To be upset that DP's mum will help look after DD?(54 Posts)
I know I am not being rational and almost certainly pretty overemotional and hormonal. With my due date moving ever closer and having had a pretty rubbish time of things health wise (epilepsy) throughout my pregnancy, my DP's mother has offered to take two months leave off work to come stay with us and help once DD is born.
DP thinks it's a brilliant idea and doesn't really seem to get why I am in floods of tears over this. DP's mum is utterly lovely and his parents have been nothing but supportive and kind to us; they're not the problem. I guess I am just so sad that we will not be alone as a family with our first baby and that I will not get to do all the mummy things myself. Does that make sense?
I know realistically we need help, DP is studying and while he wants to do most of the nights, I will still need someone around during the day as it would not be safe for me to be alone with DD at the moment. It's just not how I thought things would be.
YANBU. It is ok to feel overwhelmed and emotional at this time. I hope you get some good support here but AIBU is sometimes rough. Are you on one of the antenatal threads? Have you a nice RL friend that you could invite for a cuppa and cry on her shoulder?
it is a good idea but why don't you leave it open and see how you go? 2 months is a long time and you probably won't need her for that long but if you do - you'll be glad of it.
Why don't you tell her not to take the time off until well after your due date? The first week or so are not when you need someone around IME
I do understand how you feel but tbh you are really lucky that she can take two months off and help you - I would have no one.
I would bet most new mums would tell you that if you get on well with the woman, you dont know how lucky you are.
Set some basic ground rules... and you should be fine.
you need to have a good chat with her about how things are going to be and tell her that you accept that you need someone there because of your health but that it is important to you that you and your husband and child have time to bond together.
YANBU to be upset about it, everyone imagines how it will be in those first weeks as a new family and other people aren't in those imaginins all that much but if you know you need someone there your best bet is to talk to her a lot about it and make sure you are agreed as to what will happen and what her role will be and that you have your partners support.
Good luck and I'm sorry that you're struggling so much.
Yanbu and sorry your pregnancy has been difficult. I second tommy - could you ask her to come after the first week?
She has had a baby herself - she will KNOW what it feels like to have a newborn and if she is lovely, she will be in the background making you cups of tea and quietly loading the washing machine whilst you enjoy your baby. I know it's no comfort at all if you are feeling vulnerable but i would have given my right arm to have have had someone lovely stay with me when I had my first baby.
And if she's only offered, you can still say no if you really, really don't want her to come.
Two months is a very long time - could you shorten it?
Could you manage between you and your dp? If your epilepsy is managed well you might be able to cope between you. I have complex medical issues and have two dc and my dh and I have no one to look after the dc but ourselves. If it's making you this sad to think of someone else taking this time away from you maybe you need to rethink the idea of her coming to stay.
YANBU to be unsure about having her to stay at this stage, but YWBU to say you definitely won't want her help. DBro and SIL were adamant that they didn't want anyone to stay for the first month after DNiece was born so they could find their feet alone. Things were much harder than they expected, esp as the birth was bad so SIL was very weak, and they begged for both sets of grandparents to stay in turn!
Just keep your options open and see how you feel when your DC arrives and you know what sort of birth you've had.
I agree with others, assuming your dp will be with you for the first week, ask her to come after that. Then imo her help should be focussed on the general household stuff while you concentrate on looking after baby.
Can your dp take a fortnight off so you can have family time to yourself for 2 weeks before she comes?
That's the problem. My epilepsy was controlled well prior to pregnancy, but for the past few months things have been pretty horrid. As I have several seizures a week at the moment, my specialist has advised that I need to feed DD on floor with cushions around me and someone within calling distance, have to change her on the floor, carry her in car seat, not bathe her and so on. Hopefully it'll all get back to how it was before after DD is born and they'll find a medication mix that works, but as things are DP's mum will effectively have to 'supervise' me. Which I can't even think about without starting to cry again. Ridiculous.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Discuss it with your DH and MIL first- establish that she should be there as ONLY someone to call out for if necessary. I'm sure if she's as lovely as you say, she'll be understanding of your need for her to be there only as 'insurance'. Make it clear you want to be as independent as possible.
