How does Mom help after birth? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having my first baby at home at the end of March and my mom and dad are planning on coming to stay with us for a bit days after the birth. First of all, I have prepared and frozen meals, addressed birth announcements, and I feel I'm extrememly prepared in ways that will make my life easier after the birth. My question is: What will my mom do to help me besides making meals and cleaning my house? I'll be breast feeding and she didn't breast feed me so she won't be a whole lot of help with that. I hate to think that I'll have her and my dad come 1500 miles to clean my house. I want her to feel very needed, kywim?Also, Dh is planning on taking off 1-2 weeks to stay home with us as well. I am imagining that all of them in the house while I'm trying to get used to baby will really wear on my nerves. Do any of you find this to be the case?
My folks are very non-pushy and are very pleasant thank goodness. My dad told me that when I want them gone just say so. How long do parents/moms usually stay? I don't want them to think I'm rude if I tell them now that I'll probably need them for a week or 10 days.

Just wanted you ladies to share your parent plans/experiences.

Thanks,
Amy

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#2 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 03:28 PM
 
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If it were me I'd want them to come when dh went back to work. When my first baby was born, my mom became crucial the first week or two after dh went back to work. It was so helpful to have someone to hold him for a minute (or more!), let me get something to eat, or take a quick nap, cook dinner, and just someone to help me get out of the house because I felt so insecure about doing it by myself.

If you enjoy their company, then I would try to get them to stay for at least a week or two!
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#3 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 03:44 PM
 
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I second what oceanbaby said. . .can they wait a few weeks and come after dh goes back to work?

my mom came for a week when I had my dd, and it was great. she did all the cooking and cleaning, and helped with the baby some. Dh was also home. With my second, he was born on a wednesday night, my mom came on Thursday and had to leave by sunday. dh also went back to work that following monday. that was HARD!

I think you'll find lots of things they can help with either way, so I wouldn't worry. But if they can come later, I think that would be ideal.

my mom probably can't come at all this time!

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#4 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 04:08 PM
 
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I agree.

After I had my first two, my Mom came right after I delivered (she's 3hrs away) to see the baby. She stayed one or two nights then went home (mainly b/c she had to finish making arrangements for her foster children to stay somewhere). After my dh went back to work she came back for a week.

She cooked for us, helped clean, sat w/ the baby so I could nap, rocked the baby in the night a few times so we could sleep, and drove dh to and from work (he's legally blind and can't drive). It was so nice!!!
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#5 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 04:19 PM
 
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I would have to say have them come after dh goes back to work.

The last thing IMO a new mother needs are to many people hanging around when mommy and daddy are trying to bond with baby.

I find it very hard to rest when there are other people in the house.
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#6 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 04:25 PM
 
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My parents came right away. I'm glad they did. My DH was just as beat as I was and just as in need of emotional and practical support as I was.

They:

*provided plenty of fresh fruits and and veggies. They went to the farmer's market three times in the week they were here.
*put a complete meal on the table for lunch and dinner every day
*scrubbed the house from top to bottom (nesting never hit me)
*disappeard every afternoon from 2-5 or so to let us rest
*answered the phone.

Your parents can help with breastfeeding even if they are lacking experience. Tell them ahead of time that you'll likely want water and snacks while nursing. Have a few bf books around, and if you're having problems, they can read the relevant sections for you. In the first week, neither DH nor I could focus our eyes to read.
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#7 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 04:41 PM
 
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My mom, also came right away, but DH had to go right back to work. However, it was a big help to have her there in alot of ways. She would rock the baby at night (after I had BF) so I could get some sleep and hold her during the day. She also kept up the the daily maintanence of our home, such as dishes and laundry, which DH and I were too exausted to even think about. She stayed for a week, and was a little on my nerves by the end of it, but it was nice to have her there to take care of things. Also, because I felt like all I did was sit and BF all day and I couldn't really do much else anyway, it was just nice to have her there to talk to. And when things happened (like my daughter having BMs that looked like anti-freeze) I was able to go "Is this normal???!!!" and she would reasure me that it was.

