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ILs visiting after grandchild's birth

Started by stilltrying2010, January 27, 2011, 02:32:28 pm

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Hi. I need some advise on how to go about this causing the least offense to anyone.
Let me say that MIL and I have always been on shakey ground and that from this xmas thru now she has been unusually poilte toward me.  We now talk about the weather and she asks how I am feeling.  Last night after our 2 min exchange she spoke to my husband.  Asking whenthe baby is due (I am 5 mos pregnant) if my parents are coming down to help and how long they will be staying. (bkgrnd: we live near NO family & DH requested my parents come when baby is born.)
when I asked DH if his DM has mentioned coming, he says no.  To me, she is dropping hints to him that she wants to come but I have not been consulted by either.  When they usually come, they stay 2-3wks and since we have no relationshipand they don't want to do anything ever it makes visits VERY stressful.  Add into that I am having a c-section, we have a 5yr old who will be adjusting to a new sister, a year old lab puppy,  and my hormones fluctuating, I am not sure I can handle a visit.

My DH doesn't say anything but I know it makes him feel good that his DM wants to see the new baby when it arrives (even though we really only have contact (incl phone) with them on holidays or if MIL has FOO stuff to sharing (aka gossip). 

I jsut don't know how to handle this but last night found I couldnt sleep due to thinking about her potentially impeding visit.  Yes, I want to make my DH happy & I think she should be allowed dto see the gc but I am not sure if I can handle the duration and I cant help but feel like she is spying on us & talking about  our family  & older DD to the FOO (not in a positive way either).

I know this is all over & appreciate your reading it but any advise on how to handle this is greatly appreciated.  The baby is due in late may & our DD will start kindergaretn in August plus they don't like the hot weather hin our southern location.... 



Congrats on being pregnant! I hope you're feeling okay! I was nervous about the IL visit as well. I made it clear to my DH that I really wasn't comfortable playing host to anyone when I had a new baby. That was one area where I felt my needs came first. But, even though I live near my mom, I didn't have her over either...so I think I was being fair.

MIL was upset; she got to go overseas to help for 3 weeks with my nephew. But then again, SIL had her mom there to help as well, for 6 weeks prior to MIL arriving!

DH wanted his parents to stay, but I just wasn't up for it,  and that was okay.

They came up for a few hours when DD came home from the hospital, and given that I had a c-section, preparing lunch and putting a leaf in the table while they were staring at the baby was a bit much for me. I wasn't supposed to be doing anything but resting and taking care of the baby. So....my thoughts are that if you're not comfortable, don't do it. My MIL always says she wants to help, but she's bad at helping. Her idea of helping is holding the baby and asking me "Why aren't you singing to her, you should be singing to her...you're not putting her to sleep right..." (FYI, I don't sing in mixed company, and if I do sing to DD, it's in the morning so she's excited for her day); I couldn't have taken care of DD AND her for any length of time after my c-section. I had too much going on, so a short visit and a stay at a hotel was more than enough.

If MIL is going to be there to give you more time with the new baby, then I don't see a problem,  but it's really up to you; I'm good at putting my needs aside, but I just wasn't willing to do it when DD was here, and not knowing what I'd be dealing with. Too many variables. Good luck, talk to your DH, though; it's definitely something for you guys to talk about.

lancaster lady

Hi there ...
We MIL are a pain I know but some of us don''t mean to be .
Have your parents agreed to come when you have the baby ? Ask them if they are definitely coming ,then if your MIL does ask ,you can explain your parents are coming but you would love to see them at a later date . Or do you think they will all come together ? Do they stay with you ?
Ask your DH to explain to them they are welcome to come after you have recovered from the birth .
She's a mom and should understand how traumatic giving birth can be ,also if they come for a long sta
you can hardly be expected to look after them too .
Send them lots of photos of the newborn and say you can't wait for them to see the baby  .As long as you include them with all your news etc ,we hate to be left out . She should realise you would want your own mom there to help you .
you have 4 months to go ,so don't let it stress you ,and I hope your parents confirm soon .
Take care and best wishes ...


