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First baby and v small support network

(26 Posts)
Matilda17 Sun 08-Feb-15 10:11:12

Hi,
I'm only 8 weeks with my first, but that hasn't stopped me worrying about all the 'what ifs' when baby is here. I don't have parents to support me, my partner has his father but he's unwell so not sure he can support us really. It's more the other way around. I understand I'm lucky to have a partner as some don't but I just wanted to hear from people who have managed to do this parent thing with little to no support. I have friends and some family but I don't know how much they can/would want to help. I'm talking mainly practical help here, as well as emotional. I'm just a bit scared to be honest.

StrawberryCheese Sun 08-Feb-15 10:19:38

Watching with interest. I'm in a similar boat to you matilda but I'm only 7 weeks. Closest family is 6 hours drive away and I will be the first of my few friends (who are local to me) to have a baby. I'm worried I'm going to be very lonely, despite DH being amazing.

eurochick Sun 08-Feb-15 10:35:04

I'd say I am in a similar position and it didn't occur to me to be concerned about it. My parents are an hour away and love visiting a couple of times a month and are great with her but haven't helped with the baby as such. My husband's parents are in Ireland and have visited twice each (they are not together) so far. I an only and my husband's brother and his family have visited once. I'm fine with that. I'd hate it if they were on top of us all the time!

She's six and a half months now and I don't feel we are missing support.

greenlizard Sun 08-Feb-15 10:44:17

I understand your worry. I am due my first in March and have recently moved to a new area to be with my DP so all my friends/family are quite a way from here. I also work out of area so most of my friends from work live some distance away. Most of DPs friends are linked to his previous marriage and have older children. I decided that I would just have to make a new social circle so we joined the local NCT classes, ante natal yoga and have met some people there and when I start my MAT leave I will be going along to all the bumps 'n' babies coffee mornings etc to meet people in the same situation.

You have loads of time to build a network for when your baby comes - you will be fine smile

Congratulations flowers

Nolim Sun 08-Feb-15 10:50:49

Our extended families are not even in the same time zone.

For matermity leave i suggest you go to playgroups etc in order to meet other mums, it is important not to be isolated. Also reach out to your hv when necessary, they are there to advice.

Have you figured out long term areangements such as childare return to work etc? Your oh and you should be ob the same page so that you can make appropriate plans.

Oh and congrats ! cakeflowers

Matilda17 Sun 08-Feb-15 10:57:22

Thanks for the replies already! One of the things I'm worried about is appointments, for example if I needed to go to the dentist, I take it that they're ok with me taking baby in? I also feel a bit jealous of friends who have childcare on tap in the shape of their mums. Also, I've suffered with anxiety and depression in the past so I know I need to keep myself well and I'm not sure how easy that will be when baby comes and it's all about looking after someone else. Still, I knew all this, and maybe I'm just catastrophising a bit. I'm looking forward to meeting fellow pregnant ladies when it's time to do ante natal classes. Thanks for the words of wisdom x

Dangermouse1 Sun 08-Feb-15 11:09:26

Hi Matilda, for appointments I took ds to all my dr, dentist, physio, hospital appts - and still do - and never had any problems. It helps to feed them just beforehand, or go at a nap time and they often sleep through the whole thing when little. And yes to going to all the groups you can, be friendly and invite people for coffee. Ask your hv about local resources. Try antenatal groups as suggested above. And don't forget to keep in touch with your old friends even if it's just by text for the first few months or going round for a cup of tea. And if you can afford it get a cleaner! (sadly we couldn't). One thing I wish I had done and didn't is find a professional babysitter early on and used them every few months so I had someone on hand incase something cropped up.

Nolim Sun 08-Feb-15 11:12:29

Yes you can take your baby to your dentist apointments. In fact it is expected that you will do it for his first check up. That first check up takes 30 seconds while the dentist counts tooth. You can also take him for your gp appointments etc.

I agree it would be great to have gandparents as regular or back up childcare. But it is doable. My advise is to start lookimg for childcare early on. Or if you become a sahm then have a very open discussion with your oh regarding money chores expectations etc.

And be aware that the first months ade hard so please talk to your midwife/gp about your history so they can address your mental help sooner rather than later.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Sun 08-Feb-15 11:15:48

We didn't have any support at all. DH's parents and sibling live abroad and showed very little interest. My parents are 3 hours away and both work full time so we were limited to visits about a weekend every 2 months. We also moved from abroad when I was 24 weeks pregnant so had no friends in the area at all. DH is amazing but was out of the house 12 hours a day with work/commute so couldn't be much practical help.

It was hard and I have to admit I felt sorry for myself a lot smile. My lifeline was doing NCT. My instructor was amazing and always on hand to answer questions after birth and the friends I made there have been completely invaluable. I'm panicking again now as I'm expecting DC2 and most of my NCT friends have gone back to work full time so planning to get out and about to hopefully make some more friends in the area.

4hayters Sun 08-Feb-15 11:15:54

I moved 200 miles away from my friends and family when I was 8 months pregnant. We now live about 10 min walk away from partners parents although they don't do anything. (I mean at all. They sometimes call me but generally so I can get them something from the shop) I knew nobody when we moved, but through toddler groups have met an amazing network of friends. A lot of people will be in your position and i've found that people will try and help you. You are always allowed to take your baby with you for appointments. But as someone else suggested, speak to your health visitor, as they can normally put you in touch with others, or groups you can attend. Mine was brilliant, a real life saver. Good luck and just take each day as it comes xx

GotToBeInItToWinIt Sun 08-Feb-15 11:17:09

I also took baby to all appointments. I had to have weekly physio for the first 8 months of her life as I damaged my back quite badly during labour and she came with me every time. Everyone is generally very tolerant of small babies smile

Matilda17 Sun 08-Feb-15 11:23:49

Thanks all, I feel much better. I didn't even know about NCT so I'll have a look into it. Once I'm past 12 weeks and can relax a bit, I'll think properly about childcare and babysitters. I want to go back to work (well, not want to but I think I'd have to) part time. I'm also going to make sure all the health workers know about my MH problems. Also, in terms of Mat leave, what's the longest you can take? Can you take up to a year? Thanks again everyone smile feel much more positive.

