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moms, I need some advice(28 posts)

moms, I need some adviceDougSloan
May 7, 2002 7:42 AM
My mother has offered to come stay with us to help out for 2 weeks after our baby is born in June. My wife says she doesn't want anyone around for the first week (except for her mom and me).

Now she says she doesn't even want anyone visiting for the first week, because she wants to get the baby "on a routine" and because she doesn't want to breast feed in front of others (which I fully agree with). She also says I cannot take the baby to visit anyone, either ("The baby is not leaving the house").

Need some advice on choices:

1. Fully accomodate her on whatever she wants; it's "her" time, she's going to be emotional, and it's important enough to do whatever it takes to make her happy.

2. Try to discuss options for a middle ground compromise; find out what in particular bothers her, and try to work something out. The mere talking about it seems to be upsetting, though.

3. Allow some things even if it's not what she wants, like allowing a visitor for a short time, etc.

I'm leaning toward choice 1, if for no other reason than I'll do just about anything to keep her happy at this point. But, she just may not have thought about some things, and neither of us have gone through this before. There may be some options that haven't been considered.

She and the baby are the priority, but at the same time I sort of feel like having a baby is a family event, and family members might resent not being able to visit a little bit, especially considering that they and friends have lavished us with lots of care, interest, and shower gifts the last few months. Just seems a little odd that we might totally exclude them for a while after the birth.

Any advice from the moms? (or dads, I suppose). Thanks.

Doug
Your instinct is rightmickey-mac
May 7, 2002 8:23 AM
Go with #1, no doubt about it. The first few weeks are tough enough without an entourage following mom and baby everywhere they go. Having two trusted helpers (grandma and dad) should be more than sufficient and allow mom to feel comfortable. Besides, taking the baby out of the house the first two weeks or so is probably not a good idea because newborns are particularly susceptible to germs, etc. I know it's tough to fight the urge to show junior to everyone you know, but you'll have plenty of time for that later.
Oh man, #1 without a doubt...Spinchick
May 7, 2002 8:40 AM
This is my second and I'm forbidding visitors for 3 weeks. She's smarter than I was with my first. I had people in and out from day 3 (under the auspices of "helping out"). BIG mistake. Unless it's a recent mom, most people have absolutely no idea how long is too long to visit nor do they know how to be truly helpful. I had a couple of serious meltdowns as a result of visitors staying too long, offering advice (NEVER a good idea), "helping out," etc. Believe me Doug, you do not want to witness a post partum meltdown :-/.

You're right, it is a family event. But your baby will be a baby at 4 weeks too. Plenty of time for them to hang out with the little munchkin after you guys get into a routine. Listen to your wife on this one...her instinct is dead on.
I realize that you are trying to keep her happy but.....IAM
May 7, 2002 8:45 AM
in twenty five years from now when it's her grandchild being born will she want to be told that she can't even come and visit.

I would ask her this, it might put it in perspective.

Good luck

Ted
Number oneMcAndrus
May 7, 2002 11:25 AM
Sorry, I'm not a mom but I am a father of two girls. In both cases wife and I were pretty much alone. Her mother was at the hospital for the second one and helped us bring the baby home - and that was it! There was an occasional drop-by for the first week or so. Massive trips and visits didn't begin for a month or more.

Mom and Dad have enough to worry about without the other folks being around.

Having said that, your wife must realize that the same thing applies when she's a grandmother.
thanks, allDougSloan
May 7, 2002 11:47 AM
I told her that it is entirely up to her, and she seemed relieved. I appreciate the advice, I really do. Thanks

Doug
#1 unless she has a c-sectionDave Hickey
May 7, 2002 11:52 AM
My wife planned on having both kids natural and ending have a c-section twice. You might want to discuss what would happen if she has a c-section. She won't be able to get around for a week and grandmothers come in real handy.
Please don't misunderstand what I'm trying to sayDave Hickey
May 7, 2002 1:05 PM
#1 is your best option, but unless your wife has had a c-section, she might not realize how difficult it is to get around. It wouldn't hurt for you to have a backup plan in the event your wife has to have a c-section.
got itDougSloan
May 7, 2002 1:13 PM
Ok, thanks. If she's in bed recovering from surgery, I may need the help. :-)

