Author Topic: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)  (Read 10569 times)

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MasterofSquirrels

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2012, 11:03:51 AM »
Banning visitors for the first two weeks is under-estimating, I think.  If I were you, I'd prefer the 3-month ban that a PP suggested.  If FIL objects, DH can just say that you two want to get to know the baby and HE feels that can't be done with a troop of people trampling throughout the house.

I don't know. I think it depends on the person and the level of "hosting" they require. My family visited soon (days) after both my kids were born. There were issues, but, in general they were helpful.

I think you need to be flexible though. If after the first week, you feel you aren't ready to handle baby + visitors yet, don't. Push the "no overnight guests" another week or two, a month! Don't let anyone bully you. Take lots of pictures so the grandparents can see the changes, and let them visit when you are ready to receive them.

I don't think you need to take anyone's feeling into consideration. I understand that you MIL lives far away, but, it isn't about her. It's about you, your husband and your new baby. If you feel that you want her to visit, don't let her stay at your house. A hotel can be a good compromise. BTDT  ;) 

Sophia

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2012, 11:05:25 AM »
Think of it this way.  Marriages get a honeymoon.  Why not a new baby?

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2012, 11:17:36 AM »
I'm stunned that someone who is telling you when you should or not not host overnight guests in your own home is accusing you of being "too controlling".  Pot meet kettle.

It sounds like you might have been brought up to second-guess yourself when others disagree with your choices.  Trust us, you are not being remotely unreasonable.

acicularis

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2012, 11:45:51 AM »
I think you are setting reasonable limits. After the baby comes, your job is to recover from the birth, bond with your new baby, and get breastfeeding established. Your job is not to entertain houseguests, or to worry about their hurt feelings if they don't get to see the baby right away.

It's all too easy to lose track of how long ago the baby nursed, or to miss early feeding cues if you are distracted by company. And of course the last thing you need is to get into a tug of war with Grandma if she doesn't want to give up the baby when it's time to nurse. (Trust me, it's not fun!)

Again, you are being perfectly reasonable. Your well being and your baby's well being are more important than anyone's hurt feelings.

lisztchick

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2012, 12:09:51 PM »
Sophia, that is an excellent point!

Remember, too, that even the most helpful of overnight guests still require work on the part of the hosts. My MIL would say, "We're not guests, we're FAMILY!" Well, "family" still require clean towels, a place to sleep, clean sheets on the bed, guest room cleared out of all the junk (assuming one has a guest room), etc.

I also think that especially with a first baby, it's important to learn how to take care of it without being constantly undermined by grandparents. Many new mothers are not very confident in their ability to take care of a newborn - I know I sure wasn't. Even if one is given advice in a loving way, it can still cause you to question your decisions....even over the smallest of things. ("Do you think she's warm enough? Do you think you're feeding her too much? Should you really be waking her up to feed her?") Even if you feel very strongly about your decisions, questions about how you're caring for your child.....particularly from older family members that you trust and respect....this can really cause you to lose your confidence and feel inadequate.

But, what do I know? I'm sure that my DD is irrevocably scarred for life by not having a changing table for her first week at home.  >:D

(Oh! And for the record? My mother never had a changing table! I vividly remember her changing my brother on top of the laundry machine! Why don't we think to say these things at the time we're being berated?)

Aeris

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2012, 12:11:13 PM »
I've noticed that people who are trying to control *you* tend to accuse you of being controlling when you won't let them do it.

It's a particularly painful moment of irony - but it seems to happen all the time.

darkprincess

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2012, 12:51:23 PM »
I will be having a baby within the month and we are not allowing any overnight guests at all.  We haven't put a time limit on it because even though this is not a first child we do not know when we will be ready to host until much later. Hosting family is still work and new babies and overnight guests do not mix well.

You need to stand your ground. If they bring it up again you can say that you already talked about this and the answer hasn't changed. Wash rinse repeat.

We are having a Pertussis epidemic in my state and we are going to be much stricter than you are being. The hospital is allowing no children to visit, and any signs of coughing and the visitor will be asked to leave. During the epidimic, we are not allowing any close friends or family to visit if they have not been immunized or/and are showing symptoms. So far this has resulted in two family members that will not be able to see the baby for possibly 6 months and they live within a 45 minute drive. It also means we will not be seeing them at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Alpacas

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2012, 01:07:28 PM »
I can only POD the comments that suggest more than 2 weeks.

