Author Topic: Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)  (Read 11023 times)

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pwy a wyr

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Of in laws and childbirth (New Questions: pg 2)
« on: June 14, 2012, 06:30:33 AM »
Hey everybody.
I'm writing in a need to receive either affirmation or a kick in the head. You decide.

My parents in law are divorced. They sometimes get on well, othertimes not so much. My mother in law doesn't understand boundaries, and gets very upset when we tell her she's broken them. Because of this, DH and I decided that when our child is born later this year, we don't want overnight guests for the first to weeks. I intend to breastfeed and we have no idea what the kid is going to be like. DH's family wind him up too, so this isn't coming from me. Unfortunately, all his family live a far way away and stay with us when they visit. DH has told them that they can visit in the day if they come in those two weeks, but no overnight guests.
Fil has taken umbrage to this. While stating he doesn't mind waiting, he says his ex wife will be upset by this, and after a week of continually bringing it up, ended by telling me publicly I was being 'over-controlling'. I got upset (I really don't do heart racing moments well), and told him that it wasn't happening, I was offended at the comment and it wasn't overcontrolling to want two weeks learning how to look after my new baby with my husband, I then sat quietly to not cry. Dh and I were both very shocked, and DH read him the riot act when I went to the bathroom. (The right thing to do for us, as he knows I might've blown up when I got over my upset if he did it in front of me and Fil justified himself)

My questions: a) Am I being unreasonable not wanting overnight guests for two weeks? My family are local, so they can visit for an hour easily, but I can also tell them to back off without drama. Mil will get upset if I tell her the same thing, and now I worry Fil won't be respecting our decisions either.

b) What on earth do I do in the future if he pulls this again? I really don't do confrontation well, and my heart was punding so loudly in my ears I could barely hear.

btw: my DH made me laugh later on when he pointed out the hypocrisy of him calling me overcontrolling because I wouldn't cave in. I love my DH.

Sorry if anythings unclear. My brain is mush after having this in there all morning going round and round.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 08:53:27 AM by pwy a wyr »

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 06:40:14 AM »
Ah, family.

You have a few issues here -

1. New grandbaby!
2. divorce.
3. Your folks live nearby and can visit often; your MIL cannot.

It is absolutely your right to manage this as you choose. No question. However, you need to consider your MIL's point of view. Is this her first grandchild? She may feel unwanted and shut out in favor of your parents. That isn't your intention, but that's how she sees it.

Firstly, have your DH manage the communications on this issue - they are his parents and you are likely to get emotional. Secondly, try to find a compromise. Is there a hotel where she can stay when she visits? If the birth is planned, can she come stay overnight at a hotel to meet her grandchild? Can you shorten to two week ban to one?

If the answer to the above is "no", then so be it. But try to find some way to involve her; she will hurt otherwise. And don't let your FIL get away with that 'overcontrolling' nonsense - it's your baby.

cicero

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 06:42:52 AM »
go give your DH a big hug!

and no, of course you aren't being unreasonable! the best advice i can give you is "start as you mean to go" - you are entering a new phase in your lives and you should make sure that *you* (you and DH) are the ones who set the boundaries for *your* home and *your* child.

stop giving them excuses and reasons and justifications. learn to say "no" without feeling guilty (it's good practice for when your child will be a teen lol).  learn to say "no" without embellishing ("cause i'm the mom and i said so!")

if and when this happens again, just calmly say "no, that won't be possible" and then change the subject (AKA bean dip):
FIL: so, MIL will be arriving on Wednesday and staying with you until SUnday, and then i will arrive on saturday and still till tuesday.
pwy a wyr /husband: sorry, that won't work for us. TheBestFleaMotel is offering a BOGO deal if you want. Oh, did i tell you that baby was accepted to harvard early admissions?
FIL: but but but you ungrateful children, we brought you into this world, blah blah blah, you are going to turn us, your flesh and blood, away? no, we are staying with you.
pwy a wyr /husband: sorry, that won't be possible. did i show you my stretch marks?

your FIL is a doofus. and if your MIL will be upset by this - so let her.

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MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 06:56:05 AM »
There's no way you're being unreasonable!! Your baby, your house, your decision. They can stay at a hotel or wait out the 2 weeks. Don't cave to his ridiculous ideas!! And YAY for your DH! I think he should continue to stand up to them about it since they are his family.
Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.

kherbert05

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 07:07:01 AM »
New parents get to set the rules to figure out what they need. Family and friends can offer to help out, but should accept what the parents want. I wouldn't set the two weeks in stone - or you might find yourself with month long guess starting at the two week point. Your DH should say "at least 2 weeks". This is one of the few times I think it is ok for one spouse to "hide" behind the other. To his parents your DH could act like he was laying down the law. He has decided this is what is best for his wife and child.
 
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

half_dollars

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 07:11:24 AM »
Perfectly fine.

The baby won't spoil in the 2 weeks.

And, regardless of when they visit, they should stay in a hotel and there should be morning/afternoon/evening visiting hours.  You don't want them (or anyone, most likely) there from sun up to sun down, especially since you'll be recovering, tired, nursing, emotional.  You will need down time throughout the day.  Personally, I'd even make them leave for their own meals and only offer easy drinks/snacks.  And most hotels offer free breakfasts!  With #1, both DH and I were so tired, we couldn't see straight.  We knew we'd be tired, but we had never experienced THAT kind of tired before.  When our parents came, both sets sat holding the baby and expected us to do the cooking.  Heck, my dad complained because there were smudges on our stainless-steel appliances and he thought we should clean them off before my IL's arrived.  Yeah, that one didn't happen.  But, we did do all the cooking and it was horrible for me.  I wanted to hold my little baby, but didn't because both sets of grandparents lived far away and they felt they should hold him since I could any time. 

