or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Life With a Baby › Good advice for my mom while visiting her DIL and new baby?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Good advice for my mom while visiting her DIL and new baby?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
My brother and his wife are due to have their first any day now! My mom lives two hours away. J (my SIL) has said my mom is welcome to come as soon as they call.

I told my mom, make sure you don't just hold the baby. Offer to do laundry, cook and freeze a lasagna (or other food), run to the store. Is there anything else? She has generally a good relationship with B&SIL, but doesn't feel as comfortable in their house. (Like, she's never cooked there.)

Anything else?
post #2 of 33
Is she nursing? If so, figure out where her nursing "spot" is and make sure everything nearby is dusted. I know it's small, but I spent the first 2-3 weeks of DS's life staring at my dusty coffee table and wanting to cry. I sat in the same spot on the couch to nurse and it bugged me so much knowing that I didn't even have time to dust the freaking coffee table - any free time I had was taken up by getting the chance to pee, bathe, eat or sleep.

And I don't know what your SIL is like, or the dynamics of the relationship, but people always asked what they could do and I had a really hard time telling them. I most appreciated people who just did things without asking. Like my SIL, who came over the day DS was born and because we were all asleep, tidied the whole downstairs while she waited for us to wake up.

Probably the worst thing people did was offer to hold the baby while I slept. I couldn't sleep without him in the room, and then when I got him back he always smelled like other people and it used to irritate the hell out of me. Maybe that's just me though
post #3 of 33
I would second the laundry and general cleaning up, but also, in regards to the cooking, making things your mom knows she likes.

I had my only meltdown (crying, a little bit of yelling) when my daughter was 5-6 days old, because there were four grandparents at my house and no one was doing the laundry or general cleaning (vaccuming, moping, bathrooms, etc.). My husband went back to work so that when our parents left he could take time then and it could just be us, so it was me and the grandparents.

They were so focused on the baby that they only got helpful when I started doing my own laundry and crying about how they were in my way and not being helpful.
post #4 of 33
First, I just want to say "YES!" to everyone else's posts. Housekeeping is so wonderful. She should offer to hold the baby if it would allow your SIL to shower, pee, sleep, whatever but not insist on it. Another big one for me would have been someone to screen calls. I wanted everyone to know about the baby but I didn't necessarily want to tell them myself. That person could announce visiting hours (only if they had been agreed upon in advance with SIL), and coordinate offers of help and food.
post #5 of 33
I agree with the pps. Also, she could offer to hold the baby while your
SIL takes a nap. That helped me tremendously with my 1st.
post #6 of 33
and just be prepared for any kind of emotions, and don't take it personally.

what an awesome mother you have!
post #7 of 33
don't ask the mom anything if she can help it, like "where is" or "how do you"....

ask the new dad and assume her version of a clean floor/toilet/etc will be better than what's currently being done.

don't ask about every task/meal, but have one conversation at the beginning and then be confident and take initiative to get things done!

one thing i did for my sister when i was there for a week PP was make sure she had a bowl of fresh, prepped fruit and water by her all day long, and at night before she went to bed. she talks about it all the time now

so wonderful, your mom doing this!
post #8 of 33
How long is she staying? If it's just a short day visit then either bring food already prepped, assembled, ready-to-cook in a container that doesn't need to be returned or she should make sure she cleans up after meal prep at sil's house. It may sound obvious but my MIL, bless her heart, just does.not. clean up well. She always brings food she has to finish prepping to my house, dirties the entire kitchen, then leaves it messy. I think to her it's clean but to me it's sooo not. I appreciate the food and all but it kind of takes away from it knowing I now have a dirty kitchen.

Also bring or make snacky stuff. It's so nice to be able to grab something that requires no thought or prep work on my part. Muffins, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, cut up fruit like a pp said.

