Advice: Planning the Mom/Grandma Visit for Childbirth

Hi guys,
I'm 16 weeks pregnant and it's sort of starting to hit me that this is all real! I'm thrilled but overwhelmed.
My mom has started to ask when/whether we'll want her to come stay with us around the due date. I love my mom and speak to her frequently, but we also tend to argue a lot. When she comes to visit, she often takes on a weirdly childlike role and my husband and I become her caretakers.
I know she can really come through in a crunch, and I think she could be v. helpful for the days before, during and after labor. Not least because she breastfed, and as a mom of two will know way more about newborns than myself or my husband--both first time parents.
On the other hand, I want to make sure my husband has the space to bond with the baby . . .
What were your arrangements with your parents for the time around your child's birth? Did that work well for your family? Anything you'd do differently in retrospect? Anything surprise you about how it worked out?
TIA!
2b/3a, fine, "naturally frizzy", non-porous, above shoulders, brunette
Low-poos--faves are Deva and JC, experimenting with CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo
Conditioners: faves are Devacare One-C, Jessicurl Too Shea
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Fave stylers: Aveda Flax Seed & Aloe over Aveda Phmollient mousse, KCCC over anything, Biolage Firm Hold Gelee (HG for spring/summer), CK


I have had 4 babies, and I have done both having-the-grandma-come-to-help and also done it on my own after having a new baby. I MUCH prefer doing it on my own. Unless you are super-close to the grandmother, it's really very intrusive to have someone in your house when you're trying to recover physically from birth, and also learn to breastfeed, and get your bearings as a new family. When you're sitting on the toilet trying to move your bowels for the first time in a week, and your baby is crying for the 4th straight hour, and you haven't slept more than a couple hours in a row and your mother/MIL is knocking on the bathroom door complaining about something or, worse, criticizing something you did, you might just contemplate murder.

If your mother is needy and "childlike", I really wouldn't recommend it.

Invite her to visit a week or two after the baby arrives.
I had my MIL with me for both baby births and it was wonderful. She did all the cooking and cleaning, let me take naps. I needed help physically after my first delivery. With my second one, I was fine physically, so I could devote some extra time to my older son.

But if your Mom is high-maintenance, I would not recommend having her around. You want someone who can help you take care of things.


My parents came a few days after my daughter was born, and it was great. However, my parents are NOT the needy type at all. I got spoiled rotten; they cooked, cleaned, did laundry, held the baby so I could nap. It was fantastic. I'm actually kinda sad that they won't be able to come out right away this time. My mom made an entire freezer full of easy to heat meals (lasagna, mac and cheese, etc.); I didn't have to make a thing from scratch for a month.

On the other hand, if it were my in-laws coming right after the birth, I'd have serious reservations. MIL is very sweet but worries about EVERYTHING; she hovers and doesn't understand that if I say I'm okay or don't want something, I really mean it. It drives me batty. FIL is very critical and gets on my dang nerves. They're coming a couple weeks after our son is born, and I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it then. My saving grace is that hubby's sis also lives in town, so they can go visit her and her kiddos when I need a break. Hubby can run interference...LOL
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I would not have wanted either my mother or MIL staying with me after I had my daughter. I wouldn't recommend it to you if your mother is high maintence.


My sons birth was a little different due to surgeries and the like, but my mom came to stay with us for a week about 5 days after he got home from the hospital (he as 7 weeks old). She also came when he came home from the second surgery and will probably ask her to come after his next, especially now that I have another one.

With my DD, I LOVED the arrangement we had. DH took the first week off, then my mom came down and helped for a week, then she took DS up to her house 3 hours away for some fun time with my parents and sister (he goes up 2 times every summer since schools has summers off and they do not get to see him often). By the time it was just me and the kids, the baby was 3 weeks old and I felt like I was in the swing of things.
For my first kiddo, both mom and MIL stayed with me a week each..by the end of the 2 weeks I was ready for nobody to be there. I will say that they were great in that my house was clean and plenty of food.

My second one...my mom stayed a week but wasn't that helpful or hindering. She cooked once and I think our bigger house overwhelmed her some. She's older grandma so I didn't complain. Hubby went to his mom's every night with my son for dinner. I had to scrounge for myself and my mom somewhat. MIL didn't really help with my house cleaning or anything the second time around...but I survived...and 2nd kiddo was much easier.

I would say if they aren't much help before...they won't be after.
My mother came out (she lives in a different state) about 12 days after the first child was born and a day after the second child. It worked out really well.

My mother doesn't really cook and clean, per se. But it was nice to have someone relieve me when my husband went back to work, so I could get a quick nap, talk on the phone, catch a movie, etc., w/o having to constantly worry about attending to the baby's every need. It was really great when I had baby #2, so my toddler had someone who was paying attention to her and didn't feel displaced by the little one.