Hopefully you will get your medication sorted ASAP after birth and won't need the full 2 months
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
think of your own safety and that of your childs and accept the help thats been offered. My son was very ill at birth & after a long hospital stay he came home and am v grateful my mum was with me. It was tough looking after a sick baby and I was well so it will be even tougher with your medical history.
Out your foor down and say no
What a nightmare
You need time to bond as a family and develop as a mother, you need to do this in private
If you need help ask
I am surprised at anyone thinking this is a good idea when its upsetting you to think about it
Have you read the op's other posts Bound?
Clearly she hasn't, barbara.......
Op, YANBU to want some time on your own as a family, but I'm sure if your mil is as lovely as you say she will understand this totally. It's really great of her to offer to come and help you, but I can see where you're coming from. Why not have a chat with her and tell her honestly, as you've told us, exactly how you feel so that she can reassure you. Like someone else said, I bet she'll be sorting out the washing, making the tea etc but remember she's not a mind reader, I think she'll appreciate the fact that you can be so honest with her xxxxx
in your shoes OP i would agree to her coming but i would make it clear upfront that she would not be coming to do feeds, nappies etc but to be an 'in emergency' person there. make sure her and DP know that she isn't there to look after the baby- she is there just incase you have a seizure and that she isn't to be taking over from you. let them know how important it is to you that you are teh one doing the baby stuff etc.
Oh and the tears and emotions are totally normal. I can remember my mum showing me some beautiful knitted cardigans and coats that she'd got for my ds when I was 7 months pregnant and me sitting howling in tears because I didn't know the difference between them and how would I know when to put him in which.......
Good luck xxxx
Two months is a very long time. Is that how long the doctors have said you need to have someone with you even if they get your medication stabilised quickly? I would be tempted to take it a week at a time - if you need another adult with you then your MIL is available. If not then she can go back home.
YANBU to be upset - this is not the start to family life you've imagined but if you need someone with you it is lovely that she's offered. I agree with others that you should ask MIL to help you out with other things around the house while you take the primary role with your new baby.
I am feeling so sorry for you! I had a similar situation but for a longer amount of time than 2 months, lots of joking from friends about how lucky I was to have the help. I desperately wanted to be alone and independent. My mil was wonderful, generally she left me to babycare and she looked after meals/washing/housework. The simplest things made me upset-not being able to do ordinary things with my baby, not having the newborn time with my husband. TV in the evenings! Being permanently grateful...........Without her I don't know what I would have done. I know you are sad, it is a real shame. There is nothing you can do however and you have to try to look at things in another way, beautiful new baby who you are caring for with someone there who also loves baby and is there to help. It is so kind of your mil, I'm sure she will feel sensitive to your situation and is probably feeling very anxious about it (wouldn't most of us?), now that my firstborn is almost a teen it all seems so long ago. Imagine the stress and panic that you would feel if mil could not come and help? As it is you will have your gorgeous newborn and you won't need to worry about being ill and alone with baby. Try to relax and enjoy. I do have some lovely memories of that time with mil as we both admired baby!!!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
yes I understand,your instinct is its all your responsibility,you are mummy
and mil can't usurp that.she can be fantastic help,and assistance
you're accepting some help,not relinquishing your role.best wishes when baby arrive
DP will think it's a brilliant idea - she's his Mum, he's used to living with her, he's known her all his life (obviously!) - he won't understand why you don't feel the same way about her that he does. You're both his family to him.
However yanbu to be sad at the situation because she isn't your mum, she's only been in your life since you met DP (I assume you met him first!) and you don't have that easy "being at home"ness with her that he does.
First up - gentle punch. You will do all the mummy things. Because you'll be the mummy. She can do grandma-y things but she can't (and if she's lovely, she won't try to) take the mummy role away.