Your family comes first and you all need to get used to each other and to the routine. (in case anyone's wondering. i have no kids yet so i'm just saying what my gut feelings says)
Anyone visiting during that time would only interrupt that process.

When my best friends had their DD i didn't visit until the baby was about 7 months because i knew that they'd entertain Parents and ILs every other day. i didn't want to burden them further.
And when i finally visited it was me that did the cooking so she could nurse DD. Or when she was cleaning the house, i'd watch DD and play with her.
I consider myself a very easy guest.  ;D

heartmug

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2012, 01:33:15 PM »
Banning visitors for the first two weeks is under-estimating, I think.  If I were you, I'd prefer the 3-month ban that a PP suggested.  If FIL objects, DH can just say that you two want to get to know the baby and HE feels that can't be done with a troop of people trampling throughout the house.

I don't know. I think it depends on the person and the level of "hosting" they require. My family visited soon (days) after both my kids were born. There were issues, but, in general they were helpful.



POD!  So people are a joy to have around, very helpful and will leave early when asked.  My MIL, not so much.  Poor niece had her first baby early this year.  MIL announced to my BIL that she was visiting her, did not tell niece.  Came for the weekend (thankfully stayed in a hotel).  Day one was fine (niece did the cooking, MIL offered no help) but on day 2 when niece called the hotel and told MIL not to come until dinner time because she was up for 5 hours with wee one, MIL took great offense.  She was only in town for 2 days!  Sides were taken.  I stood up for niece.
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

Kimblee

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2012, 01:43:40 PM »
Guys, thank you! I'm very different from my fil. He once took my sister in law shopping for honeymoon underwear and everyone was ok with that. Me, I'd be freaked out if my dad did that. The most personal my dad and I got was him getting me a cup of tea if I told him I had 'monthly pains'. Then ran away. :D So I did start wondering if I was being too harsh.

Mil has told him she's visiting just before and after the birth, despite her full knowledge of the overnight ban. She hasn't told us this though, and DH is aware a 'chat' may be needed. I think it might be a spot of jealousy. Mil lives 4 hours away. Fil lives 8 time zones away!

My SIL was inundated with houseguests during the first two months of my nephew's life - grandparents who wanted to see the first grandchild. She was constantly burdened with "helpful" advice about how her house was too cold for a baby, etc. The best was when my mother was holding the baby and declined to give him back to my SIL so that she could breastfeed it: "Oh, do you have to 'do that' now?? He's so comfortable in Grandma's arms!!"

This is mostly my fear. The in laws already try to offer an opinion on everything in our lives. I can't imagine the breastfeeding 'advice' they'll give. Did I mention I work with neonates and am a breastfeeding trainer? Yet, mil has already pooh pooed the 'sleeping on back' current cot death advice because it wasn't medical advice in her time.

And as I said, I don't do confrontation well. It's cry or shout. And that will not end well.

DH does want them around. They're his family and it will be an important time. But it'll be tricky. Thankfully, most decisions around birthing and things he passes to me because, as he says, I'll be the one pushing the thing out.

Thank you for making me feel the decision is ok. We're seeing them again next month, on the previous OK thread. Any good tips for when it comes up again? DH was great and not leaving me alone with him for the duration of this last trip, but he can't be next to me for the whole 10 days coming up.  :(

Hmm... Could you Play FIL and MIL against each other?

How would this conversation go:

"Oh MIL! I just don't know what to do about FIL's badgering! Its got me a mess of nerves! We NEED this couple of weeks to come into our own with Baby, you understand, you're such a good mom, I'm sure you do. Oh I'm SO glad you understand we can't handle overnight guests. How did I get so lucky to get a great MIL like you? Can you talk to him, or give me advice about him?"

Butter her up, in other words. Make it seem like its her amazing advice in helping you guys keep up your 2 week ban that is protecting her precious grandchild and helping Baby get what Baby needs. If she's otherwise a loving person, just with some boundry issues, she might leap to your rescue, thinking of course that it was her idea the whole time. (of course, if this wouldn't work then you'd know.)

RandomAngel

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2012, 02:57:52 PM »
I have a six-week-old, and I still can't imagine having overnight guests. Fortunately, in my case the baby took the guest room!

We've had two visitors so far (we're an ocean away from our families, so they had to be patient. And, surprise! No one died from waiting!). My mom came a little over a week after I gave birth and was very helpful, although naturally she got on my nerves some. FIL was just here last week, and drove us all crazy, even though he considerately spent his mornings touring the area, showing up here in the afternoon (usually right as I was settling down to nap...or breastfeed...and never remembering that "call first" means "before you're at the door"....).

