thread: Calling all mums and mums-to-be whose parents live overseas

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Dec 2004

    Calling all mums and mums-to-be whose parents live overseas

    Hi Guys,

    Just wanted to ask your opinion...
    My parents are in the UK (I've been here for 5 years), and my mum's been asking when I want her to come over here for the baby - i.e. to arrive before the birth / to arrive on the due date / to arrive after the birth?

    What do you guys think?

    Also, she said that my dad reckons it'd be better for her to come alone, without him - I felt a bit upset about this, as I'd be sad not to see my dad too, but, on the other hand, I guess he's not really going to want to travel the other side of the world to help in changing nappies, suffer sleepless nights, clean the house etc etc, which is what my mum wants to help with.

    Any thoughts? I'd be interested to hear from people who have recently gone through this too.


  2. #2
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

    Hi Bertie

    Whilst I have not been through this as of yet and my parents and PIL, don't live overseas (PIL live interstate) I thought I could still give my input.

    Now my MIL, is lovely but drives me bonkers sometimes, wants to come and see the baby after he is born. Now they live in Sydney and we live here in Melbourne. She has been trying to decide when best to come seeing as she will probably have to take time out from work.

    Baby is due on the 19th July and currently she has decided to come to first week of August which should ensure that the baby is here by then, she doesn't want to come down for the birth as who really knows when that will be, baby's who come on their own come when they want to.

    I'm hoping that the baby will be with us atleast a week before she comes, I would feel more comfortable with that than her coming within a few days. Even though I know she will be willing to help out, like your mum, but I think DH, Bub's and I will need time together, to be as a family and get used to one another and start trying to get into a routine. This may be hard with another person (people) around, iykwim?


  3. #3
    Melody Guest

    Hi Bertie,

    My Mum lives in Melb & my MIL is on the central coast but I think the dilema is the same. Personally I am going to try & keep them both at a distance for at least ten days. (My MIL wont last a few hours but DH & I have made an agreement that this is about us & until we are satisfied that we have kissed & hugged & cried enough we are not calling anyone else into the mix even if we wait for 5-24 hours after the birth)

    If you have a really close relationship then it will be double the joy of meeting your child & seeing your mum but if you are easily overwhelmed then take the time to figure out how you feed, how you sleep & be a family for a few days without the added pressure of being viewed while all this goes on.

  4. #4
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    My Mum wasn't overseas, but when I had Olivia I was living in Darwin and she was in Adelaide. At first she wanted to come in the week after I had Olivia, but in the end I found the thought of her being there too stressful, so I asked her to come when Olivia was 3 months old!!

    I know she would have helped round the house etc and no dount would have been a great support, but I ended up just wanting to get into a routine without any distractions. At the end of the day, I was the only one that could BF Olivia, regardless of support, and it was just easier, for me, to get on and do it all myself, plus DH was a huge help around the house.

    Luckily, Mum understood, and delayed her trip till Olivia was 3 months, and it worked really well.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Aug 2004

    Mum and Dad are in NZ, and I told them from day dot I wanted Mum to be here, maybe not for the birth, but for a couple of weeks afterwards.

    We never booked tickets (luckily its easy to get relatively cheap flights from NZ ast the last minute) and decided that Mum wouldn't try and arrive for the birth as realisitcally, how can you pick it!

    As time went on, it was increasingly apparent I was going to be late, so I told MUm that if I hadn't had the baby by term+5 days, she should just come over. So she came over at 41wks. It was lovely having her there for a couple of days before the birth, specially since it ended up being an induction. I was going through alot of pain before the event with false labour, and Mum looked after me really well. We went out for lunch, breakfast and shopping, and then had naps in the afternoon. It was a really good distraction. I was induced at term+11 days, and delivered that night.

    She stayed for 2 weeks in total, was there for most of the labour, and actually held the baby before me as I was getting stiched up. It was an amazing experience for us, and having her there afterwards was wonderful too, draining, but then so good cause we got really good meals cooked for us every day.


  6. #6
    BellyBelly Life Member

    Nov 2003

    All of our family lives interstate and we're getting them to come down after Kynan's born. My mum & DH's mum really wanted to be there for the birth and the 1st couple of weeks but we managed to convince them it wasn't a good idea. So my parents aren't coming down until July (bubs is due in June) and DH's mum is coming down in December for Kynan's 1st Christmas. DH and I really want some time to just settle in and get used to it being our family before we have everyone decending on us and telling us how we should be doing things etc.

