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To hope my parents would give us support around the house after I have my first baby?

(113 Posts)
LittleBlueBox Fri 22-Feb-13 04:47:39

My DP and I live in northern Australia, a four-hour flight away from our families in the south. We moved up here 5 years ago for my work. My DP has chronic fatigue syndrome and can't work, she needs a lot of support herself. We love it here and have bought a house and settled in for the near future. We do miss being close to family though and don't see them anywhere near as much as we'd like. DP's parents have never visited and mine have been up twice. We mainly go south if we want to see them.

I'm now 38+5 with PFB. At Christmas we went south and broached the idea of family coming up to see the baby and give us some help when it's born. I got quite upset when my parents suggested they might be too busy to come up and we should just bring baby down in 6 weeks or so. They're retired, they could afford the flights, and I've offered to pay if that's the issue.

Anyway they've agreed they'll visit now, but they won't tell me when they're coming or how long for. And yesterday when I suggested to mum that when they're here, we'd really appreciate some help around the house or with doing some cooking and what-have-you she was shocked and dismissive. She said she wasn't coming all this way to do housework.

AIBU to want some support - emotional and practical - from my mum? It's my first baby and I'm really nervous of those first few weeks. My DP is wonderful, but is sick herself and can't do much. How to I explain that I just need some help because I love my parents and need them, not cos I'm being lazy or selfish?

diddl Germany Fri 22-Feb-13 09:24:06

But if OP does have a difficult time & needs help-maybe they will come.

It´s speculation atm, isn´t it?

And I agree they might not understand about your partner's illness, or might resent doing stuff that benefits her as well-especially whilst she is there & do

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 09:25:12

I always think that it is such a shame that people can't swap grandparents , many complain they see too much and even get upset if MIL gets the washing in if it looks like rain! It is a bit of a mine field- some want help, some don't- if we could marry the like minded ones up then life would be simple!

bbface Fri 22-Feb-13 09:25:18

I feel for you OP, but I can't say I am all that sympathetic.

I read these threads about people expecting help after having a baby and I just can not relate to them. People decide to have a baby and then get pee-ed off when others, who had nothing to do with the decision, do not help them.mof course it would be lovely if your parents would help, and I sure as hell intend to help my children out when they have children! But I do think YABU to be user when they do not respond the way you won't them to. Also, to actually ask them to do housework is a bit off in my opinion.

My parents passed away when I was in my twenties. My inlaws live on the other side of the world. I have a 2.6yr old DS, due to give birth next Wednesday, and a DH who works 14 hour days. I actually find I cope so much better than my friends who have help from their parents. My child has absolute consistency, and I do things my way and on my terms, answerable to no one (DH is wonderful but works damn hard so that I can be a SAHM).

My point is, don't stress, it really is NOT that big a deal having a newborn. They need milk, warmth and cuddles. That is it.

diddl Germany Fri 22-Feb-13 09:25:36

Sorry- was trying to put & seemingly doing nothing-when they might think that she should be!

Maybe be glad they've said they will visit you and the new baby (though they can't say when or for how long ?)

Also your partner may be able to help more than you think - having her around to keep you company and if she is able to spend some time holding and cuddling baby you may be able to get on with a few things you want or need to do more easily ?

Agree with others, maybe focus more on you and DP and how you're going to cope with things when your lovely new baby arrives. Not everyone has parents/ grandparents who see their role as helpers - some of them, and other visitors, can have an amazing tendency to sit around waiting for you to make them a cup of tea, even when you've just got back from the hospital with your baby wink

tiggytape Fri 22-Feb-13 09:41:41

I suspect that when they arrive, they will help out a bit. Maybe not in the sense of doing a list of chores for you but certainly the odd meal or tidying up or helping more if they see you struggle. It is probably more that you made it clear that you expected help rather than leaving it to them to offer it that grated a bit.
And even if they don't help out, you will be just fine. Newborn babies sleep an awful lot (in theory) and although you will be tired, you will have the time to do the things you need to do. You can also do some cooking in advance to freeze, getthe baby clothes ready, build the crib etc so that once baby is here there are no major or stressful jobs to do in the first week or so.

countrykitten Fri 22-Feb-13 09:53:11

I don't think that your expecting them to come and do housework is very nice at all - why should they? As another poster said, you have to get on with life and you cannot rely on your parents forever - and who on earth would want to?

Fleecyslippers Fri 22-Feb-13 10:05:10

YABU. You already knew that for whatever reasons, they were reluctant to visit. Yet when they eventually agreed you push things further by mentioning housework.

I think you both need to shift your focus to what you as parents can do to.prepare for the baby. Simple things like cooking double portions and freezing meals every night for the next week or so.
You can't expect unwilling grand parents to help. Reduce your expectations of them.

littlewhitebag Fri 22-Feb-13 10:08:27

In my experience i did not want loads of people around my house after i had my children. They got on my nerves and i just wanted to spend hours starring at my lovely baby. Your parents may have very different views on bringing up a baby which might annoy you after a while. I think their plan to wait until baby is around 6 weeks is a good one. You will be in more of a routine and more sure of yourself as a mother. The first few weeks are for you and your partner to bond with the baby. Don't stress about housework. Babies are not too messy at that age.

SirBoobAlot Fri 22-Feb-13 10:10:45

Honestly from the sounds of it you will be better without them around.

Batch cook now, so there is stuff in the freezer for the first few weeks. Have some tins of soup ready.

Also worth considering breastfeeding and co-sleeping if you haven't already, as mothers who do both get the most sleep in the early months.

