I am a 53 year old Mom whose daughter just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last week. My first grand child! I am staying with her, and want to do whatever is needed as far as house work and support, but I seem to just annoy her. We had a great relationship and talked about anything, but not now. She is very quiet and I feel like a stranger. She does not want any opinions or advise, it seems I must not have known what I was doing when I raised her. She made it to 27, I must have done something right.
I know this may be hormonal, but it is very hard for me. I think this is a dangerous combination....post partum daughter and menopausal Mom! Should I just go home?
Once again, thank you to ALL of you wonderful Mom's who responded so caringly. I am home now, and left on good terms. You were all right! She was anxious about her mothering, she made a jar and suggested I put any advise or opinions in the jar and they would read them at their leisure! Good Idea, Huh? Thanks to everyone, I will be much better prepared with my oldest daughter who should deliver in 3 weeks!
All I can say is how I felt at the time. I remember my child being 6 months old and I was working full time and I was so tense every night I could not relax. Everyone was telling me what to do with my baby all the time. Even complete strangers feel free to comment. You are absolutely exhausted and all you get is criticsm or unsolicited advice. I am not saying you are criticizing but maybe you do need to back off an leave her alone but do offer to help if she is exhausted - such as maybe she would like to nap or go out briefly. People seem to offer advice but very few offer to help you out when after 8 weeks of no sleep at all you can barely function.
Don't worry Grandma...I had the exact same problem...I was devestated...He is 5 months old now,and things are better...We really can't help them very well...Just do the work,and praise her,for being such a good mother...Don't stay too long,a week or 2 is long enough...It was my first too....We live and learn...Good luck...We are still here but we rented an apartment....
my mom passed before either of my children were born and boy oh boy did i need her. my mother in law came to town to help us and i felt terrible all the time because i was so post partum crazy that i couldn't articulate what i needed and i was constantly in a foul mood because i wasn't sleeping at all. sound familiar?
i would say this to you; take the initiative and do the house work, but do not ask to be thanked. and do NOT offer advice! your daughter should and must learn about how to care for her baby her own way. she is probably totally freaked out right now that you might be passing jugement on every thing she is doing, and that's probably making her very uncomfortable, even tho she surely is so happy that you're there to support her.
it will probably be very important for her to establish herself in her new role in her own home; remember, she's not a daughter first and foremost any more, she's now a mother first, and that takes a lot. my kids are still so youg, 3 and 1, but it's very vivid for me, that feeling of needing to prove myself right out of the gate. it was not possible for me to ask for advice until i really felt secure enough as a mom to know that advice wasn't criticism, and that advice wasn't a reflection of my inadequacy. that takes some of us more time than others. so please give your daughter a chance to ask for advice when she's ready, and don't offer. remember, this isn't about you; yet. it will be when she's ready to really celebrate you as a grandma, but right now it's really all about her.
i would also say that the way for you to be a great gramma is to send out a vibe of peace into the house. be the big mother by making peace and order, always send out a feeling of everything being ok. don't get into your daughter's anxiety. and don't ask her for anything. instead, offer her things like a drink of water, a healthy snack, and not with instruction. in other words, don't say, "You need to drink water," try instead saying, "I'm getting a glass of water. Here's one for you, next to you on the side table here, for when you need it."
and keep that mode of communication; like if you do the laundry, say, "i'd like to do the laundry if that helps. would you want me to fold it or hold the baby so you could stretch and fold it your own way?"
lastly, try telling her each day that she's doing a great job. you could even say something like, "oh you do the diaper like that? that's brilliant, i wish i did it that way, it's much better." or, "i love this stroller that you got, it's much better than what i had. you have a good eye for these things." let her know that you support her as she finds her own way and help build her confidence. never be afraid to tell her that you love her and that you're proud of her.
I can only give you advise in the eyes of a daughter. I am a 31 year old mother of three (7years, 5 years and 8 months). My mom lives with my husband and I and kids. There are days that are very tough, but I think the best part of it all is just knowing that she is there. After the birth of all three of my kids, my mom took some time off of work to help me out. It was a little tough to have her with me all day after my first child was born. Being a new mom I just wanted to figure as much as I could on my own. I really didn't want anyone to tell me what worked best for them. I think it is really importsant for you to just be their for you daughter. Even if you are doing something as easy as handing her the remote and taking the baby so she can take a shower. It is the little things that count. My greatest comfort with my mom was knowing that if I did need help with this new baby she was right there to help. And If you daughter is anything like me she will appreciate the fact that you are just there and when she does need advise, you are available to her. Good luck and CONGRATS!!!
As a daughter (28 yrs old with 3 kids), the best thing I think you can do is cook, clean, and keep your mouth shut! LOL! It is very hard to have Mom's and Mother-in-laws hanging around us telling us what we're doing wrong, what we should try and what you did with us to solve the problem. Not only does it aggravate us, but things are a lot different today then they were when we were born. Many of the recommendations have changed (example, no solids until 6 months and extended breastfeeding is highly recommended) but a Mother's instincts are always right. She needs to time to bond and get to know her baby. To get nursing off to a good start...to have her baby skin to skin in a quiet bed...all of these things she needs to help her hormones kick in so she can respond well to her baby. The BEST thing you can do is prepare healthy meals and bring her lots of water to stay hydrated while breastfeeding. Maybe do a load of laundry or offer to change a diaper or rock the baby while she showers. No advice needed for now...let her get into her own skin. Hope this helps!
Please don't take anything personally right now. Your daughter is probably having a bit of a hard time adjusting to being a new mom and I'm sure everyone is giving her advise regardless of whether she welcomes it or not. If you truly want to help - put on a good pair of plastic gloves and start cleaning the house, doing laundry, running errands, and/or cooking dinner. Keep your mind open and your thoughts to yourself. Once she realizes that you are not there to pass judgment and she gets much needed sleep, things will get back to normal in no time.
And take the time to really enjoy your grandchild.
M. this sounds like what my siste did to my mom. My best advice is don't give any advice. If she asks then tell. If you want to help, do her laundry, cook, clean - stuff that doesn't involve talking to her. I know that sounds harsh but sometimes new moms hormones are so crazy that they take it out on those closest to them - their own mother...
Also, keep an eye out - is she suffereing from post pardom depression?
I haven't any experience being a grandmother yet but I plenty of experience being the daughter with the mom who wants to help. I will say this, we really do appreciate you. Honest we do. In my own experiece, I just wanted to do things on my own, to see if I could. I liked knowing my mom was around (she never stayed with me but lives only a few miles away) but I liked to be able to tell her what i did, like an accomplishment, rather than having her do things for me! ya know what I mean. trust me though, she appreciates everything, I promise.
It's great that your there to HELP your daughter. That's all you should do; laundry, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking. Advice & opinions are a NO NO. Go back 30 yrs.& remember how responsive you were to a mother or mother-in-law.This is new for everyone RELAX, BREATHE,& ENJOY. This a beautiful time. God Bless
It is so hard for your daughter right now. She wants to be a mom but needs your help too. I have been there! The advice I can give you is to let her call the shots. Ask her what she wants you to help with, do not tell her how to so anything and do not take it upon your self to do things. She wants to have her own way of rasing a new baby so she needs to learn by trial and error (as long as the baby is safe no one isgetting hurt)Give her the space but also the support.
First of all, kudos to you for wanting to help your daughter and be the best Grandma you can be! There are many mothers out there that give their daughters minimal support, or even no support at all.
I had a little boy in September and my Mom moved in with me for the first 5 weeks to help. We had a marginally strained relationship for years and I didn't know what to expect. Well, we are closer now than ever before. The trick, Dear Grandma, is to take care of your daughter, and allow her to take care of her baby. Don't make too many suggestions -- let her find her own parenting style. You might find that the more silent you are on parenting suggestions, the more she will ask you your opinion! I was told by a co-worker while I was pregnant that the best scenario for Grandmother-help once a baby is born is for the Grandmother to take care of her daughter and to let the daughter learn how to take care of her baby in her own way. I told my mother this and she saw how much sense that made, so when my son was born and she came to stay with me, she would take care of me and the house while I took care of the baby. She would cook all the meals, do the baby's laundry, tidy up around the house, etc. Of course she got to hold my son and play with him, but I took care of the primary childcare responsibilites. I needed to learn anyway, I felt I might as well start right away! There were, however, times when I would ask her to be on "night duty" and she would feed him my breast milk in a bottle so that I could get a decent night's sleep. Or when I needed a long bath, a walk by myself, etc., she would take care of him. The key though is to be there to "baby the Mommy", because she needs taking care of right now, and because even though she's someone's mother now, she's still your baby! After years of being slightly strained, my relationship with my Mom got better because I saw her busting her butt to take care of me and it filled me with gratitude.
This will work! Try it for a few days, and you will be relieved at how the situation will change, I'm sure of it.
Don't give up, Grandma! ...and don't take it personally. Just like you, she's probably taking your well meaning advice and suggestions as a hint that she doesn't know what she's doing. Which is what she probably feels like. Imagine she's a toddler again, and you need to help build her confidence as a new mom. You may have forgotten, but most new moms feel like they don't know what the heck is going on. Don't take over for her, help by giving her the space to focus on and figure out how to be a new mom. My MILs never got it when I was a new mom. They tried to BE the mom for me. Tell me what to do. I wanted to figure out my own way. I had to, I'm the mom. I needed to understand how "I" am as a mom. My own mom, stood in the wings and frequently told me what a great job I was doing. Also, she cleaned the house, made dinner, took the dog for walks and did all the rest of the stuff so I didn't have to think about it and could focus on my new baby. She'd ocassionally say, do you need a nap, honey? I can hold, change, rock her for you so you can nap, or shower...or whatever. but, it was never about "how" I did things. It was more about me, and support for me. If she has PPD, there is an added element that makes this tough. I did. When you have PPD you feel even more like you're incompentant, overwhelmed, like you can't do it and it is very easy to take well meaning advice as validation for how you feel... like a crappy mom. I think the very best thing you can do right now is forget about your granddaughter, and mommy your daughter. You'll have lots of time for the rest of it. Your daughter needs you right now. It has been a while and it is very easy to forget how hard this time is. Good luck!!
Congrats on being a grandma!!! I believe the best way that you can help your daughter is to ask her what she wants done and how she would like it done. You may not agree how she wants or does things, but that should help ease some tension and you get to be helpful. You obviously did a wonderful job raising your children...but methods, safety, and parenting styles have definately changed over the years. You can offer advice but let your daughter decide if it's appropriate for her family style. Don't force it upon her otherwise that could end up ruining your relationship further. Try to keep this adage in mind..."Different Strokes for Different Folks." Good Luck and Best Wishes :)
first grandma,let me congratulate you. I am 55 mother of 5. Not yet a grandma, however, I do remember when my mom or mother in law offered my advice, I would cringe inside. I was young , and I think it was youthfulness. Remember the homones are racing. and she is probably tired, and reality has set in. I wouldnt say anything to create tennsion. I would ask her would she like you to cook, or clean, or maybe get up in the night wit the baby, so she could rest. Perhaps make her her favorite meal. Maybe do the laundry. Does she have a spouse/boyfriend in her life, perhaps they want to be a family alone. Try and catch her in a good mood and ask her how long does she think she will need you there . I know you ar menopausal but put your hormones aside, and dont take this personal.I remember one time my daughter was about 2 weeks old my husband came home and i was sitting at the kitchen table crying dont know why, but now I know it was just balancing of the hormones. Jut give it time, this will work out, L.
