Dear Amy,

I’m feeling a little bit frazzled (maybe being 27 weeks pregnant has SOMEthing to do with that). My issue is visitors, a topic that I know you’ve covered eloquently before, but I’m hoping you can help me (and other mommies-to-be) figure out if I’m being unreasonable – and also direct me toward some tips for how to say “No” gracefully.

My husband and I live in a small-ish home with one bathroom and an extra guestroom/office. Both of our families live in different cities that are a plane ride away. Over the past year, it’s just somehow transpired that we’ve had a LOT of visitors to our home… about one person or family every 3 weeks or so. I got pregnant during this time (surprise!), so it also happened to shake out that we had a visitor about every 2 weeks during my first trimester. These were all pre-planned visits by people we love very much and WANTED to see… but it quickly started to feel like I was running a bed and breakfast – and I’m now feeling at the end of my rope.

As I begin my third trimester, the requests for visits have continued. No one has been pushy, and no one has requested a lengthy stay. They all want to come out of love or to “help us get set up for the baby”… but I’ve just… had it. I’ve had it. We’ve had a revolving door to our home (including throughout some of the difficult times of my early pregnancy) and I just don’t want to see anyone right now. Is this abnormal? Maybe the hormones are making me antisocial? I am generally a private, introverted person and visits take a lot out of me. I’m always a little stressed about entertaining, and even when my houseguests are wonderful/low maintenance, I still feel concerned about making conversation, whether they’re enjoying themselves, what we’ll do for dinner, etc. The thought of hosting any more people in my last trimester makes me want to weep.

But how can I say no? I really do love everyone that has come – they’ve been dear friends and our closest family. And some of the people that want to come in the next couple of months have even offered to stay in hotels or with other friends, which is very considerate, but the truth is… I still feel over it. I’m working until my due date at both a full-time and a freelance job, I want to spend time with my husband, and he and I have a lot to do with readying our home, making a new budget and talking through this upcoming development in our lives. I just don’t want to devote my last remaining weekends to visitors – even “helpful” ones. Is that selfish?

Amy (and community), first of all: am I being oversensitive here? I know having many people that love us and want to support is a wonderful problem to have – should I just suck it up? And second: how can I say no to future visitors while really, really expressing how much I love and appreciate them?

(And in case you were wondering, we’ve already been working at setting boundaries for AFTER the baby is born by putting out a 2 week “no visitors” buffer after delivery. That one has been hard too – but it seems like people understand it a little better.)

Many, many thanks,
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