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Grandma's involvement -advice please

(20 Posts)
NewMum17 Fri 27-Jan-17 09:03:55

Mother-in-law is super excited for her first grandchild and eager to help. She isn't working at the moment so is ready to be all hands on. The other day she asked if we have a bed in our spare room so she can stay over to help after baby is born.

I am really thankful to have this level of help, especially being a FTM. But I'm worried it's going to cause issues (over things like upbringing, as we are different cultures) and I don't want to ruin our positive relationship.

I should also mention that I'm the type of person who will find it really irritating if someone is too much in my personal space. Hence why I am thinking in advance about disagreements and the affect on our relationship.

Has anyone else experienced in laws staying over? What was it like?
Could you give me advice on what she could do to help so she isn't breathing down my neck?


AyeAmarok Fri 27-Jan-17 09:08:54

I'd tell her you are very grateful for the offer of help, and you're sure you'll take her up on it at some stage. However, certainly at first you'd like to spend some time just the 2/3 of you so you get to know the baby and get used to managing on your own (because you'll need to).

NewMum17 Fri 27-Jan-17 09:21:38

Yea, thanks. Just not sure how to yet. Don't want to upset DH but was thinking of saying I'd like to try it out myself first and will call you if I need you. Forgot to mention she only lives 20-30 mins away so will be able to come and go quite easily.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Fri 27-Jan-17 09:26:39

Take control of the situation from the outset. Say something like 'you live so close that if we needed you urgently you could come really quickly. Tell you what would be useful, can we agree that you'll come over every Wednesday for the first 2 months and do our laundry?'

Christmasbaby16 Fri 27-Jan-17 10:38:35

Avoid her staying at all costs - would be a nightmare confused

toomuchtimereadingthreads2016 Fri 27-Jan-17 10:38:44

My MIL wants to come and help with my second baby for a few months... My initial reaction was no way, even though she is sweet and meek and helpful and in no way domineering... I'm the same with you about personal space and already nearly lost my mind having my SIL overstay for 4months last year (yes they are from a different culture where its normal to set up camp in someone elses house for long periods of time).
Then on reflection I have said can she come when I go back to work instead (when baby is 5 months old and DD-3 is starting school) so they can both do half days. Am hoping this will work for us. Also she is the kind who will cook and clean etc so I can be with baby rather than "giving my a break by holding and cuddling the baby" which is what my brothers wives do to "help" so I can catch up on stuff around the house... No thanks.
Hope it works out for both of us!

PotteringAlong Fri 27-Jan-17 10:40:16

If she only lives 20 minutes away she had no need to stop overnight!

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Fri 27-Jan-17 10:41:00

can we agree that you'll come over every Wednesday for the first 2 months and do our laundry?'

Do not ask this, for God's sake! She's the child's grandmother not a skivvy!

MissMrsMsXX Fri 27-Jan-17 10:44:32

I would say you want to play it be ear. You've no idea what sort of birth you'll have and so you will decline for now.

And what do you mean you don't want to upset DH?

It's your house and your MIL, you will have just had a baby and be exhausted. At this point I'd be quite worried how much this woman plans to spend at your house.....

Are you culturally white british?

Astro55 Fri 27-Jan-17 10:48:01

Play it by ear - seriously you need to set the boundaries you want -

Make me laugh that DH doesn't want to upset his DM when it will be you dealing wither assuming he's st work in the day

GreedyDuck Fri 27-Jan-17 11:20:58

First thing we did when we had our first baby was get a bed for the spare room, really handy for when one of you needs a decent nights sleep. The fact that it meant my mum could stay over and babysit sometimes was an added bonus.

Astro55 Fri 27-Jan-17 11:23:30


The issue isn't weather to get a bed or not - but rather the MiL moving in to 'help' when the OP clearly doesn't want to

Oysterbabe Fri 27-Jan-17 11:48:49

I can't think of anything worse.
Agree with pp, thank her for the offer and let her know you'll let her know if you need her.

NewMum17 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:39:53

Thanks everyone. You're right I shouldn't be worried about upsetting DH as yes, he will be at work during the day. Although I am obviously going to be finding my feet being a FTM, I feel I would like to have a go first. So I will def speak to her and hopefully she will understand.

MissMrsMs I'm Caucasian but basically grew up here. My DH's family is Asian and love to be very much involved as part of their culture.

Toomuchtimereading I am hoping the same thing for us both. That they help in other ways than relieving us from baby. Good luck to you too!

I'll try and keep you posted with the outcome in the next few days.

nuttyknitter Fri 27-Jan-17 16:46:18

I stayed with my DD and her DH after his paternity leave finished. I tried to do as many practical things as I could (cooking, cleaning etc) so they could concentrate on the baby. I found texting was a godsend - if the baby was very unsettled at night I would text to the next room to ask if they needed a break. If you do decide you need help you could suggest a similar plan.

NewMum17 Fri 27-Jan-17 20:22:22

Thanks nuttyknitter. Texting is a great idea. Unfortunately for me she won't be able to do that as she can't write in English. I'll figure something out.

DirtyDancing Fri 27-Jan-17 23:40:26

Definitely put some boundaries down now, but leave the door open. Seriously, 6 weeks in, when you are so exhausted you fall asleep standing up (I know from experience!) you may beg her to come for a night and help you!!

NewMum17 Sat 28-Jan-17 07:33:17

So our thoughts are to let her stay after DH finishes paternity leave. If after a few days it becomes too much then I will just call on her help as and when I need it. Maybe I will enjoy it and want her to stay longer...

At first, I just didn't see the purpose of her spending the night if I am able to breastfeed because that's something I need to do myself. Also my DH will be home during nights even when returning to work, so he can potentially help (although I know it's not fair to disturb his sleep when he returns to work). But I guess the advantage is that she will be at hand whenever needed and by sleeping here will be there longer hours: as soon as we wake up, right until we go to bed. If that's an advantage? I shall soon find outsmile

Hopefully, after those first 2 weeks with DH and a few days with her staying over I will get into a routine of how to be a mum at night. Will have to just play it by ear and see how I feel to know how much help I need.

ToastieRoastie Sat 28-Jan-17 07:39:51

That's a good idea to play by ear. Don't close the door on her staying over and helping now - you don't know how you'll feel at the time.

If she is generally nice and helpful, I'd say that you really want to concentrate on getting to know the baby and working out what you're doing. You'd like it if she could pop over in the day to help out.

Lapinlapin Sat 28-Jan-17 07:45:13

I wouldn't make too many decisions now. Wait and see how it goes.

Yes, in answer to your question, if you're breastfeeding, you'll have to do most of the night duty. BUT, I found with mine that they were often just a bit unsettled and awake at night, especially when they were tiny. So if she was willing to take the baby from you straight after a feed for example, she could do the winding, cuddling, soothing and you could go straight back to sleep for a couple of hours. When you're on your knees with tiredness, some middle of the night help is a godsend!

But it all depends on your baby, you, your mil and your relationship.

I have a three year old who still wakes once a night, and woke every two hours every night for well over a year as a baby.

My friend's baby slept through the night from about 3 weeks!

Also, are you planning to go back to work after mat leave? If so, maybe your mil would be happy to do say a day a week childcare then?

Again, wait and see and don't decide yet. If she's really excited, maybe she just wants some reassurance that you'll let her be involved.

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