A woman is wondering if she is in the wrong for not planning to be a good hostess while her in-laws are visiting.
To Be A Good Host Or Not To Be
A woman asks if she should be a good hostess to her in-laws visiting, given that she is 3 weeks postpartum. This woman, who we’ll call ‘Tina’ is a frustrated mother who is feeling overwhelmed by the upcoming visit of her husband’s family is facing a dilemma.
Three Weeks Postpartum
Despite being only 3 weeks postpartum with a new baby and a toddler, Tina has agreed to host her husband’s parents, sister, and family for a week during spring break. However, when her husband starts making demands for fancy foods and specialty items, she becomes angry and resentful.
They Will Spend Most Time At Her House
“Although the 7 of them would be staying at an Airbnb, I know they will be spending all day every day at our home to see the kids.”
She Tells Him She Will Not Cater To Them
“I told my husband to make sure they know we will be ordering in every meal, and beyond eggs and cereal and some drinks and snacks (i.e. chips and fruit), I wasn’t planning to get much else. I’m also tired and up with the baby all night, I’m still trying to get breastfeeding established, and I’m exhausted at the very thought of 7 people being in my house every day for a week while I’m trying to nurse and rest and manage a toddler’s big emotions around a new sibling,” Tina explained.
He Expects Her To Be A Good Hostess
Tina’s husband expressed his expectations of her while his family is visiting. His response was “Well we are going to need this and that for my parents and this and that for the kids, and I was thinking one day I can make this and that.” Tina notes that her husband started talking about needing to get the ‘best’ bread and the ‘best’ cheese. She complains that getting all these items involves trips to numerous places, which she thinks she won’t be able to handle. “He even said he was going to ask my dad (who occasionally buys us some specialty grocery stuff that I ask for and drops it off) to pick up a bunch of items for them.”
She Explains Her Side
Tina explains, “I am not trying to go above and beyond here and play host when I’m 3 weeks postpartum. They can eat the stuff from the grocery store even if it’s not the best and deal for 5 days.” She is frustrated that her husband seems more concerned with his family having fun and being comfortable than with her own well-being.
Husband Doesn’t Usually Help
“I was also frustrated because when his family visits, my husband checks out and just plays with his nephews and chats for hours with his brother-in-law, and I know I’m going to be the one setting out snacks, tidying up, etc. He seems more concerned with his family having fun, the visit being a good time, and with them being comfortable than with me getting what I need. I feel like it doesn’t matter what I ask for – he isn’t going to have my back, so I have to protect myself and my own well-being.”
Relatives Should Help In Fourth Trimester
Others who responded on the situation agree with Tina’s frustration, with one person saying, “relatives that visit during the fourth trimester are there to help or show themselves out. Anything you do beyond let them take care of everything they are capable of physically doing is supremely gracious.”
She Has No Obligation To Be A Good Host
Another person adds, “You do not visit a 3 weeks postpartum mom of a new baby and toddler and expect to be wined and dined with ‘the best’ and/or be entertained.”
The In-Law Should Be More Understanding
Tina’s husband is also criticized for his lack of support and understanding. One person says, “if the husband has a history of ‘checking out’ when his family visits and not helping his wife with hosting duties like she describes, then she is right to assume he will do the same this time, which is even more annoying given the current situation.”
Her Husband Should Be More Considerate
In the end, it seems that Tina is not in the wrong for not wanting to go above and beyond for her visitors while still recovering from childbirth. As one person puts it, “The new mom sure isn’t in the wrong, but the husband sure is.”