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Family dynamics can be tricky when a new baby arrives, and this expecting mum is trying to work out the most diplomatic way of allowing her parents more access to her newborn, than her in-laws.

The mum-to-be says while she loves her in-laws, they aren’t as helpful as her own parents, which is making her question how often she wants them visiting after her baby is born.

“I had to explain to my husband though that there is a difference between our parents when they come over,” she said.

“When my parents come over they help with the house. My mum helps clean and cook, she brings food. My dad helps with projects. They even clean their room and their sheets before they leave – they even help us financially. They have a long track record of being helpful. So I’m a little bit more comfortable having them over when the baby is little and everything is hard.”

She says while her in-laws are ‘very nice people’, when it comes to them visiting, it’s very different to having her own parents over.

“My in-laws are also lovely, but when they come over I have to be a host. They want to come over and visit and catch up with me and their son. Normally I have no issue with that, but I’m going to be exhausted and tired and I’m not going to want to clean my whole house make everybody meals and prepare my kitchen and spend five hours every night chatting with everyone. I just am going to want to spend time with my baby and sleeping.

“I also had to explain to my husband that there is a difference between having somebody there to help you change the baby, feed the baby, burp the baby, clean the house, make food and somebody that just wants to hold the baby when the baby is happy and cooing and then give it back to mum when they poop. I want to to spend the good moments with my baby too.”

She said it’s a difficult situation, as they’ve been trying to get pregnant for several years, so both sides of the family are looking forward to the new arrival.

“We will let my in-laws over but I’m going to have to explain to them that while they can come over, I will not be hosting at this time.”

“And because of who my father-in-law is as a person (loud, sits on the couch and drinks and yells at baseball games on TV, complains a lot etc) I’m going to want them as a presence around less often.

“Am I the a**hole for saying that I would be more comfortable having my parents over more often than his parents after our baby is born?”

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  • It’s completely understandable to navigate these concerns about family dynamics, especially during such a significant and exhausting time as welcoming a new baby. It’s evident you value the support and practical help your own parents provide, making the adjustment to parenthood smoother. You’re not wrong to prioritize the assistance and comfort that aligns more with your needs, especially considering the challenges of early motherhood. Communication will be key here, ensuring both sets of grandparents understand your boundaries and needs during this delicate period. It’s not about favoritism, but rather about creating a supportive environment that allows you to focus on what’s best for you and the baby.

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  • I would probably not articulate it and just let it happen naturally, to be honest.

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  • Ask your husband to explain to his parents that when they come over, they will have to look out for themselves and also that his Dad has to keep a lot quieter. Let them know that your baby comes first and not their comforts. I felt the same way myself

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  • It is quite normal for you to feel more familiar and comfortable with your parents. I totally understand your situation and have inlaws that are no longer in our life due to their entitled and abusive behaviour. Try and set boundaries now. No-one is asking you to host them, so perhaps put that on your hubby. Having a baby is a full-time job and the first many months are exhausting, so don’t put pressure on yourself. Just be real with them and you might find they do help.

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  • You have every right to have who you want to stay but be careful of building resentment. Also don’t forget they may not want to overstep their bounds and make you feel uncomfortable and who could blame them, I wouldn’t want my mother in law (or my mother) handling my dirty laundry.

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  • I would be expecting my husband to do more with me and advising everyone that I am tired and we need to bond with the baby for the first few weeks or so. Then I would be suggesting we all go out for a meal rather than hosting at home. When either set of parents are there I would ask them to help with the baby – can you settle him/her while I am making the tea and gently force the issue so they don’t expect you to host all the time.

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  • I think there’s different ways of saying/ doing things. I don’t think saying one side can visit more often is the right approach (though I understand). I think it would be better to say everyone is more than welcome to visit but everyone helps themselves, meals are shared responsibility and everyone helps with the baby. I think most people would be understanding of this.

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  • It’s natural to be more comfortable around your own parents. And your mother knows you better & knows how to help without you seeing it as ‘taking over’. Just because the in-laws are different, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be deprived of the bonding and opportunities to support in other ways. When they visit, simply have boundaries around your own capabilities and sleep etc. Not hard! And state it to hubby too. He’ll need to step up more when his own parents are there.

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  • Coming from the Netherlands we have a systme called Kraamzorg, which literally translated means Maternity care and which is a government funded program

    Maternity care is the support and care provided by a maternity nurse:
    -during childbirth (in addition to obstetric assistance by the midwife), and
    -to the mother and the newborn child during the maternity period.

    During the maternity period, the maternity nurse (who comes to house) supports and cares for the mother and newborn child, provides information and instructions, and performs basic household tasks. What exactly the care entails is stated in the National Indication Protocol for Maternity Care.

    The number of hours of maternity care that someone is reimbursed is a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 80 hours. The allocated hours are spread over 10 days, calculated from the day of birth.

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  • Why can’t this new Mum talk with her inlaws about this? Surely they would understand. They were new parents once themselves.

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  • I would say want until the baby arrives and see how they react. They might surprise and do a complete turnaround. Set some boundaries or rules and let your husband go through them with his parents. Communication and constructive criticism is very helpful. If you start choosing your family over his it might cause quite a serious rift.

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  • Maybe eat out then he can serve biscuits tea at home later or cake and tea. But just cause your now a mum it doesn’t mean your entitled, you should feel proud to host in your house still, just share the load and eat out instead go to there place too.

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  • I think that’s fine, hopefully your husband is seeing this too

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  • I think it’s your right to have whoever you want over. I totally get the situation though as my hubby’s parents are the same, well mum is. She expects to be waited on but his dad is okay.
    You’re exhausted enough having gone through labour and attending to the baby, plus the lack of sleep, it would be so draining to have people like that around!

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  • I agree to an extent to what you’re saying, but you have to remember they are your husbands parents, and just as you feel more comfortable with your parents around, he probably feels more comfortable with his around. He will want them around & I m sure they will pitch in and help if you communicate this with him and them. Good luck


    • Yes I agree with you Mumt2Archer !

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  • Not at all! The first few weeks at home should be about the new mum/dad/siblings bonding as a new family unit. Others (grandparents, family, friends) can visit when you feel comfortable. It shouldn’t be an expectation that they come stay during this time. You are healing, tired, hormonal and adapting to your new normal. Having other people in your space at this time means you feel pressure to look, act and complete tasks a certain way. Tiny Hearts Education (on Instagram post May 17) have a really useful set of rules that you can send to your loved ones before baby’s arrival that help start the important conversations about what the parents wishes are.

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  • I think it is very fair but you husband has to step up here and be the host… you don’t need this extra work.

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  • Nothing wrong with you and I think you have a fine and fair attitude .Just tell the husband to instruct the Outlaws it is not a holiday home for the aged they have to help also.

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  • Maybe you need to tell your husband that if he wants his parents there he will need to step up and “host” more. Having said that maybe they will be more likely to “help” if there’s a new baby anyway..

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  • Compairing and unoutspoken expectations can be both a “dangerous” thing. Perfectly fine when you don’t want to play the host, I would just bring that lightly


    • I agree; there is also great need for communication to be clear.

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