If she's staying a while, I agree with everyone else to just take initiative and do what looks like it needs doing. Also, if possible, let sil know that visiting with her is not necessary. SIL should feel free to sleep in, take a nap, shower at any time and for as long as she wants without worrying about playing hostess.
post #9 of 33
When my Cecilia was first born, I didn't want to give her to anyone AT. ALL. It was part of my bonding experience with her. While SIL will probably give in and let your mom hold the baby, if it was me, I would want her to understand that I need help with everything else-- not with holding the baby. I would want her to be understanding of our need for together time so early on.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post
When my Cecilia was first born, I didn't want to give her to anyone AT. ALL. It was part of my bonding experience with her. While SIL will probably give in and let your mom hold the baby, if it was me, I would want her to understand that I need help with everything else-- not with holding the baby. I would want her to be understanding of our need for together time so early on.

Same here. Help in all the other things like housework, food, shopping are welcome but no thanks holding the baby. I got her!
post #11 of 33
forget housework-- My 'dream MIL' would hold her tongue, and say only nice things about baby and mom. He looks cold? it's ok, she'll figure it out. He needs a hat? it's ok she'll figure it out.

After knowing how sensitive I was those first few weeks to critisim, I now just give compliments after births:

"You are doing such a wonderful job"
"you look great!"
"s/he's so sweet, looks just like you"
"awww... s/he knows his mama!"

I'm not saying to patronize her... but I'm sure that you can find something to compliment for most mom's... I'd try to focus on that instead of the lack of socks.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
forget housework-- My 'dream MIL' would hold her tongue, and say only nice things about baby and mom. He looks cold? it's ok, she'll figure it out. He needs a hat? it's ok she'll figure it out.

After knowing how sensitive I was those first few weeks to critisim, I now just give compliments after births:

"You are doing such a wonderful job"
"you look great!"
"s/he's so sweet, looks just like you"
"awww... s/he knows his mama!"

I'm not saying to patronize her... but I'm sure that you can find something to compliment for most mom's... I'd try to focus on that instead of the lack of socks.


This did WONDERS to my emotional state and a simple compliment or thoughtful remark would put me in a good mood for hours. I really appreciate and take it to heart when my in-laws tell me and dh how proud they are of us and what great parents they think we've become. It also made me feel really good to hear others say things like, "Oh, he/she heard you talking! He/she sure loves you, Mama!"
Admittedly, this time around I really appreciated everyone's compliments on how "healthy" "happy" and "good" I looked right after having her.
It really helps being "mothered" in small ways, even if it's with loving words. Sometimes I think new mothers are the ones who need mamas the most.

I wholeheartedly agree with just taking initiative and doing things that need to be done. I have a very hard time telling someone what I need done around the house if they ask. I don't care if it's done my way or even halfheartedly done...so long as someone is taking care of something that I don't have time to even think about right now, I'm very grateful.
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Wow - -this is great! Thanks, everyone. My littlest one is only 4, but you forget these kinds of things quickly. I can make a really great list for my mom now! Just hoping that my nephew gets here quickly and safely -- he's almost a week overdue already.
-e
post #14 of 33
Have your mom ask them to keep a running list of anything they need, like groceries, laundry soap, diapers, (my mom even went shopping for nursing pads/clothes); or a trip to the post office, etc, and she can run all errands. While shopping, pick up a few vases of fresh flowers (as long as she's the one taking care of the flowers once home)
Manage a list of all the gifts and cards that come flowing in.. all those baby note thank you's are something that I felt was important to do, but was tough to make it a priority.
Help with birth announcements, whether home-made or ordering.
If she's computer savvy, offer to help email pictures, send out pictures, etc.
Offer to set-up any baby gear still in boxes
and laundry and cooking, as everyone else has mentioned
post #15 of 33
One of the things that stands out MOST for me postpartum was how GOOD my mom was with kiddo and how AWFUL I felt in comparison. My PP hormones had me feeling like such a bad mama although my logical self kept trying to remember that A) it was my first kid and I had hardly any baby experience prior B) my mom grew up with younger siblings, a million foster siblings and had two kids of her own so she was hardly short on experience and C) I was a PP stress mess whereas my mom was just grandma who didn't HAVE to worry about baby and of course babies react to stress or lack there of.