It's sad that you're so upset by this because I bet it's spoiling the whole "pfb" moment for you (meant in a nice way not a sarky one!).
Can you sit down with her and explain how you feel? Hopefully she'll be lovely enough to know anyway and will work with you to make it as special a time for you and your DH as possible.
As regards bathing - why not do it with your DH? Best way I found of bathing a newborn was in the bath with me, on my tummy. Your DH could help with that couldn't he? Which gives you "family time" that your MiL really couldn't come in on! (And gives her time & space too). If your epilepsy means you can't have a bath then maybe DH holds DD on his tummy in the bath while you bathe her. Your Family Bath might become a real tradition - we still all shower together now and my boys are 5&7!
We ended up with people in the house for a long time: first I was unwell and needed my mum to be there and then my ILs came to visit and FIL had a heart attack in our front bedroom and was admitted to hospital in our town so it was a long time before MIL could leave. It wasn't actually that bad: we had clear boundaries as to what my job was and what their jobs were.
When my second was born by caesarian I had both my parents to stay and actually found it made life a lot easier as I could organise them to do exactly the jobs I found difficult: my dad (who is an early morning bird) did the first morning nappy and my mum (who is a night owl) did the last evening one.
The most useful job both of them did was to sit next to me while I was feeding to make sure I didn't fall asleep and drop the baby. It didn't interfere with the feeding in any way, but it did provide that little extra bit of reassurance. And wasn't that different from the midwife sitting next to me in hospital.
I found it helped everybody if I gave very clear instructions: I will be doing this and I would like you to do this.
There are so many nappies to be changed, so many baths to be given, there will be so many opportunities for your and your dh to bond with the baby.
I understand its really disappointing because it's not how you imagined it was going to be, but like other posters have said you don't have that many alternatives. If I'm really honest the first 8 weeks with each of my kids was such a blur of feeding, sleeping or not , getting used to having a baby that I probably didn't really feel that it was teal until about 8 or 10 weeks and your mother in law will be heading back by then. For the first flurry of weeks your baby just needs to be loved and love is what you have in spades. Your mil can help with everything else, if it's needed. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. If you haven't already join an MN antenatal thread it'll be a great support aftet the baby is born. My baby is 2 and we still have a laugh and a bit of a cry sometimes.
Your ideas of being alone as a family, being a mummy to your baby by yourself etc are a fantasy. Even without the epilepsy, you will need all the help you can get after the birth. In all likelihood, your body will take time to put itself back together and you will be bedridden for at least a few days. Even if you are one of the lucky few to have an easy birth with your body intact, you will be grateful for another pair of hands to cook or clean while you take easy on the bed, snuggled up with your baby.
YABU in other words.
I would feel exactly like you, but as someone else said, you would feel worse if there was nobody available to help you.
Accept that you feel like that and just communicate your feelings; hopefully it won't be as bad as you imagine, especially if you and DH manage alone for the first two weeks. Is this possible?
Hope it goes ok and they stabilise you really quickly, so you won't need her for long.
I can understand how you feel, but this is being advised for the safety of your child and you, and you don't really have any choice. Even if you feed on the floor surrounded by cushions, there is a chance you could fall or roll onto your baby during a seizure, you could drop the car seat whilst carrying the baby in it, basically if you are at risk of having a seizure you should not be alone with a new born- it is a sad fact but presumably you were aware of that before you got pregnant. If your seizures do not get back under control after two months, what happens then?
Would it help to think of her being there not to supervise you, but your health? So she's not going to be judging your parenting, and interfering with that, but she will be there to jump in should your health dictate that she needs to. Plus she can do the running around making you food, drinks and keeping the house clean so you don't have to stress about that, and instead spend time lying on the floor with your new baby, getting to know each other and bonding.
I know it's tough, but it's for the best. And tbh she'll probably feel awkward being there anyway, knowing how new parents want time with their babies alone, and will probably try and keep in the background as much as possible.
