Pregnancy Questions Answered; Do I need Extended Family Help?

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Your Newborn and Family Questions answered here at #tobepregnant.net.

My partner and I are fairly private people and preparing well for our newborn coming, yet everyone we talk to keep telling us about how much help we are going to need!  It’s frustrating, like people think we haven’t prepared properly for the baby.

Do we really need help with a newborn?  What help do other people bring?  I am the only one that can breaastfeed, so I’m certain they will just get in the way. I don’t want others in our personal space.  What do you recommend?

I have heard this question a thousand times. New families see this idea of ‘needing help’ as a reflection on their failire to prepare for the baby. Let us first say – This is in no way the case. Before we had kids I wanted to lock down the house.  I wanted it to just be me, my husband and

For one, there is no way to prepare for a new baby. So in many ways your friends and family are right, you aren’t prepared and you never will be, and no one ever is.

Before we had kids, I wanted to lock down the house after the baby was born. I imagined my partner and I have a magical special time together. I wanted it to just be me, my husband and baby and for the whole rest of the world to fuck off.  I couldn’t imagine having another person in the house just shuffling about doing odd jobs. I thought it would just piss me off. I couldn’t stand the idea of my parents coming and going. I didn’t even want visitors, let alone help from people.

But imagine this… You have not slept for 36 hours. You and your partner are completly ruined. You have never been more in love but you also have not eaten since yesterday night when you had a bowl of muesli to share.

Things people cannot imagine about having childrenn that happen all the time.

  • Forgetting to eat – This is a huge worry for new mothers, breastfeeding mothers particularly. Forgetting to eat is a real issue, when you are so completely consumed with feeding and caring for your child.
  • Not being able to go to the toilet – If your child cries when they are put down (this is not normal and you should be investigating reflux, gas, illness or tongue tie PS… but until you have answers ) then you will need someone on hand to hold the baby while you go to the toilet. And I don’t mean a quick pee – I mean a long 30 minute post pregnancy poo that is going to take time, space patience and a lot of love from everyone in the family to get it out.
  • Running out of Nappies, Formula, Maternity Pads, and wipes – You would be amazing at how quickly you will go through maternity pads and how quickly your baby will use a box of nappies.
  • Putting on two loads of washing a day – Every day – Every single day.

Here is the tricky thing about help. To put it simply – You will need help. You will need help of some kind. So spend time now figuring out what kind of help you want and organizing how to get it. Plan for the worst. Talking about how you

You need to train people to do it right. To put it simply – You will need help. You will need help of some kind. So spend time now figuring out what kind of help you want and organizing how to get it. Plan for the worst. Talking about how you

Many people have no idea how to help new parents. They don’t ask any questions, they never get any feedback from their help and they don’t spend that much time with babies anyway. You are in charge of your new born experience and everyone around you will take their ques from you.

So train them, deligate jobs, be clear about what you need from your friends and family. Most people are glad to be told how to be helpful. People generally don’t want to be really annoying and unhelpful – So show them the way.

We informed our family and friends that they would need to earn a cuddle from our newborn. They did not have to help us, but they would not get a cuddle or to meet the baby until they did.

Things people can actually do for you? Also known as  – How to get a cuddle. 

  1. The washing.  Dishes and clothes. One load of dishes or washing got them a cuddle
  2. Wiping the benches in your kitchen and making the tea. This got you one cuddle.
  3. The guest should be the one offering to make tea, making the tea and then cleaning up afterwards.
  4. Being the host to other guests. Many times we had people coming at the same time. When one of my friends acted like the host to others (showing them where the toilet is, telling them how to earn a cuddle) they earned a cuddle themselves.
  5. Waking up in the night to keep you company if you are alone.
  6. Bringing fresh fruit or cooked vegetables – One cuddle.
  7. Being the third hand. Passing you things, holding the baby while you shower and passing you clean nappies and baby clothes. This got you one cuddle.

Doing more than one thing on the list earn my friends and family the right to have their photo taken with the baby and posting it on social media if they wanted to.

To put it simply – You will need help. You will need help of some kind. So spend time now figuring out what kind of help you want and organizing how to get it. Plan for the worst. Talking about how you wont need help after you have a baby only makes you sound dumb and naive.

You certainly can do it on your own.  you will survive it – But if there is help on offer, take it.  Your memories of that time will be all the more sweeter for it.

If you have a parenting or pregnancy question, simply add it to the comments below and we will get to it shortly.

Cheers, and goodluck.

 

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