Maybe I have no right to an opinion since I don't have a DIL, but I'm going to add my 2 cents, just because. : )   I don't know that I would make it through 2 weeks without losing patience with my own dh or dm.  I'm 57, and when I go visit my dm out of state, we're together 24/7 & that sometimes leads to trouble.  Dm is my best friend.   That's just part of being human.  We hash things out when necessary because we're committed to making the relationship work.  Dm's & mil's aren't so different.  For the most part, we just want to feel loved & included in your lives.  I never wanted to take over as gm.  But neither did I expect to be kicked to the curb just because dd became a mom.  And just because we get old, it didn't mean we quit dreaming.  There ought to be some middle ground where everyone can not only coexist but actually put your guard down & enjoy one another.  Just as there can be too many cooks in a kitchen, things can get equally testy over babies, unwelcome advice, housecleaning, etc, etc.  Don't expect perfection from either yourself or your mil.  Just be yourself & allow her to do the same.  I think part of the problem is that everybody tries too hard, so we all keep our guards up, walking on eggshells.   How about being honest with your mil? Ask her if she can take it if your hormones go amok & if you can be up front & honest with her if you feel she's stepping on your toes.    Remember when you brought your 5 yr old dd home from the hospital?  Wasn't it harder than you expected it to be?   All I'm suggesting is that if you can be open enough to expect the unexpected, you may gain not only a mil, but a dear friend in the process.  Isn't that what family is all about?  When it all comes down to the bottom line, I believe there are 6 people you can absolutely count on to stand in front of a bus to protect your dc...you, dh, dm & df, mil & fil.   I figured putting up with a little unwelcome advice from time to time is worth the trade-off, or at least worthy of consideration.   If you decide to allow mil to visit, perhaps she'd be willing to shorten her stay so that your dm could also spend a little time with you.   Best of wishes to you & your new baby...  :D :D :D


I am of the school that visitors stay else where. I need my privacy and my rest and I am not a new mother. (I am a very old great, grandmother.) If this doesn't work for them, then the visit if off. My home is my castle.  8)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


When my first grandchild was born, son and DIL were lliving in NYC.  Her parents were in Japan and were planning on coming for the birth of the baby.  Fine with me.  We'll go up after a couple of days, stay in a motel and visit.  Then, no the in-laws could not come.  Would I plan on coming!  Oh, yes!  Then, it was back to the in-laws coming.  Again, fine with me.  We did go up a couple of days after DIL and gs were released from the hospital.  Got a motel for our stay and commuted from there to their apt.  In-laws were there and were going to be there for about 4 weeks.  Poor DIL was wiped out.  She was breastfeeding, and had given her room up to her parents (they are quite elderly and DIL was sleeping on an air mattress in the babies room.  I felt so sorry for her.  I told her she was not to anything but nap and feed the baby.  She did not have to entertain us.  We could entertain ourselves, which we did.  It was awkard (sp) because I do not speak any Japanese and her parents' English was suspect at best.  We only stayed a couple of hours that day and went back the next day.  DIL was in tears with her breasts.  All I could advise her on was to put cold cabbage leaves on them, as I knew nothing about nursing babies.

Daughter and her husband adopted a baby in October.  They did not want us to go to the hospital in case things went bad.  They took her the baby home on Sunday and we went down on Monday.  They were allowed to leave the state on Friday and we stayed a couple of days after that.  We try to see the baby every weekend, as they both work and everybody is cranky at the end of the day.  We were some help in the week we were all in Florida.



Your post about your DM reminded me of my mother and I. She is very anti-staying at the house when she visits my brother; she just wouldn't want to put anyone out. Also, she is my best friend in the entire world (aside from DH), but she and I both have our limits. I think 3 days together is about enough fun for us both. It's nice that we can love each other despite our need for space and downtime.


When I was still able to go to Hawaii and visit Kirk (and we are practically one-heartbeat) I don't stay at their house and they have a guest room with a bath. And when he comes here, he has his own little place about 7 miles down the road.

Here we are:

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


First, thanks for the responses.

