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How to Handle IL Visit

Started by alohomora, May 04, 2011, 10:53:17 am

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Hello all,

I'm a long time lurker of this forum. It has helped me a lot in my on-going relationship struggles with my MIL. Currently, for the past several years in fact, we have had a good relationship, to the point I call her more then my DH does! (she lives across the country).

My DH and I are very newly pregneant. So new in fact, we haven't told anyone yet.

For the last year or so that we've been trying, we've spoken about how to handle visitations during/after the birth of the baby.

I love my IL's. However, close quarters with them is always a bad idea. MIL is as strong a personality as I am, and we are two very different people, with different values and ways.

We are in the two year long process of our new home being built (part of new development). In the meantime, we live in a 1200 sqf two bedroom condo. So this will be our babies first home.

I have a large family. Lots of older siblings. My own mother has passed away, but I am very close with my father, my aunt and uncle who all live nearby. We see my side maybe once a month at some kind of get together.

I don't want a huge crowd in the hospital wait room. Maybe my dad and my sisters, my best friend. People I won't stress about being out there. That's what will make me feel comfortable that day. After the baby is brought home, my DH has two weeks off work (I will be at the least takign a year off of work to stay home) of parental leave, and I'd like us to be left alone as much as possible during this time.

So. The pink elephant in the room. When do  we ask the In-laws to come? I will assume they will want to come. They are loving people and I'm married to the oldest, and proverbial goldan boy, son. My SIL has a baby that MIL sits for almost daily. So I'm thinking they may not jump at the chance to come. DH thinks there is no doubt they will though.

I don't want house guests in our little condo when I'm a new mom. IL's have come here three times in two years since we've been here and always stay with us - we wouldn't ask them to stay at a hotel. However, I don't want house guests. And as I said, MIL and I under the same roof is a bad, bad idea.

I thought one to two months after the baby is born would be a good time. Is this reasonable? How would you (to all the general MIL's here!) feel if your DIL explained the above reasons (and we have an honest, frank relationship, but very caring also) and asked that you not come for a month or two?

Very open to opinions and suggestions. Thank you!


Hi Alohomora,

You're not a lurker, I've seen you here before.  :)

Congratulations. My take is you do what feels right to you. I don't think a month or two (since they are going to be staying with you) is that unreasonable. If they would be able to stay in a hotel, then absolutely, invite them sooner.

My little girl was very colicky, I had a c-section and I didn't need MIL around crying. She was also very adamant that she thought it was important for G-mas to do midnight feedings. (What?). She seriously said, "Well, I might hear the baby cry sooner, so I can get to her faster, so I should be the one to feed her in the middle of the night." Then she cried when I told her that I wasn't comfortable with that (she was worried she wouldn't bond with the baby if she didn't partake in midnight feedings,and was still saying the baby crying in the middle of the night was up for grabs). That put me on guard and she was not welcome to stay in my house until DD slept through the night. DH and I came to blows about that. Right or wrong, it was what was best for my sanity, which means my marriage.

There are so many ways to do this, we'll have all different answers. Hopefully someone will toss one out at you that will work.


I don't think you are being unreasonable at all for your feelings.  I don't have any kids yet, but I hope when the time comes, there will be a happy medium between others excitement to see our baby, and our own personal comfort levels.  It sounds like you have a relationship where there shouldn't be any hurt feelings if you calmly explain what you explained here- and promise to send her lots of pictures and updates so she doesn't feel left out!  Holly suggested her staying at a hotel- could you give her that as an alternative?  I think she may feel left out if she knows your family can come over frequently to spend time with the baby and she is not allowed.  Know what I mean?  Could you give her the choices and let her decide?  She could stay in a hotel and come see the baby earlier, or she could wait till things have settled down at your household and be welcome to stay with you? 

BTW- I like your name. :)


Alohamora - please don't go looking for trouble.  As you say, you're in the very early stages of pregnancy, trust me when I say that you won't know how you'll feel until the time comes.

Why would you say anything NOW about a visit in (what?) almost a year's time?  That's just silly and to me, it's asking for a fight.