I don'tknow that this will be much help...but I'm going to try. When I gave birth to my first daughter, we were living at my parent's house at the time. My mother and father were thrilled at having their first grandchild in the house, and although NOW I know that they were just trying to help, at the time I just wanted to bond with my daughter, and it seemed like every time I turned around, my mother was right there, and ready to, what seemed to me at the time, take over. I felt very inadequate, because everything I did or said ended up in my mother or father taking the baby, feeding the baby (I couldn't nurse because of medication I had to take after birth) and pretty much just getting on my nerves. I know that they were just trying to be helpful, but I needed the time alone with my daughter, and was very withdrawn.
I think if you are just 'there' your daughter will have the time she neeeds with her daughter, and she knows you are there if she needs help. I was trying to be independant from the get go, and all I really wanted was some space. She will come around my darling, and will be asking for advice in no time. But now, in my humble opinion, she needs to get used to the 'mom' thing. It is all still quite new, and she may be feeling overwhelmed, but doesn't want to seem inadequate in your eyes. Besides, it's only been a week...alot of hormonal stuff is still happening, and she could be tired and not wanting to tell you...etc.
Have faith darling...I'm sure you raised her absolutely fantastically, and she knows that you are there for her. She'll come around soon enough.
Praying that everything goes smoothly, and somehow this post might actually be of some help to you. You will be a fantastic grandma...I can 'hear' it in your post. Just give everyone a little time to adjust. Help with supper, spoil that child (grand and your daughter) in little helpful ways.
Sorry for the long post. I just hoped that somehow I could shed some light...
Do not give advice unless she asks for it, that is the single most helpful thing you can do. Did she ask you to come and stay with her? If she did usually the most helpful things are laundry and meals but ask her what would be most helpful. If she didn't ask you to come and you just came perhaps it's time to go home and come back when her new family is more settled
I am a grandmother of 6 and love them all so much. I think the best thing is to let your daughter ask for the help. She should be given the opportunity to care for her child and learn the mothering skills on hands. You can ask if she would like you to go home or stay and if she says stay let her decide what you should do.It is difficult to not want to do things but she needs her space also. She could be concerned about any negative feedback. The best to you and enjoy the grand babies, they grow fast.
My mother came to stay with me when I had my daughter too. You need to remember that there is not set schedule for the baby yet so everyone is pretty much running out of gas. While it was nice to know that my mom was there incase god forbid something happened she tried too much. I needed to know that if I needed her and we had a great time having tea and chatting at night but that was what I needed nothing else. I needed a friend to just be there. She was trying too hard. I felt that she thought i was helpless. I know now that I was wrong but back then I was upset. I also know now that the advise tha she was giving me was only to help however, back then I felt she was trying to tell me what to do as if I was a little girl again. Your Daughter will look back on this in a few years and see that you were only trying to help. For right now a simple is there anything I can do to help, is all she needs you to do.
I can relate to your story because I find myself to be like your daughter. I am a new mom and my parents are grandparents for the first time. It is a huge transition for everyone. I can only share my story. As a new mom I wanted to do things that I think are best for my daughter even though my mother doesn't always agree with how I do things. We have different ideas and thoughts on how things should be done. As a mom it's my turn to raise my daughter and do what I feel is best. This put a strain on my relationship with my mother because she felt very offeneded and said several times how she raised me and I turned out fine. Communicating is very important and I would appreciate my mother respecting my views and how I'd like to do things. I've had to explain this to her and sometimes she understands, but at times still gets mad. The best thing my mother could have done for me was to respect how I do things and help without taking control or overstepping boundaries. It's a hard thing but it gets better with time.
She does not want advice, unless she asks directly. She could use you to cook, clean the showers, toilets, do laundry, dishes and cook. All of the things she feels overwhelmed by right now. Once she gets used to her new role she better explain what role she would like you to have. This will pass, except the advice, no one wants uninvited advice, no matter who it is from.
Hi. I would ask her directly what you could do that would most help her out. I know I was very sensitive to advice at times because you are so hormonal and overwhelmed so it can automatically feel like criticism. I would try and stress to her how great you think she is doing, what things she is doing that seem to be so natural or working well. Tell her the baby is beautiful and obviously well adjusted, content, growing well, etc... I found when my mom made those kinds of comments, I was more relaxed and felt that she was on my side and thought I was doing a good job. Your daughter may just be very sensitive right now and you may unknowingly push her buttons because of that.
I found that I asked my mom to send in food/bring food more than anything to start. I wanted to do my baby and figure things out, but house stuff was just not getting done (mainly feeding my husband). My parents also visited often, but only stayed for a brief time (2 hours). That was also helpful. I wanted contact, but tired easily and sometimes just someone else in the house was stressfull feeling.
Is she getting a lot of visitors? They may be making her feel beyond tired and stressed that she needs to preform/entertain when she doesn't have it in her.
I would continue to monitor her mood, but don't share that with her right now. I know even though I was very happy after I had my daughter, I cried almost every day for a while due to hormones and all the things I would just feel overwhelmed with (good and bad). It just seemed to be a phase and I don't think I had PP Depression; it just appeared to be how I worked through all the immense changes that I had gone through/was going through.
