What is your guys definition of help? — The Bump
March 2016 Moms

What is your guys definition of help?

So I'm a young mom (20) and my mom will be a young grandma (38). My mom offered to help me by taking my baby a few days after delivery to her house so that I can rest a little bit. I told her no because I'm breast feeding and I'm not ready to let him go, me and my SO would like to bond with him as well. She is under the impression that on her days off she will have him she won't be and I let her know that when I'm ready to let him go I will let her know as well as if I need her I will let her know. She then replied with, " Well your gonna need rest and your going to need a break from him and get tired of him". When I was younger my mom would always say things like "I need a break from you guys", and would make me feel really bad because I didn't want to go yet she'd force me to go to the persons house. . Me and my mom have NEVER  had a relationship. So the only time we talk, is if she needs money, (hasn't in awhile) or it's about the baby. I wanted to set some boundaries and let her know how I was feeling and ended the text with, "I would never keep him from you, we love you and appreciate everything you have done" and she didn't respond. I think I made her upset, and that was not my intention. So, was I wrong for telling her no? She said "You hurt my feelings, by the way you act (not letting her have him overnights), but I'll get over it I guess". What is your definition of "help"? Should  let him go? T.I.A.

Re: What is your guys definition of help?

  • Lurking from April Board

    Your mom is just excited for a new baby. But I do think it's kinda weird she wants to take him so soon and overnight. Can't she come to you and help you at YOUR place? I would hate to leave my baby so soon and good point on the breastfeeding! Now how early on are we talking about? I would hate to move the baby around so soon. They are just as confused as we are and need to work in establishing a routine.

    My mom has offered to come stay with us and help. We barely have room for the extra baby stuff in our 1 bedroom apartment as it is (till we can get a 2 bed). I'm not one to depend on ppl and I like my privacy. My DH is the same. Since I'm going for c section I do realize some help may be needed but for now I keep telling her that she can hang around for the day we get home and go from there. She will have plenty of time with the baby once I go back to work and she babysits. We want to be able to enjoy our baby and bond as a family first. I have also already advised our family that they will be allowed to see baby at the hospital after we have some bonding time alone. 

    We will be first time parents and understand that things may not go as planned and my need extra help. It's just a matter of being open to it just in case. Talk to your husband and decide on YOUR plans. Then talk to you mom and explain. I make it known to my mom that I am grateful for her offer and that we'll play things by ear.
  • I personally think that's odd that she'd want to take him to her house over night... 

    My mom is coming to help (we live 6 hrs away) so she'll be staying with us... She knows I like my privacy and want to bond with my baby, but I also know that I can't expect my husband to know how to take care of me, the baby, the house, and the dog on his own. He knows he can't do it all and is very grateful my mom will be here to cook and clean and to support him with tips on what to do with baby. This will be especially important if things don't go as planned and I end up with a c-section...

    So I guess my definition of help would be someone who comes to your house to take care of things other than the baby whom you and your SO should be bonding with. If my husband knew anything about babies my mom wouldn't have to help him with the baby while I rest between feedings initially and she'd basically focus on the house stuff. 

    She would never dream of taking the baby away or even asking. And she's a very excited first time grandma who has had baby fever for literally the last 15 years....
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  • I say you were 100% justified in what you told her. I would never let anyone take my newborn for an extended period (or maybe at all) unless I was completely unable to care for my child. You're little one is going to need YOU and you are who they will want to be with. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this right before having a baby. I hope she comes around and is more supportive of what you want. 

    3 miscarriages - 1 DS (6) - 1 DD (3)  - #3 due March 30!

  • My definition of help would be anyone offering to: cook for us, clean for us, take any 1,2, or 3 of my kids for any amount of time or to any activitiy, come hold the baby while I shower/nap.

    Like others have said your mom is probably just excited and also probably wants to try and make up for some of the time she didn't spend with you.  I'm sorry she hurt your feelings by saying she needed a break from you when you were younger but the fact is that as a parent, you sometimes need a break from your kids ;)  I'm glad you mentioned that because I will be sure I never actually SAY that in front of my kids even if I'm feeling it at that moment.  Anyway- you are totally justitified in setting boundaries such as not wanting your newborn to go for sleepovers.  There will be many, many times in your childs life where you have to set boundaries with people (relatives, friends, friends parents, etc) so you might as well start practicing doing it in a tactful manner now.  Give your mom some time, I'm sure she'll come around by the time the baby gets here, and then let her know you'll let her know specifically what you need her to do in the first few weeks.  You will more than likely need some help from her.
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  • I agree that taking a newborn is unusual and I wouldn't want that for "help."  

    My parents are coming to visit us for a week, staying with us even, which will be a new experience.  By "helping," I hope they entertain my older kiddo.   Helping with dishes/laundry/cooking/cleaning... in any capacity would be amazing, even if it's a tiny bit.  Also, holding/watching the baby while I nap/shower.  I expect to be nursing on demand, every 2 hours at least based on my experience with my older kiddo.  
  • I think she's just excited, but this does not fit into my definition of help. As someone who is 37 (only a few months shy of 38) she's acting a bit childish. I think you did the right thing, and she will eventually come around. Stand your ground and do what you believe to be best for your baby. 
    BabyFruit Ticker

  • While I think her heart is in a good place, it always grinds my gears when I see/hear/whatever people offering to "help" in ways that may not be so helpful. As many of the PPers have mentioned above, my idea of help after a baby is born is someone helping me with the things that I may not be able to stay caught up on so I can continue to learn how to be a mom, bond with baby, get used to becoming a family of 3, etc.

