We like our privacy - I feel guilty?

Husband and I are the only ones in the family that own a home, so our house is the central meeting place for family/holidays. In addition, both grandmas babysit my baby in my house each week. It was awkward and still is, because I told them they can ONLY stay for dinner 1x/week per grandma. So that’s 2x/week where we come home and have people around. Sometimes, our brothers/brother-in-law come over too. We figured it can get family commitments out of the way so we can spend weekends as we like. Anyways... On days that they can’t stay, it’s a bit awkward because they need to leave as soon as I’m home. Even if it’s Friday night and I know MIL is free and would stay in a heartbeat. And when me/husband are coming home and in that transition, there’s a bit of awkward tension because it feels like they should stay for dinner. Husband and I both like our space and privacy and enjoy not having to host crazy grandmas or listen to them make it less awkward by purposefully being louder with baby. BTW, dinner/cooking isn’t a big deal on the days they stay for dinner. They cook for us and we meal prep for the other days. And I DO pay them, $400/month each. How do I get over this guilt?? I just feel like I want to hoard all my time with my baby since everyone else wants to see my baby, and I work full time so I’m gone 9-10 hours a day during the week. Our parents are also immigrants so there’s a bit of culture difference too. Us American born kids just like our space 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Christa
    Dec 07

    So I married into a huge Hispanic and Apache Indian mixed family- and various other cultures - this family has 13 children- I am a mom who was born as an only child to a welsh/German Family. So culture difference I totally get. My husbands family is incredibly overwhelming at times. They all like to drop by on any given day when he’s home and stay for HOURS- literally. And our baby isn’t particularly loud- normal kid noises. But their kids are and it’s obnoxious because we don’t let our son go crazy but everyone else does. The meal thing is obnoxious too, we don’t mind cooking ONCE IN A WHILE- but they like you me family show up when ever all the damn time. I am a bit opposite of you however, being a stay at home mom, but I still am very much an introvert and love spending time just with our son and my husband. Not the whole damn family all the time. What I did, was just started telling my husband- I am getting frustrated having the family here all the time. I love them, and appreciate them all in their own ways, but I feel like I’m losing valuable time with just us as a family unit and I would like to designate maybe one day a month to having family over because I truly think it’s important for families to have interaction, but the rest of the time- it needs to be just us as a unit. My husband works 3.5 hours away from our home and is only home 2 nights a week- so I get not wanting people over all the time. It’s cool they help out with cooking- ours come over, expect to be waited on hand and foot and then leave, offering not to clean up to help with the baby- which I wouldn’t let them take care of my son anyhow- but still to offer. Something about that is nice. I guess I just don’t feel guilty about not wanting everybody here all the time because I feel more guilty about losing time as a small intimate family unit than I do about missing out on huge family gatherings. I guess that’s just how I look at it.

  • cocomac
    Dec 07

    I’m just so glad I’m not alone!! Yeah, I think the guilt thing is some sort of piety thing, I have to get over. I am an adult now. I will keep reminding myself that boundaries are important bc these moments never come back - soon baby will ask me to drop her off a block away so she can walk to school on her own 😭 Thank you!

  • Christa
    Dec 07

    Nope, you’re totally not alone. Families like that are crazy- mine is just plain NUTS! I love them all but they are all crazy at times! I just remind myself that to me what’s more important- the boundaries of getting the family to understand that you need space as a family or that your daughter and you and hubby need time as a unit? Large families honestly from my own experience have absolutely no boundaries what so ever- they are think they do but they don’t- because that’s how they were raised, being around everyone all the time and used to the noise. For those us whom aren’t used to it, accustomed to it or want it, we don’t really know how to be a part of it constantly without being super overwhelmed. Id just explain to them that you love them all, and that you appreciate them being apart of the daily life, but it comes down to you guys just need your space for a while, and maybe grandma doesn’t need to be giving family orders- yeah she’s matriarc and whatever but she needs to have boundaries too- regardless of her being the primary caregiver while you and hubby work. If they don’t like it, well, tough- get a helmet and move on, because moments while they are little aren’t around for as long as we want them to be. The family will understand or they won’t. But you as mom, tell them what you expect. I do, and I’m have 12 of them to deal with. And they know now- certainly call and whatever but ask before bombarding our home and wanting to take over time we as a family unit don’t get daily. Sometimes a swift kick in the reality check department is SUPER important!!!