Family Matters
Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email [email protected]

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

Telling Family No

We have two separate issues with our families. We are very lucky to live close to family that is wonderful and wants to help a lot with our two-month-old baby. The only problem is that they are getting overbearing and it's getting frustrating. Between having 4 aunts, 4 grandparents, and multiple great aunts and uncles, certain family members are voicing complaints that "they aren't getting enough time with the baby." Right now we're still trying to figure everything out on our own and I don't have the time or energy to try to schedule 12+ times a week for relatives to see the baby. I don't want to sound ungrateful, spoiled or like I don't appreciate their help or the fact that our child is very loved, but at some point I feel like people need to understand that this is our family, and we too like to spend time with the baby. Even if I asked one person a day to come over and watch the baby while I napped, that would only give them once every two weeks which I think would still register as "not enough time." Also, most of them work which means they want to come over after work - the same time that DH is home and wants to see the baby after being at work all day. Any suggestions from anyone who has dealt with the same thing? I love my family and in a few months I may be begging someone to come help, but right now, we're bonding with the baby. We don't want to alienate or hurt anyone because I know their hearts are in the right place.

The second issue is one aunt (DH's) who is married to a man that DH and I do not trust around the baby. Call it parents' intution, but there is no way I will ever let this man be alone around my babies, now or later. She has offered to watch the baby at her house, which at this point it's just easier to have her at our house, but as the baby gets older, we're not exactly sure how to tell her that doesn't work for us. Her husband doesn't listen to her, he sees no problem with smoking around kids, etc and we just don't want our kids around him without one of us there to supervise (truly, we both try to avoid him as much as we can). We're not sure how to handle this without some major fallout from his side of the family.

There are some major blessings to living close to family and I'm excited that our child already has so many people who love her, but it definitely comes with some drawbacks.

Re: Telling Family No

  • With the first problem, do they call?  I would just say " Now is not a good time, we will call you when we are ready for visitors."  I wouldn't go into details or anything just a vague " Now is not a good time for us."

    With the second issue I would just tell your aunt that you want your child in a smoke free home and if she can't provide that, then it just isn't going to work out with her watching the baby.  TRust me your child's safety and well being is more important than her feelings and sometimes you just have to make a stand. 

  • Assuming your only issue with the uncle is the smoking, and that he wouldn't join your aunt if she was babysitting at your place, I'd just say to them that you are worried about third-hand smoke.

     

     

  • The thing you need to remember is "getting time with baby" is NOT their right - not as grandparents, aunts and uncles, or great-aunts and uncles.  You and DH come first, and your family comes first.  So you need to let them complain and don't let that bother you.

     Right now the baby is still new.  It's ok to say "I'm too tired to have guests" and "We're too nervous to have someone else watch the baby when we are not here."  Make sure to thank them for offering, but in that way you make it clear -that YOU are in control of the schedule, and they can OFFER all they want, but it's not a right.  Do other things to make them feel wanted - send photos, etc. (maybe put dh in charge of this!).  Be greatful that you have so many helping hands offering to babysit.  You WILL have days when you will be happy to have so many family members close by and eager to watch your little one!  Trust me!

    When you are ready - - how about asking someone to come over so you can do some laundry, take a trip to the grocery store, etc.  My guess is that they really DO NOT want to spend 1/2 a day with the baby - just a half hour or hour. 

    As for DH's aunt's husband - - just tell your aunt you would prefer if she stayed at your home, b/c you don't like the baby to have second hand smoke, and even if her husband isn't there, it is still in the carpeting, etc.  Even when kids are older, it's easier to watch them (IMO) at their own home, where they have their own toys, the kitchen is stocked with their sippy cups and plastic plates and food they like, Barney videos, etc.  If your aunt is active, maybe ask her to take them to the park.

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • Right now we're still trying to figure everything out on our own and I don't have the time or energy to try to schedule 12+ times a week for relatives to see the baby. I don't want to sound ungrateful, spoiled or like I don't appreciate their help or the fact that our child is very loved, but at some point I feel like people need to understand that this is our family, and we too like to spend time with the baby.

    On the first issue, say this to everyone while you set expectations.  Gently/ nicely - but say it.  "We love that you are so excited to see the baby, but trying to be fair and equal to so many people is becoming too hard for us.  We want you to see the baby as much as possible, but this has to be worked around our lives and our schedule.  You may not be able to see her every week and I need to ask that you respect and understand this. We will try to make her as available as possible, but that comes 2nd to the 3 of us building our little family.".

    On the second, is there more than just the smoking?  Whether there is or not, though, you are the parents and what you say goes.

    My IL's are very nice people and mean well. They would never, ever purposely hurt DS.  But, we simply feel that they aren't physically capable of taking care of a 20 month old.  Luckily DH is on the same page as me. 

    But because of this- I stand very strongly behind that your child's safety is your #1 concern and you need to be your child's advocate.  WHO CARES if there is fallout from his family?  Would you really put your child at risk in order to avoid "fallout"!?!?!  To avoid hurting their feelings? 