Scotinoz Sun 08-Feb-15 11:55:20

You'll be fine, really, you just sort of muddle through smile

Husband and I are in Australia, all our family are in the UK. We have a toddler and one on the way.

Make friends through Mothers Groups, play groups, antenatal classes etc. Actively invite people out for coffee and cake - it's always a winner.

Once the baby arrives, use your friends like you would family. Babysit for each other and also find a good sitter you pay.

You can take babies to appointments, but also find places that do evening, lunchtime and weekend appointments so your husband can have the baby. Also, it's okay for fellas to take an hour or so sick leave/holiday of a morning so you can go to the dentist.

Honestly, you do just figure it out and while it must be lovely to have people close by, it's totally okay if you don't.

CaroleService Sun 08-Feb-15 12:02:52

People love to cuddle small babies. Don't worry about appointments.

Dangermouse1 Sun 08-Feb-15 14:37:03

UK mat leave is up to a year but last 3 months is unpaid and pay for the rest varies by employer so worth looking into. Working part time is a good balance I find although pros and cons as with anything. You'll need to check out if your employer will support this though as again can really vary. You may also be able to ask for flexible or condensed hours depending what you do which can help with childcare (and also get you DP to do the same if poss as much easier if you can share pick ups and drop offs). But you have loads of time to sort all this out so don't get stressed, get used to being pregnant first!

Dangermouse1 Sun 08-Feb-15 14:38:09

Should have said last 3 months generally unpaid, some employers might but not very many in my experience.

SaBearOz Sun 08-Feb-15 16:24:30

My family lived in the other side of the world as do my husbands. TBH we just accepted that we would be doing this by ourselves- you do become independent very quickly we it's nice to be able to decide stuff for yourself but it was only actually after DC2 came along and DC1 was hospitalised for a very serious potential lethal problem that I wished we had more support beyond our friends. Now expecting DC3 and heading back 'home' this week but I also know that my parents and inlaws won't be like others and be able to babysit etc on a regular basis so perhaps it's more about managing expectations whether they are available or not.

Annbag Sun 08-Feb-15 16:36:35

I moved to a new area when my baby was very small and didn't know anyone. Couldn't afford NCT classes either. Family are supportive but far away. This was all made rather more difficult by the fact that my baby was premature and we had nothing ready, and hadn't left work or done any of the maternity leave catching up with friends type things.

Anyway...you'll be fine. It is hard but people love a small baby! You'll meet people at baby activities / classes and even walking around the local shops as people will strike up a conversation if you've got a baby. My tip would be try and get out as much as possible. It hasn't got to be an expensive class, there's loads of free stuff and most days we do a walk at least, it really helps with my mood even in the winter!

htf2 Mon 09-Feb-15 18:44:12

We are similar, moved to London from Australia last year (due in June). At home most of our friends have babies not to mention all our families are there- here we have no friends with babies as it's not who you meet. I am going to go to local antenatal classes and just see how it goes! I hadn't thought of things like dentists appointments at all!
I think it is a bit different as I do have emotional support via email /chat etc, and both our parents and my sister will visit for a couple of weeks this year which will be nice. I really don't know if I will love the alone time / not feel like I have enough alone time / feel very isolated! But I always think people do this all the time...

Heels99 Mon 09-Feb-15 18:46:12

Had no family locally.
You just manage! You will make friends at ante natal or post natal groups and they keep you sane!
Work as a team with partner
Meet up regularly with existing friends
Hire cleaner
Go to baby groups

Heels99 Mon 09-Feb-15 18:47:22

Yes take baby to dentist or other appointments or when your partner goes arrange your appointment for same time.

Heels99 Mon 09-Feb-15 18:48:00

If you have mental health issues you may be able to get help from sure start. Ask midwife or health visitor

Rebecca1608 Mon 09-Feb-15 20:03:25

I had very little support as I wasn't trying for a child with my OH. We'd been together for less than a year and my father had a stroke last year which meant obviously he was my mums priority. I also wasn't living with OH, then found out I was having twins. Was told by my family, boyfriends family and even boyfriend I should "keep my options open" due to the cost, stress etc. I told everyone it was against what I believed in and was keeping my babies even if I was going it alone. Now, everyone has come round and OH has been great especially And I've great friends. Try not to worry, you'll get support smile

martinsgirl Mon 09-Feb-15 21:58:47

Aah I know how you are feeling! My parents are both dead and hubby's parents live 500miles away. None of my friends have kids yet either. But hopefully will go make some mummy friends!

Guyropes Mon 09-Feb-15 22:56:34

Try not to feel jealous of others who have grandparents on tap: sometimes this can have a negative impact too.
A) granny 'takes over' and creates dependence situation where mum doesn't feel she can cope by herself.
B) grandparents expect to have input into how you organise your family life, creating conflict between you and your partner
C) grandparents have out of date ideas about childrearing and your relationship becomes more conflicted.

These scenarios are a bit negative, but I've seen them all, I think they are quite common.

Having said that, my dads friend told me when I had my first child 'it takes a whole village to raise a child' ie: you need plenty of different people to have input on different levels.

So yes, toddler groups, music and movement all the way... Make friend with kids and you'll have people to share the ups and downs with.

Good luck!

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