  7. #7
    Margot_In_Oz Guest

    Hi Bertie,

    I'm so glad you posted this, as I've been dying to ask the same question myself!

    My family all live in Brisbane, but my in-laws live in the UK. I get on really well with my MIL and have had her stay with us at our home before for four weeks. It worked fine then, but DH and I were both going to work each day (so had some time to ourselves) and there was no baby to think about.

    When she originally said she wanted to be here for the birth, I was really worried. I now work from home, so will have the stress of trying to still work up until the birth - and manage some work after the birth (to keep my business afloat).

    I thought of various options for MIL visiting - coming three months after the birth etc, but I just knew that because MIL is SOOOOO excited about the baby, she just wouldn't be able to contain herself until then. (and would be very upset if she couldn't come earlier).

    We have just agreed with her to come two weeks before my due date and to stay for four weeks. If the baby comes around my due date, that means I will have two weeks with her, when I can enjoy her company, go shopping etc.

    Then I will have nearly a week in hospital - so a break from her (except for visiting hours). And only a week at home again, with DH, the baby and MIL.

    I think I can handle one week with MIL and the baby - but will ask my mum to have MIL at her house when we come home from the hospital, so that we can have the first day or so on our own.

    If the baby is eary, it will mean up to two weeks with her there, after the baby comes home. Hopefully I won't be late!!

    The alternative was MIL coming later, but that will mean her being here for four whole weeks when I have the baby home. Which I think will be too much for me.

    It's such a hard decision isn't it. Either way, it will be stressful at some stage. They just need to understand that we will need time on our own with the baby, and to give us some space.

    Good luck with the decision.


  8. #8
    Registered User

    May 2004

    Hi Bertie,

    Our familes live in the UK. We have been here nearly 2 yrs now.
    My family never asked to come over so we never had a problem with them.
    But MIL is coming over my EDD was 2nd June and she is due to arrive on the 4th she did tell me to wait until she arrived for me to have the baby. I did have an elective c/section booked in for the 24th June and knew that they would deliver the baby around 39wks that's why we said she could come for my EDD.
    So she would have missed out on the birth. Now Alexander will be 4 weeks old when she comes as he was delivere by emergency c/section on the 11th May.

    It is up to you on how you feel about having family here straight away. I know i wanted it to be just the 4 of us for a few weeks to get used to having a new baby around.

    You could always get them to come 2 or 3 weeks after you have had the baby.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    Well my IL's live interstate also. Being the in laws it may be different to actually having your own mum there but this is my story..

    With my first preg we were living in Nth QLD closer to the IL's in the same telephone call we told them I was pregnant and moving back to NSW to have the baby. This was going to be their first grandchild but I wanted to be near my family for the birth. I wanted my mum to be there holding my hand. Anyway IL's planed to come down when Evan was born and from memory my MIL actually wanted to wait till after I had given birth and settled in but DH said he would like it if they could be here for the birth. So they came down early. They stayed with us in our 2 bedroom flat for almost 3weeks!!
    I was a total cow to his parents mostly his mother, but what else can you expect, I was tired, hormonal and completly overwhelmed. I hated having them there, I really think it made a big impact on how long I suffered with the baby blues. I think they really could have caused me to slip into PND if I hadn't already. I hated that I couldn't just sit in the lounge room and flop out my boob, I could if I wanted too but I knew FIL was uncomfortable about it and besides that Evan wouldn't feed properly with some many people about. As a result I ended up with a baby who would only feed properly if I locked my self away in a quiet and dark room. I hated that his mother would do the dishes for us but she is a hopless house keeper and I would always need to redo them anyway. It always looks like she has rinsed the dishes with the old water that has had potatos boiled in it. even when they would go out for the day to give me some time to my self, I would get up to all of their stuff every where and crumbs and food scraps left on the kitchen bench from where she had made lunchs to take with them. I hated that I had to repeat myself over and over that the cat was not allowed outside and to not let him sit by the front door. All the things that bothered me about them being there seem very petty now but at the time it was driving me insane. I was so glad to see the back of them.