Doug
#1 here.look271
May 12, 2002 5:05 PM
You won't any visitors, either. It is great that her mother will be there. She (your wife) will need her.
Suggestion from a father of threePaulCL
May 7, 2002 11:49 AM
May I add...a very involved father of three. Meaning, I did my 50% share of changing diapers, getting up in the middle of the night, being barfed on...all the good things of parenthood.

Here's the absolutely best thing you can possibly do: Hire a night nurse for the first week. What did I say?? Yes. Call the hospital and ask. For the first couple days post-partum, your wife will
1. Be exhausted
2. Feel the need to do it all as her mother did

Your mother-in-law will appreciate it too.

We hired the night nurse from 11pm til 7 am. She handled the feedings, etc for the first 5-7 nights. My wife got a chance to heal and get her strength back for just $80 per night. Security?? We locked her in and put on our house alarm. If she opened a door or window, the alarm would go off.

If you don't want a night nurse...a mother or mother-in-law are nice to have around for a while. Your mother should understand the bond that your wife and HER mother have and want to share the first week. Family can wait a week.

Enjoy parenthood, its' better than any bike ride I've ever taken. Paul
Typical conservative: Women in their places, men out at work?cory
May 7, 2002 1:10 PM
But seriously, Doug: As a fully participating father (which I hope you'll be, too), I'd say Grandma stays home for a couple of weeks at least. Whether you realize it yet or not, you have (or better develop) a different set of priorities and loyalties now: It isn't about your mom anymore.
A couple of additional things, with full awareness that some of them sound sexist and unfair and permissive:
--Don't get too optimistic about getting the baby on a routine. Many's the father (and mother, I imagine) who chuckled when they read that. You're going to dance to HIS (her?) tune, at least for awhile.
--Your concern about including your extended family is admirable in one sense, but that can't be where your main focus is now. My wife is an ERA-marching, fully liberated partner, and even she admits she was crazy as two loons for awhile after our kids were born. When you say "emotional," you're not even touching the possibilities here. Nothing she can do about it--it's at least partly hormonal, straight weird chemicals, and it will blow over. If you can keep it from becoming an issue by humoring her, I would.
--Everybody's going to want to come see the baby. Let 'em. But having grandma or, for the love of God, TWO gradmas spending the night is not a good idea.
--Any opinion I'd advance about your future role in the family would be based strictly on my stereotypes of conservatives generally, so I won't advance one. As a fellow father and husband, though, I'd recommend that you remember the child and EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITH IT, from diapers to laundry to getting up at 2 a.m., is 50 percent yours.
So you think I'm Archie Bunker, huh?DougSloan
May 7, 2002 2:03 PM
Thanks for the sincere advice, despite the stereotyping.:-)

Actually, I'm a pretty compassionate, sensitive guy, at least in private (I nearly bawled watching the birth films when we were at baby class at the hospital Saturday -- oh, and this was the day after going to the opera -- a tragic love story -- Friday night). The trick here is not whether or how to be sensitive, but prioritizing the sensitivies.

The kid will probably come early and much of this will be moot, anyway (Florida grandma not coming until later).

Yes, I'm fully committed to wife and baby. I can't wait to indoctrinate him in the conservative principles of God, family, country, and honor. ;-)

I thought a basic tenent of liberal thinking was to oppose stereotyping?

All in good humor, of course. Thanks.

Doug
You need to throw a baby luau!MB1
May 7, 2002 3:09 PM
Put up a big tent in the back yard. Dig a big hole in the ground and roast a whole pig-don't forget to notify the local fire department. Invite all the relatives and friends, everyone from work and the whole neighborhood. Have a band-a loud band. Lots of beer. Kids everywhere. End the whole thing with a drunken brawl.

