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#1 of 11 Old 07-09-2014, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Grandparent help/timing

Hi all,

My partner and I are expecting our first baby and our parents are starting to ask us when we want them to come visit and help out.

For my partner's parents this is the third grandchild and my her mom was at the birth of both of her grandsons. My mom has also offered to come for the birth (or whenever we want her to come after, but "not too long" after) - this will be her first grandchild and she is very excited about it.

So, I'm wondering what you all are doing/have done in terms of having your parents and in-laws around during and after the birth? My general feeling is that I'd rather my partner and I have a few days to settle into being a family of three before anyone else arrives, but others have said we'll be glad to have the help right away.

Then there is the whole question of timing, since we don't actually know when the baby will be born anyway...and do we have them stay with us, or stay somewhere nearby? (Our house is very small and our guest room will also be the nursery.)

Any thoughts or advice are most welcome! Thanks!

me (34) and dp (39). After 18 months of IVI with a KD and 2 losses excitedly awaiting the arrival of a baby in October 2014! 

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#2 of 11 Old 07-09-2014, 07:28 PM
 
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I think your wishes should come first- if you and your partner are thinking you'd like a few days of alone time- I'd make it well known now. So there are no hard feelings later.

I think the idea of a new baby and hosting family sounds draining...

My mom and MIL plan on being at the hospital to meet the baby but they will not be going home with us. As to them being in the room for labor: no way!!! I plan on laboring as naked as possible and don't want an audience.
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#3 of 11 Old 07-09-2014, 07:43 PM
 
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We live locally to all our family and our oldest DD was the first grandchild on both sides of the family so her birth was a monumental disaster! My mom and dh were in the room for the birth but a couple dozen family members were waiting outside right after. I was exhausted and had a room full of people before I even got to see my baby good! It really interfered with bonding and my mental state at the time. For ds I didn't want a repeat so we didn't even tell family. My mom came again to the birth with dh and my brother and sister babysat dd. We didn't call anyone else to tell them until hours after he was born. It was much better! I really needed that alone time with baby before dealing with relatives but everyone is different so you know what you'll be comfortable with. Honestly we called everyone with DD and were excited but I didn't realize how draining and emotional the birth would be. I honestly wanted to be left alone with my baby for a bit once it happened but everyone was there. If I had to bring family in from out of town I'd plan for my mom to come starting from the due date (since I would want her there quickly and at the birth if possible) and MIL for the week after mom left or sometime after. Well truth be told I wouldn't plan for MY mil to come at all but ya know

Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
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#4 of 11 Old 07-10-2014, 10:29 AM
 
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My mother lives abroad but my mother in law lives right in town. I talk to her and she talks to me but we are not super best friends or anything, we have no problems with each other, but we also don't naturally click super amazingly..

Me and my husband both do not want anyone present or visiting at the birth center for as long as we will be staying there (2 days). And she will probably want to come visit the third day when we are back home. I did make it clear to my husband she is only to visit for a short while (30 min/1hour) because I just want peace and quiet and she's the kind of person that always talks loud and has to make it known she is there.. I can not deal with that at that time.

My mom insists on visiting around november/december. I'd much rather not have her in my way the first couple of months.

I don't have the greatest relationship with my mom either because I lived with my father after they got divorced when I was only a young child so my situation is not the "average" one though. But those are my plans.
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#5 of 11 Old 07-10-2014, 05:38 PM
 
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This is a big question for us, too! My mom is complicated, so she isn't invited . . . at all. My MIL is wonderful, and she lives 3,000 miles away and is planning to come and stay for a few weeks. It seems a little daunting because I want to have private family time with my husband and our baby (this is our first), but I will be glad for the help because my husband doesn't even know how to hardboil eggs, and my MIL is an INCREDIBLE cook. I felt kind of awkward at first because it seemed like she wanted to be present at the birth, but then when I talked to my midwife, she said, "since you'll be delivering in my house, I only really allow for your husband to be present because my family needs their space, too!" so that made it an easy decision!
The only real "question" I guess we have is when she should arrive. She wants to be here before baby, which is fine by me because I need all the help I can get preparing (I intend to do a lot of canning and have a spotless house), but you can't predict when a baby will arrive- especially the first one! She also has a limited time frame and will need to buy plane tickets in advance.
Also, I know my MIL will understand we need some amount of privacy because the first time I met her I stayed at her house with my husband for over a month (we weren't married yet) and she let us stay in a room by ourselves and didn't ever come in unless there was a lot of advance warning! So I trust her.
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#6 of 11 Old 07-10-2014, 07:41 PM
 