    When we told them I was pregnant with number 2 I told DH to tell them that they are welcome to come down for the birth but I would rather they didn't stay with us once I was home with the baby. He flipped out and made out as though I had said I didn't want them to have any part of the new baby and that I am always so mean to them. Eventually he could see my point of veiw and told them. They came down about 3 months after teh birth and stayed for a week, it was much easier to handle this time. I had Glenn settled in to a good routine and Evan was a good distraction for them. He helped keep them busy so they didn't bug me so much.

    So this is my warning, if you have a really good relationship iwth you mother, and know that you will be able to handle having her around then great, have her there from word go. but if you would like to be able to find your little nook in the new world of mother hood, have her come at least a week or 2 after the birth.

    I think my biggest problem was I wasn't able to "nest" with them around, I couldn't even go to the spare room in the middle of the night to get a fresh blanket or clothes when Evan had chucked up on his bedding because they were in there and sleeping against the cupboard with the baby stuff in it.

    Why don't you ask your mum what she would like to do, how much would it mean to her to be able to be there at the birth?

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Life Member

    May 2004

    Ah so glad this topic is here!

    Both sides of our family are interstate - we are in Brisbane, my family is in Tassie and DH's in Vic. Anyway this is the first grandchild for my family. EDD is 9th Sept and my mother is about to book tickets for her, my dad and 82 year old Nan (who hates travelling) to come up from 7th-13th! Mum won't listen to me when I say the chances of her being here for the birth are extraodrinarily slim, but she is a teacher and only has holidays then. I am trying to suggest maybe coming up for a long weekend early October when bub will definately be here and hopefully we will be home and more settled. It's such a stress though!

    Hopefully we can all sort it out eh?

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    Dear me! Maybe you should just tell your mum that you don't want them there before the birth. Be curel to be kind sort of thing. I mean she isn't going to get to meet your baby. Just tell her you would really rather not to have the added pressures of having them there inthe days leading up to the birth and would rather they come in october, its not that big of a wait and they will get to see your new baby.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    Ok our story is my mum & dad live in America, and when Mum was booking the ticket to come out I kept telling her to book for the week prior to the due date so she would have more time here after the birth, well... she booked for two and a bit weeked before my due date, and Matilda was 17 days late! So she only had a week here after Matilda was born... we couldn't really control the date for Matilda, so I guess my advice would be to have her come out just a bit before your due date. Because even if she misses the birth, she will be there for the aftermath

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Nov 2004

    I'm living in Denmark and mum is coming over from Adelaide. She has booked her ticket so she arrives on my due date.

    I am hoping I am 2 weeks early so that DH and I can have some time to get used to having bub around. But I guess she will be good company to have with me if I am overdue. So its probably as good a time as any to be coming.

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Dec 2004

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks so much for all your replies - it has been interesting to see how everyone else deals with this!

    We've basically decided on a bit of a compromise... although it would be nice to have my mum around for the last few days before the baby arrives, I thought that it was probably a bit of a waste her being here for the 5 days while I was in hospital, and also DH and I wanted a few days 'bonding' the three of us, before my mum arrived. Also, my DH will be able to take a week or so paternity leave, and I know he'd like the chance to spend some time with the baby and I alone. PLUS, what I most want my mum for is company and help with looking after the baby when I am on my own, i.e. when DH is at work.

    My SIL is getting married 12 days after my due date (bad timing!!), and as the place where she's getting married is 5 hours away from Sydney, I am unlikely to be able to go, but I'd hate for my DH to miss it, so we've agreed that my mum will arrive a few days before the wedding, so she will be here to be with me if my DH goes away that weekend, and then she will be here for almost 4 weeks.

    I know first babies are often late, but this way hopefully we'll have either had the baby a week ago and therefore have been back at home for a few days the three of us before my mum gets here, or I will hopefully at least have just had the baby and will be out of hospital. Worst case scenario I am still in hospital when she arrives, but she's said she doesn't mind staying in a hotel the first few days (while she's getting over jetlag) to give us a few more days to ourselves and she can just come and 'visit'.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post, but that's what we've decided, and hopefully it will work out for all of us!! [-o< It's so tricky, as I would hate for her to feel like she wasn't wanted (as she is very much so!!), but equally want to be fair on DH and our new 'family'...

    Good luck to everyone else...