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.