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My personal belief is that birthing women often benefit greatly from *their* own mothers come to help out. My mother and I had many issues and she was a bad parent to me (she admits this openly now) but after my first was born she came and stayed with us for 10 days and saved my a**!! Then for my second I knew id like the help and I had I convince her to come for a whole month, which she did and it was awesome. My MIL on the other hand was far less helpful. She came for 3 weeks the day after my mom left. She didn't help out at all - all she wanted to do was hold the baby nonstop and FIL made me feel guilty if I wanted to hold my own baby. It wasn't cool at all. But I learned that you can't expect anyone except your own mom to clean up and feed you, you know? Plus I could never be as direct with MIL and say what I need like I can with my mom. For my second I told dh his parents could come after 48 hours and only for an hour. The things that happen to a woman who has given birth are super intense and spiritual, the woman needs whatever support is best and most comfortable *for her*. This is not the time to be worrying too much about being "fair" or other peoples feelings. You should, IMHO, be selfish and in so doing everyone will benefit, especially babe. It's no good having a new mom with raging hormones who's also trying to navigate complex il issues!!
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#7 of 11 Old 07-10-2014, 09:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Viola P View Post
My personal belief is that birthing women often benefit greatly from *their* own mothers come to help out. My mother and I had many issues and she was a bad parent to me (she admits this openly now) but after my first was born she came and stayed with us for 10 days and saved my a**!! Then for my second I knew id like the help and I had I convince her to come for a whole month, which she did and it was awesome. My MIL on the other hand was far less helpful. She came for 3 weeks the day after my mom left. She didn't help out at all - all she wanted to do was hold the baby nonstop and FIL made me feel guilty if I wanted to hold my own baby. It wasn't cool at all. But I learned that you can't expect anyone except your own mom to clean up and feed you, you know? Plus I could never be as direct with MIL and say what I need like I can with my mom. For my second I told dh his parents could come after 48 hours and only for an hour. The things that happen to a woman who has given birth are super intense and spiritual, the woman needs whatever support is best and most comfortable *for her*. This is not the time to be worrying too much about being "fair" or other peoples feelings. You should, IMHO, be selfish and in so doing everyone will benefit, especially babe. It's no good having a new mom with raging hormones who's also trying to navigate complex il issues!!
I definitely agree with this. Don't worry about hurting people's feelings. Do whatever you'll be comfortable with. There are ways to be better prepared for when baby gets home if you'd rather wait to have company. Freezer meals with instructions for hubby, pre-set up nursing stations with bottled water and crackers (or other snacks). Even if you plan to CD there's nothing wrong with using a few packs of disposables the first few weeks for less to be washed. Set up instruction labels on the washer & dryer, dishwasher, etc if dh will need them. Buy extra of everything that may be needed for the house so it's well stocked and he won't have to shop - I ended up with a massive supply of qtips and light bulbs sending my dh for them because he "thought they were on sale baby" Do what you need to make life easier even if you don't want company. No need to bring in relatives and stress yourself just to make things easier if that's not what you want. The stress can be a major ordeal right after birth in those crucial first weeks.

Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
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#8 of 11 Old 07-15-2014, 07:09 AM
 
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My mom lives down the road from us, this is her first grandbaby, and she is retired, so I gather she'll be over at the house at least every day to help with something or other. Though thankfully she won't be sleeping here! She will also come to the hospital to meet the baby but not be in the delivery room with us. My dad who lives out of the country will be visiting us in mid-November so the baby will still be little. He WILL be staying with us (poor Dad) though probably only for one night, and not to be helpful, just to meet the baby. My husband's parents I am not sure when or if they are planning to meet the baby. It's a really complicated situation with them so I will just leave it at I will probably have to invite them to stay with us if they are going to meet the baby, but this is something I am 100% not excited about as I don't really get on well with either of them and, as I said, it's a complicated situation. So, I guess the long and short of it is we will have my mom to help on a frequent basis without having her stay at our house, which is awesome, and why we moved in the first place. YAY for Grandma!

~ Tamara ~ First time Mama expecting in 10/14 ~ Married to Mike since 10/01/11 ~ 
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#9 of 11 Old 07-15-2014, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input and thoughtful responses! I'm still going to have to sort some of this out, but I think we've decided on a plan that will give us some time on our own for the first week or so (depending on the timing of the baby's arrival) and then a way for each grandma to come out at a time that will hopefully work for them and meet our needs. I have especially appreciated the reality check about how it is totally okay to be selfish and stand up for our own needs, and thus the baby's wellbeing, first. And also that we're going to need to set up with some pretty clear communication and boundaries with the grandparents when they are here. So glad to be thinking about this ahead of time, instead of when everything is happening all at once.
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me (34) and dp (39). After 18 months of IVI with a KD and 2 losses excitedly awaiting the arrival of a baby in October 2014! 

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#10 of 11 Old 07-20-2014, 11:09 AM
 
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My mom, and only my mom, came in (from out of state) for a month. She arrived around 38.5 weeks, staying from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The whole point of having someone around was so that I wouldn't be alone. I'd have someone to help with household chores (cooking, dishes, ect) and stuff. If I needed something from the store, she could take the car. I didn't feel like she was in our space or too overwhelming but I know not all moms are like that.

The birth center I'm going with now requires that someone be physically with me from the time I come in laboring until 3 days postpartum. My mom is coming down again at 38 or 39 weeks (DS arrived at 40w1d) to help again. If DH is at work, she'll take me to the birth center. She's also going to be here to help with DS at first. He still thinks he 'needs' someone to take him to the bathroom and DH isn't going to be able to take more than a day or two off work.

This Mommy and Military Daddy are loving their son.
DS born Dec 2010 Pregnant with #2, having another !
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#11 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 04:47 PM
 
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This seemed like it was going to be an issue with my first, but ended up a non-issue. We had been living abroad, and my mom and sister intended on coming to visit through the EDD and after! I said no to both, but we ended up going back to the US and living with my parents for awhile before/after the baby was born. Everyone was a huge help and I wouldnt have had it any other way. No one came with us to the birth center, we went home after 12 hours anyhow, so it wasnt long after that my sister and parents met the baby.

This time, we are living abroad again and no one has mentioned coming to visit. My ILs will visit for Christmas, but they won't stay with us, and it will probably be only for a few days. MIL is disabled, so she won't be able to "help" with anything, she might hold the baby for a few minutes at a time.

I'm actually not sure how I am going to handle a toddler and a newborn yet! Sometimes I think it would be nice if my mom or sister was planning on coming, but their schedules won't let them take the time off.
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