If ok if you have clear boundries.
Can she do the housework when you bond with baby and establish bf? Can she go home at night to leave you and dp to be a family?
In some cultures this is the norm, where the mother stays 6 weeks to do the 'wife' work when the new mum bonds and establishes milk supply and recovers from the birth and stops bleeding.
If you do have her to stay can she give both of you space to bond as a family?
You are not being unreasonable to be pissed off with your health situation, however it is what it is and you're much better off with someone around who has your best interests at heart - she sounds really kind.
Having just the 3 of you is a lovely fantasy, but those first weeks are so hard - dd was permanently attached to me, you may be recovering from birth so pretty immobile and will be grateful for someone to look after you (so you can look after your baby). For the first 8 weeks we had the support from family and it was amazing, especially when dd became colicky.
You might do well to have a big chat now with her to work out some ground rules. And its perfectly normal to have lots of fears before their first baby - I had all sorts of meltdowns, and am supporting a good friend through hers in the run up to her baby arriving.
And finally, being a mum is such a wonderful thing, and for the whole of your child's life - you are not any less of a mum because you need a helping hand for a few weeks.
I agree with you.
After dd1 was born I was very sore, and found getting around quite difficult for a few days. I still wanted to have time to be a family on our own. My dm was staying, and although I felt a little scared initially to be on our own, I also felt a little relief that we could be just a little family together. My dm only stayed 2 weeks.
But one thing dm did, was she stayed with a local friend over the weekend, because she said it was important for us to have time together. Could your mil just come for the weekdays?
lots of people in fact would say most people have someone to help out for the first couple of weeks at least because having a newborn while your body is recovering is hard so you are no different than other mums in that respect. These people who come to help aren't there to take over the baby they are there generally to help out with the cooking and cleaning your mil comes with the added bonus of being to help you if a seizure happens try not to worry i would accept the help and just look forward to how much snuggling/playing with baby you can have without having to worry about anything else. Two months isnt very long and it will pass so quickly once baby is here time flys. Try not to worry about it and just think you will have two months of being able to go to the loo and have a shower without worrying about baby crying just as you have put shampoo on your hair .
Aw, poor you. It sounds like you are upset at the loss of what you hoped your first few months would be, not your MILs actual presence. I think what was suggested up thread about what she should do is a great idea - speak to her before she comes in terms of "i am so glad to have an extra pair of hands to help with the housework, cooking etc" so time with your baby isnt taken away from you but you are being well looked after.
My mum came for a couple of weeks after my DH went back to work and it was a bloody godsend.
I have a friend with epilepsy and a 3 month old - hers escalated as soon as she started TTC (to do with coming off the pill she says) - but it was under control again soon after the birth (under 6 weeks - again only what she's told me!). So you may not need your MIL quite as long as you fear. My friend lives away from family so has had full time help whilst things settled too - so you're not the only one (if that helps at all?!). Granted it's easier to be upfront about roles etc with someone you pay. I hope you reconcile yourself with it and it doesn't take too much of the shine off it for you - can you have a chat with your MIL now about how you're feeling so she is more aware from the get-go? She might try harder to rein-in any enthusiastic granny-ing if she knows in advance
Annie that sounds encouraging. I know it's different for everyone, but I'm kind of clinging to the thought that everything will settle down again quickly.
Thanks for all the advice. I will have a chat with his mum (and try and not start blubbing) and apart from telling her how grateful I am, will try and explain how I feel. I am not usually someone who is quite so dramatic and prone to displays of emotion, but the past months have really been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I've had to leave work/uni earlier than planned because of seizures and DP has been doing nothing but revise, so I think I just have a bit too much time to think on my hands.
Everyone else has given great advice. I've had 4 DC's and would have loved some family help (anything !!!).