You obviously care very much and I think this will work itself out. I would just keep asking your daughter what she wants from you and sit back a little. My parents gave me some space with my daughter (they didn't demand to hold her, etc..) and that really made me much more secure. I do remember when one of my husband's family member's came to visit and stayed too long, just wanted to hold my daughter as if she were a pillow or purse or something, disrupted our schedule and tired me and aggreviated me to no end. The entire time she was over, she spent it telling me how her one daughter did things and how she was a great mother. It really bothered me. I felt criticizied and almost used. She never once said my baby was beautiful or that I looked good or that I seemed to be doing a good job. I don't think she intentionally did anything to upset me, but again, you are SO sensitive and really just want to know you are good, your baby is good and what you're doing is right.
Hope that helps, good luck and congratualtions!
Try not to take it to heart that your daughter is being distant right now. No new mother wants to hear advice about how to raise their baby, unless they directly ask. Of course you raised two children and you have more knowledge and experience then she does, but she needs to figure these things out for herself, by herself. Even if you see her doing something that you wouldn't have done or you think may be wrong, DO NOT say anything (unless it's harming the baby of course). My mother knew that I was doing something wrong with my son (first born) and she knew that what I was doing was going to come back and bite me eventually. When it did I complained to her that something was happening and she just laughed and said "I knew you'd figure it out sooner or later". When I asked her if she knew that would happen she just said, "Of course I did, I also know that some things you have to find out the hard way". I asked her why she didn't tell me and she said that I never asked so she didn't want to interfer. She was absolutely right. Had she tried to tell me that what I was doing was wrong I probably would have gotten mad at her.
With my second baby I knew exactly what to do and how to do it. Not because my mother told me but because I had figured it out for myself the first time around.
That doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of things that Grandma can do to help out. Both my Mother and Mother-in-law came to stay with me for a week each after I had my children and they were a huge help. They would cook dinner, do laundry, watch the baby so I could nap or shower, change dirty diapers. But neither one of them ever tried to take the baby from me if I was holding her unless I asked them too and neither one of them gave me advice unless I asked them for it.
As a grandma of 8 and being on hand for many of them, I always sat back and let my daughter/daughter-in-law make a request. Basically, I was there as needed, no advice unless asked, very few suggestions, had books to read when mom and baby slept. I cleaned, cooked, shopped and washed so mommy could bond and rest. Being a grandma in the future will be more pleasurable. This is the time for mommy, daddy and baby
and grandparents are only a supporting role. I remember when I had my first. It was overwelming and I wanted to 'do it myself' anyway. My mom was a take charge person and I felt like I was ignorant and useless. Grandma's are special and moms needs time to realize that-but it does take time. Don't be hurt-you've done a good job raising her-or else she'd let you do it all while she just recuperated.
I would suggest just telling your daughter, I am here for you. Whatever you want me to do, let me know. Clean the house? laundry? food shopping? make you something to eat? Just ask. And let her know, if you really dont want me here I will go and not be hurt or offended (even if you are a little). This can be a sticky situation, but I'm sure even if she acts this way now, she will still appreciates you being there, looking back I guess. Maybe give her a chance to let her mothering instinct come out and take over, then she will know better what it is she needs from you. It can take a week or so before you come out of your head and start finding your own way. If you try to do too much right away, she might feel a little stifled or have like performance anxiety, you know what I mean? Let her get her mommy engines in gear by herself then she will have the confidence for takeing you up on your offer to help. I hope this helped, and good luck!!
The other ladies gave good advice - give your daughter space but let her know you're there to support and help. In time, when hormones have leveled off a bit and there's a routine for the new family, your relationship will rebound and maybe be even stronger than before.
Enjoy your grandbabies!
Like some of the others I can only tell you what worked for me and my mom. When my son was born I was overprepared. I had read every baby book, organized my house to perfection and made plans for his arrival (remember that organizing and cleaning are different things!). So when we came home from the hospital I really didn't need minute to minute help. I wanted to be left alone and take lots of naps when he did. It just wasn't as overwhelming as I thought it would be... except for sometimes. The times I really needed help were times that my mom and my husband really couldn't help that much - like when he wouldn't latch, or my breasts were sore, or when he vomited all the milk he just ate and I had no more to give. Those were the times that I called for help (crying and frustrated) and someone just took him for me with a pacifier and walked him around until I found the strength to try again. Mom wanted to be useful but doing laundry just wasn't what I wanted. The best thing my parents did was make and deliver food, or make dinner at my house. Two years later I had twins. Again, everyone wanted to help and I had trouble delgating. Even my inlaws hung around, but I felt more like I was entertaining them than letting them help. Again the best help for us was making (or freezing) meals - and this time they took my son for trips or overnight so that we could concentrate on the babies without ignoring him. So here's my advice - either stay with your daughter and stay busy with your own projects or go home and let her call you when she's ready for some help. Keep the refrigerator stocked and the freezer full of ready-to-heat favorites (or takeout menus and a few gift certificates) and give her some time, not advice. In a week or so you should pile the baby carrier and the diaper bag in the car with your daughter and take her to lunch - everyone loves to see a newborn and it's good to get out of the house. You're going to be a fabulous grandma, but first you need to continue being the fabulous mom that you are. Good luck and let her know that you're ready to help when she's ready FOR help! :)
She's so lucky to have you, and I've no doubt that she knows it, deep down. She probably feels scared to death and insecure, and with you adjusting to your new role, the whole thing is tough. Why not, instead of doing things spontaneously, as her what she would like you to do, then take her direction (with regard to housework, etc.) Then, praise, praise, praise her parenting skills. I find that my daughters are hardest on me when they doubt themselves.
