Am I Being Unrealistic for Wanting My Parents Around After Delivery of Child?

Updated on July 03, 2018
L.E. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
18 answers

My husband and I shared our pregnancy news with my parents several months ago. A few days ago, they informed me they will be taking a two week long trip out of the country 2 days after my due date. With my first child, my mother was there to help me immediately after baby was born (which was so helpful and I'm forever grateful). However, with this child it seems they will be gone for several weeks after the baby arrives. I feel let down that they chose to leave town right near my due date and I'm further hurt that they made their plans knowing when the due date was. Am I being unreasonable for feeling upset with them?

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answers from New York on

I do think it is somewhat crazy to just expect your parents to drop everything to help you after giving birth. I guess I don't understand the whole "I had a baby, I need help" thing. With my kids, my mom was still working full time (and many mom's of new mom's are) and couldn't take time off from her job to stay with me, nor would I have ever expected her to. When my daughter had her baby, I not only worked full time, BUT still had special needs young ones at home. I will say that even if I could have stayed, she wouldn't have wanted me to - her and her husband were completely capable of caring for a newborn between the two of them.

Have your husband take paternity leave and stay home with you for the first week and let your parents come when they are ready.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia.

Yes. You are being unreasonable.

You can handle your baby yourself. You're a grown W.. Yes, it was nice the first time, now it's not their responsibility - nor was it the first time either.

IF you feel that needy? Hire a nanny. Otherwise. You've got this. YOU CAN DO THIS - just like MILLIONS of other women have throughout history.

Your parents are NO LONGER responsible for you. They believe YOU CAN DO THIS - that's why they scheduled the trip.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Are they aware you wanted them with you? Did you ask them? Are they aware you are upset because of this? It's up to you to communicate... they can't read your mind.

You're entitled to your feelings. What exactly were your expectations?? Did you expect them to drop all of their plans and come take care of you?

I realize I may be odd ball out here but I didn't want my mom or anyone at my house taking care of or catering to me. I wanted my time with my husband and baby to adjust to being a family and our new routines.

My mom came when daughter was 7 months old which was perfect for me because I was settled in my routine and ready for guests. She's always lived a plane ticket away.

I don't think grandparents should be or feel obligated to come at the birth of a new child. Of course they are happy but they have already raised a family and maybe they are enjoying retirement which they earned.

Instead of being insulted and hurt, feel glad that they view you as very capable of adjusting to your new baby without the need for extra attention.

Congratulations on your new baby!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i get wanting some help and support after a baby is born. i was lucky in that regard.

but did you make it clear to your parents that you wanted it this time around? it may well be that they are reading you wrong, and figure they're being considerate by giving you space after crowding you with the last baby.

it's easy to assume that our loved ones know what's on our minds, but unless we've spoken plainly it's often a false assumption.

it's also possible that their trip is important for business or dream-come-true reasons and they didn't know it was really a big deal for you to have them near.

clear communications are the key.

i hope you can get someone else to give you a hand when the baby comes so that you can be happy for your folks taking a trip AND enjoy your sweet time with your new little one.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

When my Mom had me (this was in 1961 right around Christmas), her dad and brother turned up to visit.
Mom and me both almost died in the hospital - and family wanted to be waited on hand and foot.
On top of that, her dad had his first heart attack a few days later.
My Mom was SO incredibly miserable - she just took me and locked herself in her room after awhile and let the world bloody well take care of itself.
It was really an awful birthing experience - and she never wanted me or anyone to have to go through what she did.

So when we announced that we were expecting she let me know it would be a few months before she would be visiting after our son was born.
Really - it was the best thing for us ever.
Hubby was great with helping me and I got breast feeding established.
Of course we were all tired but we got ourselves figured out and by the time Mom visited I felt I could handle things and we were all going to be just fine.

When my sister announced she was pregnant, my Mom told her the same thing, but my sister really resented Mom not coming over to be there for the birth and helping her with a new born.

While help with a new baby can be nice, your folks have been there and done that.
They are in another stage of their life and they want to enjoy some traveling right now.
Try to cut them some slack.

