To want my parents to look after DS during labour w no 2 as planned?

(39 Posts)
Fay3 Tue 24-Jun-14 09:43:07

I am expecting baby no 2 in a few weeks. As my folks live nearby (30mins) we had agreed with them that they would come to our house to take care of our son during our hospital visit. They see our son every week and he is very fond of them so seemed like a great plan all round. They have looked after him in the past and tend to do so together as my mum has some medical issues which make lifting an almost 2year old not ideal (she can if no one else avail but prefers not to).
However......
Our family has been struggling with a sad situation with my older sister since sept last year. At this time She moved back in with my parents together with her 5month old child after her marriage broke down. We have all been supporting her through this hard time when she has had to find a job and try and put her life back together.
She has now found a job in another country in Europe with a start date just after my due date.
In the past week my folks have come back to me saying my dad needs to travel with her to help out and stay a couple of days. Hence my mum will be on her own to look after DS if needed. The problem is when I asked my mum if she really thinks she can manage if timing coincides with my dad being away she keeps saying things like 'oh he won't need picked up much' and that my DH will be back to help her anyway as my labour won't be as long this time. Basically she doesn't seem to accept that we are relying on her and that she might have to cope alone for >24hrs.
Of course I hope timing doesnt coincide with my dad being away but feel we have to consider it might. Last time round I had a difficult delivery (forceps) and had to stay in hospital for a week as my son had jaundice. My husband was absolutely vital to keeping things going.
We also know we can't both stay at the hospital all the time w new baby but I am scared my mum will either flake out or pester my husband to come home when I need him.
I also tbh feel really let down by the way my folks have sprung this on us at last minute (initially they were saying don't worry we will put you first and your sister can manage). My mum can be a bit mean when in tense discussions and has even been saying things like 'when you were born I had to manage without your dad'. The other side of this is my other sister has 3kids and every one of those was covered by my folks with 3week visits to where she lives (also overseas) so I feel like helping me out would be normal. Practically I'm now looking at emergency nanny cover as a backup in tandem with my mum. This will probably annoy my mum no end as she thinks I'm over reacting by worrying about it anyway (her half hearted commitment is meant to be seen as enough....).
My husband is a very calm and lovely man and will do his best to help out but he is fed up that suddenly my folks aren't so solid with their support. Together we have agreed for our peace of mind we need some back up plan but that doesn't stop me feeling very sad and let down by my parents.

Mim78 Tue 24-Jun-14 09:48:35

I would be a bit. Why does sis have to move exactly then?

Sirzy Tue 24-Jun-14 09:49:05

It sounds like they are doing the best they can to help both children deal with what is going on in their lives. So although I can understand your worries I think you are being a bit unreasonable.

yomellamoHelly Tue 24-Jun-14 09:54:51

I would go with a back up nanny. Then you can prescribe visits out, meals, routine etc.. You need to make sure your child has a great time while you're giving birth and doesn't miss you too much.
My mil sounds similar to yours and last time I left ds1 and dd with her for the morning (FIL was ill so didn't come down as he usually does) she didn't do anything with them. They were massively relieved to see me when I got back and avoided her for the rest of the day. For the eldest it has definitely affected how he views her.

captainproton Tue 24-Jun-14 09:54:58

It's a difficult one, because your sister has a job opportunity and a chance to rebuild her life and future and you are about to have a child. Both of you are equally deserving and yet your parents can't split themselves in 2.

Mayeb they think that as you have your DH to support you that her need was greater.

I say this as someone who had a trainee doula t my second birth as there was no one to look after our other DC. DH atayed at home until it was all over.

With my first he had to sit outside with my stepson as i was earlier than expected and we had no other choice. you won't be alone in hospital and I found my midwife was really good when I was on my own, lots more sympathy and she was ace.

Both my kids had jaundice in neonatal for a while, and i had a haemorhage with my first and a bead tear. it sucks being on your own in hospital with a janudiced baby but we both didnt need to be there. Also DC1 went to childcare during the day so it was only mornings and evenings I was alone and DH took over in the day whilst I slept.

captainproton Tue 24-Jun-14 09:55:49

sorry for typos

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 24-Jun-14 09:56:01

I am expecting dc2 and dm has planned to mind dd while dh and I go to the hospital, however if I need to be in a few days or a week, I would expect dh to go and see to dd rather than spend all day every day at hospital with me and the baby. Visit daily, yes, but dd will be more of a priority.

YABU to expect her to do much more than mind ds during the labour and recovery period and maybe a bit of ad hoc care (a couple of hours here and there) while dh visits.

mommy2ash Tue 24-Jun-14 10:01:41

i think you are being very unreasonable. your sister is moving to another country with a small baby of course she will need help. your parents are trying to do the best they can by both of you. your husband will be needed at home with your younger child anyway and your mum is trying to cover the gaps when he wont be there. i don't see the problem.

whatever5 Tue 24-Jun-14 10:31:52

Although I think you should have priority as you asked first, I don't think this will be a problem. Your mother will only need to look after your dd for a few hours while you are actually giving birth and your father being away might not coincide with the birth anyway.

