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Thread: Grandparent help after baby--help

  1. #1
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    Default Grandparent help after baby--help

    My mom told me (yes TOLD me) that she was going to stay with us after the baby came--this was months ago. It seemed like a fine idea to me so I didn't really say anything other than "ok" and we've just left it at that.

    My mom is nurse, a pediatric and ER nurse for most of her career, and BF 2/3 of her kids--so I have no doubt that she can be a help to us. But my mom and I don't have a warm fuzzy buddy-buddy relationship. Mostly when she's around it can be tense. She also smokes and has an elderly dog that would come with her--we have our own dogs and they've met before, but my dogs don't love visitors. Honestly, I'd feel 100x better if her dog didn't come, but I love the dog and he's old and really there's no where else for him to go. He goes where ever she goes.

    Anyway, the other day my DH asked me what exactly she's going to be doing while she's here. He was clear that she was welcome and it wasn't a bad thing, but really, what is she going to be here for? I didn't have much answer because I don't really know. I see help with BFing for me and that's about it. My DH will be home all the first week but then he has to go back to work.

    Maybe it makes more sense for her to be here in the week after when I'm suddenly by myself with a newborn all day? I know she wants to be here for the birth but she lives about 4 hours away so it also feels weird to me to say you can come for a couple days then go away and come back.

    I plan to talk to her this week but I'd really like to hear some advice or stories about how you were helped PP.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  2. #2

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    My MIL stayed with us for the first week - she was at our house while i was still in the hospital. She was a great help with cooking and cleaning, as well as taking care of DD so I could nap (I had some complications and had some recovery afterward). I really appreciated the extra set of hands. The next week, my mom came and basically did the same thing (MIL lives about an hour away and my mom is in CA so it made the most sense to have MIL first so my mom could get a flight and come out). I had to bottle feed DD (because of my complications I never got breast milk with her) so both grandmas were able to help with feedings, as well. They were good about taking a night feeding for me to help me sleep more.

    I agree that it would be more helpful if she could come the week when DH has to go back to work, but both grandmas found plenty to do and I appreciated them being there for those initial days as well. I would talk about it some with your mom, but I really think you will find that she will be very helpful in the first week if that is when she plans on coming.


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  3. #3
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    My mom was home when Mira was born. She cooked and cleaned, watched the dogs and fed them, and took turns with DH while I was in the hospital (C-section), so I wouldn't be alone. She is awesome with kids, so I never had to worry about baby handling; she bathed her for me until I got my nerve up.

  4. #4

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    My mom lives close by so she came over the first 3 days for a couple hours to help. My MIL wanted to come stay with us for a week after my first was born but I wanted time to myself so I could do my own thing and get into my own groove with the baby. I was uncomfortable with the idea of having someone there constantly while I was trying to learn how to handle my baby. I had a c-section with my second baby. My DH stay home 4 days and I sent him back to work. LOL. I just did better by myself.

    Kristy (32), Kirk (39), Jodi (4), Joey (16 months) and our dogs, Oreo and Wiggles

  5. #5
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    My mom stayed with us for months (on and off) after DS was born. He had colic and cried 23 hours a day and never slept. Honestly, if she hadn't been here, one or both of us would not have survived and I'm not joking. My usually very helpful husband was completely useless. It was a very difficult time. I truly hope you do not have that extreme experience, but I do want to stress that my mothers help was completely and totally invaluable to me. If she is offering to come, I would let her.

    My only issue would be with the smoking. I would set ground rules that she must smoke outside and change her clothes and wash her hands before she holds the baby after smoking.

  6. #6

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    It's really all about your own personal comfort level.

    For me, I had a similar experience to kmrk336 in that my DH freaked and went back to work asap and was not of any help with the baby after, he just stuck to doing things around the house, which was nice but I needed someone to look after baby so I could take naps, shower, eat, etc. Its a lot more relaxing to know you have an experienced grandma there to handle these things and not a freaking DH. I couldn't ever relax when he was taking care of newborn DD because I knew HE was freaking out. It was just easier for me to get rest and recover when I knew there was another person there besides a brand-spanking new parent. Someone who knew something, anything, and could just offer a vote of confidence.

    To answer your questions specifically about what she can DO: cook, clean, grocery shop, look after dogs, laundry, look after baby while you shower, nap, eat, etc. Not to mention emotional support.

    That said, not all have a great mom/daughter relationship. Sounds like you have some tensions there. So it might not be relaxing to have her around. If you think you are potentially sensitive to some of her behaviors now, you will be 10x more so after baby is here. If it turns out she is set on coming no matter what, maybe send her on errands a lot, or to walk the dogs.

    Good luck, its a sensitive time so try to do what you think will make it most possible to relax.



  7. #7

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    with both my kids dh took a week off and when he went back to work it was just me. (my niece came over for a few hours the day dh went back to work after dd but that was to help out with ds.) i don't feel that i would of benefited from having more people around. i liked having no vistiors and just being home bonding with my baby. but with out dh i would of been lost that first week.