When I wanted privacy, I just went into my bedroom and shut the door. My mother wasn't offended by that.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I'm lucky enough to have a fabulous relationship with my mother and that she lives close, so she was able to come over and help after my kids were born but then went back to her own house. I wouldn't have any overnight visitors unless it was someone with whom I was VERY close and comfortable.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
I'm lucky enough to have a fabulous relationship with my mother and that she lives close, so she was able to come over and help after my kids were born but then went back to her own house. I wouldn't have any overnight visitors unless it was someone with whom I was VERY close and comfortable.
Originally Posted by PixieCurl

definitally to the bolded. If I did not have a good relationship with my mom (we talk evey day for atleast an hour) I would not have had her over.

I also wanted to add, the day I went into labor my mom, dad and sister drove down. They stayed at the house with my son and brought him to see us while I was at the hospital. They left the night before I was released (FIL and MIL came over with DS until I got home the next morning)
My MIL came and stayed a few days when #2 was born. She helped play with and occupy our older son who was 1.5, and freed me up to be able to nurse and take care of the new baby. My husband had to work (he's a college instructor), but if he'd been home, we probably wouldn't have needed any family to stay and help.

MIL was very low-maintenance. When I made a suggestion like, "The weather's pretty nice outside, why don't you see if DS wants to play" she just went along with it and never fussed or acted needy. I love that about her. I love my own mom too, of course, but she couldn't stay with us because of her work schedule, and she's really too crazy sometimes and bugs the hell out of me.
I love my mom dearly, I mean, she's my mom. But she can be a chore. (check out the 'whats up with iroc, thread).

With my first, she came the 2nd week. Hubbs was home the first week, and she was here week 2. Worked out well.

With my second, I wanted her here more. When I was in labor I kept telling hubbs that I wanted her here. He called her, and she got on the first flight she could. She was here for week one, and hubbs was home week 2. That worked out okay as well.

I tried to never have them be here at the same time, together. I felt there would be too much fighting over baby time.

No matter which way, my mom felt annoyed that this man was here trying to take care of her granddaughter (oh, you mean her FATHER, mom?) - and my husband was trying to be dad to his new baby with my mom taking over.

My husband is a pretty passive guy, so he handled it well, though. Either way, it was sad to have mom leave, and have to take on the baby responsibility myself. I enjoyed having her here.
I really think it all depends on your mom's personality. I love my mom and we are pretty close but my mom can hover and is always offering unsolicited "advice" about how I should do things which can be a bit overwhelming especially after giving birth when your already physically drained and a bit overwhelmed with adjusting to a new baby already. Although she didn't stay over after my son was over, she did stop by for a few days during the first week and she kind of wanted to do everything when it came to taking care of the baby which is not what I really needed the help with.

I think if you do have your mom over, it should be discussed before hand what the expectations are. I think in the beginning it's great to have someone there to help with things like cooking, cleaning and running the household so it frees you up to take care and bond with your baby.
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"If you want the rainbow, you've gotta put up with the rain"
Haven't been through it, but have watched friends go through it. My grandparents (dad's) came for both my and my sister's births. My grandma had 7 kids and they helped EVERYONE after birth who would let them. She was phenomenal - cooking, cleaning, waiting on my mom, and driving me around when my sister was born. Her role at almost every grandchild's birth (18 of us) is legend in the family.
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Sounds like it may be better to wait on having her down, or figure out a way she can come and we can also have 'space,' i.e. if she can stay elsewhere at night.

Hmm, I think I actually had a nightmare about this last night. And I just found out my husband wants his parents here. Not exactly the down-to-earth types I'd feel OK about visiting with while I'm leaking fluids from various places . . .

But I guess I'm also concerned for my husband--if something goes wrong I want him to have company. Also, he's not good with blood. Not sure how useful he'll be during labor.

I like the idea of having clear expectations set out--with anyone who comes to visit us at that point.

And to everyone with exceptionally helpful mothers and grandmothers--you're lucky! I'm hoping that I can become the type of mom whose kids can rely on her; it takes a special person.
2b/3a, fine, "naturally frizzy", non-porous, above shoulders, brunette
Low-poos--faves are Deva and JC, experimenting with CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo
Conditioners: faves are Devacare One-C, Jessicurl Too Shea
Leave Ins: Conflicted relationship--no fave
Fave stylers: Aveda Flax Seed & Aloe over Aveda Phmollient mousse, KCCC over anything, Biolage Firm Hold Gelee (HG for spring/summer), CK


I had a high maintenance parent come after my daughter was born. BIG mistake. Like you said, everyone ended up having to take care of that person instead of helping me. If that is how your mom typically behaves, don't expect it to be any different with a new baby. It may even be worse. People like that have to be the center of attention and they don't like when a new mom/baby steals the spotlight.

Also, don't assume that your mom will be able to help with BFing. My MIL breastfed three kids and I couldn't believe the terrible advice and constant criticism I got from her. If I'd been dumb enough to listen, I would have lost my milk supply and my daughter would have had failure to thrive (and probably psychological issues too!). Advice about nursing and child-rearing in general was very different when we were born and you may find your mother's ideas are not in line with yours at all.

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