Every new baby will be different but you've got more experience and you can handle this.
Hubby can handle the older kid(s) and he can help with the baby too.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes you are being unreasonable. Yes having help is nice, but many of us get through it on our own. Hopefully your husband can take a few days off from work and you can get your freezer and pantry stocked with simple ready to heat meals for the first few weeks. Besides, you're not a new mother this time around, you know what to expect. Congrats!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Congratulations first of all :)

Expectations are always difficult when they don't match up. You likely assumed your mom knew you wanted her to be there. Assumptions are problematic. So now you're hurt. I get it. This happened to me. My mom was there for all my kids except one. I let it get to me. Big mistake on my part.

Of course your mom cares and isn't doing this intentionally to hurt you.

You could talk about it. If you decide to, don't be accusatory. I also wouldn't lay a guilt trip on her (won't help and might just make her feel bad about her trip).

Or you can just accept things as they are, and realize you've got this (you and hubby) and maybe come up with another plan for when baby arrives. Then plan something special with your mom (parents) when they comes back.

You're not being 'unreasonable'. You feel as you do - which is fine. Everyone feels as they do - you can't control that. You're also pregnant, and hormonal. I don't always like that explanation - as if we women when pregnant, are out of sorts and over the top. However, we do feel a bit more strongly than we typically do :)

Your mom cares and will love this baby just as much. Your parents just put themselves first this time around. That's ok. They trust you've got this. There will be many more milestones they will be a part of.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

They figured that with the first one you might be overwhelmed and they stepped in to help. With baby 2 you know what to do and how to do it so they kind of just slide into your family and you handle the adjustment so much better.

I'd suggest letting your parents do their thing (they've earned the right to choose whatever they want to participate in) and work out with your hubby how the first couple of weeks are going to go after your baby is born.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Of course you are allowed to be upset. Your feelings are yours, and they are valid. How you choose to respond to those feels is entirely your choice.

While your parents did know your due date when they made there plans, there may have been many factors at play. There may have been many reasons why they chose those particular dates - maybe it fit other things in their schedule, maybe certain dates guaranteed them a better price.

I understand how much your parents may have helped you when your first was born, but have a little confidence. You've done this before. That's huge! Everything is going to be exactly the same as it was for your first child, but knowing you've done this once before really should give you some peace of mind.

When my oldest was born, everything was scary. It was all brand new, and I just wasn't confident I could figure it all out. When my second was born, I was still a little scared because I knew I would have a toddler also. It wasn't super easy, but just knowing I had done it before was huge! It made me feel so much more relaxed. I had an idea of what my baby would need, how often he would probably eat, how to organize the diapers, which baby items could wait a couple months. I was just more relaxed overall.

I know you're disappointed, and I probably would be, too. But you can do this!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Of course it's ok to be upset. It meant a lot to you for her to be there last time. I'm so sorry that she doesn't want to do this again.

Honestly, if you need help, you will need to pay someone for it. Are you a homemaker? Does the older child stay home with you all the time?

If you have daycare, send the older child to daycare. That will give you time with the newborn. Either hire someone to clean the house and fix you food, or hire someone who helps with the baby. It's your second baby, so you know what you're doing, so I would go ahead and get help for the house and food so that you can focus on the baby and recuperating from the birth.

Ask your mom how long after she returns home that she will want to come. As much as you wish she would be there at the beginning, try to think in terms of her helping a little later being okay too.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My sister just went through this with my niece. It certainly is understandable to want help with this huge life event, but it's not an obligation of parents to drop everything to be there. My sister's dd was a bit unreasonable about all of this. She wanted my sister to come when she said, not when she could get the best airfare, etc.
It turned into a big mess.
The bottom line is that help would be nice, but many women get by without it. My neighbor hired a nanny to help during her really busy times - especially after having her 2nd baby.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My mom died while I was pregnant with my one and only. Be happy they were there for your first and encourage them to live a great life while they are healthy. Your husband should be home with you.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Here's the thing: as someone who's been on the other side of this with nieces/nephews (not grandbabies, but still), the waiting around for the birth, then sitting at home while the new mom and baby are in the hospital for the next few days - it's really not rewarding. There are those few hours here and there when you get to visit at the hospital and see the new baby, but mostly it's sitting around on your own without seeing the mom or the baby. And when they do get home, the new mom is tired, sore, and trying to get breastfeeding established so there is still not really a lot of quality time to spend. IMO, it's very overrated. 2 weeks later, when they return from the trip, you and the baby will both be home, you'll be back on your feet a little, and your parents can really visit with you and the baby. It's really a much better time for the visit, for them and for you.

