Life Advice



Ask Amy: New parents must set firm boundaries

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Late last year my husband and I had our first child, a son. We let people know that only immediate family members (the new grandparents and our siblings) would be allowed to visit us in the hospital the first day the baby was born. For the remainder of that week, we wanted privacy.

My husband’s family reacted with hostility, especially from my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. They decided to call us three days prior to me going in for my C-section and berate us for limiting the visits while we were in the hospital.

Additionally, they were quite offended that we were only “giving them” a few hours with the baby. The conversation became so inappropriate we had to tell them to either stop, or not bother coming to the hospital at all.

Instead, they decided to tell us that we were wrong for setting boundaries, and that they were “walking out of our lives.”

For the past nine months, that is exactly what they have done. We have attempted several times to invite them to meet their nephew, but they refused -- claiming we were negative, toxic, and miserable people, and that we owe them major apologies.

Meanwhile, I went through a traumatic labor and delivery that caused me to suffer from postpartum depression, and PTSD.


It has been very difficult trying to understand this irrational behavior and deal with my mental health struggles.

No one in my husband’s family will stick up for us.

If everyone just prefers to “keep the peace” instead of speaking out about this immature behavior, how can our little family possibly have a relationship with my in-laws?

Very Hurt and Shocked


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