Advise on handling family?

  • Hi, I'm 20 and about to be having my first baby. Everyone's super excited for our baby boy due in May (which is an awesome thing) but my fiance and I are having trouble deciding the best way to communicate to overwhelming family members about giving us our own time with the baby. For example: His fathers' GF plans to take a week off of work to stay home and help me with the baby. But knowing her, i fear she might be a little too controlling and won't give me the chance to take care of him on my own. I'm all for help, but i think she might push it a bit too much. Also, my fiance doesn't want our baby to call her grandma (or anything alike) since he doesn't care for her too much. We've wanted to say something from day one, but i don't want to sound ungrateful for everything her and his dad are doing for us. We have thought about asking his dad to talk to her for us, just so he can put it a better way, but i don't want to start problems between them two... Any advise? 

  • Part of the stress of being a parent is dealing with family expectations and limitations. Being that you are young, I imagine elders will all feel that they know more than you and therefore feel like you need them at all times. It is a delicate situation... I hate to suggest being dishonest, but a logical and plausible excuse is that the Doc recommends limited exposure to anyone but you and your fiance for the first week. That would at least buy you some to decide how you want it to go from there. Maybe that will cause your Dad's GF to step back and you to experience as a couple what you never will be able to again... being alone as a family when you want to be new parents. It is then up to your husband to have an honest discussion with his Dad. As parents you need to set the boundaries with family members, but do it as gently as possible. Congratulations and good luck!

  • Well congrats on your little boy. Also i was in a similar situation when my daughter was born. I lived with my mom, and though i know she loves us very much and only wants to help us; she can be a bit overwhelming. I sat down with her and told her that When my fiance and I decided to have a baby we took that very seriously. We take being parents very seriously and that when the baby comes home i didn't mind if she helped out, but made it very clear that I am the mom and I should be the one responsible for my daughters care. I told her that if i needed help or a brake to sleep then i would tell her. By no means did that mean that she couldn't spend time with her grand daughter if she wanted to. It just meant that i was responsible for deciding when it was time for her to eat and feeding her, changing her, bathing her, taking care of her cord, putting her to sleep, scheduling her first doctor appointment. And that doesn't mean that advice wasn't welcomed also. She showed me a really quick and easy way to calm my daughter down and get her to sleep. She wasn't hurt or offended by our discussion. She was actually proud that she raised a daughter that wanted and is strong enough to take on such an enormous challenge as a first time mom. She also has a very serious boyfriend (more like a husband, they're just not married) who my fiance despises and doesn't want our daughter to call him grandpa. so the compromise we made is she would call him pappy. Inevitable she will call him what she wants as she gets older. Also think about it this way. When your son gets old enough to realize that he calls your dad grandpa and his wife not grandma he may start to ask questions as to why.. what will you tell him when that time comes? 

  • The best thing to do is talk to them about it. It might be hard, but you guys are mom and dad and YOU are in charge of your baby. :) Extra help can be nice, but make sure they know the rules you want to keep in place. I have had some controversies with my mother about baby food that is fruit. She didn't like it that I waited so long to give him fruit, but it was my choice and it was better for him. After a while she finally let it go. Just be stern!

  • I think you have gotten some awesome advice already!  Our members sure rock-don't they?! :)  I want to echo what others have said about having good communication (hard I know) and setting clear limits (also hard).  My friend had a baby earlier this month and she set aside visiting hours for friends to come in and sent them out via e-mail.  I was a bit taken back by this at first and then i thought about the reality of how much better this worked for her and for those visiting.  

    My suggestion is to start setting limits now as it's going to be easier if you start now then wait until the baby is born.

    Keep us posted and do let us know if we can help!

    -Jess

  • Thanks everyone! We've decided to talk to his dad about it first and see where it goes from there. I'm sure it'll all turn out fine, just don't want to hurt anyones feelings.. It's hard when sometimes the people you never thought would've stepped up actually step up more than the others. I personally don't mind if the baby calls his dad's gf Mema, it's not grandma or nana, although it sounds funny. But it's his side of the family, so i'm leaving that choice up to him. 

  • Yes MissPammie, sometimes we have our on choice for our baby that the other can't understand why we want that to our child. If you want your child to grow the way you want then it's good for you to take care of your child your own or if you need extra help then tell them that that's the way you want to teach your child.