Mother-in-law at birth help please!

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Canuckmum2b
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Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby Canuckmum2b » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:16 pm

Hi there, I would really appreciate some advice. I'm expecting my first baby next year April and we're obviously very excited. My husband is Canadian thus his parents are in Canada and as this is their first grandchild they (read grandmother-to-be) would really like to be here for the baby's birth. Originally when she mentioned this I was very excited and over the moon at the offer so it was a resounding yes. But then last night I had a chat with hubby and it seems like I mistook her intentions and what she actually has in mind is to be a birthing partner as well as being staying with us for the first month or so. This is making me feel a bit clausterphobic to be honest and when I mentioned that maybe we should ask her to arrive two weeks (give or take a few days depending on actual due date) after birth of baby so that the three of us could bond a bit, my husband then stated that he only gets two weeks paternity leave so would prefer his mother to be here during this time. I'm so confused. I know I don't know what to do and that her help will be invaluable but am I wrong in wanting a bit of "family time" at the start. Are there any rules/wrongs/rights? I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
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Minnie
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby Minnie » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:31 pm

I so no where your coming from.

I said no visitors for 2 weeks after the birth. It is so important that your alone as a family, together for bonding and also to learn about being a mother.

It would of been too much to of had people there.

Trust me she would be of more use when your husbands gone back to work.
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dinosaur
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby dinosaur » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:44 pm

I have also been in this situation and all I can say is that you should not be shy about saying what your own preference will be. This is a big moment in your life, and it is nice that your MIL wants to share in that, but this is an extremely personal and special time for you and your husband.

I agree with the previous poster. Given that you are already having doubts about having people around for the birth and immediately afterwards, I would suggest now (before flights are booked) that your in-laws plan their visit for two weeks after the due date when they will definitely be able to help more and you will have had time to get to know your baby.
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NYE31
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby NYE31 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:50 pm

My advice would be that

a) you could be up to 2 weeks late after your due date,
b) the 1st 2 weeks when your husband is on paternity leave should be just the 3 of you, &
c) you will really need the help of your MIL once your husband goes back to work.

As for the birth, who is there & not there is up to you & NO ONE else!

Good luck x
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supermummy
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby supermummy » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:09 pm

That sounds horrendous, go with your instincts. Of course it is a special time for a grandparent but it's YOUR special time too. I got so uptight about the prospect of visitors straight. You dont know if you'll be exhausted, tearful, struggling with feeding, in pain and maybe just wanting some privacy as you get yourself together after the birth.This is the one time in your life when you get to call the shots, nobody else. In any case, as others have said, what is the point in travelling before the baby is born? If you are nearly 2 weeks late, you also dont want the added pressure of giving birth quickly or having them waiting at yours! I personally can't think of anything worse than waiting around for labour to start having to chit chat to my mother in law! All I wanted to do was have some down time before the baby arrived. I agree you will also want the help after your husband goes back to work.

Having said all of that, on a positive note and despite my massive anxiety about the whole visiting thing I was so utterly happy when I had my first baby that I wanted my parents to visit the next day and my in laws soon after. I was nowhere as precious as I thought I'd be.

Good luck
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ANT_clapham
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby ANT_clapham » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:19 pm

I'm an NCT antenatal teacher so I hear about this kind of thing a lot.

I think it's really important to speak up about what you want. You will be exhausted, physically very far from being your usual self and suddenly responsible for an entirely new human being, the last thing you need is someone there that you don't want.

I completely understand why your husband wants his mum there while he's off work, but he's mistaken if he thinks that will be a good time to see her - he should be working as a team with you getting to know the new member of your family.

Bedding down at home just the 3 of you can be just the most wonderful thing to do, sometimes called a "babymoon" - have a look at this article: http://thegreenparent.co.uk/articles/re ... -babymoon/

Apart from anything else, if you keep quiet and put up with your MIL staying, you might really resent her being there, and resent your husband for insisting, and as your relationship is going to change with the new baby anyway, it's important to speak openly about how you're feeling. If that makes sense. Just be honest about how you're feeling. His MIl can come anytime and he'll still see loads of her. Plus you will need more help (with cooking/laundry etc) after he's gone back to work.

As for the birth, most places have a limit on how many people can be there, it's often just 1 person. So that should be easy to get around.

Good luck, and try not to stress!
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NorthcoteLuvvie
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby NorthcoteLuvvie » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Ruffle your husbands hair and tell him it's so cute that he thinks that he has a say in this matter.

Then tell him exactly what is going to happen.

You do NOT need his mother around when he is on paternity leave, it's a time for family, ie the three of you.

When he has gone THEN you need the help and she can do all the cooking and cleaning work that he has been doing for you to help.

Show him this thread if you need to.

Seriously, this is the one of those time in your life you need to tell him how it is going to be, not ask him what he wants.

Good luck, you'll be fine
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tooposhtopush
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby tooposhtopush » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:44 pm

The only comment I would make and please take this the right way but....

is your husband a bit of a "traditional" husband?