    It's hard- I'm not going to kid you. DH finally had to out and out tell his dad "you andmom watching DS isn't going to work".  His dad was hurt, of course, but DH said it best "I'm sorry he's hurt, but I'm not sorry that I have to keep DS safe.".

    However, before we even get to that level - she's offered to watch your baby.  Great.  Guess what?  All you have to do is say "Oh, thanks for offering, but we're fine.".  She may stop offering if you keep saying 'No'. 

    But if she doesn't, a simple "we dont' want DD around 2nd hand smoke" may work.  But if doesn't - again - SO WHAT?! Let her and the entire family be upset.  YOUR CHILDS SAFETY MATTERS MORE.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Ditto Wahoo and ECB.
  • Have you considered opening your house on, say, Sunday afternoons for maybe 2 hours for family to come visit.  It will be a little chaotic, but people will get to see LO.  That way, family will not bug you all the time about seeing LO.  It is just a thought.  Definitely make clear decisions and express them to family about evenings so you, DH, and LO can create your own family dynamic.

    In terms of your aunt, please read on 3rd hand smoke.  Infants are very fragile, and any exposure to a smoker or smoker's atmosphere increases the likelihood of SIDS, as well as contributes to lung deterioration at such a young age.  I agree with PPs that she can come to your house or take LO to the park when LO is older.  Be firm... it could cost you your baby's life! 

  • image August07Bride:

    complaints that "they aren't getting enough time with the baby."

    Smile, nod and say, " I know she misses you, too."  Then stop talking.

    It's a complaint and it's annoying to hear.  You don't actually have to solve it. Just ackowledge it and move on.  If pressed ask them something about their life, people always get distracted when the talk about themselves.

    image August07Bride:

    The second issue is one aunt (DH's) who is married to a man that DH and I do not trust around the baby... She has offered to watch the baby at her house, which at this point it's just easier to have her at our house, but as the baby gets older, we're not exactly sure how to tell her that doesn't work for us. 

    Just never use her as a babysitter at her house.  It's really that simple.  You don't have to announce it, just DO it the way it makes you comfortable.  There is really little to no reason to drop a child at another person's house unless for a play date or in-home child care ... or if you are in a desperate pinch and need a babysitter so badly that you are willing to accomodate the babysitter that much.  If she just wants 'alone time' with her your baby at her house, just never follow-through with plans to do so.  It's not really your job to make those accomodations for her.

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • image Wahoo:

    The thing you need to remember is "getting time with baby" is NOT their right - not as grandparents, aunts and uncles, or great-aunts and uncles.  You and DH come first, and your family comes first.  So you need to let them complain and don't let that bother you.

     Right now the baby is still new.  It's ok to say "I'm too tired to have guests" and "We're too nervous to have someone else watch the baby when we are not here."  Make sure to thank them for offering, but in that way you make it clear -that YOU are in control of the schedule, and they can OFFER all they want, but it's not a right.  Do other things to make them feel wanted - send photos, etc. (maybe put dh in charge of this!).  Be greatful that you have so many helping hands offering to babysit.  You WILL have days when you will be happy to have so many family members close by and eager to watch your little one!  Trust me!

    When you are ready - - how about asking someone to come over so you can do some laundry, take a trip to the grocery store, etc.  My guess is that they really DO NOT want to spend 1/2 a day with the baby - just a half hour or hour. 

    As for DH's aunt's husband - - just tell your aunt you would prefer if she stayed at your home, b/c you don't like the baby to have second hand smoke, and even if her husband isn't there, it is still in the carpeting, etc.  Even when kids are older, it's easier to watch them (IMO) at their own home, where they have their own toys, the kitchen is stocked with their sippy cups and plastic plates and food they like, Barney videos, etc.  If your aunt is active, maybe ask her to take them to the park.

    Perfect

    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • Wahoo said it best. The baby is still new and it's your prerogative if you want people constantly coming and invading your space to get time with the baby when you're still adjusting yoruself. Honestly I think it's pretty selfish of them to expect you to let them come over at all times when you want some time to yourself wtih your family. Whenever my friends or family have new babies I like to give them a few months before I start coming around to visit because I know how important that time is for them to get used to things and not have to deal with having all that company on top of focusing on the new baby.

    And I too, would let your H's aunt know that you don't like the idea of the baby being around all that 2nd hand smoke from the uncle in their house.  Perhaps you'd consider her coming to your house, sans uncle, to watch baby.

    [IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/x200p0.jpg[/IMG]
  • I'm not a mom, but FWIW, I totally agree with ECB and Wahoo. I will just add one thing - if you do go with ECB's advice and tell them that it won't work right now (or however long), tell them together. Send a mass email, or tell them at a family function when everyone's there. That way, if Aunt X thinks that Aunt Y's getting more baby time, you can clear up right away that your policy applies to everyone equally.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards