Can I keep my mother from visiting the maternity ward?
May 29, 2011 7:53 AM Subscribe
How inappropriate would it be to prevent my boundaries-challenged mother from visiting the hospital upon the birth of my child?
I have a mother with serious boundary issues—she is a writer, and regards anything in her life as fair game to write about, and that includes the private lives of her children and grandchildren. (My wife is three months pregnant, and we have not informed my mother that we're going to have our first child, because my mother freely admits that she could never keep quiet about that, and that we have no right to make her.) This means that interactions with her involve the sort of narrative-shaping that one must do with a reporter, as I learned after The Wedding Incident. It's exhausting. Yes, we've seen a therapist with her.
We do not want to deal with this in the hours after having a child. We do not want her to snap photos and issue a birth announcement to our friends and family—we'll do that, thankyouverymuch—and we do not want to find our labor room exhaustion described in the pages of the local paper.
The simplest solution seems to me to keep her out of the whole thing. We won't inform her of the child's birth until we're home. And, if she does find out, we'll simply say that this is a private affair. Sadly, that probably means excluding my entire side of the family for the same period, to avoid the awkwardness of explicitly barring my mother. While singling out my mother might be taking the bull by the horns, I suspect that will not be a time when we'll have the time or energy for bull-taking.
Again, this is our first child, so I don't know—is this approach within the bounds of reasonable etiquette? Is there an expectation of grandparental maternity ward access?