What are the parameters?

LandonsNonaOctober 29, 2005

Im a very new grandmother, 2 days! Im very proud and grateful that both my daughter and my beautiful, sweet grandson are healthy. I've raised my 3 children alone, and if I've never done anything else well, I am a good Mom. The mother-in-law thing is a bit tricky. I want to help, but not intrude. I wanted to go over and help out at night so they could sleep for a few nights. My daugher wanted that, I know..but as soon as they were in the room she nicely let me know that I should probably go home. I know what it is like to have a baby, nurse him and be so exhausted. Her husband doesnt. I know he wants to take care of them, and prove he is responsible and capable...etc. For which Im grateful...but how do I help without stepping on their toes?

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But out grandma. Sometimes the new parents just want to be parents themselves. It's a good thing for her husband to be the helper for a few days.
I trust you live close....and if so run over on Monday with a meatloaf and some baking potatoes ready to go into the oven. Call your daughter first so she knows to expect it and ask if there is anything else you could pick up on the way.
Sometimes too much help is worse than not enough.
Linda C....grandma of 7

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 9:55AM
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I'm a grandmother for 3 weeks, it's awesome, isn't it.

My daughter was glad to have the help, though I didn't do much. I stayed a coupld of nights, but it was obvious there was nothing to do at night, so I went home late in the evening, and came back the next morning with coffee (for me) and doughnuts, for both of us.

My XH was an intern when my first was born, my mother came and stayed for two weeks, since we lived 5 hours away, I cried when she left. My DD husband works 3 minutes away, and is home by 4:30, so my help wasn't as critical in the evenings. I fixed dinner, something they aren't used to, cleaned up, took out the trash, ran a load of laundry, and then we sat for a while till I went home. I think I was there as much for adult company and advice as for help.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 11:08AM
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Sorry, I submitted it before I was finished.

I think you can let them decide right now. There's not much to do at night, since you can't nurse the baby. Running errands , cooking, etc, are a big help, but if there's two of them, they probably want to "get on with it" on their own terms - they are so naive, aren't they! LOL

And after a few weeks, when she's so sleep deprived she can hardly stand it, that's when you can go back again!


    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 11:13AM
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You offered. You can let them know the offer of help stands -- that you are available *when they ask for help*.
That's worked so far for me. I'm certainly not an expert --our only son and DIL had their baby in March. He arrived as my DH and I were on an airplane, coming home, expecting him to arrive two weeks later.

Our DIL has a large extended family, all living nearby. We are about 30 minutes away by car (more like an hour at some times of the day). Her mom was able to be there for the baby's birth. I hadn't planned to be there unless asked. We came to *see* him, of course, as soon as we got home.
Is that the best thing in life, or what?

Our son is a paramedic, working extended hours three days a week. Our DIL is a teacher. Our son is the caretaker two weekdays; her mom has one day; their next door neighbor takes the other two weekdays. I'm "backup", and have been called in a few times -- fine with me. The "kids" and Baby come up to our home for part of one day about every other weekend. They call to invite themselves; our time is more flexible than theirs and this has worked well.

When the baby was born I suggested to our DIL's mom that we provide funds so the kids could have cleaning help for several months when the baby was new. She thought that was a great idea, and so did the kids (early 30's). Sometimes a stranger's help is easier to accept early on.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 5:05PM
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She might very well take you up on the offer when the next one comes along. Especially if there's not many years between them.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 5:57PM
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Thank you all for the notes. I'm being good. I let her do the calling, she knows Im available whenever. I guess we will all get it figured out.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 6:30PM
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It's been a couple weeks now, how about offering to babysit for a couple of hours so they can go out to a movie or go christmas shopping? Gives you some alone time, gives them some alone time. OR ask Mommy if you can come over and babysit so she can take a nice HOT SOAKING bath and nap, and not have to worry about baby for a few hours. Gramma will take care. Not stepping on toes, just offering. She may jump at the chance right now! (then if she says yes, bring her some candles, bath oil, and a book or something so she can relax)


    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 11:18AM
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I second the idea of offering to watch the baby for a few hours so she can do some shopping, lunch with friends or see a movie with hubby. Let her know that you are there for her, that it would be a pleasure for you to spend time with the baby, and she can have some free time to do whatever, with out judgement. (That part was real tough for my mom to get past -- she wanted to approve my activities, who and where I went even after I had two children!) The unconditional part is important!

Of course, stopping in with a treat to share between the two of you could help her with some adult time, and make the MIL thing easier.

Good luck and best wishes!


    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 1:30PM
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