My in-laws left this morning, and my parents left this afternoon. It's just the three of us now.
Overall, it was really nice to have everyone here. The only other time when my parents and my in-laws have spent any time together was at our wedding more than three years ago. With so many people staying under one roof, it definitely gave everyone the chance to get to know each other better. Perhaps there was just a tiny bit of tension here and there, but I think that everyone got along pretty well, for the most part.
I think that I would have preferred to have just my parents here, but it just didn't turn out that way. I think that my mother-in-law has the best intentions, but I couldn't help but feel judged by some of her little comments here and there. But I can see how she probably felt like she was in a really challenging position--she's a mom, but she's not my mom, and my mom is here, and I'm obviously going to listen to my mom before I listen to her. At the same time, my family has developed a direct style of confrontation, whereas my husband's family does not like to deal with confrontation at all, whatsoever. They prefer to ignore the situation...and then they tend to talk about the person behind their back. For example, my mom and mother-in-law went shopping yesterday (which I think was a great bonding opportunity for them, which made me really happy), and my mother-in-law complained to my mom that I bossed her (my mom--not my mother-in-law) around too much. Well...yeah. I just had a baby! I'm still uncomfortable in my "lady parts", I'm breastfeeding every couple of hours, I'm only sleeping for up to five hours at a time. So yes, I need some help around the house. And I think that my mom was more than willing to help out. Beside, our pediatrician said that if anyone is staying for a week, that they better be cleaning the bathroom! So I think that I was totally justified in asking for some help around the house while I recover and adjust, and from my conversations with my mom, she was more than happy to help out. In fact, she plans to come back in a couple of weeks once my husband goes back to work.
While I admit that I was ready to see my in-laws leave, it was really, really hard for me to see my parents drive off. I know that I'm extra hormonal right now, but I definitely cried as they packed up and said goodbye to me, my husband, and Ella. From what I hear, it was just as hard for them to leave as well (my dad blames his "allergies" for making his eyes water). I'm really looking forward to seeing my parents (and the rest of my family) again at Christmas.
So now it's just the three of us--me, my husband, and our precious Ella. The house sure feels quiet--but perhaps in a "good" way. We're still sticking with the eat-play-sleep routine, though I admit that I will miss the way my parents played with Ella and how efficient they were in helping to put her to sleep. But this does give my husband and me more quality time with her--as well as the freedom to figure things out for ourselves. It's a little bit scary to be on our own, but ultimately, we are so ready to truly begin feeling like a little family.
Today's blessing was hearing that my brother and sister-in-law had a great anatomy scan! They have opted to wait to find out the gender, so we are really excited to hear if Ella's going to have a boy or a girl cousin in February!