In-laws told to not come for birth of first grandchild

This is happening to my bff. I am so upset for her, but I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to make things worse.

Her ds and dil live on the opposite coast and are having their first baby in late November, if all goes according to plan. My friend has looked up long-term Airbnbs so that they could drive or fly out there a couple of weeks before the birth and quarantine before the big day. Well, today, her ds calls and says that his wife’s parents will be there for the birth, then they want a few weeks alone and that they don’t want his parents to come until January.

I have lots of feelings, but how would you feel? Go!

Hurt and upset, feelings I have already felt. It seems that sons just follow their wives, and us moms of sons are left behind.

I didn’t want my mom or mil around at the beginning, so I get it. I wanted to feel better before having others around, and we wanted to establish our routine before we had visitors of any sort. We were delighted to have visitors after a about a month, when we could genuinely appreciate the break and help they provided.

I would tell your friend not to take it personally. Show up when she’s asked, be helpful, and she’ll almost certainly have many more invitations awaiting her.

Hospitals are being very strict, and then advise the parents not to have anyone over or take the baby out except for medical appointments. The other grandparents may be shut out too.

The good news is that with all the electronics available today, they’ll have lots of zoom meetings and pictures. Everything but the smells.

I advise taking it graciously. However , now they know where they stand with DIL and should keep that in mind until shown otherwise in situations similar in the future.

I understand both sides. Its so hard to not be there, but the relationship with her s and DIl is important too, and January will be there before they know it.

Both my son and daughter live in another state from us, and each had a baby 8 months apart from each other. I know other families are different, but among my friends, the girl is going to want her mother around, no matter how well she gets along with her MIL.

My DIL’s parents live within a 4 hour drive, so her parents drove in once she called that she was in the hospital. My son had already asked that we wait a couple of weeks to come as they wanted some time to bound as a family. DIL’s parents just stayed a day; when we flew in, we were allowed to stay 4 days and stayed in their house. I think we got the better deal as the baby was more alert!

With my daughter, she asked that my husband and I come for the delivery as she was having a section, stay a couple of days, and then come back 2 weeks later to help her when her husband when back to work. The in laws where going to come in from the UK, but were asked to wait 2 months. My daughter likes her in laws well enough, but didn’t want to have to entertain them while recovering from a section with a newborn!

With FaceTime now, it really has been ok not seeing the grandkids in person. Don’t get me wrong, I miss them terribly, but they call both sets of grandparents almost daily.

As an introvert, the last thing I wanted was a crowd gathering 'round at such an overwhelming, emotional, intimate moment. No offense intended to any of the parties, including my MIL who requested entry to the delivery room.

OK, y’all are making me feel better.

This in itself is not that crazy a request (I asked my MIL to be there for the birth of my first ds, rather than my own mom), but it comes on top of years of slights and I am upset for her. It’s difficult to look at this as a standalone event when they spend so much more time with her family than his (hers also lives on the other coast about an hour from my friend). My friend has tried overtures to her ds’s MIL and has gotten rejected a number of times. This doesn’t feel like an accident, but I do think the new mom gets to call the shots here. I’m just sad for my friend.

I’m another person that didn’t want either set of parents around for the first week or two. I wanted time with just the three of us to bond and settle into a routine without having anyone else around. It wasn’t personal at all.

IMO, the new mom’s wishes should be honored.

@Youdon’tsay Believe me, my MIL felt plenty slighted by being refused delivery room access. We are two very different people. She knows that now. I would never consider attempting to insert myself into a birthing scene. Different people, different boundaries.

My parents were around. Actually came to help. Mom would make meals and such.

I would have hated having my in laws around. Our relationship has been contentious anyway. Plus they are not ones to entertain themselves and do for themselves, let along others. Having them there right after birth when I would have been trying to get right myself, bond with a baby, figure out breastfeeding, etc. etc. would have been incredibly stressful for me as a new mother. Even in normal times, let alone a pandemic. My in laws will always be more work, more like guests than my own parents. At a vulnerable time, I’d want to be surrounded by nurturing and comfort which I don’t get from my in laws.

So, it’s hard for me to judge without knowing a lot more specifics about personalities and relationships.