He kept going on about not wanting to be a burden until I flatly told him that that was fine, since I had no intention of entertaining or hosting him in any way, so he couldn't burden us. He was welcome to help himself to anything in the house, come and go as he pleased, I'd make conversation when I wasn't sleeping or breastfeeding, and other than that he was on his own.

MIL, her BF, and GFIL are coming next week, and even though we love them lots and want them to "meet" the baby, we're really not especially looking forward to it. In addition to the sleep/hormones/stress/getting used to things stuff...we've found we really like parenting. And we're new at it. And we don't really want to share it just yet. We have and we will, because it's really important to people who are really important to us, but we have boundaries now that are simply not up for debate.

Which brings me to my actual point: you may find that becoming a parent helps you with your aversion to confrontation...or at least help you to stop thinking of this stuff as "confrontation." All decisions regarding your baby start and stop with you and your DH, and other people tend to recognize that on an instinctive level. I found that I was shockingly comfortable speaking to both my mother and my FIL as if I was the authority (or, you know, "parent") once our baby was actually here, and they accepted it without hesitation.

It may take a couple of beats to kick in. It took me 24 hours with the hospital staff (my son had special orders and they were on 12-hour shifts that didn't communicate 100%, so I had to do regular advocacy). It took no time with my mother, and an overnight and a conversation with my DH to get fully comfortable backing off my FIL. But having a baby, rightly or wrongly, changes your position in a social hierarchy, and for your own sanity you should use that new position to require whatever you think is best for yourself, your DH, and your baby.

It's not about convincing people or trying to get them to see it your way; it's about calmly, firmly explaining that this is how things are going to be, and then walking away from any arguments or protests. If they don't want to interact with you on your terms, then they don't get to at all. That's fine. And I'll bet you anything that, in the absence of other options, they'll decide that a hotel is just fine!

It's good to be Queen

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2012, 03:09:32 PM »
Quote
But, what do I know? I'm sure that my DD is irrevocably scarred for life by not having a changing table for her first week at home. 


My nephew seemed to have survived this horrible mistreatment  >:D - his mother used a card table, padded with a bath towel.  She got tired of running upstairs to his room to change him and set up the card table changing area downstairs.

Sophia

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2012, 03:15:39 PM »
Technically my daughter doesn't have a changing table.  My husband brought an old sideboard to our marriage.  For padding we cut up an moving blanket and stacked the pieces then covered than with PUL.  Then we put a bath towel on top. 

magdalena

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2012, 03:21:55 PM »
Like others, I think you're perfectly reasonable and it is your right AND your job to st boundaries and stick to them. It's great you and your husband  are doing that and doing it together.

Our rule for my ILs was: you can come overnight ONLY when my husband is there, too. So, either when he's on holidays, or on a weekend. That rule still stands, and my daughter is 8 months, now. I might loosen it soon, but only if the circumstances are such that make me comfortable with the thought. There was no way for the first month or two that I could've dealt with my ILs here with me as the only "host". My MIL is lovely, but she's not comfortable helping around my house - I think it's about being comfortable... I have the feeling she's afraid to step on my toes. Even with my husband there, I almost went nuts during their first visit after the baby was born. They did not help at all, I did all the cooking and washing up, and I was just 10 days postpartum and breastfeeding when they came. What made it all work, though, was that my husband and I had talked about boundaries, we were open with the ILs about them and discussed whatever bothered us as soon as things happened...

As far as fairness goes, well, it's not about fair. My parents came and stayed two weeks, two weeks after my ILs left. They cannot just come for a weekend as they live in another country. Also, my mom spend those two weeks cooking and baking for the freezer, cleaned my kitched cabinets, did my ironing etc.



JenJay

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2012, 03:39:11 PM »
I think both of you handled your FIL perfectly and that's how you should plan to handle him again in the future. Someone who tells you you're over-controlling because you don't want to host and cater to him while trying to get used to life with a newborn doesn't need or deserve to be tiptoed around. People like that only respond to blunt, if they respond to anything.

"Dad/FIL, we've told you there will be no overnight guests for at least two weeks, maybe longer depending on how it goes. It's not up for discussion." If he tries to corner you when DH isn't around say that and then leave the room, preferably to find your DH and tell him "Your Dad is whining about The Issue again.  ::)"