If you are worried about help with your toddler, line it up now. Start her in a preschool now so that it's an established routine when the baby is born, and she can keep going during the day once the baby comes. That can really help you get rest.

Congrats on your new baby!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You're not being unrealistic or unreasonable. You're hurt and that's how you feel.

What we don't know is how your parents feel. Do they know you want them for the 2nd child, or do they think you are so amazingly competent because you are experienced? Do they know how helpful they were the first time? You say you are forever grateful, but did you tell your mom that often enough? You don't mention your father's role here. Was he helpful? Did he feel he was in the way? Did they feel taken advantage of? Do they perhaps both feel they will be intruding? Is the work too exhausting for them at whatever age/physical condition they are at? Do they feel you are expecting them without actually asking them outright, and so they feel taken advantage of? Do you have in-laws who your parents might feel would want the experience? Was this a once-in-a-lifetime trip opportunity they couldn't pass up? (They are done being parents and this is their time, maybe.) These are all unanswered questions.

I think it's important to remember that you do have so much more experience this time. You've got this. Your husband has this. And you have a much better understanding of what you will need and not need than you did the first time. So you can prepare ahead, you can line up friends or other relatives if you need to, and ration out the tasks to best suit you.

If they come back 2-3 weeks after the baby is born, you're still going to be plenty tired then. Maybe that's even a better time for them to come - when the sleep deprivation really kicks in, when the novelty of the baby wears off for your older child (who then asks you to put the baby back in your belly because it fusses too much and keeps you from doing things), when the other immediate help disappears after the initial flurry of efforts and you're really on your own.

You can tell them how you feel now. If you do, be sure you have your goals in mind - will this ruin their trip or make them hurt enough to not come when they get back? Are your exhaustion and hormones affecting the level of your reaction? Are they being good and selfish and you want them to know it? Or you can wait until afterwards to see how things really pan out and discuss it then. Maybe they'll feel terrible about their decision. Maybe it will have been the right one.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

After having my second my hubby took a week off work. We refused visitors so our family could adjust to the new little one. When he returned to work my niece would stop over around lunch to see if I needed help with toddler and lunch she was a blessing but I could of managed without her. (But loved having her bond with my toddler and newborn. )
you are ok to be upset about their timing. But there is nothing you can do about it. So suck it up, and learn how to handle your new baby and toddler without your mom holding your hand

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Had you told your parents you would like them there? If you did if it was me I would be upset too. If you didn't there was no way they could have known you really wanted them there again.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Thanks to everyone who responded. I feel better about the situation just reading the responses. I never explicitly stated that I would have liked them here to help when the baby arrives, so I can definitely see how that was an unmanaged expectation. It is a bummer that they won't be around the first few days to meet the baby and help out, but I know I am completely capable of doing it alone. My feelings are just hurt, but I know I will get over it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I get what your saying, it’s not that you want them there only to help, it’s a huge deal to have a child, even if it’s not your first. You want them there to help celebrate the new life you’ve been blessed with. I totally get it! My parents wanted my siblings & I to have kids for years, then when we all finally have our kids, they decide to buy a home in AZ. They are in OR for the summer & AZ for OR’s winter. So now there gone for most of their grandkid’s birthdays & other occasions. It hurt all of our feelings at first, then we learned to live with it. They have been really good about FaceTiming & staying in constant contact even thou their in a different state.
Good Luck to you & Congrats on your baby!!!


I get what your saying, it’s not that you want them there only to help, it’s a huge deal to have a child, even if it’s not your first. You want them there to help celebrate the new life you’ve been blessed with. I totally get it! My parents wanted my siblings & I to have kids for years, then when we all finally have our kids, they decide to buy a home in AZ. They are in OR for the summer & AZ for OR’s winter. So now there gone for most of their grandkid’s birthdays & other occasions. It hurt all of our feelings at first, then we learned to live with it. They have been really good about FaceTiming & staying in constant contact even thou their in a different state.
Good Luck to you & Congrats on your baby!!!

2 moms found this helpful
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