I would accept it graciously. Although it’s disappointing not to able to see the new grand baby right away, it’s safer for everyone to delay visiting.

Having a newborn in the house is such a stressful time–even if the birth goes well–I think the new mother has the right to set the terms for who can and cannot be in the house.

My daughter is expecting her first child in November. (Realistically it’ll be October–we hope-- since she’s expecting twins.)

D told me flat out–NO visitors for the first 4 months because newborns are particularly susceptible to Covid-19 because their immune system has not yet fully developed. She and her husband also want time to bond with their babies before people start showing up & complicating the household.

I can deal with not being able to visit to see MY first grandchild, but her in-laws (who have other grand children) are liable to just get on a plane and show up at her door uninvited. (Her FIL has more or less promised to do so.) I cannot imagine how rude and thoughtless that would be. Her FIL suffers from multiple health issues (diabetes, previous heart attack, multiple heart stents, hypertension, overweight) that put him at very high risk should he catch Covid. D really doesn’t need the extra worry of having her in-laws flying cross country.

There are reasons why in many places and/or time periods throughout history, certain cultures have lying-ins or postpartum confinement as a custom.

Seems totally reasonable.

I didn’t want my parents nor my in-laws to come over for two weeks. I hate people around when I’m not feeling well and I didn’t want any unnecessary germs around my new baby. Also, my parents would need to be treated like visitors. In-laws were intrusive and overbearing.

I’m sorry for your friend but I would try to not read anything more into it.

@WayOutWestMom - your dd’s fil sounds a lot like mine was. My parents died before I was even married. When our ds was born, I wanted mil to come and help, but I had asked that fil please wait at least few days. He didn’t.

@“Youdon’tsay” - I agree with your and @momofsenior1 ‘s assessment that the new mom gets to call the shots. From what you have written, a pattern has already been established that dil’s parents are going to have preference. That’s going to be even harder to break once the grand baby is in the picture. As a mom of a son myself, I feel for your friend (though my ds doesn’t even have a S.O., so I have no experience). The only way that pattern of preference for dil’s family is going to change is if her ds makes it happen. It’s a pickle for your friend, because if she complains about the unfairness to her ds, he’ll tell dil, and the tension of the situation will get worse. If she doesn’t complain, the situation won’t change. What one would hope would be that her ds would realize on his own how the situation feels for his mom and initiate some changes.

I think it can take a loooong time for a daughter-in-law to feel comfortable around her mil. My mil is a lovely person, and we have always gotten along, but even though my own mother was deceased, it was YEARS into our marriage before I truly felt I didn’t have to be “on” around my mil. That is probably a reflection of my own perfectionist tendencies, but maybe your friend’s dil is like that, too.

The reality is that some people share better than others.

My friend could see her new grandbaby but couldn’t touch or hold him until he was 12 weeks. I guess this was a recommendation from the pediatrician. I think you really have to leave it up to the new mom. It is a stressfull/overwhelming time, even more so with all the Covid craziness.

Wow. I respect everyone’s wishes. But I can’t imagine it. My husband and I felt that sharing the birth of our children with our parents added to our joy. Our parents weren’t present for the birth, but they came to my room after I was transferred from the delivery room to the OB floor. They saw the baby in the nursery. When they came back the next day, they stayed awhile and held the baby. We all lived in the same city at the time. They came to our apartment often to help out, but always asked first. Just sitting with the baby while I grabbed a nap was an amazing help. They also brought food :slight_smile:

Oh, and I’m an introvert too.

We didn’t even let parents when I went to the hospital – we called after the baby arrived. My mom came up about two weeks after S1 was born; I don’t remember if she came up after #2. It was definitely a visitor vs. active helper situation. I’d have to go back and look at the photos to see if my in-laws came for either bris. I think FIL did for one of them, because my BIL was the sandek and didn’t have a driver’s license yet.

My in-laws only saw the guys when we went to NY, and we never left the kids alone with them. Unfortunate, but necessary.

I hope that if my sons become parents, they will welcome our visits. I don’t expect (or want to be in the delivery room, though). Giving the new family time to bond is just fine, and tech/social media certainly make it easier to see a little one than it used to be.