I can see that you're likely a planner and you want to get all of your ducks in a row NOW.  But I think your best bet would be to play it by ear.  I think it would be hurtful to tell your MIL "I'm pregnant, BTW you're not allowed in the waiting room, or to visit, or to stay at my house when you do visit. K? THX BYE". 

If she asks to be in the waiting room, be honest and tell her you're not comfortable with that.  She may not ask.

If she asks when they can come visit, tell her that you're going to play it by ear and wow, you hadn't even thought of that, because the "spare room" will now be a nursery and will you even have a bed for guests, ah well, we'll see.

You can have all of your answers ready, but I wouldn't bring up the questions or the issues, until they become issues.

Congratulations on your pregnancy - good luck!


Congratulations!!!! Alohomora!!!

Wanna hear something funny?  This is gonna sound so dumb, but I feel really special to be one of the first people to know about your baby news!  I know, I need a life, lol.

I am so glad you have a good relationship with your ILs.  I adore mine too.  As a new mother when we had DS I felt EXACTLY the same way. Those first few months are special bonding time, getting aquainted time. Unless you are ill and need help with the new baby, midnight feeding, making bottles, changing diapers are all the things you are going to want to do with alone or with dad.  At least that's how I felt.  I would hope that they would know this, but sometimes you just have to say things flat out.  If they offer to come I would just say, "Oh, I can't wait for you to see him!  Now all we do is mostly sleep all day, but when he's a few weeks older I know he's gonna LOVE being with GM, GP!"  That should be a hint.

Congrats again!'

Holly, have you ever thought about writing?  You have a way with words!  I cracked up when I read that the baby was colicky, you were the one that had a c-section, and MIL would be the one crying! LOL  Talk about all about "me, me, me!! 

Holly, ummmm....forgive me if asking this is out of place, but I was wondering if your mil has any mental health issues?  Sometimes when people are that emotional they have a chemical inbalance.  My sister takes medication for hers and she's such a different person.  Hope this isn't out of line.

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Here's a thought. :-)

Since we live in the day and age of the world wide web and webcams and all that. Maybe explain how you don't want it to be a strain on your relationship and tell her that you would love to video chat with them shortly (day or two? I've never had a baby so don't know when you'd be up to it) after the bundle of joy arrives because you really want them to see the baby.

MIL's, does that sound like an okay idea?

And totally listen to Scoop, she's right on. It will sound really bad if you annouce your pregancy and the fact that they can't come at the same time.


Quote from: Scoop on May 04, 2011, 11:28:16 am
Alohamora -

I can see that you're likely a planner and you want to get all of your ducks in a row NOW.  But I think your best bet would be to play it by ear.  I think it would be hurtful to tell your MIL "I'm pregnant, BTW you're not allowed in the waiting room, or to visit, or to stay at my house when you do visit. K? THX BYE".

;DYep, that might be a bit hurtful, lol! 

I'm sure Alohomora wouldn't have said it like that. LOL.  Gosh, that tickled me.   

I don't think she was planning to tell them "now".  I think you hit the nail on the head. She's a planner.  I think all new mothers plan ahead, thinking of what it's going to be like when they bring their new babies home.  I guess it's hard for her to have these fantasies when every mental image has a picture of ILs. I remember when I brought home DS.  I remember sitting in the rocking chair in his room nursing him at home.  It was so beautiful and peaceful. Now I take that same image and add my MIL (who I love dearly) Ummmm...just not the same, lol.

Tell me again why she can't just say "I'm pregnant, BTW you're not allowed in the waiting room, or to visit, or to stay at my house when you do visit. K? THX BYE"

LOL, I'm sorry, I'm just being bad today. :P

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BTW, I think Scoop gave some excellent advice! :)

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lancaster lady

alohamora :

From a MIL point of view , if I had to wait two months to see my new born grandchild I would go bonkers !
what's wrong with a quick visit , not staying with you , shortly after the baby's born .
Then later staying at a hotel wouldn't be so bad , when they did come to visit ?
As you get along so well with your MIL , please explain to her what you would like to happen .I'm sure she won't mind
as long as you keep her in the picture . How far away does she live ? I understand if it's miles and miles away .
In that case , you could make sure she has lots of photos of the newborn until she can come visit .
You know we MIL were new Mom's once , we understand how things are . As long as you keep her in the loop
and please don't exclude her planning for the baby .
Yes I know you are the Mom , but she is your DH's Mom , and without him there wouldnt' be a baby .That way she will feel
wanted and needed .
I suppose you can guess I was excluded after my GD was born . It is the most hurtful thing imaginable for a new GM.
Just let her know what's happening and what you're planning and honestly I'm sure she'll be fine .

