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To think that this is not my job?

(73 Posts)
twistedknit Thu 04-Oct-12 15:47:10

My dsil has just given birth to her first dd. I spent a lot of time with her in the later stages of her pregnancy as she struggled with a house move and really needed some company. When she had the baby, her mother didn't come to visit until a day later - now I know my mum would be in the car as soon as anyone mentioned 'labour' and that's how I'd like it, but I appreciate that not everyone is the same. As a result, I was on high alert throughout the labour in case they needed anything (my bil's mother is no longer with us).

They are now home and adjusting to being first-time parents, sil's parents are staying locally so they can 'help out', but I see very little evidence of helping. I am going round with ready-prepared meals for them, washing up, doing bits of shopping and checking they don't need anything, while granny seems mainly concerned with spending as much time as possible holding her dgd, commenting on the furnishings and instructing grandad to spend sil's money on things they don't need! They rush off to 'have dinner' at 4pm every day and leave the new parents wondering what to eat themselves.

I love being there for them, and would like to think that they would do the same for me, but I know that my mum would be falling over herself to feed and generally look after us, so there would be no need to. As my dh said, 'why does no-one else realise that this is 'helping out?!'. I figure that until the grandparents go home, I should be feeling pretty much redundant.

AIBU to think that grandparents should help out in practical ways after a birth? I am working p/t at the moment, but if I were f/t they would be exhausted and living off soup until they get used to their new schedule!

(on the plus side - at least I know I will get to see lots of my new niece! wink)

GoSakuramachi Thu 04-Oct-12 15:49:16

I don't understand why you need to go around with ready made meals for them. They are two able healthy adults, one of them just had a baby, but what is the other one doing?

minipie Thu 04-Oct-12 15:49:21

It sounds like you are being a fab SIL smile

Is it possible the GPs would be helping more if you weren't helping as much (i.e. they think there is no need as you have got it all covered?)

TheMonster Thu 04-Oct-12 15:50:23

Yanbu but you are being a brilliant help. It is up to them to speak to her parents.

monkeysbignuts Thu 04-Oct-12 15:51:24

you sound like an amazing sil, I am due in 10 days if your bored haha.
Joking aside the gp's should be doing more to help. Its things like having food ready or someone putting a wash on for you etc that's really appreciated. First babys are really stressful and it takes time to adjust to just looking after the baby never mind cooking and cleaning.
I think you deserve a medal

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 15:51:53

I don't see why anyone would be rushing around after this couple, cooking them meals etc unless perhaps she's had an awful birth and he has a disability or something?

Catsdontcare Thu 04-Oct-12 15:52:10

It's nice of you to help but surely her dh is capable of cooking a ready meal and doing a bit of washing up? If you want to help then carry on but don't be a martyr about it

pointybird Thu 04-Oct-12 15:54:29

I'm wondering why they need all this help? The last thing I wanted when I came home with DD was people in the house all the time

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 15:54:41

And don't expect other people to be as OTT as you are.

I don't mean that in a nasty way, but it's unrealistic to think these people should be the same as you are.

twistedknit Thu 04-Oct-12 15:54:49

minipie - I thought that, but on nights when I haven't gone round they have ended up getting takeaway, sil was super careful about her diet when pg, so I know it wouldn't be her first choice!

GS - appreciate the thought that they are both perfectly capable, but they are both a bit fried by things, so I just figured to make things easier for the first few days... there will be plenty of time for them to stand on their own two feet once stitches have healed/ bf got to grips with and a vague sleep schedule established. I am also married to the brother of the new dad, and know full well how my dh would react! Adorable, supportive but not the most capable wink

RubyFakeNails Thu 04-Oct-12 15:55:58

You sound great.

But its just the way the cookie crumbles. Some people are helpful some aren't, some people want help and don't get it, some people don't want help but can't get enough of it.

I've definitely seen threads on here where people are complaining about 'interference' of parents or in-laws after the birth because they 'won't stop offering food/coming round/trying to clean'. Have seen some people wishing for more help. Have seen people who want it to be them and the Dh with no other visitors for the first few days.