FishWithABicycle Tue 24-Jun-14 10:41:00

If you can afford a nanny I think go for that. I know it would be nice to be able to rely on your mum but it looks like you can't and you can't force what isn't there.

If the nanny is there for all the actual childcare and responsibility, your mum can still have a vital role to play (if she feels able and wants to) in being a familiar face and providing fun and games interaction for as much or as little as she feels able to, so that your DC1 doesn't spend the whole time when you and dad aren't around being with a stranger, which would be disconcerting.

Given your mum's health issues, it sounds to me like she'd cope with that much better than being >24hr sole carer which may be beyond her.

Contact a local nanny agency, they may be able to have someone on standby who you only need to call on (and pay for) if you happen to need it while your dad is away. You could even arrange for that person to come and look after DC1 for an hour or two in the week before so that they have a chance to get to know one another.

TweedleDi Tue 24-Jun-14 10:41:14

I'd just go with the nanny arrangement. Your mother is showing that she can't be totally relied upon (for whatever reason), and you need certainties. Make the booking and then you can let your mother know that she has one less thing to think about. As will you.

Spero Tue 24-Jun-14 10:49:53

Sorry, I don't want to be harsh but as someone who has neither a husband or a mother maybe a change of perspective will help you a bit?

You are in fact very lucky to have a supportive husband and a mother who is offering to help, even if it is not quite what you want. Your parents do seem to be trying to spread themselves quite thin and are trying to help both you and your sister.

I appreciate you want your husband near, particularly if things don't go well with the birth but he is not going to be able to be by your side 24/7 and your other child may well prefer to be with dad for at least some of the time.

Rather than feeling resentful or anxious about your mum not stepping up in the way you think she should, I would just bite the bullet and sort out paid for emergency child care so that your husband can spend as much time with you as possible, but fingers crossed he won't need to.

AmberLav Tue 24-Jun-14 10:50:18

When DD was born, DPILs looked after DS overnight (called them over at 9pm when contractions started) so DS was asleep all night, and then on the day, DH was able to stay at the hospital with me all day, as DD developed a mystery infection (I was also very woozy and developed an aura migrane (only get them when pregnant!)) so not having to worry about DS was brilliant.

DH got home in time for DS's bathtime, and then stayed with DS until morning visiting hours when PILs came over again to look after DS while DH came to see me (vital as it was difficult to get a shower without someone to look after DD). DH went home at lunchtime, and then brought DS into the hospital in the afternoon , and then went home again for teatime. That repeated for 5 days, with my sister stepping in occasionally.

So, having Parental support was really vital, but apart from the day of the birth, it tended to be in small chunks. And if DD hadn't had the infection, we would have been out by 4pm that first day... Anyway hospital visiting hours are tiny, even for the dads...

Plus, you will probably find that when it comes to it, you will want your DH to spend as much time as possible with your firstborn, so that he/she does not feel left out by the new baby...

AmberLav Tue 24-Jun-14 10:54:48

Oh and towards the end of my pregnancy I could not lift my just two year old, he coped perfectly well, so you may find that your mum copes perfectly well without lifting him up... Does he need lifting into a cot still?

Thenapoleonofcrime Tue 24-Jun-14 10:56:49

It is just really unlucky your sister also needs your parents- but I think she does need your dad as much as you need your mum. Your sister presumably can't help what date she needs to start work or can book flights and at least both of them aren't going.

It is unfortunate but surely you can see that for everyone to stay home and attend to you would be just as unreasonable as for them all to abandon you and go to your sister. Your parents are actually being quite fair at presumably some cost to themselves (in terms of flights, willingness).

Your mum isn't letting you down, if anything she's still helping when it may be difficult for her- of course it could be good to have a back up solution too in the form of a nanny/friend.

I can't quite see the logic which says I ought to get all the parental help as my other sister had it for three weeks a time when she was abroad, but you want your other sister who is without husband/with small baby to just start out in life alone in a foreign country. Surely she is just as in need.

I do get this is a bit annoying and scary as you want a plan definitely sorted, but I really don't think it could have been helped.

scarletoconnor Tue 24-Jun-14 11:04:03

I was in a similar situation when I had dc2 as my parents had said they would have dc1 but booked a holiday a week before I was due to return 1 day before my due date.

To be honest it was stressful as we then needed to come up with an alternative plan. But Personally I've always been of the view that my kids are not my parents responsibility.

Its sometimes annoying when they agree to watch my kids (rarely) but then change their mind at the last minute, which happens most times they offer. We used to have to cancel or change plans so much at the last minute now we don't book anything and see it as a bonus if they dont cancel. But my mum has health problems too so I understand why she does cancel.

It sounds like your parents are doing their best to help both their children in a difficult situation. If you mum has problems lifting then she can't help your sister abroad so your dad needs to go, but has booked his return before your due date. You mum is right you don't need to do much lifting with a mobile 2 year old and she would cope alone if she needs to.

