Setting boundaries for new baby time

Ahhhhhh this shit has started already. I really hate that I have to do this but one of the things I promised myself after Monkey’s whole newborn phase was that I wouldn’t put myself in situations that were uncomfortable or stressful when doing it again if I could avoid it.

When Monkey was a newborn we had Eric’s mum and her husband come stay with us for at least a week, maybe 10 days. It felt like fucking forever. I had only just come home from hospital when they arrived and was fumbling my way around new motherhood and here were these people that I really hardly knew, guests in my home. They didn’t expect to be waited on which was good but it was impossible not to feel their presence in our 2 bedroom apartment and to me, they felt like guests, not family, so I had to be “on” all the time. I also felt like I had to hide in my room to breastfeed which is essentially constantly with a newborn and it just sucked.

I also remember having a friend and her boyfriend (who I didn’t really know) over for dinner at that time as she kept asking when they could come visit. Worst. Idea. Ever. I felt like I had to prepare food which was a mission in itself and Monkey was going through that witching hour business so basically screamed his head off the entire time. I was so happy when they finally left and I promised myself never again. If I didn’t feel up to something, I would just say so as my mental health while looking after a newborn is the most important thing.  I cannot do a good job at being a mum if I’m struggling to stay sane. This time I will have Monkey who needs me as well and that is about as divided as my attention can really be.

So as part of all that I mentioned in a general email to Eric’s mum recently that it would be great if she could be on call to come watch Monkey when the baby is born but if it was ok with her we’d really rather that it was just her to come alone rather than her and her hubby. Monkey has been a bit funny with both of them after he stayed there when they first returned from Europe this year when Eric and I went to a family wedding. Looking back it was a bit dumb of us really as Monkey hadn’t seen them, except on Skype, for about 8 months and that is a long time for a little kid. He probably already felt a little trepidatious about staying there. Anyway there was a story about him not going to be easily and waking up 3 times during the night and the grandparents losing patience with him and he has really hung onto this experience.

In my email I didn’t make a big deal about it, I just explained my reasons and said for this one particular day I really just want to focus on what Monkey would want the most because it is going to be a pretty big transition for him so if we could just do that then that would be great. WELL, shitstorm ensued. Don’t get me wrong, Eric’s mum is actually a pretty great G’ma. She is fun and imaginative and energetic and enthusiastic and loves her grandson to pieces but she is also a bit hysterical and we have had our fair share of run ins in the past (like when she sent me a disgusting email telling me how she hated the name we chose for Monkey when I was pregnant. Seriously.). I am not one to back down so we do lock horns a bit when these times arise.

Anyway so she threatens to return to Europe early (ie before the baby is born) and not even come back as early this year. Honestly, what a fucking teenager. I just told her to go if that’s what she wants but that the only person missing out would be her – she only has one child and he is here. And these are the only grandchildren she has and can have because she has no other children but by all means if she’d like to cut them all off and live a lonely life in Europe then she could go right ahead.  We have mended bridges a little now but I have no idea what her plans are (although the latest is she sent an email to my mum and told her she is leaving on her original flight which is before baby’s due date. Talk about cutting her nose off to spite her face is she carries this out). I’ve instead teed up with our beautiful neighbour to be there for us when baby comes and she will do anytime day or night and make it easy for me so that is what we will do.

So that’s first boundary setting experience. Excellent. Next I was chatting to my mum and she was saying that her and her hubby want to come up as soon as baby girl is born to see her all fresh and new. I totally get this and this is fine but I did say to her that I would be more comfortable if only she was to stay on to help out. Having my step-dad around (who is lovely by the way) would just feel more guest like and I’d feel more like I’d have to hide to breastfeed again and all that hoo ha and well, it’s my house and I want to feel comfortable in my home. My mum is awesome and totally gets it so this wasn’t a problem at all so yay. This is how it should be.

Today I’ve just have my 3rd experience. Far out. The freaking baby doesn’t come for 15 more weeks and they are coming thick and fast.

