. It’s almost worse to allow them to come when you know that you will not have the time, energy or demeanor to host them.

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WillyNilly January 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm

This is the way a house-guest is supposed to behave when visiting after a birth:
Wake-up, be quiet. Do a walk through of the home and pick-up scattered items (dishes to the kitchen, neaten books and magazines on the tables, fold throw blankets, wipe down countertops, etc). Start a pot of coffee. Feed/walk pets.
Make breakfast for their hosts, serve it and clear the dishes and load them into the dishwasher.
Ask new mom how she is feeling and if she needs anything in particular; get it. Check fridge to see if any staples are running low and make note of them.
Start a load of laundry.
Head out of the house for a few hours.
Call before returning to see if anything needs to be picked up from the store. Pick up anything requested and anything on the list made earlier.
Return. Put laundry in the dryer and groceries away. Empty the dishwasher from the morning. Pick-up a bit around the house. Make sure new mom has eaten, if not fix her some food. If the baby has eaten recently, send new mom off to shower and/or nap while the guest watches the baby.
Fold clean dry laundry. Walk the dog if they have one.
Start dinner. Eat with family, then load dishes into dishwasher.
Next day, repeat, perhaps switching the laundry with vacuuming, or taking out all the household trash, or some other chore that needs doing.

Buying groceries is still cheaper then a hotel in most places, and by doing a little each day the house guest isn’t really spending their vacation being a maid, but rather enough to not only only make their visit a non-burden, but leaving things better then they were originally. They still have time to go off during the day to have fun (hiking, spa, whatever) but the point of an after birth visit is to ease the new-mom’s burden.

OP – Do not feel the least bit guilty for anything you did in this story as H clearly missed the mark, by a landslide, of what she was supposed to be doing during this visit!

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Pam January 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm

The only reason even a good friend should have an extended stay at the home of a newborn is to work…to cook, to clean, run errands etc. !! And yay Mother in Law!!! So much drama avoided by honesty :)

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June First January 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Oh, OP. I hope you’re having a chat with your husband about boundaries.

Count me in the group who read, “…Hubby was frustrated, as he had told her he wanted her to shorten her trip to give us time to rest, but we could not turn her away” and immediately thought, “Yes. Yes you can turn her away.”

I agree, it’s easier said than done. We had a friend who called DH a few weeks ago to say that he was in the neighborhood and wanted to stop by for five minutes. Five minutes turned into an hour and a half, which wouldn’t have been bad except I had just taken dinner out of the oven right when he called.
On the phone, DH had told our friend that we were just ready to sit down to dinner, but the friend apparently didn’t understand this meant we were busy. I had kept the food back in the kitchen, thinking we’d eat after the friend left. I even spoke with the friend standing in the foyer, thinking he’d be leaving…ergh.
We ended up reheating the food and feeding the friend, too. I was really frustrated, but realized that this friend has a history of misinterpreting social cues. DH and I had a talk about how to prevent this in the future with this particular friend, especially since we have a baby on the way ourselves.

So, I guess my advice to the OP is…now that you have two children and you’re hopefully healing from the surgery, how will you and DH handle these situations in the future? Make a plan, now, before you’re stuck with an eight-day guest. (Isn’t it supposed to be three days, anyway?!)

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Weaver January 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I agree with Admin 100%, particularly in that the visit should have been cancelled or postponed.

She wanted to hike and made my Hubby feel guilty for not wanting to take her. So, even though he really wanted to be with me and his children he took her. Say WHAT?! Never mind a polite spine, your husband needs to grow up. You were recovering from serious surgery, and you and your husband just had a child. Your husband going hiking with his ex in such a situation is not even remotely okay.

but we could not turn her away. Yes you could, but you shouldn’t have had to, given your situation. I’m glad your husband finally put his foot down, but good grief! He needs to realise that his first priorities should always be you and your children. This is without a doubt one of the most gob-smaking stories I have ever read on this site.

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gb January 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm

I’m sorry OP, that sounds like a terrible experience but I’m glad your child is healthy, hopefully you as well.
I am not against being friends with exs, but usually you can tell if they are really just friends or if one has another agenda. To me, she wants to see what she can get away with and lives her life self centered. I’m not sure if she realizes how self centered she is, actually. Not an excuse though.

I’m not sure why an ex, and not a close friend or relative who wants to help you with the baby, was invited but her. Then again. ..she could have invited herself.
What a toxic person!!

