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Is this normal? Alone time with baby.

(34 Posts)
Newmummytobe79 Mon 18-Jul-11 10:16:37

Please can the experienced mums out there let me know if my feelings are normal or if I’m being over emotional? Basically we’ve nearly finished the nursery and I said to my MIL that her and FIL should come over and have a look at it but she just said it’d be easier for them to come up when I’ve finished work which is nearly a month away. They live 15 minutes away.

Also – the following comment was that when I finish work they’d decided they’d be able to come up more in the daytime and take baby out in the pram whilst I ‘get on with things’ Why can’t I join them instead of being stuck in the house on my own and enjoy adult company whilst being close to my baby – and if I’m honest I haven’t even met my baby yet so why would I want someone to take it ‘off my hands’ when maternity leave is so short?

I’m just struggling to understand why so many people are so keen to get my baby on its own, without me, before baby is even born!

Don't get me wrong - I may be very thankful of the time when baby arrives … but until I know what life is like with a newborn, I’m feeling a bit pushed out.

I explained my feelings to DH and he said that people are just trying to offer help and that he’ll make sure no-one does anything to upset me – and I’m hoping I’ll be tough enough just to put my coat on and join them – or just say no.

Am I being daft – or is this unusual behaviour?

Alibabaandthe80nappies Mon 18-Jul-11 10:21:05

I'm sure they are just trying to be helpful.

I have always been very happy for grandparents or whoever to take my babies out for an hour to give me a break, there is something very claustrophobic about having a tiny person so physically dependant on you.
You might feel differently and either want to go with them, or have them just look after the baby in your house for a bit while you have a nap or a nice bath or whatever, you won't know until it arrives.

But don't get in a stew about it, and certainly don't reject any offers at this stage!

Newmummytobe79 Mon 18-Jul-11 10:23:39

Thanks Alibaba - I will make sure I don't reject any offers! smile

Think I just feel that they don't feel the need to bother with me until baby arrives and then they just want to take their grandchild off me.

I guess I'm just feeling a bit over emotional!

MsChanandlerBong Mon 18-Jul-11 10:29:31

Newmummytobe79 - I think you are being over emotional but I am in the same boat too!!

Plus people keep saying "oh you can get a babysitter and still come out to the pub". My baby hasn't even been born yet... why would I be trying to arrange a night out to get away from her?! If my priority was to go out boozing I wouldn't have got pregnant!! But obviously I do realise that it is people trying to let me know that I will have a life after pregnancy, and if I want to go out they will babysit/join me.

I am trying hard to smile politely through it all so that I don't burn any bridges of help/babysitting should I fancy an hour or so out and about!!

snicker Mon 18-Jul-11 10:29:58

Its odd that you have invited them over and they won't come for a month.

Its not odd that they have offered to take the baby out in the pram while you stay at home. They will remember how hideous tiring those first few weeks are. Its just brilliant when someone takes the baby for a walk and you can get washed or just sleep for half an hour without having to keep an ear open for the baby.

kickingking Mon 18-Jul-11 10:40:31

I found people seemed to want to have my baby on their own as well.

I'm still not sure why...the implication seemed to be that I would be desperate for a break from him. Which turned out to be far, far from the case - I had no desire to go anywhere without him for over six months.

Interestingly, now he is four and I would chew my right arm off to have some time to myself, the offers have all dried up grin

I think it is a combination of two things - people think you will want a break, and yes, they probably want to have some time with the baby without it's mum eyeballing them.

Don't reject any offers out of hand right now, see how you feel. You might want a break, you might not want to let her out of your sight - time will tell.

Grumpla Mon 18-Jul-11 10:48:02

Blimey, send them my way! My DS is not exactly a baby any more but this kind of help is exactly what I needed a lot more of when he was tiny. Just being able to have a cup of tea in the bath for half an hour whilst someone else was responsible for him was bliss.

Being 'in charge' 24/7 is really exhausting. They are being kind, not trying to steal your baby or casting aspersions on your mothering skills!

Newmummytobe79 Mon 18-Jul-11 11:03:24

Ok - loud and clear advice - do not turn down any offers yet smile

Just think I feel a bit put out as they don't want to see me - only my baby (without me!) - I'm tough, I'll get over it grin

Rootatoot Mon 18-Jul-11 11:19:04

newmummytobe79 I can understand how you feel. You do start just feeling like an 'oven' sometimes. smile I'm sure you'll be fine. The same thoughts had crossed my mind about help after baby arrives. (due in August) I was hoping more help with housework, shopping, dog but people will naturally want to 'help' with baby as that is more fun!