He may feel that he a) needs his mum to look after you both as you will be spending time looking after baby and can't cook/clean for him and b) he is scared of the responsibility of looking after the two of you ie if he doesn't normally cook/clean etc

But I agree with the others, it's your time :-)
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AbbevilleMummy
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:54 pm

Agree with the others, this is definitely a time to ignore your husband, in fact this is probably the first of many times you will ignore your husband when it comes to matters to do with you and your children! :lol:

I just wanted to add that your husband doesn't have to take his paternity leave all in one go straight after the birth so maybe he could leave a few days to take once his mother arrives? Just a suggestion....
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Mrs Contractor Mum
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby Mrs Contractor Mum » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:28 pm

Please make sure tickets are booked at least two weeks after your due date if not a bit longer. My husband's neice came to stay with us to help with the baby and for some reason her parents booked her flight 2 weeks before the due date and I finally gave birth 11 days after the due date. This meant I had an extra person in the house that I was more or less entertaining when all I wanted to do is rest up and catch up on as much sleep as possible. I also felt under so much pressure to have the baby as her return flight was coming up and we ended up rescheduling her return flight. Also, during labour I didn't want anyone apart from my midwife with me as I wanted as calm an environment so hubby and neice came in for the birth.
In the end, baby arrived and neice had to go home two days after the birth :roll:
My MIL came about 3 weeks after the birth by which time I was ready for the help and really appreciated it.
Depending on your relationship with you MIL, you could explain how you are feeling and tell her you are really looking forward to her coming but you would appreciate her help once you have settled at home with your baby and sleep deprivation kicks in. :)
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supergirl
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby supergirl » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:34 pm

I agree with the others but life as I know it is not black or white. My parents in law were around at the time of the birth of my kids BUT were staying in a b&b even though we could have accomodate them.
Yes it is your time of course but it is also your husband time, he is proud and is parents are travelling from far, dont know their age but it may be a big deal for them.

I would think about the positive rather than focus on the negative ie. if she is like mine, we had so much bonding time in this first 2 weeks because she got the logistic under control. My husband and I didnt lift a finger for the time they were there and they were not even in the guest room!

As for being birth partner: up to you but that would blur the boundaries and this may a step too far at being close, accepting and understanding. Having said that i know 2 women who had their mum as birth partner as well as their husband. So up to you really?
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claphamama
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby claphamama » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:39 pm

My mother in law stayed with us few days after our baby was born and I still remember it as the most stressful time ever. She just wanted to hold little one and coo over her while all I wanted to do was be left alone to try and get the all breastfeeding thing working. No cooking or cleaning or helping in any way (but she is normally like this so your MIL might be different).
And all the 'when my children were little' stories I had to listen to.
If I could go back I would totally REFUSE to have anybody around - apart for hubby of course!!
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Canuckmum2b
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby Canuckmum2b » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:05 pm

Thank you so much to everyone that responded, I have really found all your feedback invaluable. I'm so happy I decided to put the question out there. Hubby not taking all his paternity leave in one go is also an option I think we should defnitely consider. I'll discuss this with him on the weekend when he's back from his business trip and will let you all know on our decision. I can't thank you all enough, it feels like a big load's been lifted off my shoulders just sharing this. Jennifer
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Pop
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby Pop » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:23 pm

I wish someone had given me and my husband a lot of this excellent advice before our first. We were not firm enough with our families, and allowed them to visit far too soon. They were very excited about their first grandchild, which resulted in them cuddling the baby constantly and doing nothing to help - not even making me a cup of tea! While normally a confident person, I was exhausted, hormonal and suffering from the baby blues, so didn't feel able to ask for my baby back! Sounds silly I know. I really resented the intrusion, and also the constant 'advice' / comments - 30 years out of date (e.g. Shouldn't you be feeding every 4 hours, 10 mins each side; my babies preferred sleeping on their tummies etc.). In my exhausted state I didn't handle it as well as I could and my resentment was picked up, but not understood. Ultimately that short period led to some serious damage to relationships in the family which have been hard to mend.

This is my cautionary tale! I think you're doing absolutely the right thing thinking about this in advance. Be strong and set boundaries for your family now. While you might worry about upsetting people, I'm sure it's better to be clear now than feel resentment towards your MIL or husband later.
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TXmum
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Re: Mother-in-law at birth help please!

Postby TXmum » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:52 pm

I completely agree with the above posts and particularly the last two.
My mother came for the birth, but as soon as baby arrived, it became abundantly clear she was here for "meet the baby tourism" not to help out. I started to resent her being there and was furious I was having to look after her and a new baby.
My MIL came a few weeks later, loaded with unsolicited advice and said she was there to help, but she doesn't cook, and I was hormonal (and admittedly irrational) enough I wasn't willing to hand the baby over to her. We had a really refluxy baby so by then my nerves were totally shot. I was a mess and like the poster above ended up doing more harm than good to the relationship.
Sometimes grandparents aren't as helpful as we imagine they will be. You know your family best but if she's already thinking she will intrude on your delivery (NO!) then there aren't really any more boundaries to cross are there? Imagine Breastfeeding in front of her and if that makes you uncomfortable, then you might encourage her to wait until you're more confident with the baby. It will be a lot easier to accept help when you Are.
Note: any time she started annoying me, I whipped my boobs out - she would get so flustered not knowing where to look but not being able to look away! My personal little revenge and often meant I got some privacy!
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