Then you will have lots of time to ride for the next few years.

Now doesn't #1 sound pretty good?
man, you're dangerousDougSloan
May 7, 2002 6:22 PM
You had me going there for a minute. That was looking pretty good.

"Then depression set in." (name that movie):-)

Doug
Actually a baby luau is a pretty good idea.MB1
May 8, 2002 4:38 AM
If not a luau some sort of full on outdoor picnic (don't let anyone into the house, even get a port-a-john or 2) where the wife doesn't have to do anything. Have the men do everything (including the cleanup). Gives everyone a chance to visit in a casual setting and gets it all over at once.

Announce it far enough in advance so people won't be always asking "When will we get to se your little angel?" It will take a lot of pressure off. Oh yes, try to avoid the traditional drunken brawl at the end.

Just have it a couple of months after the kid comes home.
okDougSloan
May 8, 2002 5:27 AM
That actually makes sense. I thought you were meaning to do it in the first week and reeeeally flip her out. Might have to do that. Thanks.

My crowd doesn't get brawl sort of drunk, it's more like slurred speeches about how your boss sucks or oogling someone falling out of her shirt, that sort of thing. Sad, really.

Doug
Most of my posts are 1/2 teasing anyway.MB1
May 8, 2002 6:23 AM
Look what I started on the otherside.
It is a good idea.Spinchick
May 8, 2002 9:55 AM
We're planning one Labor Day weekend (we have one every year). I'll be so ready for a drunken brawl by that time
:-P.
Should we make it a RBR drunken brawl? nmMB1
May 8, 2002 2:01 PM
sure, we'll drink then discuss religion, SUV's, and taxes nmDougSloan
May 8, 2002 2:38 PM
Hold a luau in CAmickey-mac
May 8, 2002 3:33 PM
and I'll bring some homebrew. With enough warning, I can make a special Hawaiian-themed batch (coconut porter, Kona coffee stout, etc.). I'm always up for roasted pig.
coconut porter?Spinchick
May 9, 2002 4:33 AM
I may have to suggest this to hubby for his next batch. What do you use? Coconut extract? Kona coffee sounds good, too...
coconut porter?mickey-mac
May 9, 2002 6:19 AM
I haven't made it, but I just tried some that my neighbor made. He grated fresh coconut and put it in the fermenter. I'm not sure how much he used, but I think he went a little light. The coconut flavor was barely detectable. If he does it again, he may double up on the coconut. The Kona coffee could also go in the fermenter.
man, you're dangerousPbOkole
May 8, 2002 8:40 AM
Stripes
congrats!!!!! nmweiwentg
May 8, 2002 4:26 AM
#1, speaking from experiencetarwheel
May 8, 2002 8:12 AM
My mother stayed a week with us soon after our daughter was born. My mother was the sweetest and nicest person in the world, but the timing was not good. My wife was uncomfortable about it -- which I didn't find out until later -- and in retrospect it would have been better to wait a while before having such an extended visit. The first couple weeks are very chaotic getting used to having the baby around, getting up in the middle of the night numerous times, and just becoming a family. It's a good time just for the 3 of you. Shorter visits are fine, and perhaps even necessary, though. Everyone wants to see the new baby.
wait at least a weekColnagoFE
May 14, 2002 10:04 AM
She's gonna be exhausted and so are you and your wife. No time for visitors at that point. What's the big deal about breastfeeding? She's gonna have to learn how to do it discreetly anyway at some point unless you want to go back home everytime she needs to nurse (I know a couple that did just this and had NO life). Cherish having your mom-in -law. It's REALLY REALLY nice to have help then even if you don't always get along with the mom in law. Both of our mothers are dead and my sister has a full-time job so we got no help at all and that is really taxing. Don't try to do everything perfect as you will make mistakes. People stress so much on their first kid--often at the expense of their relationship. Try to get out with your wife for a date once a week at least. It really helps! Good luck.