Newmummytobe79 Mon 18-Jul-11 11:24:41

Rootatoot - I'd love offers of help around the house!

My mum is on standby to help me on maternity bless her smile

I think I'm just grumpy that it's been 'decided' for me ... I don't like being told what to do! blush

I bet family/friends won't be able to come back quick enough if I have a red faced screaming not-so-cute-now baby! grin

Badgerwife Mon 18-Jul-11 11:43:01

It seems a really odd offer of help to me but then I've not had my baby yet either so don't know how I'll feel after! I agree you shouldn't turn down any offers yet but reserve your judgement as to whether that's the kind of help you will want/need once you have the baby!

Instead, my ILs and my mum have all offered to bring food and do some cleaning/washing up so I can relax about the house and focus on the baby; maybe what you need changes as the baby gets older, but certainly in the early days, I'm not sure taking the baby away is such a good idea, what with you trying to read the baby's feeding cues, getting acquainted with each other etc.

I think you need to feel able to turn down offers of help that you know will actually be a source of stress rather than a relief. I would risk upsetting them for a while for the sake of my own sanity tbh. They will come around, and you can blame it on hormones and exhaustion... My mum, who lives in France, was a bit upset when I told her that I didn't want her to come over until 2 weeks after the birth (she would stay with us and drive me up the wall) but she has since come to terms with it.

idlevice Mon 18-Jul-11 12:06:03

If you have not had a baby yet do not underestimate the sleep deprivation aspect either/general recovery needed after the birth, esp if for some reason it doesn't all go straightforwardly. It can be hard to nap yourself if you are the only one at home looking after the baby as you will be worried about waking in time, listening out to every tiny sound & movement, etc - or even if you are at home & other people are there it can be hard to switch off.

Aside from that, if you are breastfeeding in the early weeks it can be difficult to finish a meal, let alone a single hot drink (get a thermal mug!) so any time to yourself is precious - a proper show rather than 2mins in & out is a luxury so take the opportunity if you can!

KatyN Mon 18-Jul-11 12:40:03

the only real offer I've had like this is from my mum.. (they live about 80 miles away).
I mentioned that I read the baby should sleep in the same room as me for 6 months and my mum blanched. she said 'how will he be able to come to ours for a sleepover'. She even sounded quite disappointed!
I did point out that I could come as well.. and maybe he could sleep in their room and it would be like a sleepover (with me getting a good nights rest) but I think she'd imagined I could just pop him on a train to go see her!!

DH and I have discussed having time 'out' in the early days.. not that he would run away with our child or leave me at home to do the laundry.. but just the odd half an hour to remember who were are (none of our friends have babies so half an hour on the phone NOT talking babies sounds quite exciting).


MrBloomsNursery Mon 18-Jul-11 12:52:42

"Get on with things" They mean sleeping or having a relaxing bath. Be thankful you have nice PiL's.

Newmummytobe79 Mon 18-Jul-11 12:56:06

nope - it means house work!

Can't wait! wink

gallicgirl Mon 18-Jul-11 13:15:33

I felt a bit like that when I was pregnant. My mother couldn't wait to get the baby in her pram to take her out - I didn't feel so great about the idea seeing as she was born in January!

However, when they did visit and take her out, it meant I could get some much needed sleep. Seriously, an hour alone did me the world of good sometimes.

If they will clean for you, so much the better. My PIL wouldn't but they happily look after LO while I do a bit of cleaning or even uninterrupted cooking. It meant DP and I could relax a bit.

dycey Mon 18-Jul-11 13:19:35

Well I really felt like this and hated pils offering to take baby away from me... Or offering to pay people to do it. I felt incredibly defensive and honestly slightly threatened. Now my first is 2, I would be quite happy to have a break but I didn't feel like this about him as a baby... But let my parents!

Think it's ok to feel how you do. Babyhood is so precious and v short!

cat64 Mon 18-Jul-11 13:23:15

Message withdrawn

girlsrus Mon 18-Jul-11 13:28:39


I totally understand, when I had my first baby I was so excited waiting to meet her. When she came I could not let her out of my sight. If someone held her and walked into the other room I could not relax and had to go follow them. I did not feel like I had to go and meet other mums straight away and she was probably four months before I did meet other mums.