Holliberri - my ILs are like yours, guests not helpers.  My MIL (still to this day) compares all the gc to GSILs kids - literally everything, everytime. I know that I need to talk to my DH about it but since I think the root of my MIL problem is a problem btwn my DH & his DM, I'm not sure how far I'll get.
Lancaster Lady - Thank you for putting into words how my ILs would be feeling.  My parents haven't confirmed the dates (since I don't have my csection date set yet).   I know this is MILs gc however, sometimes its hard to give up my most precious moments to someone that chooses not to be involved in anything other than our special occasions.  I also don't like that we are gossip fodder for the FOO or that our kids pics are sent to people we haven't spoken to in years. I think part of the reasonthey want to come is so they can say they came (in the past just visiting our DD MIL spends more time on the phone with GSIL & her kids then actually WITH our DD.
Rose - Of course you are entitled to an opinion.  I have to say I have reread what you wrote... the thought of "counting on MIL" gives me shivers... I KNOW she would help us no matter what & then turn around and spread whatever pain/suffering we experienced to everyone within earshot.  My husband grew up sensoring his words but I find it difficult to anticipate how what I say is twisted into something else.  Its like trusting a convicted robber with your money... just never comfortable with it.  That being said, your post makes me wish for that relationship (even though I don't think it'll ever happen).  The entire family is p/a and pretends that no one wrongs anyone a or misunderstands never never take place.  They discuss them - with everyone BUT the person that incurred them.  I just don't know how to get there- especially without the support of my DH (he never wants me to "say something"

FAFE_ wow your DS & DIL have a lot going on - I can't imagine how grateful they must feel for your support instead of your demands.  I can't imagine how difficult it must be for your to put what YOU want aside following their lead instead. 
And of course Louise, I would LOVE for ILs to come and visit the new arrival but to be here every second for a couple weeks is too much!  HI don't know how I would ask them to stay elsewhere (and I don't know if they could afford it).  I can only imagine the You've got a 4 bdrm house blah blah blah 
I canasked my DH to buy themplane tickets so we could control how long they were here (he flies a lot for wk and & has FF miles)but they want to drive.  It'll take them 3 days each way & to make the trip "worthwhile for them, they 'll want to stay longer.  Plus invite my DHs DCousins who live several hours away to visit too.   

Thank you for your words and more concrete advise like should I speak to DM directlydirectly even though DH has said not to?  Last visit I asked direct how long they were staying and MIL refused to answer... just need to know how to move forward with some consideration for OUR needs versus theirs.

thanks & love!


If they are in a hotel,let's hope they run out of money before you run out of patience.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Quote from: luise.volta on January 27, 2011, 04:35:02 pm
I am of the school that visitors stay else where. I need my privacy and my rest and I am not a new mother. (I am a very old great, grandmother.) If this doesn't work for them, then the visit if off. My home is my castle.  8)

Privacy?  What's that?  Coming from a family of 8, that word wasn't often used at my house.   :D :D

Stilltrying, your job is to do nothing but heal & enjoy your baby & family.  No matter who it is, if they're aren't there to help, they have no business being there period.  Do what feels right for you...


Stilltrying, you are a thoughtful person to consider your mil.  She should feel blessed.  I've never met anyone more overbearing & cantankerous than my mil.  We never really had a heart to heart discussion, but over time, we developed an "understanding."  That worked out just as well.
I hope things improve between you & mil... 


Quote from: holliberri on January 27, 2011, 05:10:05 pm
Your post about your DM reminded me of my mother and I. Also, she is my best friend in the entire world (aside from DH), but she and I both have our limits. I think 3 days together is about enough fun for us both. It's nice that we can love each other despite our need for space and downtime.

I've stayed a month with dm.  When things start closing in, we just go to our neutral corners for a while...  ;D


Quote from: luise.volta on January 27, 2011, 05:15:01 pm

Here we are:

Very, very nice, Luise.  Were they all taken with your new camera?  As my Df said to dh when dd was born, "you can't claim that one isn't yours!"   ;) ;D   


No a friend took that about 5 years ago. Isn't he a "fox?"  8)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama