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Good advice for my mom while visiting her DIL and new baby? - Page 2

post #21 of 33
I think asking the new mom whether or not she'd like offers to hold the baby is a good idea, since I think it's different for every woman and there's no way to predict it ahead of time. I can understand not wanting to give your baby to someone else to hold, but for me I couldn't sleep at first unless I knew someone was holding and watching over my little guy at all times, so I really appreciated it when one of our moms offered to hold him while I napped or showered. Later, it was the only way I could ever get a few things done, and I will be forever grateful to my mother-in-law for offering to hold him while I ate every time they brought us dinner. So being up front about it (and letting the mom know it's okay to change her mind) would be best, in my opinion.

This might be kind of strange, but REALLY soft toilet paper would have been the best gift someone could have brought me in the hospital!

If they encounter any difficulties with breastfeeding, etc., offering to Google for research/mark pages in a book like The Nursing Mother's Companion might be nice. My mom did a lot of that for me. That lets the mom still make up her own mind without having to track down the info herself.

Always having water and a snack (fruit, trail mix, etc.) was really important, as was having an organized nursing nest and plenty of clean burp cloths right at hand.
post #22 of 33
I agree that compliments like "you are such a good mother" feel really nice post partum!

Keeping the dishes clean (and not piled up in the sink) would be nice. There are SO many dishes when there are extra people in the house.

Keeping a list of things mama/baby needs. (Don't ask new mom to make the list) Just keep the list, add to it all day, and shop every day or two. New mom will appreciate a couple hours of you getting things done and having her house to herself.

I agree about not asking about every little thing. Just put the dishes away where-ever. (unless SIL has OCD).

Making food available is great too!

Here is what NOT to do:
- Don't look at the baby and say "oh, this is too small/big for you". Baby clothes are all either too small or big and it totally doesn't matter anyhow.

-Don't look at the baby and tell him a criticism or left-handed compliment about new mom.

-Don't keep telling new mom what to do. Like "go take a shower/nap, the baby will be fine". You can offer nicely, by letting her know that you will help whenever she wants to do those things.

If your mom asked for this list, she is already WAY ahead of the game. If you are going to give it to her uninvited, good luck!!
post #23 of 33
i think hearing anecdotes from my MIL once in a while would've been nice. instead she liked to tell me that ALL 4 of her kids slept through the night as soon as they came home from the hospital. couldn't she say things like "hey, i remember when so-and-so was just born and she did the same thing!!" or "i felt the same way!" i would've felt better hearing that she had the same problems i did or her kids did similar things.
haha and it would be nice if my mom actually believed my dh could take care of the children too. she seems to think he's a man so he can't possibly figure out how to take care of them! he gets irked when she helicopter grandmas him when he's with the kids.
post #24 of 33
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post
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!

My parents are the same way... with me. They go on and on and on about how amazing my dh is with the kiddo (and he does do a lot), but I never get so much as a "wow, he's still alive! good job mama!". My mom and I are close, and have been around and around on this issue, and it just doesn't stop. It was a total confidence buster on top of everything else post partum. I promised myself then that I would always be kind to new mom's!
post #25 of 33
I wanted to add-- in terms of nursing:

Have your mom ask or offer to leave the room. I'm all for nursing in public, but new mom nursing is often awkward and embarrassing if it's not executed perfectly.

I will always be grateful to my dad for making me feel so comfortable those first few days- I actually was staying in his house, in his bedroom, and he'd wait outside while dh, my mom, and I tried to feed DS. (yes, it really did take that many people at the beginning.

And I'll never forgive MIL for making me wait, screaming baby in arms, while she finished up "just one more thing", so I could nurse my son comfortably in the living room.

It's the primary reason she will not be here during the pp period with this baby.
post #26 of 33
If my MIL (or any adult woman!) were coming to visit and I had a newborn, I would hope they would do all the dishes and basic tidying up without asking me. Basically, your Mom should help out without asking, and let SIL know that she is happy to hold the baby if needed. Supportive comments are also wonderful!

This is a nice little list you could show your Mom. It doesn't totally apply since she will be staying but gets the idea across nicely!
post #27 of 33
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post

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 #28 of 33
I am more particular about my housekeeping than either mom or MIL, so for me I really wished that when they cooked, cleaned, etc. that they had made more sure to do a thorough job and put things back where they came from. With both, they would leave my kitchen what they thought was clean and then I would come along behind in the middle of the night rewashing pots and rewiping counters... I really appreciated that they helped, but for me the help added to my sense that things were out of order.

I also appreciated help with baby-holding when I wanted to do other things--but only then!
post #29 of 33
Tell her she looks beautiful

I only say that because my MIL said that to me while I was in labor with DD and it made me actually feel beautiful. My MIL rocks though.

I got a lot of wonderful compliments from her, but that was the best.
post #30 of 33
I think there are some great suggestions here! I almost want to print and mail to my friend's Moms and MIL. I have a wonderful mom and MIL but I second whomever said "don't ask where is or how do i?" For me, anyway, I didn't care if the salad was made in crock pot b/c my Mom couldn't find a salad bowl as long as I didn't have to make it. The questions all day drove me crazy! My mom did bring me up breakfast to my room and a big pitcher of water every morning after my husband came downstairs to leave for work. I had a cs and so I could only do the stairs 1x a day. And as you know, you are starving when you're BF and need to take pain meds with food. So, it was great to be in my room for the first couple of feedings of the day and have food and water. She also bought a small cooler that my husband would fill up after my parents left so that I had breakfast/snacks when I was alone. Also, my Mom, who is an amazing cook, couldn't think of anything to cook. I now have a list of ideas and recipes for her when she comes of things that we like to eat. It works great b/c she really wants to fix things that we like.
post #31 of 33
You've had a lot of great suggestions already and your mom sounds so great just for ASKING how to help. I would only reemphasize that "holding the baby" is not that helpful. My inlaws live in our same town and when our baby was born they would come park it for the day at our house EVERY DAY and would constantly say "let me hold the baby while you do x, y, z for yourself". Or they would just want to visit all day so I felt obligated to entertain them and make conversation when I really just wanted to sit quietly with my baby. In hindsight, I really should have spoken up.

On second thought, maybe my advice is to talk to your SIL and encourage her to be direct and honest when your mom asks to help.
post #32 of 33
I know it's really silly, but I loved my baby smelling like baby. It was hard to have other people hold her and then their perfume would be all I could smell on her. So maybe just skip perfume or body splash for this trip.

Also, compliments were so very appreciated!
1. I loved hearing that I was doing a great job with her
2. I loved talking about how beautiful she was

Lastily, I wanted to talk about my labor and birth a lot because it was such a life-changing event for me. I think it's nice to express interest in how the birth went.
post #33 of 33
Did she have the baby? I want to hear how it's all going!
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