Posted in Family Life, Postpartum Recovery, Relationships

Family Drama

Anonymous

I'm 28 weeks pregnant and dealing with some drama tonight that I'm trying not to get stressed about. Does have any advice? So, back in the beginning of my pregnancy, my mom made a comment about wanting to stay with us for a week when the baby is born to help out. This is her first grandchild and she is extremely excited. She lives 12+ hours away. Initially I thought "yeah, ok, makes sense." Since then she has come to stay with us for a week at Christmas time. During that week, she ended up leaving early because she got upset that I made plans for her and I to have an outing with my MIL. To my knowledge they got along great and enjoyed each other's company but I guess she felt that I didn't want to spend time with her. She feels that we spend loads of time with my in-laws, which we do because they live a half hour away. Anyway, after the drama of that week, my husband brought up that maybe it wasn't a good idea for her to stay with us in the week we come home from the hospital. We will be overwhelmed enough without adding the responsibility of hosting overnight guests. So I talked to her today and reiterated many times that I want her to come to the hospital when the baby is born, but we don't think we will be up to hosting her for a week straight. I explained that my husband will only have a week off and he wants that time to bond with the baby. I suggested she come and stay while we are in the hospital but then go to my sister's to stay for a few days (she lives 2 hr away from me) and both of them come for day visit(s). She said "well I could get a hotel." I am fine with that but told her I didn't want her to have to have the expense of a plane ticket + hotel. I could tell she began crying during the conversation. So I tried to steer the conversation back to something else until she said she had to go. She is coming to stay for Easter and my baby shower is the day before. Well I just got a text that said she booked an air bnb for Easter. No where in my conversation did I say or imply that I didn't want her to stay with me for Easter. I thought my reasons were valid and had everything to do with navigating the first week of being a parent and physically healing from birth. Which has nothing to do with Easter weekend as the baby is due in June. Then she texted my sister and said "it feels great to not be wanted in your own daughter's home." All I want is for everyone to be happy and spend quality time together with no hurt feelings or drama. I want her to be a big part of the baby's life, obviously, but my husband and I kind of want to have that time to get to know this baby who we have also never met before...I know she wants to be helpful but it's not helpful to make me feel like a horrible daughter simply because I want a week alone with my husband and new baby.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 22

    For me personally I was all about getting help. After my first my Mom stayed a week, after my second I made her stay 3 weeks. I found it easiest to just set, and express my expectations before she came. And honestly you could find her extremely valuable at 11 pm when all you want to do is pass out but lo has their day and night mixed up. You and your husband will be doing most of the work and the bonding whether there is another person there or not. I would regret souring my relationship with my mother, and making such a wonderful experience bitterweet, but if you can I would possibly address her seemingly childish attitude towards your adult decisions. YOU set the boundaries for YOUR family.

  • A
    Mar 22

    My mom took over cooking and cleaning chores in the house when she stayed over right after baby came. I cannot tell you how helpful that was. I cried when she left. The first couple of months are stressful to say the least. I also had postpartum anxiety so she was great support system. It depends on the kinda relationship you have with your mom. I was able to shamelessly depend on her without guilt. She loves when we (my sister) ask for help. Reminds her we are still her babies. If you do have freedom with her, I'd say let her help out. Maybe try patching things up? Ask her to cancel the Airbnb and ask if she would like an outing just the two of you when she comes. Distance and time can relationships stray a bit and maybe an outing would be good for you to two to bond again. I'm sure she just missed you and it came out as childish tantrum when she complained. I would try to talk it out openly. Especially if you have a good relationship with her till now. It'll be good to have her on your side if not for the help at home for emotional support postpartum. But in the end you know your mom best. If all this is just for attention then you don't need that right now. Make amends and have your sister deal with it :)

  • E
    Mar 22

    Have you thought about asking her to come the week after when your husband goes back to work? We did this and it was a godsend. I don’t know if I could have done it without her. My body took a long time to recover and there was no way I could have done it by myself.

  • Kieli
    Mar 22

    I definitely agree with E, ask her to come the week after your husband goes back to work. If you want her to. My daughter was born sucking her thumb, so I had many many stitches and thankfully lived with my MIL at the time. I would have been completely helpless and broken down if I didn’t have the help. I’m currently 34 weeks pregnant again, living with my mom and flying my grandma for 2 months for extra help this time. Your mom probably assumed that because you didn’t want her to stay the week that you don’t want her to stay at all. Moms get offended easily when it comes to their grandchildren. If you were wanting her to stay the week to help you, then you shouldn’t have to worry about being good hosts. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping are all things that new moms appreciate help with. I know it’s stressful for you, and just explain that to your mom. Tell her you don’t want what happened last time to happen again. That if she wants to come and stay to help for a week, that you expect the help for a week, and would love and appreciate it as well and that you don’t need the stress of wondering if she will stay or if there will be anyone available to help. Everything will get better, try not to worry too much!

  • Anonymous
    Mar 22

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with this drama. The way your mom acted when you planned the outing with her and your MIL was extremely immature. It does sound like she really wants to stay and help you with the baby right after you give birth. Explain to her that just because you spend a lot of time with your in laws does not mean it takes away from the relationship you have with her. Also, make it clear that if she stays with you that you are not hosting her. She should be there to help and support you. If she cannot do that then I agree she shouldn’t stay in your house for that long. I’m sure that’s not the case though. My mom stayed with us for a couple weeks after my son was born and let me tell you it was a life saver for us. I was also concerned about her getting in the way of my husband and I bonding with our baby but that wasn’t an issue at all. Trust me, you will need the help in the weeks after giving birth. Just having someone there to put the dishes away, clean or hold the baby while you nap or take a shower will help so much. Being newly postpartum is such a crazy/emotional/fragile time and any help you can get will be needed. My mom was an incredible help and support in those first couple weeks when I was feeling my worst physically and mentally.