So one of my best friends will be out from the States for a wedding around the end of July and has asked if she can come stay for 2 days to visit while she is here – this is when I will have a 6-8 week old baby. Of course I said yes. I love her to pieces and having her around is easy. She’d probably even cook dinner and do the dishes, she is just that sort of gal.

Then another good girlfriend of ours heard about that and asked if she could stay too. I hesitated a bit over that one. Not because I love her any less. I don’t. I think she is awesome! But I hesitated over having a 2nd guest. It’s relatively easy to slot one person into your life and house with a new baby around, two is a little more difficult. But I got over myself and invited her too as in the end the three of us have an awesome time together and I truly love the company of both girls. I could wack my boobs out in front of both of them no problem and not feel too guilty about the baby crying in the night and all that sort of stuff. Having them around is just total comfort zone.  Plus we were supposed to catch up for my 40th later this year but given I will have a new baby etc it is unlikely to happen (we live in 3 separate countries these days) so figured we could make this an early 40th celebration and we can crack this bottle of red that I bought for us all to share on the occasion when we were in Napa back in 2013.

Sorted. Or at least I thought so! I Skyped with girl no 2 today and we teed it all up and she was off to book in flights. And then I got a Facebook message from her tonight saying that she would be traveling out for the wedding with her girlfriend and can she bring her to my place too. And I had to say no.

I feel so freaking guilty about it. Well I do and I don’t. It wasn’t a hard decision for me to make so I guess I feel more guilty about that than saying no. And of course I feel guilty for disappointing my friend. She just wants me to meet the person she loves and get to know her and I get that and under other circumstances I would LOVE that but it just can’t be when I have a 6-8 week old baby. A 3rd guest who is a complete stranger in my home at that sleep deprived crazy time is just too much. I have of course tried to explain this to her in the nicest way possible but it is really hard for people who don’t have kids or aren’t around young kids often to really “get it” (sorry, no offence meant by that at all). She is a pretty understanding person but I know it’s going to sting all the same. *sigh*

Anyway, it is what it is. I hope I don’t have to do this too many more time now before the baby comes. Eeeeep. But it so important. I had trouble bonding with Monkey and quite probably had a touch of PND lingering for quite awhile and putting myself in stressful situations could not have helped that at all. I need to minimise those scenarios as much as possible this time. I will already have the added complication of having a 4 year old who will be feeling my reduced attention that I need to focus on too so guests who I don’t know…man, I just can’t do it. No matter who they love who loves me and my kids.

Advertisements

56 thoughts on “Setting boundaries for new baby time

  1. It’s a tough but necessary boundary to set. Fuck them and their sensitivities right now. I felt similar with obliging my family & in laws to get vaccinated before seeing us,but in the end they knew it was all in the best interest of the baby. Your loved ones will get over it & understand. This is YOUR babymoon after all. You deserve to feel comfortable and to enjoy every sleepless, unshowered moment! Monkey will love having the one on one attention and he’ll probably be a lot like my eldest and it’ll be just what’s needed to help him adapt to his new role without too much disruption & regression. Xx

    Like

  2. OMG what goes through people’s heads?! You have my every sympathy. I lost sooooo much sleep over this with E and then C. As a mate put it “pull bump” and just stick to your guns. This time around I said that we were keeping it really small because it would be a huge shock to E and we needed to focus on being the 4 of us for her sake before we invited others in. That seemed to float well – my boundaries get trampled but no one would argue when I said it was in the best interests of a toddler’s mental health! Good luck love. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Pull bump” I love it! I am really concerned about the transition for my older one too. He is excited but he has us all to himself for 4.5 years. Me especially as we haven’t lived with Eric most of that time. The newborn phase will be such a shock for him so I want to work out how to be there for him the best. People just think of the sunshine and flowers part, not the hard stuff!!! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • We thought it was all going swimmingly but now C is no longer a novelty and her needs are increasing, E has gone through a huge regression. Ultimately I have to trust that having and being a sibling is good for each of them, perhaps not today but in the long term, and dispense as many hugs as I can! I guarantee that I am better mum now that I am not lost in a black hole of IF, IVF or a fragile pregnancy though… xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah this is interesting info – the delayed regression stuff. Thank you so much for sharing it with me so I can know to look out for it. I do worry about the transition. Glad to hear the parenting is easier without the IF cloud hanging over your every day. X

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you’ve set good boundaries and if others don’t get it then tough! Maybe you can recommend some place nearby for your friends girlfriend to stay (or them both to stay if they want to be together), that might ease things a little?