The advice I wanted to add was about your comment that you have too much time on your hands. I'm not sure how far you are in your pregnancy, but even if almost due find a project to do. It could be related to your uni, knit a baby hat, plan your garden (I've just done that while laid up with sciatica). Anything that you can just do as and when you feel like. And plan a chat with MIL sooner rather than later as she's probably wondering too how it is all going to practically work.
I sympathise, a lot
But I think this is do-able if you sit down and have a good think about how you would like this to go, for you, and are able to agree this with her.
If she is as nice as she sounds, then she will want to support you in the way you want to be supported
frazmum: 5th of June, so almost there. :D Have been trying to read as many papers as I can get my hands on as I figured I could get a bit of a headstart on my doctorate thesis, but nothing is 'going in' at the moment. I like the idea of knitting a baby hat. Can't knit, but will give it a go. I made a quilt, so am clearly craftier than people give me credit for...
Yanbu I completely understand but remember motherhood is a long game, it's not an ideal start but once your condition is stabilised, mil will be able to back off being there and then you will have so much time together. Tbh as people have said, the start can be rough and a shock and will go by so fast, you might not even have time to think about this again. Good luck op, I hope your epilepsy gets sorted out v fast post delivery.
YANBU to feel upset. People are right the first few weeks are unpredictable anyway but you have already been through a rough pregnancy. It would be lovely to anticipate a nice straightforward first few weeks with your newborn but experience has taught you that epilepsy isn't that convenient.
I have epilepsy. It is fucking shit isn't it? I'm not sure anyone who doesn't have it can really appreciate what it is like especially the rubbish post-ictal bit. And I already had DD when I developed e so I've never had to contend with late pregnancy and seizures so have no idea what that feels like - respect!
That being so tell your MIL how much you appreciate her help early and often. It probably is a good idea even if it gives you the dry heaves thinking about it now. Then when you feel less sad make a plan for exactly what you'll need her to do like help you get adequate rest so the sleep deprivation doesn't make things worse than necessary, do certain key jobs in the house (ideally ones you really hate). And lay some ground rules like not just taking the baby 'off your hands' without checking that is what you want. Also maybe you could find out about stuff she might enjoy in the evenings so you and your DH can have some time together as a family then.
PenelopePipPop, yes it is fucking shit! Maybe I should make my project stitching that on a pillow... What kind of seizures do you have? How have you coped with your DD, especially regarding safety? I used to have mostly CPs with some secondary generalised TCs, but now almost all of them end up as tonic clonics. I am so, so tired, feel like I can't remember anything and have bruises everyfreakinwhere.
(And when I say I had mostly CPs, I mean I had a couple or so a year. NOTHING like now).
if your DP has 2 weeks paternity I would ask her to arrange to come once that is over, so you have those first weeks to yourself. But, once those 2 weeks are over, she will be a godsend. And if she's as lovely as you say, she will understand how you feel - it makes perfect sense to me!
I have focal epilepsy, probably TLE, so had lots of clusters of SPs and CPs at least once a day. They rarely secondarily generalised. I'm totally controlled with meds right now (keppra and zonisamide) but can't really get pregnant on this lot so would need to come off the meds to get pregnant again which I'm not sure I could face...
I didn't develop it till DD was 1, sheer bad luck I got encephalitis and this was the leftover.
I didn't find anything magic in terms of coping when I was really ill but DH has always been great. Rest as much as possible. Keep telling yourself you are doing a great job when all of you get to the end of the day alive, not smelling too bad and not suffering from malnutrition. Pregnancy coming to an end will obviously make the crazy seizure shit calm down but do not underestimate how awful the sleep deprivation can be and if that is one of your triggers take it v v v seriously! I don't know if you plan to breastfeed, I breastfed DD and it was great but if I was to have another child I would definitely plan to get DH to give some bottles for nightfeeds from 3-4 weeks so that I could get a decent block of sleep then. And I wouldn't express either - I did not have time to sit around expressing milk during the day whilst looking after a newborn. But your experience may be different. Just don't feel like you've failed in anyway if formula turns out to be your sanity-saver.