Hang in there M.! My mom came to visit me too, and she even asked if she should just go home! My advice is to not change things in the house at all! Cooking and cleaning are great, but don't move things around or make any suggestions. I was so annoyed with my mom when she tried to mix it all up. Also, don't try to tell your daughter that you think the baby is hungry. Trust that she knows her own baby. I know it seems like you are abused hired help but your daughter does appreciate everything that you are doing. Good luck! And Congratulations!
go home. It sounds like you have had a great relationship so if she needs your help she will ask. it probably is hormonal too, give her a chance to figure things out for herself. she may be keeping quiet because she does not want to hurt your feelings. i became a grandma last year for the first time to my son's twin daughters. i too wanted to help, but they did not need me then. after two or three months they were happy to have me. i love to babysit and enjoy them to no end. so be patient, you will be a great grandma. congratulations and enjoy.
It is definitely hormonal; probably for both of you.
Patience is the key in this situation. I suggest that you ask your daughter in a quiet and loving manner if she would like you to go home and return when she did not feel so overwhelmed and tired with new motherhood. Don't be hurt if she says yes; if she says no then do the household chores and let her do the "mother" things for the baby.
Being a Gramma is such a joy and believe me you will get lots of Baby time. I found that I gave no opinion unless asked for it and that can be very difficult for us Grammas.
Good luck and Congrats on joining the Grandmother Club.
Hi, I've always had a great relationship with my mom. We talked about everything and we never ever even had one fight. But when my daughter was born things changed. She really has fixed ideas about how to take care of a child and it seemed like everything I did was wrong, not the way it was supposed to be. Even when I got my husband involved, which to me is normal these days and good for both the child and the father, she felt that was not the right thing. She had an opinion about every detail, from what our daughter should wear, to sleep time, to eating, everything.. I really appreciate her help but it was a bit too much for us. We were trying to adjust to a new life with our daughter but felt we didn't have space to make our own decisions. Also there was not much room for my husband to be involved, he felt he would always be criticized. I know she never meant any of this.. she felt that she had gone through this, raising two daughter and that she knew better what to do. She just wanted to help.. I also think I overreacted a lot. It wasn't just the hormones.. I was very emotional, I wanted to do things right but felt the pressure of her watching and judging my every move. Nothing I did was right.. I can't say that you are doing any of this, Im just tell you my experience. Bottom line, if I was going to give you any advice, I'd say be open. Tell your daughter you want to help but you are not sure how. Give her the space to tell you how she feels. Tell her that you are there for her and that she can tell you anything. She will be moved if you tell her what you just wrote - that you want to be the best Gramma you can! good luck!
If this were my situation, it's always best to ask stuff like, "Would it be helpful if I did some laundry?" or "I was kind of thinking of ordering in dinner. Would that be ok; do you have any preferences?". Even something like, "I was going to take a walk to get some fresh air. Would it be ok if Dog came with me? Should I pick up anything?" or "Oh - the baby just went to sleep. Do you want to shower or get some fresh air in the backyard for a bit or run get a Starbucks?". Not that you really want to leave her by herself, but she might need a little space to figure herself out. If she's breastfeeding, maybe ask something like, "I know the baby is nursing, and it's really hard at night. If you want, so you don't have to get out of bed, I can get her, change her real quick, and hand her to you. It might let you sleep more. Would that be helpful?".
Sometimes, even though you mean the best and have been close for a long time, changing the phrasing of usual conversation can be helpful. She's a delicate emotional flower right now with the new sense of needing to become a Momma Bear over her cub. She's learning to adjust to her new role - Mom. It's scarier than what it seems on TV. =)
Also a LOT of things have changed from when my mom was a new mom, so ask her what she thinks is best. A way to think about it is - you were the best at raising your girls; she will be the best raising her's. Let her be the best mom she can be. Just being there for you to ask questions to like, "Can you watch her while I take a quick shower?". As for advice to questions like, "Why won't she stop crying?", I would try to remember to phrase it like, "Well, the way I remember it was..." or "You know, I don't know. Let's check one of your books," or, "What do you think?.... That's what I was thinking too," even if you weren't, or "I remember thinking you took a class that talked about this. Do you have any handouts we can refer to?". This might not work in all situations, but it might work in ones that could be more tense than others.
Be her biggest cheerleader and her Rock. If she needs to cry (pregnancy and post-pregnancy hormones are INSANE), let her. Don't make her feel anything other than what's happening to her in that moment - just hand her kleenex and tell her if she wants to talk, you will be happy to listen.
Yes, you are a grandma now, but she probably asked you to be there because she needs you as her mom. Does this make sense?
Best luck to you and your girls and their new babies!
I went through the same thing with my mom and grandmother. Your daughter is trying to figure things out for herself, and as a new mom, she already feels nervous and afraid she is doing everything wrong. By trying to help and giving suggestions, you make her feel even more like she is failing. I know that is a strong word, but boy do the hormones make everything more severe. Anyway, the BEST way to help, is to quietly do housework. Laundry is a huge help, making sure she eats (but don't force it), and making dinner so she doesn't have to worry about her spouse, etc.
Honestly, it's best to keep your opinions to yourself for now. She'll come around later, and will appreciate all that you did.
My mom and I have been able to keep a very close relationship since my daughter was born almost 2 years ago. And my daughter has a wonderful relationship with "Ga-Ga" (and vice versa). My mom never stayed with us but she lives 15 minutes away and she came to see us once a day in the first weeks and then my daughter started one day a week at Grandma's house. It's great for all of us - I get a break and my mom has one-on-one time with her granddaughter.
