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To hope my parents would give us support around the house after I have my first baby?

(113 Posts)
LittleBlueBox Fri 22-Feb-13 04:47:39

My DP and I live in northern Australia, a four-hour flight away from our families in the south. We moved up here 5 years ago for my work. My DP has chronic fatigue syndrome and can't work, she needs a lot of support herself. We love it here and have bought a house and settled in for the near future. We do miss being close to family though and don't see them anywhere near as much as we'd like. DP's parents have never visited and mine have been up twice. We mainly go south if we want to see them.

I'm now 38+5 with PFB. At Christmas we went south and broached the idea of family coming up to see the baby and give us some help when it's born. I got quite upset when my parents suggested they might be too busy to come up and we should just bring baby down in 6 weeks or so. They're retired, they could afford the flights, and I've offered to pay if that's the issue.

Anyway they've agreed they'll visit now, but they won't tell me when they're coming or how long for. And yesterday when I suggested to mum that when they're here, we'd really appreciate some help around the house or with doing some cooking and what-have-you she was shocked and dismissive. She said she wasn't coming all this way to do housework.

AIBU to want some support - emotional and practical - from my mum? It's my first baby and I'm really nervous of those first few weeks. My DP is wonderful, but is sick herself and can't do much. How to I explain that I just need some help because I love my parents and need them, not cos I'm being lazy or selfish?

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 22-Feb-13 20:23:04

I had my mum and my inlaws staying with me just after ds was born.
I never asked them to come and do housework though, it was my in laws first and now only grandchild (I was 39 when I had him), and my Mum was just my Mum.
They were brilliant though, and helped out loads.
Maybe your approach was wrong, my inlaws lived at the other end of the country and the invitation was to meet their first grandchild, not come and me my skivvy.

echt Fri 22-Feb-13 22:25:34

LadyBeagleEyes has it right, though your parents' initial reluctance, being too busy, lack of commitment to dates and length of visit should tell you that there's no eagerness here. The fact that they didn't feed you on visits to their house is a worry; they sound quite hostile. Like other posters, I wonder if there's an undercurrent of disapproval of the same-sex relationship. Sorry your DP's parents don't visit, you must feel very isolated.

I'd back off on the hoping for help, re-iterate a welcome to visit, but be very careful about how much running around by you and your DP is done. I'd also be wary about flying down to see them with the baby, unless you take sandwiches.grin

Upthread a/some posters got bit snippy about this being the price for moving away. In Australia, like anywhere else, you go where the jobs are, and in Oz it's always a long way. Also the snurk at OP calling the baby "bubs" - it's what Australians do, and is not netmumsy.

All very best to you both, and hope this works out well.

NumericalMum Fri 22-Feb-13 23:15:30

Another adding that having people about was super stressful. My DM wanted to do everything her way, which wasn't helpful or supportive. She did cook and clean but mostly she wanted to cuddle the baby. My DH was basically not allowed to hold his own child or do anything as my DM just told him she knew better when he tried. Most people aren't naturals at changing a nappy etc and he only learnt really when she left. The day she left was like a dark cloud lifting from over me. It sounds like your parents would be less helpful so probably best to go and visit them when your DC is 8 weeks + and you have stumbled into some sort of routine that works for you. Good luck with it all!

charlottehere Fri 22-Feb-13 23:35:20

YANBU but tbh it might be easier to pay for help or do it yourself - sorry, speak from experience.

MummytoMog Fri 22-Feb-13 23:39:10

YABU, sorry. I can't for the love of Christ imagine wanting my mum or my mil for that matter, hanging around while I had a newborn. By at any rate, you chose to have this baby, knowing your circumstances, and I doubt asked your parents if they'd mind being your skivvies for a bit first. It's a bit sad that they don't want to help, but there's no reason they should.

Cheer up a bit, it's a baby, not a time bomb. Plenty of women manage on their own, and you will at least have emotional support from your lovely DP, even if she can't manage much practical support. Newborns are lovely, cuddly and adorable. Even when they're being sick on you. Try and relax, they're like cats, they pick up on your tension...

apostropheuse Sat 23-Feb-13 00:05:08

Lots of people don't have help from their parents when their children are born. My parents both worked full time so it was of course impossible to help.

I actually don't understand what you think you will need help with.

Honestly, you will cope fine, just as millions of other parents the world over do.

HairyHandedTrucker Sat 23-Feb-13 00:18:44

You're heavily pregnant so I wont call you unreasonable. But you are behaving much like a very unreasonable person would.

BegoniaBampot Sat 23-Feb-13 00:27:13

I know a lady who on the day after she give birth, went home to find her husband had invited his family round for dinner. She had to clean the house, shop and cook a four course meal. Mean if she can do it, guess the rest of us can stop being precious and do the same.

HairyHandedTrucker Sat 23-Feb-13 00:33:46

I know a lady who on the day after she give birth, went home to find her husband had invited his family round for dinner. She had to clean the house, shop and cook a four course meal. Mean if she can do it, guess the rest of us can stop being precious and do the same.

eurgh, what an arsehole

pollypandemonium Sat 23-Feb-13 00:45:22

This is all a bit sad and heartbreaking but not the first time I've heard it. Sometimes when parent live a long way away they find it hard to bond or don't want to commit, whatever the reason it's just plain sad.

Why do you live where you do? Is there a good community - do you have any friends who can support you? I have a great support network that I couldn't do without. I had some support from my mother in the first year or two when we stayed with them but since then haven't had any input from any relatives. But that's why we have friends and neighbours (and good neighbours become good friends as you know). ;)

Internationaltraveller Sat 23-Feb-13 00:54:39

I think you will be fine OP. It will be a bonding time with your partner and new arrival. Yes, it's hard work but you do get through it. You'd also be surprised where help comes from - sometimes from the most surprising places!

ModernToss Sat 23-Feb-13 09:10:53

I don't think you're being at all unreasonable, and I can see why you're disappointed and a little hurt.

However, when I read They would cook their own meals at night and tell us there wasn't anything for us to eat I must admit I wondered why you'd invited them at all. I just cannot imagine anyone with guests - let alone your own parents - acting that way.

Maybe it's time to start expecting very little of them. That way you won't be disappointed.

appletarts Sat 23-Feb-13 10:50:06

Of course families and mothers being disconnected from extended family is a modern social construct! But we live here now not in mud huts around the fire breastfeeding eachothers offspring. We turned down help from family who had issues and wouldn't bring a healthy happy vibe with them. It was an empowering experience for me that this is now my family and I am the mother, not that we are an extension of our parents and we need parenting in a hands on, food parcel kind of way. Sorry if I came off harsh, this one friend of mine pisses me off with her beauty regime smile

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