Posts Tagged ‘help’

Managing Visitors After Baby

Monday, August 8th, 2016

DSCN2516I learned after having my first daughter that people will offer to help and to “help” once you and your newborn arrive home.  Those who offer to help will show up with food and ready to do a chore or two while visiting.  Those who offer to “help” will show up ready to hold the baby so you can catch up on chores.  The following tips I learned while dealing with both helpers and “helpers” after the births of my daughters.

  1. Get on the same page as your husband or partner.  He will be your biggest ally in enforcing the boundaries you and he come up with.
  2. Set an amount of time for no overnight visitors (or even visitors period) once you arrive home.  I am a crying, milk leaking mess for the first week or so once we return from the hospital.  I prefer my privacy during this time.  Both my mom and mother in law offered to stay with us as soon as we got home.  I told them no for this very reason.  Decide how long you want your privacy without overnight guests and let family and friends know well in advance of the birth.  Enlist the help of your husband or partner to enforce this boundary.  Don’t let anyone make you feel pressured or guilty about this boundary.
  3. Create a to-do list in advance of chores that people can help with.  I am not comfortable with anyone doing our laundry or cleaning our bathrooms.  However, if you do a load of dishes, swifter my floor, or make a pot of coffee, I will love you forever!  Create a list of chores that need to be done that you are not too picky about and are comfortable with others doing so you’re prepared for when visitors ask what they can do to help.  Don’t be afraid to ask a “helper” to do a chore or two from the list if they fail to offer before they hold the baby, as well.
  4. Set ground rules for visitors before they come over.  Do you want visitors to have certain vaccines, wash and sanitize their hands, not bring their children, or stay a limited amount of time? Inform people of your rules before the birth in such a way that there is no conversation or negotiations.  Have your husband or partner help enforce these rules when the visitors come over.  The baby is your newborn.  You get to decide what is best for your baby and family, no matter what others think or feel.
  5. Set aside private areas of your home.  My upstairs, purple bathroom was mine and mine only for the weeks after both of my births.  I didn’t want to have to worry about having it company clean when I was bleeding (a lot).  My bedroom was also my sanctuary to take the baby when I needed a few quiet moments, to cry, or to work on breastfeeding without an audience.  Again, have your husband or partner help enforce that these areas are private.

Do not be afraid to set strict boundaries and speak up about them.  This is your recovery and bonding time.  You are in charge of this precious time.  You want to be able to look back fondly on it, not have memories of people hogging your baby, disrespecting your wishes, and otherwise stomping on your postpartum time.

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom from Denver, CO to two girls, 3 years and 11 months old, who enjoys cooking, running, and hiking.

Relying on Grandma

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

IMG_1449-2When you become a mom, life changes. It changes in an amazing way for the better, but with mommyhood also comes more responsibility. If you are fortunate enough to have your mom still around, you can bet you will count on her for some help.

My mom lives 6 hours away. However, when we are home visiting, I need her help. However, how do you know if you are using grandma too much?

My personality type is the kind where I do not like to ask for help. It is hard for me to trust anyone with my babies, but I do trust my mom. There is just something special about the relationship grandmas have with their grandchildren.

When asking grandma for help, remember these things:

Grandmas love to help!

My mom always gets upset with me when I act like we are burden. She loves to help and to her, spending a couple hours alone with her grandbabies is the best thing on earth. She loves it when I ask her to change a diaper, get a sippy cup, or read a bedtime story. My mom wants to be as involved as I will let her. Grandmas just love to help.

Use her when you really need her.

I do think you can over ask your mom for help, however. As a stay-at-home mom, I want to truly ask for help when I need it. This can be especially true of grandmas who babysit for working moms. I know sometimes we can take advantage of our moms, not on purpose. I tend to ask my mom to watch my little ones when I know she has had some time to herself that day, since she only can watch them on her days off. Don’t expect your mom to do it all. If she still works, she will be tired at the end of the day and maybe not up for babysitting. It’s okay for her to say no. Don’t take it personally.

Be appreciative!

When my mom babysits, I always try to be appreciative. For example, if we go somewhere like Target and she’s babysitting, I bring her back a green-tea latte. She appreciates the thought and gesture. This last Christmas she babysat my children a lot so that I could catch up with my local friends and family. I surprised her by sending her a pair of new winter boots in the mail that she really wanted. It doesn’t have to be big. You could send your mom a thank you note or have your little ones take a video for her. Just show appreciation. It goes a long way.

So how do you use your mom to help you out, mommas? I hope I get the chance to be a grandma and spoil my grandbabies. I know I will do anything to help out my sweet daughter if she needs me.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where she lives, writes, and loves her mom.