I think the main thing that helps us to have a good relationship is that she never offers unsolicited advice. If I ask her for advice, she will always give her opinion, but she doesn't volunteer it. This has not been the case with my mother-in-law. She often volunteers her opinion and her "advice" often feels like criticism. It has caused family strains and we are not as close with her.
It's very hard to be a new mom these days with so many "rules" and judgments. When you and my mom was starting out 30 years ago there weren't thousands of "experts" writing books about everything from how your baby should sleep to how you should talk to your baby, etc. It's really overwhelming and you can feel like you're not doing anything right. So your daughter needs a lot of positive feedback now so she can feel empowered to be a good mom on her own. She'll come to you when she needs help, but only if she feels that you support her unconditionally.
You are so thoughtful to take the time to write this. I will offer this when my son was born my mom came to stay with me and I was so terrible to her, quiet, annoyed, wouldn't let her do anything. Yet when it came time for her to leave I cried and begged her to stay. She lives on the West coast and I'm on the East. Anyway in retrospect I was extremely hormonal and tired and scared - although I wouldn't have admitted to any of those at the time. I remember one night my son was up all night long with colic and she woke up and sat with us and I kept snapping 'just go to sleep' well she stayed by us and today that is one of her fondest memories 'remember when we stayed up all night...' anyway I was glad she was there. Again, wouldn't have admitted it at the time. One thing I find is when people say 'how can I help you' I don't want to think I need help so I say I'm fine. I would just 'do' dont' ask. Clean up or make her a healthy breakfast and just put it before her, grab the baby and tell her to take a nap, do the babies laundry. Anyway she may not appreciate all this now but she will definitely appreciate when the hormones balance out and some sleep is restored. You sound like a GREAT mom. You can come here and help me if all else fails! S.
did you ask your daughter if she wanted you to be there to help? you could ask her specifically what she wants help with. like you said it could be hormonaland you going thru menapause does not help just give her love and understanding and i think she will come around
The awe and responsibilty of becoming a first time mother was so daunting that all I could do was question myself. Was I doing thus and so correctly, etc. I wasn't looking for advice. I was just trying to figure it out. I think that is what your daughter is doing. She's probably terrified....and you being her mother wants to fix it, help her, etc. That's natural -- of course. The only thig I can suggest is to just "be". Don't say anything -- don't offer up anything (in terms of advice). It is so hard I know -- but your daughter has to figure out in her own mind what she's doing -- she just needs love and support. Remember -- this time is about her and her new little family. Of course you did something right in raising her-- but don't make her feel bad. If you leave, you'll just make her feel guilty -- she already has lots of emotions bubbling over.
There's a website called Our365.com that has articles and a chat room for new grandparents; I think part of their advice is that new moms can be kind of nuts from all the hormonal stuff going on, so don't be surprised if they act crazy. Anyway, the chat room may have something to offer. Good luck!
Make some kind of excuse and GET OUT OF THERE!! She is telling you with her attitude and body language that she need to be alone right now. She might regret it and ask you back but then you will be on MUCH better terms than you are right now. She has to feel her own way. LET HER!
She will come around!! I guarentee it. Your heart is in the right spot. You are doing nothing wrong...just leave for a little.
My mom stayed here after I had both of my daughters and it was great for me (my husband was the one who annoyed me - ha). I would just back off. Do the housework and let her take care of the baby. Let her ask you for things - make her a special meal or go out and buy her something she loves to eat. Do whatever you can without having to ask her anything and if you start to feel like a stranger - go out for a walk. I am sure you were a great mom and she doesn't think bad of you. She is just trying to get used to all the feeling inside. Try to think back when you had your first - it's such an overwhelming feeling of love - and it can be a little scary. Anyway - good luck to you - I am sure you will be a wonderfully great Grandma and I am sure your daughter will come around soon!!!!!
I think that your intentions are wonderful. I can tell that you are very excited. Since this will be both your daughters first time being mothers, give them space to learn how to be a mother. I imagine that they know you are available for whatever, and will call as soon as they have a need and realize that they can let other people help out. I suggest giving them space and keep your visits to a minimum for awhile until they invite you in for more. Believe me, as soon as they get the hang of being a mom, they will appreciate your presence for the much needed breaks! Hang in there and do not worry.
Giving them space says that you trust them in being a new mother. They may be upset if you are hovering because they feel that you do not trust them in this new role.
Most importantly, talk to them about this.
don't go home!! i was extremely annoyed with my mom when she was with me after i gave birth..and it was only for a day & one night, we live very close to eachother. it is hormonal & will pass. if she seems depressed don't go home...stay for a bit, just stay out of her way. do what she says, don't ask too many questions and just put up with it until she & her life settle down a bit. she will not treat you this way forever & will probably realize what she did & will make up for it later. do the laundry - clean the dishes, make the beds, dust & vacuum, make dinner. hold that baby so she can take a bath. do mom stuff - and if she gets too out of line simply say - "i have been in your position at one time too, i know how hard it is although you may not be ready to admit it. i am here to help and am going to stay to help you because i have to b/c that's what mom's do & you will do for your children one day...have patience with me, i won't do everything the way you want but it will get done...take a deep breath...and stop being mean to me!! it will all work out, just have patience with her, and don't leave just because you think you are annoying her, although she may tell you she doesn't need you, she does.
I went though a similar thing when my son was born last year. My mom would call me every day it just got to be too much! One day, when my son was about a week and a half old, I didn't answer the phone, and she left me a message saying she was worried I was withdrawing and was concerned I had post partum depression. Finally, I told her I was happy that she was so thrilled, but I needed some space - I needed to sort out my own feelings and have a chance to get settled and get to know my baby without feeling pressured or feeling like I had to take care of my mother's feelings/needs too.