She is going to be here when this next baby is born (any day now) and will stay a week again, and I'm really glad. I don't know that I could have done it without her last time.
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#8 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good point that it might be best if my folks wait a week or so to come up...after Dh goes back to work. I thought about that but I don't know how to tell them to hold off! This is not their first grand child but I am their only daughter and since this is my first it is the first time my mom isn't the mother-in-law and feels like she has a real role to play...which she sure does have a role to play! I think that is what I'd prefer, to have them wait til Dh goes back to work. I'll just have to figure out how to approach it and hope that I don't hurt her feelings.
Now, Geofizz does have a good point though in that I'm sure Dh and I both will be exhausted so thier help may be needed early on. Maybe have their visit overlap with Dh being home by a few days. Best of both worlds? Hmmm...maybe that would work out well...

Thanks,
Amy

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#9 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 04:46 PM
 
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I have no practical advice to add - but I can't help being jealous that you a. have stocked your freezer and addressed your announcements and b. have parents who are pleasant and helpful.

We're due at the end of March too, and I have none of those things. I'm still at the wildly-tearing-closets-apart stage of my nesting and while I love my parents they drove me SO crazy when dd was born that I'm not really expecting a lot of practical help from them. My mom has no sense of anyone else's space or time and when I tried to tell her the story of dd's birth she *interrupted me* to tell me some long and trivial story about someone from my hometown.

Shoot, sorry to hijack your thread.

Ok, I do have advice: about 10 days between the baby's birth and the arrival of guests felt like good timing to me. Also, my parents took lots of photos and then went out to have them developed, which was fun and provided me with a photo for the announcements.

Oh, and no one stays with us because we have small space. I highly recommend a nearby hotel for the fam.

My MIL moved furniture and swept and vaccuumed behind it, which was a litte over the top, but I sure as heck wasn't getting back there to do it any time soon!

Good luck!

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#10 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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Could your dh take a few days after the baby is born to stay home while your parents are there, then go back to work and take more time off when they leave? My mom and dh alternated weeks, but then again my mom lives pretty close to us. His mom came one day, but IMO that was one day too many: I also was lucky to have some people come and bring us a few meals. Also, at first it was great to have my mom come by and just take Lydia out for a little while to make sure she got plenty of attention, too. My mom did so much, like rocking or holding her at night after I nursed her. That was huge b/c I was just exhausted and dh is such a deep sleeper that I literally cannot wake him at night, which means he is absolutely no help. She also made sure we all had plenty of healthy food to eat. She walked the dog, got the paper, ran errands. I don't know how I would have survived without her. for good 'ole Mom!

Paige, mama to three girls, (10), (8) and (3)
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#11 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 06:25 PM
 
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Sounds like I will have the same sort of problem with my mom. She plans on leaving the minute I call her (she's about 10-11 hous away) and staying for a week.
DH is not happy about this.
She did want to get here 1-2 wks before baby and stay another 1-2 after baby. After fretting about her reaction, we got her to agree not to come up until after DS is born.
DH is concerned about getting family baby time w/o my mom in the way (to say she's pushy is an understatement).
Maybe I'll talk to her about coming after DH goes to work 1-2 wks after baby is born.
Then again, having mom around to take care of DS #1 would be nice...

I'm glad to know I am not the only one in this perdicament!
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#12 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 07:06 PM
 
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I wholeheartedly agree with waiting. We didn't w/our first, and it was awful. I won't go into details, but I agree I was lost once all the help left and I was alone. Staggered help is great! If you decide to meet your needs and have mom wait to come, you might think of the conversation as a first in a whole new relationship with your mother, as a mother ! Everything changes. Best wishes!!!