There's also a thread for those of us with CFS over in Health if you or your partner wanted some extra support adjusting to being a parent and balancing out the illness at the same time.

BegoniaBampot Fri 22-Feb-13 10:15:54

I think the OP is getting a hard time. If your child has a baby one day, would you really think sod it, do it all on your own no matter what the circumstances are. Or, do you remember what it was like if you were on your own and struggling yourself and think it might be nice to offer some support and practical help whether it's wanted or needed.

Had to get in with it in my own the first time and it was bloody tough, though my choice to live away and not have my mother come to stay. I've had friends from cultures whose families see it as their job to help the mother recover, they recognise that childbirth can be big thing and it takes it toll.

diddl Germany Fri 22-Feb-13 10:22:52

I was of the mindset that I would ask for help if needed, but certainly wasn´t of the thought that I would need it before I´d even had the baby.

When I was pregnant with my 2nd & they would be 21 months apart, my Mum assumed that I would want her to move in to help??

No I didn´t!

I wanted to wait & see.

At least you know they don't want to help now. Book a cleaner, batch cook and fill your freezer. Get lots of take-away menu's grin

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 22-Feb-13 10:27:50

You will be fine. As others have said, do as much as you can to prepare now. Have you got that nesting-type energy yet?

I found that often, the very little things helped as much as the big things. Could your DP manage holding the baby long enough for you to have a bath, bring you a cold drink whilst BFing (I was going to suggest a nice warm cup of tea but then realised where you live and when you're due!), stroke your achey bits etc?

undercoverhousewife Fri 22-Feb-13 10:42:58

I agree with someone who said to use the money you would have spent on your parents' fares to pay for help around the house for a few weeks.

appletarts Fri 22-Feb-13 10:43:48

I have two children, 10 months and 3.5 years. We have never had any help of any sort. Nobody has ever even made me a cup of tea. You'll cope!

appletarts Fri 22-Feb-13 11:17:37

Ooh actually popped back to say that I find this sort of entitled thinking a bit infuriating. I have friends who scarcely look after their own children with one being shipped off to inlaws while the other is left with parents while the mum has endless hours to kill at the beautician having this and that done. That in itself wouldn't wind me up, their life etc but the bit that pisses me off is then moaning and groaning about how hard it all is. I think that some mums are barely full grown themselves and expect everyone to be available to fuss over them and deliver food parcels (extraordinary for full grown adults I think), it's a good idea to remember who is meant to be the adult in this scenario. Fair enough if baby is sick or high needs or mum has PND or there's other difficult circumstances. Other than that mum up!!

YANBU to hope they might help but YABU to expect them to.

T'was nice though when DSIL and DBro came to visit and brought a yummy veggie lasagne with them ! grin

BegoniaBampot Fri 22-Feb-13 12:17:30

medal for appletarts - you realise that this do it all on your own, no help from family is a fairly modern concept. women used to often get help and support from family. just cause you can and often don't have a choice to have help means that it's ideal to do so.

ExBrightonBell Fri 22-Feb-13 12:36:10

Blimey appletarts. Did you read the OP where she explained that her partner has chronic fatigue syndrome? Wouldn't it be a nice thing if her mum felt able to go and help them out with their first child? Not because they have a sense of entitlement, but simply because it is reasonable to think that a mum would want to help her daughter out? Isn't one of the benefits of having family is that they are there to support you if you need it? We don't all have to exist in independent bubbles.

diddl Germany Fri 22-Feb-13 12:54:30

But surely all this help was when people lived closer together and it was easier?

Maybe less appliances so housework was harder?

Often now GPs are still working themselves!

LittleBlueBox Fri 22-Feb-13 13:11:52

Thanks again all. Have been reading all your comments with interest.

I do just want to make it clear that I know the responsibility for looking after our child lies squarely with my DP and I, no-body else. Perhaps I was unclear in my OP; I'm not expecting or wanting to laze around on the couch like the Queen of Sheba while my mum hoovers under my feet and my dad feeds me chocolates. (Although, hey that does sound nice!).

Specifically what I said to my mum is that we were very excited to have them to share the joy of new bubs, and that if they could give us any help while they were here it would be wonderful. It was mum that took that to mean 'do all the housework' for us. That's not what I meant at all, just that we would be tired and focused on baby and not able to spend a lot of time being good hosts. The history here is that they have never been particularly supportive. When we were down at Christmas (and I was seven months pregnant) they let us stay with them which was lovely, but never even offered a cup of tea. They would cook their own meals at night and tell us there wasn't anything for us to eat.

I'm just really excited about this bub and wanted to share that excitement with them too. It was sad not to be able to, but I guess you can't force these things.

I think waiting to see what happens is excellent advice. We may be fine, they may be lovely and either way we will figure it out when the time comes.

My DP will certainly help with holding baby and bringing cups of tea/cool drinks and whatever. We just have to watch that she gets enough rest (haha!) but if she's not too sleep deprived she'll be ok. I've definitely got the nesting instinct although not the energy unfortunately. Our house looks like a bomb's hit it already blush.

"They would cook their own meals at night and tell us there wasn't anything for us to eat."

That's crazy and so rude.

MammaTJ Fri 22-Feb-13 13:18:45

I'm not expecting or wanting to laze around on the couch like the Queen of Sheba while my mum hoovers under my feet and my dad feeds me chocolates. (Although, hey that does sound nice!)

It does sound nice but it isn't going to happen. grin

bubs Netmums is that way >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Seriously-You will actually be fine, have a little more faith in yourself.

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