I think the best thing for you to do is to take a step back. Don't offer any advice or suggestions unless she asks for it. She is the mom of that baby, and she and her husband/partner will have to figure out what works for them, even if it is different from what you think. Remember, SHE is the mom now. Instead of offering her advice, ask her if there is anything you can do to help (with the baby, the laundry, the grocery shopping, etc). If she says no, then take a step back. Don't ask all the time - that may make her feel pressured or bothered. And don't take it personally! She just needs some time to get settled. And remember, right now it's not about you and your feelings, it's about your daughter and her wonderful, beautiful new baby!
When i delivered my daughter my mom was not there. She lives in Europe, it was hard to get visa to come see me.
I had really hard time without her.
What i can tell you, be your self, help with household, adore little baby, and let your daughter to be Mom to her child. And when she really need you for advise she will come to you.
Moms knows best.
Firstly, congratulations on your new grandbaby! :oD
Now, to answer your question: Don't give any advice unless asked! Your daughter has probably read every parenting book out there and has her own ideas on how to bring up her child and they're different from the way she was brought up. I'm only just now (after nearly 7 years of being married and the birth of my 3rd child) able to objectively receive the advice my mom gives me. Before, it just seemed like criticism, as if she were telling me the way I was doing things wasn't "right." There's more than one way to parent, and your daughter will discover (through trial and error, so be ready to bite your tongue!) what works for her.
It sounds as if you've already inadvertently hurt her with this dispensing of opinions and advice. I'd sit down and ask her if she thinks you've been overbearing; if she does, just apologize (whether you feel as if you should or not - just do it and make it sincere!) and remind her that the grandmother thing is as new to you as the mother thing is to her. :o)
Next, ask your daughter how best you can help her. Remind her you're there to make things easier for her, and you're willing to do whatever she needs, from laundry to cooking. If she demurs or can't seem to think of anything for you to help with, very calmly ask her if she'd prefer you go home and come back for a visit at a later date. Try very hard not to be upset if she prefers you leave; she has a new little person to get to know, and as much as you want to be with your daughter and grandchild, they need to get to know each other. Once that bond is strong, your daughter will be more willing to let you back into her home and you can work on developing a relationship with your grandchild.
I am about to become a new gramma and congratulations! I remember when I had my first child, my parents came to stay with us for a while. I was hormonal and very touchy. My mom raised six children but I still thought her advice was not necessary. I would say, just be there to support your daughter. She probably feels that she knows best because she just gave birth...I know I did! Eventually, she'll open up to you and things will get better. Let her be mom and do what you can to help whether it be listen or whatever she needs you to do. That's what I would do....just be there for her.
I gave my mom her first grandchild 10 years ago. We too are very close. I think in the beginning I struggled with feelings of inferiority. I needed to find my niche and feel confident as a mom. I think if you give your daughter a little space to experience being a new mommy you'll find that she'll call you more seeking knowledge and wisdom that only a mother can give. I have 3 beautiful children (6,8 & 10) and aside from God and my husband, my mom has been my rock! Don't worry, she will learn very quickly how much she needs you. I hope this helps! :) D.
first of all, double congratulations to you and your family!!! I don't think you should go home, your daughter really does need your help. Maybe you could do a few loads of laundry while she spends time with the baby, or offer to babysit so she can take a nap or do something for herself. Or maybe babysit while mommy and daddy go out for dinner. my kids are 6 and these are just a few things I wish someone would do for me once in a while (LOL)!!!!
First, I would like to say that your daughter is very fortunate to have a mom who will help her out. Good for you. Without knowing the dynamics it is very hard to answer this question. Everyone is different, but maybe if you asked her to make a "mom-do" list, then you would know what she wants help with and there needn't be a lot of interaction if she is needing time alone with the baby right now. I don't know about you, but after my babies were born I just wanted to be alone with my baby, and too many people around really overstimulated me. I also really wanted help with the housework, but didn't want anyone to help with baby-care. For me I always thought of that as the new mom's priviledge. I wouldn't assume that she wants you to leave, especially since you describe having a positive relationship with her. I wish I could offer more help, but this is a tough one. Good luck, and congratulations on the grandbaby!
Hi M. - I also can only give you advice from your daughter's point of view. Being a new mom she is most likely overwhelemd with joy, fear, hormonal chnages and exhaustion. I would say to just keep busy in the house, do the laundry, clean and cook - let her handle the baby and only take the baby when she asks you to. She will appreciate what you are doing for her. If you feel you are not wanted there maybe you can go for a walk or to a store for a little while and just give her some alone time at home. It is not that she doesn't want you there - she is just overwhelemed with the changes going on in her body and life right now. She will thank you for all of your help once she gets through her adjustment period.
Feel free to email me if you want to talk further :)
just be honest with your daughter and tell her you want to help, not that you think she can't do it...you just want to ease the transition....with the first kid she's just as excited and nervous as you are....by the next time she has a baby she'll be much more receptive to your help....even if you fold the laundry differently:-)She just wants life with baby to start and you know from expirence that even though it's wonderful, it's exhausting...don't leave on bad terms but talk to her, it maybe more helpful if you come back to give her a break another time...
Stay there and be with your daughter. She will have a panic attack if you aren't there. Just don't offer any advice unless she asks you. that is the best thing in the world. My mom let me come to her. she never said well you need to do this or you should do this. She let me go to her with questions. Then you are not being over bearing and your daughter feels like the parent getting some advice. Just try to remember how your felt in the beginning. As a mom I got irritated when people just told me what to do with my child. It makes you feel like you are to irrational to raise a child.