My mum has always helped out and done everything for me once an dcs were born. I like that. I know when I've posted about it some think it sounds a nightmare.

I don't think you can apply a blanket rule of grandparents should help out because its not right for everyone and thats without taking into consideration health or other underlying issues.

If they want help they need to make it clear.

Mooq Thu 04-Oct-12 15:56:08

I must be honest. Having a relative like you would have driven me mad when I had first DC. I'm presuming both parents are able-bodied, etc?

Visiting a day after the birth is great. Normal. Not getting in the way. Someone rushing around as soon as someone's in labour is annoying!

Why on earth are you cooking for them? The odd meal, yes, ok, but not regularly.

Holding the child (as the gran is doing) is a help. However, I would find your behaviour incredibly intrusive and annoying.

Just wondering which of the parents is your relative, if it's SIL and BIL?

lostinindia Thu 04-Oct-12 15:56:22

I really don't see why they need all this help. Babies just don't do anything at this stage to warrant giving any help. I'd back off and give them some space if I were you.

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 15:56:35

If they've ended up getting a takeaway that you're convinced your SIL doesn't actually want, why don't you suggest one of them cooks a dinner?

Even a frozen meal to slam in the oven? confused

Mooq Thu 04-Oct-12 15:57:27

Why isn't the dad cooking? Only the mum has stitches and breastfeeding to deal with!

mertin Thu 04-Oct-12 15:58:04

YABU. Most people just get on with it themselves.

You sound lovely by the way.

GoSakuramachi Thu 04-Oct-12 15:58:13

Well enable his inability if you like, but yabu expecting her parents to run around after them too. He doesn't have stitches or is bf'ing, so what exactly is stopping him from making a simple dinner?

It never occurred to me that anyone would feed us after any of my children were born.

CotedePentathlon Thu 04-Oct-12 16:02:09

I think it's perhaps time you stepped back and let them get on with their lives. As someone up thread said - if I was the new mum and had you permanently charging about the place, I'd find it very annoying. What's so hard about looking after one tiny baby, and cooking the odd meal?

twistedknit Thu 04-Oct-12 16:02:37

I didn't intend to come across as a martyr, I was just wondering if this was normal. I have tried from the off to give them space (They just knew I was on the other end of the phone during labour, I didn't rush round straight away!), and have just popped round, handed dinner and disappeared, not stood around fussing.

I guess I am maybe comparing other family situations to how I know my family would react, but I can see how too much help would be smothering. Kind of needed a bit of an anonymous rant as an outsider who would probably react in a different way.

I guess everyone's family situation is different and if they still want me helping out, I'm more than happy to do it, should stop judging as other people's families are very different.

Ephiny Thu 04-Oct-12 16:03:01

If you want to help, then great, I hope they appreciate it. But don't agree grandparents 'should' be cooking, washing up etc. Plenty of couples with a new baby would actually prefer to have a quick visit and then be left alone.

UsingAPsuedonym Thu 04-Oct-12 16:05:13

I'd have loved you helping out! My dad wasn't able to help out even when I was in intensive care so we had no support at all.

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 16:05:44

I admire the grandparents more for being there without taking over.

Also, I really don't understand why you're enabling the Dad's behaviour.

If what you say is true and your SIL is eating takeaways that she doesn't actually want, because he won't cook a dinner, perhaps you would be more helpful if you had a word with him?

Mooq Thu 04-Oct-12 16:06:23

You were on the other end of the phone during labour? Why? You didn't rush over straight away during labour - I should hope not! It's your husband's brother's baby, not yours! You must be suffocating them!

Sorry, but this is too much.

Mooq Thu 04-Oct-12 16:07:24

YANBU - it's not your job, it's the parents'. Why is the dad not even cooking?

twistedknit Thu 04-Oct-12 16:08:05

Ephiny; I totally agree, but I suppose my point was that if gps are about all day, then at least they should be being helpful!

Like I said, I guess we can't judge all families the same, they are probably giving support in ways I don't really get. Other people might look at my Mum and think 'Oh my word, she is so annoying, why doesn't she just leave them alone!'

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