  • Amanda
    Mar 23

    I think you should talk to her about the comment she made. It's immature and honestly a good reason to not have her over right after you gave birth. You don't need that drama on top of a new baby and sleep deprivation that comes with. Plus healing hurts. I think E is right about her coming the week later so hubby can shine as new dad week 1 and she can shine as new grandma week 2. Cause honestly not all help is good help. My mom has come to visit with both my kids and I love her for it. My mom is also a nursing professor and one of her classes focuses on post natal care for mom so she is a godsend. My MIL is a lot better to have around closer to the end of month one. I love her but she is less intuned with my needs and doesn't have that professional experience so the help to stress isn't good for me right after baby is born. Help is a good thing but you have to make sure that any offer of help is going to provide the help you need not just what they want to provide. I think having her over week 1 is asking for trouble cause you don't want her getting upset about you or hubby hogging the new baby when she is there to see the baby.

  • B
    Mar 23

    I talked to all relatives ahead of time about this (all have to fly to see us). We wanted the first week to bond as a family. People could come to the hospital, but no staying with us and limited visits once home. I’d tell her to come the following week. It was super helpful to have my mom there right when my husband went back to work. My in-laws didn’t fly out for the hospital and came after and that was great. My parents drive 4 hours to see the baby and went home the next day. It was silly. But think about putting limits on the in-laws that week too, so she sees that you really do want time just you guys. If they are there daily it isn’t fair and defeats the purpose. And establish all of this before the baby comes! Plus, you’ll be much more up to visitors, have established some breastfeeding or other feeding, and generally be happier after a few days.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 24

    You and your husband are the priority in this situation. If your mom is going to act immature and frankly rude about the situation that is her choice. Do not feel guilty about it. I think you are smart for setting boundaries now. When your baby comes those boundaries are hard to set. I do agree with others in saying when your husband goes back to work it would be helpful to have your mom stay with you. However if she is going to make you take care of her I wouldn’t even offer that as an option.

  • Jamile
    Mar 24

    My mom came to stay with us for 2 months after baby was born. Trust me, you NEED her help.

  • Lindsay
    Mar 24

    I had some similar situations with my mom when my daughter was born last summer. I know it might be hard to do but try to think about how she’s feeling. I wish I had been more sensitive to my mom when I was in your shoes. I realized after a lot of long discussions and plenty of hurt feelings and tears that becoming a grandmother is a super emotional and crazy transition. She’s also going through menopause which is also hard. I wish I had been more patient and compassionate with my mom’s emotional outbursts but the good news is that because we talked it out each time we have grown more close and learned which boundaries help us to stay close. Hotels aren’t cheap but sometimes if they keep the peace it is well worth it.

  • Nic
    Mar 24

    There are always bound to be growing pains as relationships evolve. You’ll likely never regret having her there in those early days to help you and bond with the baby too, especially since she lives far away. And like the above suggestion to as her to stay on after your husband returns to work

  • Mary
    Mar 27

    It’s pretty clear your mom feels rejected by your statements about her staying over and is responding accordingly. When your babe is born, you’ll probably want all the help you can get (depending on how stressful she is as a guest.) The ideas about her coming the week after are good, but you know better about the boundaries you need to set. Either way, talk to her again calmly and lovingly and see if you can’t get her to understand your wishes without her feeling rejected. Emphasize how much you need her coming up (whether that’s staying with you or just as an advisor and grandma) and how important she is to you. Tell her how grateful you are that she’s offering her time and energy to help. My own mom used to make a lot of drama, but strong loving statements and confident boundary-setting have really made things better. Now I’m really grateful we’re so close!

  • Lily
    Mar 27

    My mother in law came to stay when we had our first baby, it was okay until she started acting like a child and just up and left. My parents wanted nothing to do with anything with the baby. If your mom wants to act like a child and over react by acting like you said she isn't allowed to stay at your house ever, then I would just say you are about to have a baby and you can't have your mom being a baby, you can't deal with all of that. So either she gets over herself and is there for you the way you need or she doesn't need to be there. I am sorry your mom is making this about herself. If you wanted you could invite her to stay with you after your husband goes back to work. But, I would only do that if she is ready to be there for you. It is really nice to have the help, but only if it is in a good way.

  • EmmaD
    Jun 02

    I would ask her to come help out once your husband goes back to work... or just before. We had three days at home after birth just the three of us and then my mom came and i was sooo relieved. Trying to learn how to breastfeed and recovering from everything, dealing with all emotions, it‘s so wonderful to have someone cook for you , do groceries and take care of you and baby‘s needs.

  • EmmaD
    Jun 02

    Whether she sees the baby at 1 or 2 weeks old shouldnt make a difference. She needs to repect your needs yes, but also give her some love, she just wants to help and be part of this special moment. And perhaps you can find a nice balance that she comes after you have come home for a few days. Nobody needs MILs or Mothers at the hospital, there is enough people and fuss. I didnt want to see anyone exept my husband and my baby. I was exhausted. 😅