    TO ME, that means helping with the not-so-glamorous or fun things, NOT taking baby off of my hands so I can do laundry, grocery shop, get some rest (because lord knows I would probably be worrying the entire time baby was gone if I were to say yes), etc. I don't EXPECT anyone to do these things, but if someone wants to hang around after I have a baby (ie my mom is coming to help), these are the things that I would hope they would do rather than expecting a plethora of baby time. 

    Me: 29  DH: 31
    Married 10/13/12
    TTC Since 8/2016

  • My definition is help is very similar to what others had said... cooking, taking care of the other kiddo and watching the baby when I take naps or jump into the shower. 

    I also think it's odd that your mom wants to take the baby overnight. It sounds like you guys live relatively close so maybe you can invite her to your house during the day to help watch the baby and around the house? You can bring the baby over to her house every once and awhile if she insists.  But I do get that sometimes you may want "a break" from the baby. It does happen to some moms (not all) and it definitely happened to me with DD, especially on the nights that she didn't sleep much and my nipples were hurting so badly from getting milk blisters. My mom didn't exactly say that to me when I was little but I know she had her days off where my dad took us out for dinner and she would go hang out with her friends or just stay home and rest. I can see how it can be hurtful to hear it from your own mom though... so thank you for that tip and I will make sure I do not say that to my kids. :smile:  
  • My mom is staying with us after baby (we live 3 hours from home) to help and said her helping will be cooking, cleaning, grocery runs, laundry, holding baby while I shower, Etc. 
    which is exactly my idea of help. Nothing that interferes with your bond with new baby and the fact that she knows that is important to me. I'd laugh at her if she suggested taking the baby for the first couple of nights, that just sounds absurd to me. We also have 3 dogs to take care of and my husband works all the time (ER physician so long hours and gone a lot) so she will be a big help! 
  • It sounds like your mom has a case of baby envy. The idea that she thinks that you would want someone to come over and take your newborn baby from you is crazy. I think you need to set some boundries and give her a quick "thanks but no thanks". 

    If she wants to help she should come over during the day and help you so you can get things done between feedings. 

  • I definitely needed my mom to take my newborn baby for a while so that I could sleep, because my first had severe, undiagnosed reflux and had her days and nights confused for a few weeks. So my mom did that, by coming to our house and taking care of the baby while I napped. She'd bring baby to me for feeds and then when I was done napping she'd bring me a snack and some water, hand my daughter over, and go do a load of laundry or the dishes or start dinner. It is absolutely absurd to me that anyone would offer to "help" by taking a newborn away from the new mama, except maybe into the other room for a few hours.
  •  :| wow. I'm older than your kid's grandmother. Ouch.

    Anyway, I think this is a wait and see sort of thing. I had a completely different reaction than I thought I would after I had my baby. My boundaries changed, things I thought I needed help with, I didn't want help with, and things I thought I'd manage on my own, I struggled with.

    Try not to agonise about it too much now. See how you feel when the time comes and then put your foot down accordingly.  And good luck. I also struggled dealing with my mum last time. I'm so much better prepared to deal with her this time around.
  • My definition of help is as everyone said above - some help with housework, a couple of hours with the baby while you nap or run errands, etc. "Helping" is not forcing you to give up your baby just for the sake of making someone else happy. Also, it is way too early to spend that long away from your baby if you are planning to nurse!
    It is definitely hard to predict how you will feel after giving birth but know that it is completely normal to NOT want to leave your baby either! It sounds like you were perfectly respectful of handling your mom's feelings. A lot of times emotions are running high for grandparents too though and when things don't go as they pictured they end up (irrationally) upset. At this point I would wait until after the baby is here and then just try to have a rational conversation when you see how she reacts. 
  • I love my mom but we havnt lived in the same country let alone house for over 10 years - I'm dreading her nagging post baby when she comes to stay for two weeks, if there's a sock left out she will be barking on about being tidier and it's starting to stress me out already, the argument that will happen if I mention anything or ask her to back off also stresses me out... I think anyone is justified in asking people to back off, only provide help like cooking or cleaning and respecting the boundaries of your home..if you need to sleep, let your mom tend your baby but in your own home so you can nurse when you need too. It is however extremely difficult if you don't have that open relationship where you can talk about things without one person feeling "attacked". I know I can't disagree with my mom without her telling me to drop the "attitude"... Being treated like a 16 yr old still at 30 really sucks ! I know parents are (generally) well meaning but they can be total PIA at times... Hey ho... We will be those annoying moms getting moaned about in the distant future :) 
  • Thanks for the advice guys. I got my godmom opinion as as well and she told me it's not crazy I don't want her to take baby do down and when my motherly instincts kick in telling me it's time I will do so. She doesn't want to come to my house unfortunately ): her idea of help is 'taking him so I can get rest' she actually got upset a bit when I told her we'd be picking the crib she got for us as well she assumed I'd be staying there and I told her no I wouldn't be. It's almost like she's trying to convince me I NEED to give him to her. 

  • I also have a difficult relationship with my mom, have assisted my parents financially, and deal with passive aggressive guilt from them. You are absolutely doing the right thing by setting boundaries and being very clear about what you and your little family need. Kudos to you for doing this at 20 -it took me well into my late 20s to not be so easily manipulated by my mom.

    Your mom is thinking of herself and what she wants and not what you need. Real help is working with you and your SO and helping in the ways you ask for.  Don't let her guilt trip you into doing something you're not comfortable with (or that doesn't make any sense given that you're breast feeding) for the sake of keeping the peace with her. Good luck!
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