I do NOT want MIL doing my laundry, but I wouldn't mind if my own mom did. Neither one could go to the grocery store and get the right items/brands. MIL could cook according to how we eat. My mom? No way!
So, are you making lists? What's on them?
My mom is coming and she surprised me tonight by letting me know she'd been researching recipes that my family can eat. Since she'd not been comfortable in the past with cooking for us even in her own house, my goal is to have enough frozen meals for while she's here (ofcourse I'm technically full term and have started yet...)
1. Pick up anything you spot on the floor (I wasn't allowed to bend over last time)
2. Do the dishes after meals
3. Watch and entertain my two older kids
4. Maybe do the kids laundry
The above will probably be more than she can handle.MIL came last time and did nothing and didn't ask if she could do anything either...so we've been putting them off saying that I'm having a rough pregnancy which is only a slight exageration.
I have already talked to my mom about my expectations though and let her know that last time we truly needed the help so I think she will try hard to help out.
Last time I was surprised at how much direction I was constantly giving....clutter built up everywhere and people were always asking what they could do but I wasn't out and about the house and I didn't know what needed to be done. I'd venture out of my room every so often to see that the house was a total wreck! (My mom doesn't tend to SEE the clutter and my husband just gets overwhelmed).
To my husband, I just constantly would have to say, "Scan the house. Just stand in the living room and start at one side and scan...if stuff is out of place, please put it away. If it's dusty, dust. If it needs vacuuming, vacuum. If laundry baskets are full, throw the clothes in the wash. The most helpful thing you can do is not ask ME what needs to be done." I really resented having to keep track of all the household stuff while I was totally consumed with a newborn and nursing constantly while in pain. Managing my own recovery and baby was all I had the energy for. I desperately wanted people to put theirselves in my shoes and figure out what needed to be done. Like, dinner...around 5, we're all probably going to get hungry, so don't ask ME around 5:30 what we should have! As if I knew what we had in the fridge at any given moment in the days following dd's birth!
For my mom, I have a list of food she can feed DD1. It is broken down by columns for breakfast and columns for lunch or dinner. That way she can just choose something from each breakfast/lunch/dinner column and voila, healthy toddler breakfast! (I premade things like sweet potato pancakes and spinach/quinoa meatballs. The rest will be fresh stuff that dh buys. I made him a postpartum grocery list of staples we usually go through each week and will likely need.
I will also probably make a list of fun things to do with DD1 and instructions because a big part of the help I will need will be keeping her happy and occupied.
I like the idea of listing basic things, like "pick up anything off the floor". Good idea.
I subscribe to Motivated Moms... it's a service kind of like a slimmed down FlyLady (there are threads over in home management, or check out the website). It's set up like a daily planner with a list of tasks for each day. Once you finish a task, you check off the box for that task on the list. It has basic stuff (laundry, dishwasher or dishes in the sink, vitamins for the kiddos/adults, feed the pets, etc) and then 4-5 tasks specific to that day (meal planning or shopping with a list, cleaning the toilet and restocking the tp, trimming fingernails on the kiddos, mopping the kitchen, etc).
I plan on printing out a week or two of these daily sheets (complete with my own notes, like an attached DETAILED shopping list that includes sizes/brands/store where item is located) and posting them on the wall calendar style. I did something like this during my babymoon with ds... dh stays home from work for two weeks and when dd2 was born he felt like he was constantly "doing stuff" but I felt like everything was falling apart since we have very different ideas of what "looks clean" or "looks ok" (I hate dirty dishes in the sink but he just does't see it as a problem as long as they're stacked neatly, I don't care about folded laundry as long as it's sorted into bedrooms while he is ok with laundry sitting out on the living room couch for DAYS as long as it's folded). Anyway, I printed out Motivated Mom pages for my babymoon with ds and it worked a lot better... DH knew what exactly I wanted to have done (and it usually took less time than he would have spent on his own), if people offered to help they could pick something off the day's list and then check it off when done. It worked pretty well!
I know you tried lists in the past, but maybe check out the MM format and see if maybe it's a leaner/cleaner format that would help people focus more? Then make your own lists based on that format or style? I find it's easier for people to help if the list is really short (even if that really short lists rotates every day to make it a much longer list over the course of a week)...