When I look back at those first few months I was in baby heaven. I absolutely loved every minute except for the very tired moments!!! When I probably would have benefited from an hours kip whilst someone took her for a walk but I would have been able to sleep with her not near me.

We are all different. I have three girls now and when they are under one I am just so protective as they are so fragile to me. I breastfed them all and I guess I held them more than anyone so I only felt relaxed with them near me. As soon as They were walking and more sturdy on their feet I am more at ease and my sister takes them out to the park etc. So I am not over the top now and my protectiveness (such a word?) of them when babies has not effected them in a negative way.

They are all very confident and out going and the kind of children who run ahead without needing my hand reassurance.

Some people may not understand you but as I said we're all different and its about what makes you happy. When you first have a baby your world is turned upside down with many emotions and even if you are riding along and happy with it all the tiredness is so overwhelming I can not explain. But you'll get use to it. You will not be a bad mum to allow the grandparents to take the baby out whilst you sleep. Maybe you could ask them to just hold the baby in the lounge while you nap and then when you awake you all go for a walk.

Dont feel pushed to do anything, but just remember they think they are helping you so you just need to explain to them how they can help.

Good luck and enjoy the many years of fun and laughter ahead.

RitaMorgan Mon 18-Jul-11 13:32:54

You might be quite happy for them to take the baby out for an hour or two while you have a nap - I got DP to do this whenever possible. You do need the chance to catch up on sleep with a newborn and I found it impossible to switch off if I could still hear the baby. Don't waste that time with housework.

pozzled Mon 18-Jul-11 13:40:15

It sounds as though they are just trying to be helpful. Wait and see how you feel and then make sure you and your DH are VERY clear about your wishes. If you don't want to leave the baby, ask them to help out with the washing up or whatever.

All new parents are different. With DD1 I felt a bit overwhelmed by it all and when she was only 3 days old I left her with the in-laws, literally only for about half an hour while she slept. DH and I went out for a quick walk and I felt much better for it. With DD2 I still haven't left her and she's almost 6 weeks. So just do what feels right.

BornSicky Mon 18-Jul-11 13:48:30

this drove me nuts when i'd just had my baby as well. all sorts of people offering to take my baby whilst i cooked dinner, cleaned etc.

all the time i was thinking, "you know what would be helpful is if youcould me dinner, washed up etc, rather than hold my baby.

be firm, ask nicely if you need help and be kind to yourself. above all, enjoy your baby.

pinkgirlythoughts Mon 18-Jul-11 13:53:19

You might well want to 'get on with things' i.e. cleaning, once baby has arrived. I never thought I'd actually enjoy cleaning the bathroom, but actually as soon as anyone agreed to take DS off me for a while, I'd be dashing off to find the bleach and cleaning cloths, because it was just so refreshing for me to be able to do something without a baby attached to me!

starkadder Mon 18-Jul-11 13:54:21

I didn't want anyone to take my DS when he was a baby either - I couldn't bear to not be in the same room as him. I tried once and it made me feel very panicky and unhappy. Sounds ridiculous and over the top but it was true.

But I think you can't tell how you'll feel in advance - so yeah, I'd say, don't reject offers of help but, when the time comes, do stand firm if you want to and if you want to, ask for help with cooking/cleaning etc instead, or go with them on the walk. No reason at all why you shouldn't!!

ShoutyHamster Mon 18-Jul-11 13:54:26

Good that your DH is on side. Make non-commital noises for now, but start thinking through strategies incase you find that they get pushy and try to hog the baby or undermine you unthinkingly (which has the potential to REALLY hack you off - you don't want an explosive feud to start at the four-month mark!)

You can hopefully tackle it as it comes. Get on with things? Oh no, we're fine - but yes I'm really busy with the baby right now so if you want to tackle the ironing that would be so lovely - that's really where I need the help smile Or, you'd like to come over Saturday? To help? Well that would be lovely - how about you and DH cook, and we can all eat together? Or, if needed: 'No, we don't get to see enough of you, I'd rather we all went out together with the baby.' If manipulation and sulks ensue - the big guns come out - your DH sits them down, warns them that you have a short maternity leave and don't want or need parting from your baby for any longer than is STRICTLY necessary, your JOB is looking after YOUR baby, not prioritising housework, and tells them they are hassling you BOTH.

Should all be fine. If you're planning to breastfeed by the way all this is FAR easier, as you can't really be separated at all. And there's always the strategic 'Oh we're soooo tired, we've been up a lot in the night, me and Baby are just going for a little lie down' <lock bedroom door behind yourself>


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