She would probably be upset if you got a childminder as you might make her feel like You only trust her with your dc when your father is around.

In reality you could have problems in labour or you could be home within a couple of hours.

You just have to make it work with your second, its always more of a struggle. We decided that if I went into labour when my parents were away my best friend would be my birthing partner and my dh would come straight up with dc1 afterwards.

We found changing birth partner was so much easier to organise than going down a child minder route. Yes its not ideal and its not what I wanted but I also didn't want to organise someone unfamiliar to care for dc1 and be worrying about him all the way through labour. (He has asd and a delayed swallow reflex so Struggles with food and has got some stuck in his airway before needing emergency surgery to remove it) Personally I couldn't have concentrated in labour with worrying about him if he had been left with someone who didn't know him and his needs.

I know this probably sounds harsh but when I was in your position I just decided I didn't NEED someone with me it was more a want. My dc1 did need someone with him. So if everything else fell through I would have to do it alone.

If youre planning on labouring at home as long as possible can you drop your dc of on route to reduce time your mum has him alone (if your dad is still away)?
Do yoy have a friend who would be willing to come to the hospital if your dh does need to go back?

I'm hope just like me though its just all theoretical and it works out that both your parents are home. Good luck with your labour and new baby

Fay3 Tue 24-Jun-14 11:11:54

Thanks all for the feedback. Just to clarify for some of the more critical of you out there...my sister's son is now 1yrand 4months old so she's not moving w a tiny baby and I wasn't expecting either my husband to be at hospital full time after delivery or my folks to be avail all the time. I would just like my Mum to be more honest about whether she can manage or not (and to maybe say we're sorry we're changing the plan and let's figure out how to make this work). I have helped my mum and sister a lot over the last year. I will go ahead w my nanny backup and hope I don't need it. I know I'm lucky to have options but I'm a little fed up of being lowest priority with my folks even now. If you feel the need to criticise me pls go elsewhere and vent there.

diddl Tue 24-Jun-14 11:12:22

It's lovely that they want to help both of you.

Realistically, what is your mum capable of?

If it is just the picking up then is that really a problem?

Why does your sister need your dad to go with her & stay a couple of days?

Is it something that could be achieved by him/them visiting after your baby is born?

Spero Tue 24-Jun-14 12:23:21

It would be much easier for her if she was moving with a tiny baby than a presumably pretty mobile toddler!

You sound quite entitled and rather spoilt. You are not the 'lowest priority'. Your parents are doing the best they can and your sister clearly needs help. She is a single parent, you are not.

You asked if you were being unreasonable, and I think you are. If you wanted support and no criticism, why post here?

defineme Tue 24-Jun-14 12:30:26

you've posted in am I being unreasonable and I think you are. Your parent sound great and they're trying very hard to help both their adult children. You're not a single parent and lots of people use friends/nannies etc as back up for these situations. I also think your mum would be ok-I had forceps birth with my twins and we only needed mil for a morning to look after ds1 (at the time he was 2 and has asd and mil was 72). I know it's an emotional time, but it will be ok.

BarbarianMum Tue 24-Jun-14 12:32:36

I think your parents sound lovely and quite like they deserve a long holiday.

Why is picking up your ds (as a pose to, for example, sitting down and letting him climb onto your lap) so important?

If your dm knows your ds quite well and thinks she'll be fine I think you should believe her.

TheIronGnome Tue 24-Jun-14 12:41:13

I would have thought at almost 2, your ds wouldn't need so much lifting up anyway. I'm assuming he doesn't often get lifted by your DM so should be used to that with her? If they don't leave the house, surely it'd be fine. You say if she really needs topick him up, she can so emergancies are covered, I'd just stick with the original plan tbh.

Happydaysatlast Tue 24-Jun-14 12:48:52

Unless your son has health ussues why would a nearly 2 year old need any lifting?

I think your parents sound fantastic and of course your mum will cope.

Your sister and you are very lucky to have them so I hope you both shoe them your appreciation.

"Basically she doesn't seem to accept that we are relying on her"
"I am scared my mum will either flake out or pester my husband to come home when I need him."
"The other side of this is my other sister has 3kids and every one of those was covered by my folks with 3week visits to where she lives (also overseas) so I feel like helping me out would be normal."
"I have helped my mum and sister a lot over the last year."

Reading between the lines, I wonder if you are maybe seen as 'the capable one' in your family, who therefore needs less help than the others? They might really not see that they are letting you down, because they can't grasp that you might actually need them rather than it just being a matter of convenience. sad

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 24-Jun-14 13:00:23

It is all swings an roundabouts your parents are trying to do their best for everyone. 10 years ago when my sister and I both found out we were pregnant 10 years ago with due dates exactly 4 weeks apart my Mum told me she felt that my sister would need her more than me. I took it on the chin although I was hurt.
8 years later my husband left me for anther woman and there has been a whole sorry saga and my parents have on several occasions over the last two years told my sister that at this time I need them more than her.
We can not treat all our children equally we can just try to do the best we can in any given situation.

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