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Elizabeth January 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Why on Earth are you hosting an 8-day visit of your husband’s ex-girlfriend right after giving birth? This is crazy – well, it is crazy that you’d be hosting this person at all but the timing is more crazy. Why did you feel the need to host this person’s vacation, a person you define as an acquaintance? And why can’t your husband turn her away and why did he have to take her hiking? I clearly do not understand why you agreed to this visit, why your husband would even ask, and why you now feel guilty for asking her to leave. I am stumped …

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Kay L January 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I don’t have any sympathy for the LW here. To me, its a no brainer that you don’t have “guests” come and stay with you when you’re expecting a baby and particularly when you are experiencing health problems as a result of having the child.

Was the ex GF rude? Yes, terribly. But, I can’t give the LW and her DH a pass for helping to create such a bad situation in the first place.

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Hanna January 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Hearing stories like this have always befuddled me. Why in the world anybody would let their husband’s ex-girlfriend (no less someone who was described as a mere acquaintance by the new mother) into their home for over a week as soon as a new baby is brought home, is completely BEYOND me. I wouldn’t even want my own mother staying with me for a week after bringing home a new baby (and if I’d want anyone to stay with me, it would be her).

People need to learn to grow a polite spine. A simple, “Since there were complications with DW’s surgery, we’ll have to cancel the visit so she can rest and heal. Sorry for any inconvenience but it’s not a good time for us anymore” would have more than sufficed. Again, especially since it was a *friend*? We’re not talking about a mother or mother-in-law, here. But a friend? A friend who is simply an acquaintance to the mother??

I’m sorry, but OP should have never let the woman into her home. She cannot be blamed for the ex’s behavior, but she can certainly be blamed for letting her into her home to begin with (or the OP’s husband can be).

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Marozia January 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Whatever possessed you and your husband to host this person so close to and after your birth??
Never mind “H” wanted to come and stay….YOU were recovering from a difficult birth. Did you think the baby’s birth was just going to be over and done with, and you would be home and hosed to have a happy visit with this ‘ex-girlfriend – acquaintance bordering on a friend’?! And accompanied by PPD – DID YOU really think “H” would UNDERSTAND about that, not having kids of her own!!!
I’m sorry to be so harsh, but you and husband mired yourself in this mess. Husband knew what this person was like and her baggage and I ask the question again ‘Whatever possessed you to invite this person’?
PS. Your husband was right to tell her off. Next time, think before acting!!

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metallicafan January 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm

No, you did nothing wrong in asking her to leave. Your only mistake was not having her leave sooner. And, someone who has no experience with post partum blues or depression should keep their damn mouth shut. I suffered severe post partum depression after my first son, and the last thing any new mom needs is someone yelling at her for not being blissfully happy. How dare she do that to you!

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bloo January 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm

@The Elf : I agree but will tolerate close family. I wouldn’t be happy about it but would focus on what I could enjoy. Fortunately the only family that visits me believe that guests and fish stink after 3 days.

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babaran January 8, 2014 at 4:33 pm

I have a very similar story! When my first was born, a friend couple came over to “see” the baby and we knew that meant they’d spend the night because it was a several-hours trip, so I was prepared at least for that. The next day they didn’t get up (from our living room couches) until well into the morning) and after eating breakfast I “assumed” they’d be on their way. But they continued to lounge around and talk and finally the men left the house to go get something at the hardware store. They returned hours later, and of course, it was dinner time and I began to make it. They didn’t make any moves to leave, so we shared it with them. More talk continued and they began to make cursory moves to act as though they were leaving, but it started snowing. After a bit more snow, they said they felt they shouldn’t go out in it, and that maybe they’d stay, which of course, as a good host you don’t send your guests out into a raging blizzard (haha) so they spent the night. The next day was Sunday, so as was customary, they went to church with us, came home and ate lunch with us and sat down to continue more talking at which point we made mention that we had to be at a meeting that evening, and what time did they think they’d leave? They said they would like to go with us to the meeting (which was a public meeting, so we couldn’t tell them no). Since it ended up running late, they, again spent another night. Finally the next day they pushed off after breakfast. And the funny thing was that I was short tempered/tired/exhausted, was not feeding them well (we had little to no money and our food budget went entirely for only 3 people in our household) and we didn’t go anywhere the whole time (except that hardware store) we didn’t have a television……so I have NO idea why they wanted to stay because it wasn’t exactly fun!! :-) I think there are just some people who need to be around others. LOL