Learn sooner than later that it's your baby-your rules-your decision.  You need to do what's right for your family.  Your parents and PIL did what was right for them when they had their kids, just like the grandparents did.  You should never feel guilty about a parenting decision!

And good for DH that he agrees with you!

Geekychick1984

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 07:16:10 AM »
I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.  If your ILs want to visit, they can stay in a hotel and come during the day for a little bit.  It's not unreasonable for you to want time to bond with your new family.  PLus, you'll be exhausted and not up for entertaining.

Ms Aspasia

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 07:23:23 AM »
Your DH sounds excellent!  I agree with the previous poster who suggested your DH should say, at least two weeks. 

LeveeWoman

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 07:37:05 AM »
You are being completely reasonable and your father-in-law is being utterly  unreasonable.

I might go so far as to tell him (well, have your husband tell him) that one more protest over the two-week limit will produce nothing but a three-week limit.

I would not reduce the time to one week or even 10 days because doing so will send a loud and clear signal to them that ya'll can be pushed around and bent to their demands.

I would consider reducing contact with the father-in-law because his bullying is having ill effects on you. His son can have whatever contact he desires but you must protect your health and the health of your baby.

(((((pwy a wyr))))))

SPuck

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 07:40:08 AM »
It is absolutely your right to manage this as you choose. No question. However, you need to consider your MIL's point of view. Is this her first grandchild? She may feel unwanted and shut out in favor of your parents. That isn't your intention, but that's how she sees it.

I understand this, but on the other the MIL does live at a distance and she has to understand that she is the one at a visiting statistical disadvantage. When my grandmother felt she wasn't seeing her grandchildren enough (she lived on the west coast, everyone else on the east) she moved back home from California.

The hotel is an excellent visiting idea, but if anyone else gets hurt because they can't visit enough that is there baggage to handle. Either she stays angry or gets over it.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 07:43:49 AM by SPuck »

weeblewobble

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 07:47:23 AM »
What someone else thinks is "fair" really doesn't apply when a baby is born.  As long as you and DH are on the same page, your (you and DH) decision is what counts.  Your house.  Your baby.  Your choice.  Your FIL is calling you unreasonable and controlling because HE is not in control and he doesn't know what to do about it. 

Several people told me I was being unfair to my MIL because my mother stayed with me for a week after both of my babies were born. I was told I should have alternated weeks or allowed my MIL to stay with me after my second child because Mom stayed with me after my first.  But this was the choice my husband and I were comfortable with.  While I love my MIL, I wouldn't have been comfortable with her in the house while it was admittedly pretty messy and would have spent that time trying to keep it presentable rather than learning to care for my baby.  My mom forced me to sit and relax with the baby while she worked through the mess. Also, I was learning to breastfeed, and I just wouldn't have been comfortable with MIL being exposed to quite so much of me while I learned how to maneuver.

It was what worked for us.

NyaChan

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 07:54:28 AM »
Don't have children, but I from what I've heard and observed, this isn't about fair - it is about survival.  You can't handle a newborn baby + overnight guests who apparently aren't the most boundary conscious to begin with.  Besides, this is coming from FIL on behalf of his ex-wife right?  Has she said something to you?  If not, just tell him that this is between you and MIL and bean dip.  With her, state the rule, give her her hotel option, and hold firm.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 08:03:17 AM »
Don't have children, but I from what I've heard and observed, this isn't about fair - it is about survival.  You can't handle a newborn baby + overnight guests who apparently aren't the most boundary conscious to begin with.  Besides, this is coming from FIL on behalf of his ex-wife right?   Has she said something to you?  If not, just tell him that this is between you and MIL and bean dip.  With her, state the rule, give her her hotel option, and hold firm.

This aspect has been bugging me. Why is her father-in-law being a flying monkey for his ex-wife? Is she putting him up to it?

lisztchick

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 08:04:18 AM »
I'm here to supply your affirmation!

I think a two-week waiting period is a terrific idea - honestly, I wish that I'd thought of it. Looking back on it, I didn't find caring for a newborn baby to be stressful. In-laws, however, usually are.

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!!"

And my own personal favorite was when she stayed with us after DD was born. We'd just gotten her home after two weeks in the NICU (she was born premature) and my mother lectured us about how we were giving her "inadequate care." Why? Because we didn't have a changing table for her yet. Yep. That's right. (In our defense, it was ordered! How could we have known she would come almost two months early??)

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Of in laws and childbirth
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012, 08:05:16 AM »
You are being perfectly reasonable. Plus, you are hormonal and crying and screaming at fil its perfectly fine in my opinion.
Saddest thing I ever heard was friend whose elderly parents came to stay with her and her dh right after birth of their first. When we visited, several weeks later, she told me she had stopped trying to breastfeed ” because it took so long” and she ” had to help my parents when they were here, my moms health isn't good and she couldn't cook or help around the house”.
If you have any guests after childbirth, they should be there to help cook and clean and do laundry and run errands for the parents. When dh and I had the dds, no one got a phone call until after the baby was born, and no one stayed overnight at all.
Your baby, your house, your inlaws and parents, YOU DECIDE what you can deal with.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 08:08:41 AM by JoyinVirginia »