My mom wasn't completely sensitive about it so you should probably remind your mom that PP hormones can really be insane. The issue might not be about feeling like a bad mom in comparison like it was for me but there definitely could be some struggling hormonal issues that will require sensitivity and understanding.

Also, I can't express how much it pissed me off to hear what a GOOD BABY!!! my kiddo was. I was up all night and every little cry of course ripped me apart as is normal with that mom/newborn cry instinct and it certainly didn't feel like she was 'good' whatever the heck that even MEANS with a newborn. I was told stories of how HARD I was (colic) and how I should be so glad that I have it 'easy.' Yeah... your mom should probably avoid comparisons like that too hahaha.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
forget housework-- My 'dream MIL' would hold her tongue, and say only nice things about baby and mom. He looks cold? it's ok, she'll figure it out. He needs a hat? it's ok she'll figure it out.

After knowing how sensitive I was those first few weeks to critisim, I now just give compliments after births:

"You are doing such a wonderful job"
"you look great!"
"s/he's so sweet, looks just like you"
"awww... s/he knows his mama!"

I'm not saying to patronize her... but I'm sure that you can find something to compliment for most mom's... I'd try to focus on that instead of the lack of socks.
yes to this! Our first week and a half with the baby was in Children's Hospital, and there was very little that I was able to do for the baby, but something the nurses and a few of my friends did that was awesome was to praise dh and I, and really never made us feel incompetent (we had that one covered all on our own, tyvm!)

Also, if she could find your SIL's best friends and ask them to help her organize a schedule for who in their social circle will be bringing casseroles and whatnot after your mom leaves, that would be so awesome. When we got the baby home, there was nothing so great as being able to run into the kitchen, scoop out a bowlful of whatever casserole or potato salad or whatever that our friend had brought, and get back to baby without having to think at all about food prep.

And yeah, tell your mom to really really roll with the pp emotional punches. But she should also never say to your SIL that what she's freaking out or crying about is "just" hormones. Validate but don't take anything personal.
post #17 of 33
Just don't act like a houseguest. My in-laws came over with DH's gmother, saying that they were coming to help out, entertain older DD, etc. Gmother sat in my nursing chair the whole time, I provided snacks and tea... They did play with DD1, but that was about it. I totally agree with the PPs who stressed the difference between saying "What can I do?" and just doing something. Sometimes, especially in that post-partum fog, coming up with a task to delegate is just as stressful. And, when it's your in-laws, it's hard to ask them to do anything.
post #18 of 33
I didn't read all the posts - but I have a few suggestions for my own MIL (hehe)

1. Don't ask to do stuff - JUST DO IT! I don't want to hear fifty billion questions, and I honestly don't care if the dishes are put away in the "correct" spots

2. Just because I don't mind if you are in the room while I nurse, doesn't mean come over and get a close up view every time the baby latches on

3. Don't be offended if mama doesn't want to give her baby up! I had the hardest time letting anyone hold my first baby, even DH. I wanted to be attached to him nonstop.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post
When my Cecilia was first born, I didn't want to give her to anyone AT. ALL. It was part of my bonding experience with her. While SIL will probably give in and let your mom hold the baby, if it was me, I would want her to understand that I need help with everything else-- not with holding the baby. I would want her to be understanding of our need for together time so early on.
I didn't read this before I posted - but this was totally me! I was a little better with my second, but not much. Mostly because with my second, I sometimes had to put the baby down so I could snuggle my first.

Also, and I even told my MIL this - is I would never say yes if MIL would say, "Do you want me to hold the baby?" I won't say yes if anyone says that. Now, if someone says, "May I hold your baby (after I wash my hands)" then I will usually let them for a tiny bit.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post

After knowing how sensitive I was those first few weeks to critisim, I now just give compliments after births:

"You are doing such a wonderful job"
"you look great!"
"s/he's so sweet, looks just like you"
"awww... s/he knows his mama!"
so important! My parents have never said anything nice to me about my baby or my parenting. any of the above would have been wonderful to hear (and still would be!)

also, for housework, it is better just to do it rather than to ask if something is ok to do!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life With a Baby
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Life With a Baby › Good advice for my mom while visiting her DIL and new baby?