I respect my DIL is the Mom and what she says goes ! By acknowledging this I am now considered in their plans .

How exciting for you , it's such a wonderful time .Many Congrats , I can see how thoughtful you are by thinking of MIL
at this early stage .


I didn't tell anyone I was pregnant until 12 weeks...but the IL visit weight heavily on my mind and thoughts about the discussion rolled around in my head.

DH and I were okay with them staying at around 6 weeks. Then DH talked to MIL, and suddenly she was staying for the entire second week the baby was home. Okay...I handled that. Then...she called DH again...and said she was going to be up in the area the week before the due date, so she would stay with us the week before and the week after. What choice did I have then?

I said, "Okay, they'll get a hotel." MIL brought up her discomfort with the idea of a hotel and her desire to feed the baby at midnight directly to me, at my baby shower (8  months pregnant), after DH had told her we weren't comfortable with having visitors then. I said, "I'm asking you to wait b/c we'll have to see how we feel. I'd prefer  if you stayed in a hotel if you come up at that time. You can come up for a visit and stay with us when the baby is older. I'll cancel your hotel reservation if I decide I need help."

Well, a fit ensued...MIL said she wasn't wanted and came up for TWO hours when the baby was four days old and spent the entire time talking about how it wasn't enough time. I made darn sure  we high-tailed it down to their family reunion (7 hour car ride one way) with a 7 week old baby in tow after that. It didn't have to be like this. I thought I was pretty willing to compromise and give her sufficient time with DD.

My point is that I don't think planning is a bad thing...I don't think I planned well enough, to be honest. I think your relationship with your MIL is much better than mine, however.


I just realized in reading that post, how insensitive that would be. And you know, blindly, without thinking, I probably would have made my plan and said something just like that!!! 'hey MIL, I'm PG! Isn't it great? Sorry you're not invited. Suck it.'

Not that I would have used that language but still the same message gets received! Geez!

The reason it DOES need to be planned months in advance is a few reasons - its a five hour flight between us and them. And its EXPENSIVE (easily 1k a ticket). So the earlier flights are booked, the better. Also MIl is a planner also and she babysits her GD. But no, the decisions don't need to be made right this second. I'm much more concerned with the life changes we're about to make on the home front (WOWZA!!!!!!) but this is on my radar so I thought I'd bring my concern here, to what seems like an appropriate place :-)

I think the hotel option is fair - but almost unfair at the same time. I feel rude asking them to stay at a hotel. And the reality is given the cost of their airfare, plus a hotel, this type of trip becomes too expensive. Theyr'e well off financial but they're not millionaires - paying four thousand dollars minimum to fly out here and stay in a hotel for a week, to get to see the baby a couple of times, that's just not practical you know?



I don't mind you asking that. I believe her doctor through she was smuggling in estrogen pills...he demanded she go off of them. She's not on anything, though. I suspect her hormones affect her reaction to things. As do mine...


Holly, your MIL sounds like she has a pretty sad existence. No wonder she throws herself pity parties. You won't throw them for her! LOL

I do not look forward to all the IL issues when we finally have kids.  :-\


You know, if you're not honest when asking for help, you're probably not going to get help.

On the one hand, I know I want my privacy. And on the other hand, I have a strong feeling MIL is going to tell us that they cannot come at all because they are too busy with BIl's daughter.

If that happens, no bones about this, my head will explode.

I don't want to be one of those people that wants it both ways. But that's my truth right now. Sigh. Stupid hormones.


Thanks, Holly!

LOL Alohomora, we know you wouldn't have said that. :P

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