    Like

    • Yes that’s a good idea. I could cope with that. I wish I’d thought of that initially so I could have included it in my response! Oh well better late than never 🙂 Thx Good luck today!

      Like

  4. Good for you! If I get to do this again in a few years, I would totally say fuck off (in the nicest, yet unapologetic way possible) to ALL overnight guests, and set a 1-2 hour limit on all visitors.

    Like

  5. Wow – well done on sticking to your guns and keeping those boundaries in place!! You will be so grateful to yourself when the babe arrives and you haven’t got to accommodate others who don’t know (or have forgotten!) what you are going through. I think what you’ve had to do is TOUGH. Everyone loves a baby and everyone thinks they have to visit asap. THEY DON’T! And whoa – why is it that some people have to go off the rails? Why do people love to make a drama out of a polite request?? I think you are awesome for doing all that and next time I have to lay down the law I’m going to remember how you did this and take a deep breath and man up, lol!!! X

    Like

  6. I’m so proud of you for setting boundaries!! And I agree, a 3rd person in your house is too much – they can get a hotel room and come over one night for a couple hours if you want to compromise, but not for 2 days – not happening!! And if Eric’s mom wants to leave early, more power to her! This time is about you, Eric, Monkey and the new baby, it is NOT about her, and if she can’t see that, then she doesn’t need to be there!
    Accept the guilt, take a breath, and realize that you are doing what you need to be a good mommy and that is what really matters!

    Like

    • Yeah I said pretty much that to Eric’s mum! My job is to do what is best for my kids, not what makes her feel the best. And yes I am going to suggest the hotel thing to my friend. Now I have stopped freaking out about it I can see that this would be a great solution:) xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You know, good for you for putting your foot down. I remember when my daughter was born and everyone came over to my place for pizza a few days after we got home and drove me crazy for a good four hours. The second the food arrived, I didn’t exist and nobody gave a shit that the baby was crying or that I’d had nothing to eat all day and FUCK. I went and hid in my room with my baby and fed her and refused to come down until everyone was leaving. It was horrible.
    People should come over, leave some food, hold the baby for 15 minutes while you take a shower and then get the fuck out. If they’re not there to do some cleaning or give you some respite than they aren’t welcome. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man that is so shit. They would have been sitting around talking loudly too while wolfing down that pizza. And like you say – you and baby cease to exist after the initial 5 min awwwww. I am not sure what is wrong with people!!!

      Like

  8. Oh my gosh. Sounds like my life these days, trying to please everyone but needing to put up boundaries as well. Good for you for sticking up for yourself! You know your needs best, and especially with a newborn, you need to put your foot down! xoxo

    Like

  9. I honestly cannot believe that so many people would just expect to stay in your home after you’ve just given birth!! I say hell no to that. I have never had a baby and am not even pregnant right now, but husband and I have already discussed that should we have a baby, family and close friends are welcome to visit but NOBODY stays with us unless we are so miserably sleep deprived that we need help overnight. This is what hotels are for. Don’t feel bad for putting your foot down. They should feel bad for asking too much of you.

    Like

  10. Girl you know me and boundaries with a new baby!! I need to write a follow-up post about how our boundaries worked out (short of it: great I highly recommend doing what we did).

    The biggest thing I can say is everyone doesn’t have to agree with you they just have to respect it! If they don’t like it they don’t have to come. It is sucks but you gotta do what’s best for you and your family. Keep sticking up for yourself you will be glad you did!