  8. #8

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    I think an extra set of hand can be very helpful the first several weeks: cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of the baby while you nap, that sort of thing. My DH took only 3 days off with DS1 and I had a C/S so my mom was very helpful.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  9. #9

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    My mom stayed for weeks after my sons were born. It was wonderful! She cooked, cleaned, and did laundry so that I could take care of the baby. Of course she enjoyed time with the babies, too, but it allowed me to really not focus on anything but the baby. Those first few weeks are tough! There were nights when DS1 would do nothing but cry and would not sleep. It was nice having an extra adult to take turns holding, swaddling, swaying, etc. through the nights. But really, it is up to you and how comfortable you feel. Since she has a background in pediatrics, are you concerned that she may use her expertise to warn you or to give too many opinions? To me, that would really bother me. Maybe talk to her about what you think you might need help with (household chores) and definitely go over rules about smoking.

  10. #10
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    We live a 12 hour plane ride away from our parents, so unfortunately we don't see them much. That said, my mom came out when my son was two weeks old. By that point DH and I were comfortable with what we were doing, and had a good routine going as far as baby care, etc. Also, DH went back to work the day after my mom arrived. It was so invaluable to have had those first two weeks to figure it out ourselves, and then have my mom come after DH went back to work to just hang out and be there for support mostly for another 10 days. I had prepared and frozen lots of meals (like two weeks worth of dinners for the two of us) in the last weeks of my pregnancy, and had a crazy nesting weekend the two days before I went into labor, so my house was spotless when we got home from the hospital. By the time my mom arrived, she helped with cleaning, cooking, etc that needed to be done by that point. By the time she left I was totally comfortable with going out by myself with baby and everything else. So, I'd highly recommend having your mom wait a week or two before coming to visit. As for the smoking, definitely not inside and definitely change clothes before coming near baby.
    Jennifer


  11. #11
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    My mom and I also do not see eye to eye all the time. But, I was so happy she came. Here are the things she did: cook, clean, take dd1 out for walks and swimming, bathe dd2, swaddle and change her; hold her while she was asleep or awake for 2-4 hours so I could sleep or shower or eat or take care of dd1. She often gave me some lectures on how things should run, finances etc - it was a bit too much at times but in a big picture it was little. You might find a whole different level of relationship with your mom through this experience.
    However, you need to tell her upfront about smoking and anything else - it is your house that you share with your dh, your rules, your child. Don't set things to strict about stuff like what she can do but smoking would be a huge thing for me. I think I would tell her no smoking for as long as she is staying. I know my dh would be absolutely against anyone who smokes near the newborn. I was a guest at my sister's house when she passed away as I came with an infant to help out but I was very strict about my BIL smoking in the house or getting near my dd1 right after smoking. He was cool about it and understanding even though he did smoke around his own children before I came.

  12. #12
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    There is LOTS she will be helpful for!!! You will see. I guess it's hard to understand when you have not yet experienced what it's like to have a newborn baby but trust me....she will be helpful. If you even get along at all and your DH is cool with it I would take that help! She can hold the baby while you shower, sleep, help clean, cook, laundry....I could go on forever. Trust me you will be thankful for an extra set of hands in that first few weeks.

    Now if you don't get along with your mom that is a different story. I am not sure how I would have liked my mom being with me 24/7 but she lives close so that wasn't necessary (although she offered to help overnight) but really she was a huge help in the beginning.

    The smoking would bother me. She would have to wash her hands and change her clothes before handling the baby in my home.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  13. #13
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    I'm a little different circumstance but I'm probably going to ask my mom and MIL to not come up for at least the first week or two. I really want the time for DH and I to just bond with the baby and get to know the baby. And with adoption, even newborn domestic (which is what we are doing) that the parents be the ones to feed, to change, to do all the basics so that attachment is formed and trust develops between us.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  14. #14
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    Our parents only live about an hour from us so they never stayed at the house with us but they did come over to help a lot. With my 2.5 year old they would come over and watch him while I slept. I was breastfeeding but supplementing with formula also so they helped with feedings. It was great to just be able to sleep & shower. Without their help I'm not sure I would have been able to do either. With my 4 month old they took the 2 year old off my hands. I developed pneumonia a week PP and I barely had energy for the baby let alone a rambunctious toddler. I would never have made it through those first weeks with either child without their help. It was challenging at times because my mom and I do have some tension between us. She is very fond of trying to push her own ideas about raising my kids onto me like when to potty train and how I should have their stuff set up in the house. I try my best to ignore her and be firm about how I will do what works best for my family even if it's not what she thinks is best.


