That’s been the topic of conversation in the Payne household this week.
If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you know that we’re using a midwife and birthing center for our new guy’s arrival Earth-side.
We both knew that during labor and delivery, we only want us and the staff in the room (and building, for that matter). Our slogan to family has been, “If you weren’t there for conception, you’re not going to be there for delivery.” From the get-go, we have had that settled.
My family is completely fine with that. It’s just me and my parents, and they are very, very non-intrusive people. I’d go so far as to say you’d be hard-pressed to find three people that are better than us about boundaries, space and distance. Which, honestly, I think is hilarious because we all three work together and spend seven hours a day around each other in the office.
My in-laws on the other hand are not quite as thrilled about our boundaries we’ve set up. It started two years ago when we got tired of dragging my stepson all over Texas to visit family for the holidays. We had the epiphany: Wait! We are the nuclear family. We have the choice to do whatever we want!—and promptly sat our tushies at home for Christmas that year, much to their chagrin.
So, the final piece of the puzzle that we’ve been figuring out is what the heck we’re going to do once we’re home with baby!
In our birthing center, the average family is home 3-4 hours after delivery. Read that again. The average family is HOME in their OWN HOUSE three hours after baby’s big entrance onto the planet. There are no nurses monitoring visiting hours, and there are no time limits pre-established by hospital policy. You are home.
I find this both wonderful and horrifying. Yes, we are thrilled at the idea of being at home with our brand new baby so soon after delivery. However, family can be pretty pushy if there’s no staff to intervene.
The thoughts that rolled around in my head this week were along the lines of:
1. This is my baby!
2. I want to snuggle him with no interruptions.
3. But, will someone bring us food?
4. … and then promptly leave?
5. What about out-of-towners?
6. Locals can drop by for a few minutes.
7. Those visiting will set up camp in my living room.
8. I am *so* not going to have the energy to entertain.
9. Holy crap, they’re going to make a mess of my house.
10. Am I going to be expected to feed these visitors?
11. How would I tell them to get lost?
12. Are they going to bogart the baby and only let me have him when he’s fussing?
13. Oh my, it’s my husband’s busy season at work.
14. He’s going to have to go to meetings while I entertain all my in-laws and try to keep a new human alive!
*insert panic attack*
And so on, and so on.
I brought my list of freak-outs to my husband and sat down for a serious conversation. I told him I think we need two weeks. Two weeks of getting to know our baby, two weeks of recovering from childbirth, two weeks of peace.
He was hesitant at first because his family can be very hard to reason with. After we went through my list of concerns, I saw the moment the lightbulb turned on in his head. He realized that this is what I, the mother of his about-to-be-born baby, needed. He agreed to two weeks of no out-of-town visitors. Hallelujah!
I’ve been doing all kinds of interweb searching on proper ways to tell your family to “heck off.” It’s not pretty. What my research told me is that we’re most definitely going to royally offend someone. Oh well. Our baby, our rules.
I guess what I’m realizing is that we, as parents, are instantly responsible for our own family’s path. We may step on a few toes (or all of the toes, let’s be real), but these are the beginnings of a new chapter in our lives.
If you’re on the fence about when you want to have a houseful of visitors, put that out into the universe! Have that conversation. Communicate!