    Like

  11. Good for you. You need to stand up for yourself and not put yourself in a difficult situation! Glad you drew a line. I think your friend with the girlfriend was pushing it. It’s absolutely okay to not want strangers in the house straight after you’ve given birth. Everything you’ve said is eminently reasonable! X

    Like

  12. Ultimately you have to do what is best for you and your kids. I personally think it was kinda shitty for your friend to spring on you that she would be bringing a guest AFTER plans were made, and not mentioning during the planning process. That would make me mad. Hopefully they will be able to stay not too far away so you can all still hang out if you want to. As for your parentals…awesome that your mom was understanding about it all and willing to do what you requested!! Sorry that it didn’t go quite as well on the other side of things…honestly if E’s mom wants to be a big baby about it, you’re right, SHE’S the one missing out, not you. I hope things are settled down from this point on, so you can concentrate on finishing growing that little girl!

    Like

  13. Good on you for setting the expectation now. No-one can say they didn’t what was asked or why!
    When we got rid of our spare room early this year we thought we might inconvenience some friends and family who might have wanted to stay the night. Turns out my parents were planning on staying for three weeks in our smallish, one bathroom house. I’m so glad we got rid of that room now! Can’t imagine having someone here in our space without a break for three weeks. With a new born.
    We have a caravan park near us which is really convenient, and there are a heap of air bnb as well, so we know there is plenty of accommodation around.
    I so don’t feel guilty about laying down the ‘you can’t stay here’ law. Got to put my family (S, joey and I) first.

    Like

    • Three weeks?!?!?!?! Changing that room turned out to be a stroke of genius! I live in a holiday area so there is no shortage of alternative accommodation from caravan parks with cabins to 5 star hotel and everything in between! People will sort themselves out 🙂 Hope you are doing well X

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You set those boundaries wherever you feel like they need to be. That’s so incredibly important. If people don’t understand that, they aren’t thinking outside of their own needs nearly enough.

    Like

  15. I love that you have the strength to set and live these boundaries. So proud of you! Wish I had this strength when I had each of my two newborns. Instead I accepted the requests to visit and then took it out on my kids through my snippy and impatient interactions. 😦

    Like

  16. I am impressed that you stand your ground. Sorry about the MIL. I am hopeful she will get over herself. In the meantime- go Mom! She sounds fab and reasonable 🙂

    Like

  17. Omg I was just thinking about this! We live across the country from our entire family and I do NOT want visitors right away. I don’t know what the hell in going to be doing with a new baby in the first place and don’t need that added stress. Luckily, we don’t have an extra bedroom so his parents will be getting a hotel (they’re a bit high maintenance and need comfortable beds). I do want my mom coming soon after, but it’s my mom and I’m totally comfy with her. Plus, she could give a rats ass and will sleep on the couch or air mattress, haha. It’ll be interesting…

    Like

    • Yeah mums are so different. I want mine here to help too but not really any other sucker lol We live away from family too so I always feel like I have to have a spare room to accommodate people but you know, sometimes I think it would be easier if we just didn’t have one! Once baby girl needs her own room things will have to change. Our guest accommodation then might be nothing more than a fold out sofa!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Ughhhh, I have to say, that is the worst isn’t it, when you set a boundary and it gets trampled. It makes it a little harder to set the next and next, but you did it and you did it with grace.

    DH’s family is hands off and my family are in NY so no worries there. Our friends are baby savvy. So this is one area we don’t have to deal with specifically.

    The relationship you have with your MIL sounds like mine. For the most part, even when mine gets really grippy, I ignore the behaviour and continue doing my thing so as not to engage in drama. But every now and then over the course of the years there are times when you need to lock horns. This is definitely one of those times.

    Like

  19. Sounds like it’s all falling into place! Mmm. The bonding stuff. I’ll be sending thoughts up for that. We won’t be seeing that this time around, hopefully. I really, really hope this delivery and newborn period has a glow that you’ll always cherish in a happy, fond way! And here’s a cheer for being able to just “whip out” and feed! Ha!

    Like

Talk to me people, I love it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s