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#13 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Penelope-don't be jealous of my preparation. I am just paranoid, that's all! I have no idea what I'm in for and I'm really scared of post partum depression (eventhough I've never had depression issues). I just always thought I would suffer from it for some reason. So I figure the less I have on my to-do list the happier I will be. My folks did offer to get a hotel but I told them no. They're retired and on a very meager income so I couldn't do that and feel good. Otherwise I'd say for the hotel!
HomeBirthMommy- that isn't a bad idea about having Dh spit his time. I'll talk to him about that one for sure.
Tibdoml-I don't care how pleasant a mother is...2 weeks before and 2 weeks after is just waaaay to long for me! It sounds like the suggestion to hold her off until Dh goes back to work is a good one for you. I can't imagine what the situation is like when you have another young child...maybe it would be good to have her around?
Georgia-thanks for the reminder that my relationship with my mother is going to be in another stage now. I hadn't thought of that yet!
Lots of great suggestions!

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#14 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 09:26 PM
 
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I love my mom and she would do anything for me. My husband couldn't take much time off from work, so we planned for her to stay for a couple of weeks after the birth of my first baby. She left on the second day, at my request. Thankfully, she didn't take it personally, because it really wasn't personal. I just could not handle having anyone but my husband (and my baby or course) around for any length of time.

Here's a great article about this issue:

The Postpartum Bubble

So the next two pregnancies we didn't exactly do a babymoon, but we held off on any visits for at least 24 hours and then kept them short. Which was SO great for me. My mom and dad have to drive a fair distance to get here, and I didn't want them to have to drive all that way just to stay a few minutes, so they didn't come until about two weeks after the baby was born, when I felt okay about having visitors for a period of several hours.
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#15 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 09:36 PM
 
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Oh, and I want to add that with my first I think I would have benefitted greatly from having a postpartum doula. I was a wreck physically (stupidly managed birth) and would have loved having someone to help who I didn't have to interact socially with, you know? Just someone to help.

The next two births I was physically fine and didn't really need the household help, but I still needed to rest a lot and certainly wasn't feeling up to creating yummy nutritious meals, and my husband was exhausted too from having a new baby in the house. So for my showers people brought dishes for me to freeze. It was wonderful!
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#16 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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blueviolet-Thanks for the link. That was very validating knowing that this feeling I am having has a natural reason behind it and that I'm not just being selfish.

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#17 of 19 Old 02-05-2004, 10:53 PM
 
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i've been also blessed with many folks offering to help out: my mom, my sister and my dear friend.

i was thinking my sister would be good to have around prebirth, 'cuz she's a fiend for cleaning! she also would be good at the birth, helping with my older kids. she was at my first, so she knows what it's like and won't freak out.

my dear friend could possibly be at the birth, but i was thinking of her mostly afterwards... she's the kind who can read my mind, and help me out with a problem even before i'm aware of it. so she'd be a compassionate and wonderful resource right after.

my mom and i have been clashing the last few years. but since she was there at the first three births, she's assuming she's coming to this one. i'm not sure how to tell her not to, because i don't think i could be comfortable with her there (she's been particularly criticizing lately, and that's NOT the energy i'll need at the birth!). so i was thinking about having her come out after dear friend has to leave... i know she'd be helpful, and by then i'll be past my most vulnerable (and probably cranky) stage.

my dh does get some time off, and fortunately we have an older larger house... so we can babymoon upstairs while life goes on with my family downstairs.

btw, thanks for that article. i was wondering what "babymoon" meant!

good luck...

katje
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#18 of 19 Old 02-06-2004, 08:10 AM
 
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I also have no practical advice to give except that my mom told me that she hated the sight of my children and did me a big favor and stayed away.

I say count your blessings.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#19 of 19 Old 02-06-2004, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Holy cow, applejuice! That's pretty harsh. I'm sorry you had to hear that from your mother. Thank you for the reminder to count our blessings. You're absolutely right.

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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