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Friend wants dinner and housework before I can have newborn cuddles...

(264 Posts)
Sal77 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:40:30

My close friend has recently had a baby. I went round to see her after she'd got out of hospital with a lasagne I'd cooked for them for dinner. When I arrived I was given a piece of paper with a list of chores and told to choose one (I did some hoovering whilst she sat on the sofa with the baby, her DH was at the gym she said). It was a little awkward. Only after that could I have a look/cuddle of the baby.

Now, don't get me wrong, I understand having a newborn baby is hard work and I'm happy to help out (I also bought the bump Christmas presents, birthday presents and arranged the baby shower before baby was born). I didn't mind cooking her and her DH dinner, but I feel as though being asked to do housework on arrival was a bit rude given I'd already done dinner...

My friend did mention before the baby arrived about her idea to only allow guests over if they bring dinner and do chores but I didn't think she was that serious about it... And of course I don't mind helping out with babysitting and cooking dinners... But I did think it very rude to ask me to hoover too...


tomatoplantproject Sun 20-Jan-13 11:48:46

Ridiculous! I allowed guests to make tea, serve cake and tidy away afterwards but that was it! Not being funny, but having a sling gives you enough freedom to very slowly do the basics around the house with an asleep newborn tucked away.

maddening Sun 20-Jan-13 11:48:50


ithaka Sun 20-Jan-13 11:49:24

I would leave her to it, she sounds a demanding, needy PITA.

FredFredGeorge Sun 20-Jan-13 11:49:27

YABU she can set any rules she wants, if you want "newborn cuddles" you live with them or you leave.

Seems sensible to me - mind you, we just said no to visitors.

BerthaTheBogCleaner Sun 20-Jan-13 11:49:48

Hmm. Well, you can't say she didn't warn you. Would you have preferred it if she said "no, no visitors, because they just want to grab the baby off me and they don't want to help"?

Is she inundated with visitors who plonk themselves on the sofa, and expect to take the baby off her while she makes them a cup of tea? Because a lot of new mums do find that. And they also find that people say they're willing to help out, but don't actually do so.

I think her system sounds great. If everyone did that, no one would think it rude, and people would stop expecting to turn up, cuddle the baby, be waited on, and leave.

Actually, you say she is a close friend. Why was it awkward to do some hoovering for your close friend? Why is it an "of course" not to mind babysitting & cooking, but a bit rude to ask you to do other kinds of help? Especially since she is presumably not going to need babysitting for quite some while?

PassMeTheWino Sun 20-Jan-13 11:49:53

shock the audacity!

Thats so cringey. Yeuch.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Sun 20-Jan-13 11:49:54

YANBU. Particularly because her dh was at the gym shock

I would have been beside myself with gratitude at the lasagne if I had been her, and probably apologised for you having to make your own tea/coffee because I was bf or whatever.

I too think she's heard that advice and is taking it extremely literally, mixed with a slightly inflated sense of new-mother self-importance.
It's nice if people offer help, but nobody is entitled to it. I hope she looks back on this one day and cringes.

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Jan-13 11:50:38

Who is this friend?

Mariah Carey? hmm

Loquace Sun 20-Jan-13 11:50:50

I think ask for help, fine.

Demand it using "baby snuggles" as the carrot on the other hand is a bit....odd.

Thing is, you need people who are willing to leap in and lend a hand well after the newborn stage. My DS is 12 and over this xmas we had "an issue", I don't know what I would have done without all the other mums who leapt into the breech and took care of him while we were otherwise occupied.

So probably best not to squander all your accumlated good will in the first few weeks and maybe even end up alienating people a bit only to find yourself up shit creek in a few months time , without an army of willing helping hands, when baby decides they don't want to eat/sleep/stop screaming its head off ever again and you are atmbreaking point.

lunar1 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:50:52

Cheeky cow, especially ad her lazy dh is at the gym. Can't he vac

noblegiraffe Sun 20-Jan-13 11:52:20

I've seen on here loads of posts moaning about how people visiting newborns have expected to have a cup of tea made for them etc etc. Since then I've always offered to make tea when I've visited only to be told not to be so silly and to cuddle the baby while they sort it out.

