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How to Handle IL Visit

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

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I think that will settle down. Just do as much as you can to control your own reaction and prepare for all possible scenarios. I would be hurt if someone blew up at me b/c I didn't do something they were wanting/expecting me to do.

Although, it doesn't sound like she'd place tremendous pressure on you to stay with you. That is probably a good thing.

lancaster lady

Oh dear ! ....I would never do what your MIL did to you after DD was born ....you have my sympathy .Def not on staying with you
when baby was two weeks old !

Alohamora :
with the distance involved I think Skype is the answer , lots of photos , and an arranged visit .How long would they have to stay?
I reckon 4 days is enough , would they be happy with that ? Could you cope with them staying with you for 4 days ?
I would be happy with that , otherwise any longer would have to be a hotel don't you think ?

The thing is not to worry about it ... :)


The skype thing does sound like a nice idea!

LL, she tried to do that, but she didn't succeed. It took two days of my pregnant self sleeping on the couch and 3 therapy sessions for DH to realize that it was up to he and I both what was going to happen.


If my GD weren't close by when she was born, I would have wanted to see her sooner rather  than later, but I would have understood and respected whatever SD decided. Actually, I did respect some totally ridiculous boundaries she set, because she was a new mother and I knew she would settle down, so it wasn't worth fighting over.  All new mothers have to learn on their own that the baby isn't going to disintegrate or die of some terrible disease over every little thing. It takes a bit of time.

I started a long reply, and then, I thought that you cannot know exactly when the baby is going to come. My next door neighbor was three weeks overdue. This is rare, but a great excuse to put off their visit for at least a month. That and you never know how the birth is going to go, so you should plan on taking a couple of weeks to recover.  So, give yourself a three week leeway from the due date, plus a two week recovery and you have over a month after the due date. It is logical, and reasonable.

If she wants to be there for the birth, insist on a hotel room.  This is a very reasonable request. First, at 9 months, you are not going to want guests, and second you do want and need alone time as a family when baby comes home. You can discourage her coming at this time because it would be a shame for her to be there to see you waddle around at 9 months, but have to wait to see the baby until it is much older, because she came too early.

I am of the opinion that is it totally up to the mother as to who she wants in the delivery room and at the hospital. If she is uncomfortable with someone being there, they shouldn't be there. It is all about the comfort and safety of the woman giving birth. Labor is not the time to start a fight or to whine about being left out or making sure you have equal time. The mother should be giving all of her attention to bringing a life into the world and not have to worry about some poor sap's feelings over being able to sit in uncomfortable waiting room seats under bad florescent lights for 12 hours just to be able to say they were there.

And, having been through a cesarean, and a vaginal birth, there is no way I would intrude on the first two weeks after the birth unless expressly invited. It is all about what is good for the baby and its family, and not at all about me no matter how badly I might want to meet the baby and be a part of it. So, if you want a minimum time limit, give yourself and your family two weeks, and I would make it clear to the rest of the family that no drop ins are welcome for at least the first week, any visits before then must be arranged and expect them to be short, oh, and no crowds of people until the baby is much older. Take as much time as you need.


I would be hesitant to tell my inlaws anything definite that so far in advance anyway.  It's good to think about it and get a feel for what you want but when the time comes, it's all up in the air.  I'd start talking to DH about really general things, waiting room, when you're going to call all the grandparents, what you would like to happen during delivery etc. 

Some childbirth classes have childbirth plans where they have all these questions and the different scenario and you're supposed to talk about it with DH before the time comes.  Maybe you can check into that?

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

lancaster lady

In my country , only the DH is usually present at the hospital at any time , can't think of having waiting GP's for you to produce .
It's a shared moment for couples IMHO.


If my due date were say, August 1, I'd probably tell them around June (so a good two months in advance and well out of the scary part of pregnancy I'm hoping!) that I'd like them to come for the first week of September, that sort of thing.

You never really know how people will react to things though will you? Maybe my MIL will be totally understanding of this and supportive! Or maybe its WWIII. Could go either way. She's done some pretty irrational things in the past (although those types of things seem to have reverted from me to my other BIL's GF, who sadly is the current target around there).


Quote from: alohomora on May 04, 2011, 02:13:25 pm
If my due date were say, August 1, I'd probably tell them around June (so a good two months in advance and well out of the scary part of pregnancy I'm hoping!) that I'd like them to come for the first week of September, that sort of thing.

You never really know how people will react to things though will you
? Maybe my MIL will be totally understanding of this and supportive! Or maybe its WWIII. Could go either way. She's done some pretty irrational things in the past (although those types of things seem to have reverted from me to my other BIL's GF, who sadly is the current target around there).

It's funny you say that, that's what scares me the most about my MIL.  Never know, even if it is happy news, she can suck the joy right out of it.  I feel like I'm constantly on defense, thinking ahead, protecting my little family.  Exhausting dynamic.

Oh and btw, Congratulations!
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


May 04, 2011, 02:26:17 pm #23 Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 02:33:56 pm by Holly
Thank you - so many kind words here. It's still too early in some ways that I feel trepid about the whole thing.

I do want to give this my best shot though. My history with MIL is not great. DH and I have been together since we were teenagers and are now in our early 30's. We've had two CO's from his parents - his mother really, but its hard to be in CO from her and still maintain a relationship with FIL - especially having always lived pretty far from them. I blame the first cut off on both of us - her for being too meddlesome and overbearing, as well as just plain rude, and on myself for being immature and entitled. The second one came after a huge blow out betwen us and the IL's, over furniture - pathetic - and ended with us not really talking for over a year and half.