  15. #15

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    I've never had my mom stay with me for any reason including during the PP time period. For one my mother is a huge control freak, since I've been married we have't gotten along. She refuses to do counseling, she refuses to listen, its always the same pattern, I haven't seen her for a year because of our problems other than dealing with the death of my maternal grandparents. Other than that I have my wall up because she has caused nothing but trouble for me. My kids haven't seen her since last year and we have no plans on letting the children see her. With that being said I can't give you a full on answer than there are many ways you can avoid her staying with you. Something always is typical if you are renting it usually doesn't matter if you are renting an apartment or a house they have rules about guests it doesn't matter if its your mother or an alien from outer space or a combo of both most places will not allow for overnight guests more than 2-3 nights in a row unless they are willing to go through a background check and sign a lease with you. Yes, it sounds like a hassle but, some places are strict. Has she stayed with you recently? Is it typical for her to stay with you just to visit for about a week or so? How do you feel about her smoking? Is that something that will cause stress? I am super strict about smoking in my house a person who visits even for a short period can either smoke outside in the back yard or porch or if they don't like that they can leave. For most everyone we know this isn't an issue but, for FIL for example it hinders him from visiting but, that's HIS problem not mine. James is totally fine with that rule and we are on the same page. I would vote yes on her coming if she is truly going to be a help and support but, if she is going to nag everything you do I would vote no. I had James for 1 week when Cody was born but, after 2-3 days I didn't *need* him to help me granted I loved spending the extra time but, I started to become more routine oriented with Cody such as sleeping when he slept, washing the bottles on time, getting a few chores done, etc. James was completely unable to take anytime off other than the time in the hospital with Sophia. She was born on Nov 15th and I came home with her Nov 17th after her newborn tests. James and I got home at 3:30 PM that day of the 17th alongside with MIL dropping Cody back off. James took a shower and out the door he was at 5:30 pm that night. I had no choice but to deal with it otherwise he would have been fired, my mom wanted to help but, I didn't trust her. She went pyscho and hit me two months prior to Sophia being born and three days PP she managed to call me a schizophrenic all over me telling her "No I am not ready for visitors". I was better off and still am without her. I would only allow for a visitor if they are supportive of your choices with your baby.
    *** Lindsay ***



  16. #16
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    I appreciate all the stories!

    I tried talking to her today and it went how 75% of our talks go--me trying to tell her what I need and her telling me how she plans to do things. And then her saying she has to go and will call me back later. My mom is one that thinks her way is the only way to do things, it doesn't matter what other people think.

    For example (this is a really important example to me): My dogs do not transition well to visitors. They are sweet and fine after they've gotten over the initial period but they need time to adjust. She wants to come to my house, drop off her stuff and her dog and then immediately leave for the hospital. I've told her multiple times that is the worst thing she could do. I need her to stay for a few hours before leaving so things calm down. Her response was "well I'll just put my dog in the guest bedroom and he'll be fine." Ok--well MY dogs won't be fine with that. Even when I talked to her today she was--drop off stuff at my house and go--I'm like...do you even listen to me?

    It's more stressful than comforting to think of her being here right away. If I can't have a really good talk with her today or tomorrow, I might just wait until after the baby comes to call her.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geneari View Post
    I appreciate all the stories!

    I tried talking to her today and it went how 75% of our talks go--me trying to tell her what I need and her telling me how she plans to do things. And then her saying she has to go and will call me back later. My mom is one that thinks her way is the only way to do things, it doesn't matter what other people think.

    For example (this is a really important example to me): My dogs do not transition well to visitors. They are sweet and fine after they've gotten over the initial period but they need time to adjust. She wants to come to my house, drop off her stuff and her dog and then immediately leave for the hospital. I've told her multiple times that is the worst thing she could do. I need her to stay for a few hours before leaving so things calm down. Her response was "well I'll just put my dog in the guest bedroom and he'll be fine." Ok--well MY dogs won't be fine with that. Even when I talked to her today she was--drop off stuff at my house and go--I'm like...do you even listen to me?

    It's more stressful than comforting to think of her being here right away. If I can't have a really good talk with her today or tomorrow, I might just wait until after the baby comes to call her
    .
    The key point is exactly the bold you have to do what's best for YOU not her. She needs to accept that. Its your home a place for you to feel comfortable and being comfortable is what's important for you, your husband, baby, and dogs. For you I hope that she'll be flexible and things work out how your family wants them.
    *** Lindsay ***



  18. #18

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    Excellent idea, Natalie!!
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  19. #19
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    If she is not cooperating and defying your choices - you might be better off without having her there right away.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeksy View Post
    If she is not cooperating and defying your choices - you might be better off without having her there right away.
    Completely agree!! If she is that type who will only do things her way and not respect your wishes now, it has the potential to cause a lot of issues post-partum. There are a lot hormonal things going on, and I would not want anyone around who isn't willing to do things the way I wanted.

  21. #21

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    I agree that you might be better off without having her there when you come home. Your dogs will need time to get used to the baby being there and it would probably be easier on them if they weren't already stressed because of her dog. Let your dogs get used to the baby then have her come. We have 2 dogs and it took a few days when we came home for them to get used to the idea of baby being there. And we didn't have many visitors in those few days, it was nice to just get home and adjust before we started having extra "traffic" through the house. Also, if your DH is going to be home with you the first week, it might be nice to have here there the following week.

    Do what works best for you!!

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