So I'd be a bit shock at being asked to hoover if I'd brought around dinner. Was 'make dinner' on the list?

Viviennemary Sun 20-Jan-13 11:52:45

She is a cheeky, rude, ignorant person and will be lucky to have any friends left if that's the way she treats them. She should wait until guests offer help.

Thingiebob Sun 20-Jan-13 11:52:55

She's not smart. She is rude.

However, did you tell her you would do 'anything' to help? She may have taken it literally.

Taking a lasagne is help btw.

NoelHeadbands Sun 20-Jan-13 11:53:18

Snort @ Mariah Carey

AngryTrees Sun 20-Jan-13 11:54:05


Handing over a list is odd. She's obviously trying to be all no-nonsense but it comes across as really rude, especially since you came along with a lasagne you'd made.

SnowBusiness Sun 20-Jan-13 11:55:10

Her DH was down the gym? She is BU.

If she was a single parent with a colicky baby and slack jawed with tiredness, then she might have got away with it.

Longdistance Sun 20-Jan-13 11:55:42

MyNewVenture Sun 20-Jan-13 11:55:49

Well it is exactly what people recommend on here ( so you know she is a mnetter!). I wouldn't have had the cheek personally.

swanthingafteranother Sun 20-Jan-13 11:56:52

Sounds like she is feeling very fragile. And in a control freakery stage, where she thinks if she just follows a plan, everything will be normal. Encourage her to see that hoovered floor is not the most important thing at this stage, tell her how lovely and welcoming her house felt (unhoovered)

I had a friend like this, who only let you in the door in batches to special new baby"dinner parties" where the guests had to bring dinner and it was all organised rather than adhoc. Literally booked in to bring dinner to feed her husband who apparently couldn't cook for himself (was a high flying banker).

It felt very awkward and in the end it made her life even more stressful, organising everyone shock to muck in... She suffered a lot from needing a PLAN, and was very unhappy with early newborn stage, needing routines etc.

Anyway, the point is she is feeling very very fragile and dfather is not helping her so she needs you to guide her to be more relaxed and let go.

WhatchuTalkinBoutPhyllis Sun 20-Jan-13 11:57:39

YANBU I think shes took the 'get visitors to help with housework' tip a bit too seriously. I can understand her asking for help but shes gone about it the wrong way

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sun 20-Jan-13 11:58:25

You see I think if she'd said you 'would you be able to hoover the lounge for me I'm exhausted and struggling' I'd have thought that was OK, indeed admirably brave, but to demand it upfront or no baby time is taking the idea of asking for help too far. Also if her DH was at work or at the supermarket not the gym it would have seemed less unreasonable.

Mind you I did struggle to keep on top of chores when I had DC1. In the end my Dad came to visit (when DD was about 3 months) and suggested that we should blitz the house together to get on top of everything. Which we did while DD bounced in her bouncer, slept or played on her play mat. It too ages and I was, and still am, so grateful for that help. It's much better to keep on top of it when it isn't too overwhelming (as your friend is doing) than it is to get on top of it if you've let things slip (as I did)

StraightTalkinSheila Sun 20-Jan-13 11:59:55

I don't think she is "smart" or it's a "brilliant idea" because she has just presented her friend with a list and demanded that she pick a chore. A friend who turned up woth dinner.
I bet my bottom dollar that the OP would gladly have helped out so any chores if her friend had asked her nicely, instead of behaving like a selfish princess.

DoodlesNoodles Sun 20-Jan-13 12:00:14

Oh dear, confused. Not on I am afraid. If the DH could go to the gym then he could do the hoovering. Lazy git.

If she had no support then fair enough.

pictish Sun 20-Jan-13 12:00:16

I agree with mynewventure.

This pish is often pedalled out by people on here. Apparently having a new baby entitles you to expect your visitors to do chores. I have always thought it shite advice, and not something I would ever expect or ask for.

So yanbu.

PrideOfChanur Sun 20-Jan-13 12:00:26

Expecting to help a close friend,and to be able to ask a close friend for help - entirely reasonable.But not a list of chores and pick one,surely?
The whole U bit is the fact that he husband was at the gym - and he has got someone else cooking for him and doing his hoovering! Nice work if you can get it...

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