Oh an if you have frequent TCs you cannot co-sleep so you must get other help at night if you have a baby that needs closeness and snuggles to settle.
DD is 3 now and utterly awesome (still exhausting). Your seizure control will return, your baby will be wonderful. This phenomenally stressful and demanding period of your life will be very brief, intense and emotional. Expect to cry a lot more over the next few weeks. Take lots of pictures and videos so you can look back and remind yourself of how awesome all of you were.
The best thing you might do is talk to your mil and let all your fears out - if you are able to communicate how much you appreciate her help but how much you fear not bonding as a family unit it may well trigger her own maternal instincts and set the groundwork for her giving you enough space while being a good support. This will only work if you really trust her though.
And as for projects - get sewing!! I made some stuff for the baby while I was on mat leave (a blind, bedding for the cot) and have only been able to get my machine out once since (when dh and dsil had dd).
I think it is pretty rare for the reality of caring for a newborn to match up to how you think/hope it would be. In my case ds was 7 weeks early and when he was a week old he wasn't expected to survive. He spent nearly 4weeks in SCBU a fair bit of that time in intensive care. Not at all what is hoped for or planned. When he came home he was still poorly and I couldn't do many of the things I'd contemplated doing when I was pregnant.
I got through it and dealt with everything and the one thing I did struggle with was going to baby groups and seeing other mothers with their normal healthy babies.
Although it is hard to think like this whilst you are pregnant you are fortunate to have someone that can step in and help for the time you need. You just need to ensure you are in control and you make the decision when the time is right for your MIL to leave. My mum was a nightmare because whilst she wanted to help and insisted she was actually very scared of looking after ds but didn't want to tell me. I wish in hindsight we'd had an proper discussion about what we both wanted and expected from each other. Good luck.
I can completely understand why you are upset about this, but I think too much importance is placed on this ideal of 'mummy daddy baby time'. Yes, of course you need space together as a new little family, but that doesn't need to be intensive 24/7 for weeks. Many women find their births don't go to plan, and even if they do few are fortunate enough for the first couple of weeks to be unadulterated joy sequestered away from the rest of the world.
I had to have my mum stay for 3/4 months after a difficult birth - I know that is different to a MIL, but it still made me feel sad in the way you do. She did all the bathing, nappy changing, walking around jogging him to sleep - it was not nice to go through that, but it has not affected my bond with DS one bit.
If I was you I would ask her to come after dp paternity leave, and come for weekdays only. Can you also make her aware that if you have friends over, it would be kind if she could make herself scarce? Do you think you will be able to get out and about a lot to baby classes? If so, could she just drop you off and pick you up, and not stay?
Good luck, and I hope all goes well with the birth, and that you will find out that in those magical early weeks no matter how much practical nappy changing/bathing etc you MIL does, your baby will ALWAYS look to you for love and comfort, because you are his/her mum
Can i just say that it's perfectly normal to grieve for the loss of your new family unit time that you won't be able to have. Regardless of pregnancy hormones - it's shit and I have huge sympathy. You are allowed to be upset and work through that. Be kind to yourself. Not being able to carry baby sounds horrendous.
And then it's time to dust yourself down and gird yourself with a war plan. Draw up a list of baby related tasks and plan how you will do them and what MIL's role will be. Then buy big bunch of flowers for mil to show your gratitude and ask her to go through the list for her 'input'. She may even have useful ideas! This will cover a lot of bases - such as you can do the bath but presumably she'll be sat in bathroom with you. Your midwife or HV can be got on side and explain to her how wonderful she is not muscling in and taking over etc.
That said it is knackering with a small baby and you may appreciate being able to slope off for a shower. And she will need her grandma time. Your DH needs to make serious promises to you that if she oversteps the mark repeatedly then he'll deal with it. She might be pleased to know she's not expected to skivvy for 2 months.
Can i just say though that feeding on the floor is all very well and safe but feeding on the bed sounds a downsight more confortable to me. With enough cushions should be safe, surely?
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