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JeanLouiseFinch January 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Congratulations on your new baby. It sounds like you did the best you could. I too, had complications and depression like you had when my daughter was born, and getting better takes time, so think of this woman as yet another infection you needed to get rid of. Also, just think – your husband must be sooooo grateful he didn’t marry a narcissistic drama queen like his ex. Treat yourself well, maybe get a box of chocolates, hire a maid service for a day every month, and concentrate on getting better and your little one. Don’t worry about this woman, you have better things to think about. If she contacts you two again, it should be no problem with both you and your husband agreeing to keep your distance.

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Weaver January 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm

@ gb I am not against being friends with exs, but usually you can tell if they are really just friends or if one has another agenda. I think you put it very well. My husband and I have three serious ex’s between us. I’m still very close to one of mine and he’s a good friend to us both. We’ve lost touch with both other ex’s, but one is a really good person and the other is definitely an “agenda” person.

All that being said, all three of them, even the ghastly one, would think it weird to visit in such a situation as the OPs. Honestly, the more I think about this post, the crazier it seems!

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Echo January 8, 2014 at 5:49 pm

As someone said earlier, please help your husband work on his polite spine. I would be furious with my hubby if he let this happen.

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SleepIsabella January 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm

It wouldn’t surprise me H invented and created every problem in her life herself. H is a toxic person who should have never step foot in your home. They are a terrible person, I’m so sorry you had to deal with such an awful person. I’m so happy your baby is healthy, and I hope you make a complete recovery.

For them to dismiss your feelings from your baby blues is quite insensitive and ignorant of her. A person cannot help what their mind tells them, what the chemicals in their brain create. They cannot stop feeling the feelings just because someone says their life is great. And even if the life is great does not mean what they feel should not be felt due to how great their life is.

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gb January 8, 2014 at 7:18 pm

@ hakyama: ditto. Hindsight is one thing, but acting in the moment (especially her circumstances) is another. It must take years of polite spine muscle memory for it to come out naturally, when put on the spot.

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hakayama January 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm

@babaran: You refer to your “sticky” friends kindly (jokingly?) as people who need to be around others. My take on their particular brand is “leeches”. Or “energy vampires” that attach themselves to everyone and anyone, probably to fill the void in their inner selves.
I have a couple of friends like that: people that can spend an entire day bopping from house to house, just to avoid being by themselves. Possibly they are not too content to be alone with themselves…
One of those friends of mine claims that she “recharges” in company of others. Wouldn’t you know it, that I require solitude in order to recharge, or else I’m liable to go bonkers. (More so than I let on here. ;-))
I wonder what firm strategies could be put in place to shut them up and/or get them to move on. Maybe grabbing a book or some other reading matter and saying “Now I’m going to read. Good night.” might work. I’m betting that they won’t follow that example as they are NON-readers.

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missminute January 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Why are you friends with this woman again? She clearly still has feelings for your hubby and envies your life.

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Maggie January 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Her only “baggage” was unrequited desire to be your husband’s wife. The rest was made-up drama.

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VM January 9, 2014 at 2:54 am

As jealous and manipulative as H proved to be, I wonder if she timed her vacation at the due date thinking you’d be abstaining from sex for a few weeks after the birth, for medical reasons, and your husband would eventually turn to her to “fulfill his needs”…ugh!

Husband’s spinal issues could be complicated by a desire not to seem to be the bad guy and the stereotypical “evil ex.” You know, “see how enlightened I am that I can be friends even with an ex-girlfriend.” But hellish H might think, if he’s not actively hostile it must mean he secretly still desires me. Or at least it means that he can be manipulated…so let’s see how far I can push it.

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just4kicks January 9, 2014 at 5:01 am

Three words, Honey: GOOD FOR YOU! Glad hubby had your back, and your MIL did also.
That little trip, imo, was nothing more than a golden chance to interfere with your happiness.
Congratulations on your new baby, hope your recovery is swift and painless.

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Kirsten January 9, 2014 at 5:24 am

“Pregnant Mommies are not only given a ‘rude’ pass for 9 months, for a whole year after their baby is born, EVERYONE should cut them some slack”

I agree that people should be understanding, pregnancy hormones can be horrendous, but wow, could this be any more entitled? I pity the pregnant woman who believes this, and everyone around her.

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