That being said - I don't want our issues to translate to the next generation. MIL is the only GM my children will have, I'd love for them to have that bond. And I'd really love for it to be as non-stressful as possible on myself and DH.

DH's family is very involved in each others lives. They all talk and for the most part, see each other everyday, they socialize and travel together, that sort of thing. My SIL is a wonderful person. But her ways are very different then mine. She basically goes to MIL's house and hands over her baby so MIL and FIL can take over. When baby cries because she wants mom, they take the baby out of the room that SIL is in, or ask SIL to leave (not rudely - something like 'uh oh baby sees momma!'  which is cue for SIL to leave. And she does.- but still. Not my way AT ALL). MIl baby-sits on average five days a week, sometimes more. And offers up her opinions on everything. When SIL and BIL at their house, MIL is calling all day, and talking to SIL about all her decisions 'oh you're takign baby for a walk? are you putting on her pink jacket? Oh, well I don't want to interfere, you know me, but maybe the yellow one is more appropiate for thiw weather' followed by SIL 9/10 taking MIL's suggestion.

That will not be me. At all. I might rip someone's arm off if they try and prevent me frin taking my crying or screaming baby from them.  :-X

lancaster lady

I think DM interact differently with their own DD than with their DIL.
the fact that you want her to come and invite her , will mean something to her . hopefully she will accept graciously .


They sure do - but in this case, my DH has only brothers. So SIL is BIL's gf (and mother of his child/partner in life/common law spouse/any other title thatfits here :D ).


Alohomora, welcome back. Glad to hear your joyous news!

I agree with those who suggested waiting before doing too much planning. Babies aren't on our schedules. As a former new mom and DIL, and now a MIL with no GC in the works yet, I understood my MILs desire to visit within a day or two and was fine with it. She found another place to stay, which was thoughtful. I'd also want to see the new grandbaby ASAP, but would not ever ever ever go against what DIL requested. I'm assuming DS would send a pic when things settled down, and I'm positive DIL's mom will be in the labor room. I'm also pretty certain her FOO will be in the waiting room, and that DH & I will not be there, probably not even if invited...I think it would be awkward in our sitch.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Congrats alohomora!  How exciting.  I think it depends on what kind of attitude you MIL has now when you deal with her.  If she is a reasonable person that you normally don't conflict with, I would be honest and offer some alternatives of what you would be comfortable with.  If she's not very reasonable normally, then you will have to be prepared to stick to your guns.

I will tell you as an MIL, if I was (ha, ha) a reasonable person, then I probably would get my feelings a little hurt about the hospital, knowing that you were having several other people there.  If it was a no one will be there because I'm not comfortable with it, or even I want my sister there but no one else, I would be good with that and not bat an eye.

I also would feel the same way about the visits later if I knew everyone else was getting to come visit, just not us.  Again, I'm saying IF I was a reasonable MIL.  I wouldn't have a problem waiting a few weeks if everyone else was too, and I wouldn't expect to stay with you unless you asked for help.   Just being thought of this early in the game, and knowing your intention was not to hurt my feelings,  you just needed some time would do wonders for me to not feel left out and not have an issue with it.

If your MIL isn't that way (like Holly's) then all you can do is set your boundaries, explain your decisions and move forward with your plans.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Alohamora - I can see that you're being very reasonable about this.

Just remember that your MIL will have a steep learning curve when it comes to how YOU are with YOUR baby.  Cutting her some slack might be nice, or saying things like "Well, this is how we are going to do it." without holding a grudge if she starts off doing things like she's always done them.

I would still wait before talking about the trip.  In the meantime, I think you should think about your options.  Discuss it with DH and then, if you're feeling generous, give the IL's a choice.

Plan A - the IL's come early, say 10 days after your due date.  The baby may or may not be born yet.  DH may or may not still be on vacation and able to entertain them.  If he's not on vacation, you have NO obligation to entertain them.  If baby is born, s/he will be very wee, and (hopefully) sleep a lot.  You will want to do most of the caretaking of baby, and will be the one doing most of the holding.  The IL's will be expected to do some work, cleaning, cooking, yardwork, whatever needs to be done.

Plan B - the IL's come later, Baby is a bit older and more alert, and you are more 'in the groove' and more willing to let them be more 'hands on'.  DH will not be home during the day to entertain them, it will be all you & baby, all the time.  If they're expecting to spend all day with you, they can chip in to the household chores that result from that cooking and cleaning up meals.

Either way, I think you should ask them to stay in a hotel.  With an open invitation to spend their days with you and the baby, but to please respect your nights at home with the baby.  When Baby is older and you're in the new house, of course they'll be welcome, it's just this one visit when you guys are such rookie parents.

Keys Girl

Alohamora, I think it's a good idea to go with the flow until you get sooner to the date of the baby's birth.  I'm a planner, too, but sometimes overplanning has it's risks, for example extreme weather can impact/cancel flights a long time away.

As a first time mother I was grateful for the help of my mother and MIL in the early days after my son's birth.  Having a new baby is a daunting task and the lack of sleep can make everything more difficult.

I wouldn't say anything to her right now, except for "we are going to go with the flow and see how things happen".

"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown