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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...


swanthingafteranother Sun 20-Jan-13 12:01:22

I've also done babysitting for friends with babies in first three months before I had kids myself, and was amazed at how bossy they became, not even chatting for 15 minutes, just telling you all the things you had to do to order. This needs to be like this, this needs to be like that, this is where dirty nappies go. As if you were some sort of hired help!! I think it was a sign of how deeply stressed they were. Annoying but understandable.

On the other hand I can understand that thing where people overstay their welcome and insist on hanging around without helping at all. I remember feeling unreasonably irritated when someone I had invited to lunch to see newborn stayed past 2.30 and it was NAP TIME. It is a stage.

comingintomyown Sun 20-Jan-13 12:01:22

I'd rather hoover than cuddle someone elses newborn grin

manticlimactic Sun 20-Jan-13 12:01:32

She gave you a bit of paper?? shock

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Sun 20-Jan-13 12:02:27

This is often suggested as what to do on MN but I wouldn't have the nerve, myself. In fairness to her DH, he has a newborn and the gym may be his chance of an hour's mental space and a reconnection with Before when he had sleep and wasn't covered in vomit. If he prefers it to a long bath I'd have no problem with it.
Quite often the best thing you can do is not go round and give them space. When you visit, offer to bring food (which you did!) and see if you can be helpful. The list is OTT I think.

GreatSoprendo Sun 20-Jan-13 12:05:06

Presenting a list and holding you to ransom for baby cuddles is way out of order.

Nothing wrong with saying something like 'while you are here would you mind giving me a quick hand by emptying the dishwasher (or a similar job) as I've got my hands full'. My DC1 is due in a few weeks and I definitely will ask good friends and family members for bits of help - but definitely not going to be presenting them with a list!

Samu2 Sun 20-Jan-13 12:06:10

Oh wow! How odd.

Did she have a terrible birth? I have five children and not once did I think to ask anyone to help me with housework. We both just got on with it.

I can see needing help if you have had a hard birth and in a lot of pain, but she has a husband to help her out and she is telling friends to do a chore before you can look at the baby?

Cheeky sod shock

AnitaManeater Sun 20-Jan-13 12:07:18

WTAF?!! Is it a PFB? How come she can't man up and get on with it? I had an EMCS under general anaesthetic with child no 3 and was doing a weeks food shopping in the supermarket within 36hrs. I was home 3hrs after having DD and busy making the cups of tea for the visitors when I realised I had a streak of dried post partum blood all down my arm - nice. I know it's not like this for everyone but you have to put the baby down for a while and crack on with it - you aren't the first to give birth x

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Sun 20-Jan-13 12:07:25

<takes notes from OP's friend>

<allows house to wallow in filth for next 2 months>


WorraLiberty Sun 20-Jan-13 12:08:11

comingintomyown Me too! grin

twolittlemonkeys Sun 20-Jan-13 12:08:54

There's a world of difference between asking a friend who has popped in to see you and the baby if they would mind helping with something/ putting the kettle on and making a cuppa and presenting them with a list of chores as 'payment' for baby snuggles because your DH is too lazy to help you and his trips to the gym take precendence over helping his wife. shock I'd have been so grateful for the dinner, I'd never have had the audacity to ask you to do something else! I'd probably be giving her a bit of space for now grin I suppose only you know whether she is taking the mick or is just overwhelmed, stressed out and not coping well and therefore being a bit too demanding of her guests.

PickledInAPearTree Sun 20-Jan-13 12:08:56

I don't think there is anything wrong with saying you know where the kettle is but asking you to Hoover? Why you took a lasagne? With her partner at the gym?

I am in the twat camp.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 20-Jan-13 12:09:12

I'd have laughed - put the lasagne down and gone.

Honestly its beyond rude - but intrigued as to what other chores were on the list.

pictish Sun 20-Jan-13 12:09:55

There are some women on mumsnet who think that having a baby promotes them to Queen of the World status. These types all encourage each other to be as big a pain in the arse as possible.

This is what happens as a result. Outlandish twattery.

PickledInAPearTree Sun 20-Jan-13 12:10:22

All of you that would do this for a newborn cuddle feel free to visit me next month. If you do the hoovering you can cuddle a newborn for as long as you want!

fuzzywuzzy Sun 20-Jan-13 12:11:39

The suggestion on here is to counter the exhausted new mums who have shed loads of guests (generally family), who expect to be fed, watered and an immaculate house, whilst they cuddle baby & new mum is running herself ragged trying to ensure their comfort. And they don't leave

In that case it's fine to tell guests to make their own tea. Or a critical person commenting on the state of the house can be directed to help themselves & bring the housework up to their exacting standards.

However I would never order a friend bringing me lunch to pick a chore and do it or not get to cuddle newborn!

Is she usually like this?

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Sun 20-Jan-13 12:12:03

Definitely disagreeing with Anita . I had a hard birth (followed by flashbacks and counselling, never mind the PPH and near death bit!) but I really don't think that "put the baby down and the kettle on" is the right way of going about it. There's a middle ground. Apologise for making them brew up themselves and eventually let them hold the baby, but this is key mum-holding-baby time. It's not a given that you get a go.

Thisisaeuphemism Sun 20-Jan-13 12:12:12

Unbelievable. I would have served myself some lasagne and then taken it home.

Not really, but I would have been very shocked, and wouldn't bother with her again.

You can only visit if you bring dinner? - and her husband is at the gym? - sod that!

flossy101 Sun 20-Jan-13 12:13:07

Jesus! So rude! Especially when you already brought round dinner! When I had mine I enjoyed having friends round to chat to and show off the baby. If they offered to brew up or brought food bonus!

Some people take it too far, she sounds like hard work!!

crashdoll Sun 20-Jan-13 12:13:20

Unreasonably rude!

ProphetOfDoom Sun 20-Jan-13 12:15:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImperialBlether Sun 20-Jan-13 12:16:14

I would have taken the foil from the lasagne, wafted the bowl under her nose, wrapped it up again and taken it home with me. Show her what she's missing!

scarletforya Sun 20-Jan-13 12:16:31

Cheeky cow!

She asked you to hoover shock

Fair enough if it was something like empty the overflowing bin or do the dishwasher or bottles or something actually important. You'd already made food.

Fluff on the floors is not in any way a showstopper, newborns don't give a shite about the hoovering. What a cheeky bitch.

ModernToss Sun 20-Jan-13 12:17:50

Fair enough to ask guests if they'd mind sticking the kettle on themselves - in fact, it's a good idea and any friend worth their salt would do so in a flash - but this is really taking the piss.

TheCrackFox Sun 20-Jan-13 12:18:41

She sounds like a twat but just blame it on her hormones so she will probably be back to her usual self in a few months time.

Her DH should be doing the housework not swanning off to the gym. He is a total arse who has no hormones defence to offer.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sun 20-Jan-13 12:18:41


I have been known to do washing up, transfer laundry from the washing machine to the tumble dryer and come bearing colouring books and dvds (for older siblings) when visiting someone with a new baby, but this takes a piss. I would never, ever demand/ask someone to do my hoovering for me! And they'd get a very definate hmm look from me if they asked me to! Before I made my excuses and left. Without doing the hoovering.

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