Best of luck and congratulations
It sounds like you and your daughter have a good relationship that is, typically, under a little strain at the moment. You have likely already done this, but I would ask her. Not constantly, but ask her whether she wants you to do the laundry or the shopping or make dinner, then do whatever it is she allows. When my mother came (at the births of both my children) she was astonishingly good at knowing what to do, and as I heard stories from my friends, I really paid attention to how my mom functioned in our house. It was more as my mom than as a grandma, and then, when I wanted or needed advice, I asked. Congratulations to you both, and enjoy your time with your daughter and grandbaby.
i think it's great that you are so excited to be a grandma and have taken the time to spend with your daughter and new baby. what a blessing you will be to them! it's difficult to maneuver the roads of your new relationship. for your daughter, because she is excited about motherhood and wants to be confident in her own skills, and for you because you don't know how helpful you should be. oh, and you are right about the combination of hormones! i think just being open and honest with her right now is the best thing, with lots of love and gentleness. and try not to be too sensitive as she will not have the energy to deal with other people's emotions and reactions. my mom and i had similar issues when my son was born and when i miscarried last summer and she tried to help. we had some issues and we both ended up hurting. i just didn't have the energy for that at the time. i wish she just said, "i know this is hard, i understand. i love you. i'm going to go wash the dishes, is there anything you need?". smiles, hugs, cheerfulness. it will go a long way! good luck with your new adventure and congratulations to you. :)
I understand very well how you feel. My daughter gave birth to my first grandchild last week too. I have opted up to just ask my daughter what she wants me to do. I keep my opinions to myself and only do what she wants me to do. You see, now days new moms know a lot about newborns, they read a lot and take classes. They don't really need our advice that much. I cook meals for her and her husband, offer my help and wait.
Your daughter must be feeling very confident about her knowledge and at this time may not be neeing your advice. This time will pass and she will come to you. Just give your support in things she needs, and keep your opinions to yourself. Believe me, she appreciates what your are doing. Who wouldn't?
Don't take it personal, remember every woman reacts to the experience of being a mother in different ways.
Congratulations and good luck.
A little about me:
I am a 54 years old mom of three, a daughter 27, a son 25, and another son 24. I am very happy to be a grandmother!
Just remember she is a bit overwhelmed right now. Just let her do everything with the baby and you try to do the other stuff...cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry. Take lots of pictures of her with the baby, she'll appreciate those later. I have very few pictures of me with my kids when they are babies cuz I always take the pictures. Braise her. Let her know that you think she's a great mom. As a new mother we always second guess ourselves. Tell her you think she's doing a great job.
My mom came to visit me after my twin girls were born in November, and she left early. Part of our problem was that she didn't understand the kind of help that we needed. 1) I'd make sure that your daughter and her partner have had time alone with the baby to bond, I think 2 weeks is best. 2) HOrmones are the worst for a postpartum woman days 3-10 after giving birth 3)I would just make food (to freeze) go grocery shopping, do laundry, and clean without asking what to do, and let your daughter have time with her baby and then when she's feeling ready, she'll reach out to you.
I hope that helps? I'm sure that in a month everything will be wonderful!
Hi M.. I gave birth to a little boy in the beginning of February and my mom came to stay with us a week after he was born. She stayed with us for almost 3 weeks. Before she came I had some apprehension about her visit, but I actually found it invaluable. What I appreciated most was that she made sure that I was ok so that I had energy and attention to look after my son. She cooked meals, helped tidy up the house, did laundry, made sure I drank plenty of fluids, encouraged me to take naps, etc. At times when I was challenged by what to do with my son (I don't have a lot of baby experience) she didn't tell me what to do. Instead she shared with me her observations about his behavior, we talked about what might be causing his behavior and then we problem solved together what we could do about it. It helped me to see how I can approach problem solving challenging moments when she's not here. She also helped to relieve my husband from helping me in the early morning hours, as he has returned to work and needs as much sleep as he can get. Don't give up on your situation - you have so much to offer. If all else fails, perhaps just ask her what she needs or how you can help. Good luck.
I would just ask what you can do for her. Every new mom feels alittle unsure of herself, not to mention the exhuastion and hormones to top it all off. Try not to take things personally and just remember this is a hugh adjustment for everyone, especially her. I'm sure she appreciates the fact that you are there for her, even if she is not acting like it right now.
You sound like a caring mom and I'm sure you'll be a wonderful Grandma.
Although you may have done very well in raising your daughter, she is the mother now and gets to find her own way in caring for her baby. She gets to make the decisions (with her husband or partner if she has one). New moms do not want a lot of advice and opinions, and they don't want someone over their shoulder watching and commenting on everything they do with their baby.
Although you may have enjoyed a close relationship (and I am sure you still will!), getting to know your baby is a very intimate time for a woman. She may want to spend her time focusing on her baby, not on you. She may find it overwhelming if she doesn't have any time alone with her baby or feels that you expect to spend this time hanging out and chatting together. Often the new mom likes the helper to be somewhat invisible. It doesn't mean that your help is not appreciated, but with a brand new baby, a woman's focus is on herself and her baby.
I, too am a first time nana. My daugher has gone back to work and I take care of the baby (boy, 4 mos.). My friend has said the same thing.I think it is hormonal and anxiety on the first time mother. We argue about everything! Many things have changed since our children were born. Things are getting better. She is becoming more relaxed. I found that she takes her anxiety out on me. As she is becoming more secure, we argue a lot less. I try to straighten up the house and do her laundry, prepare bottles, change diapers and do menial things for her. Sleep is a big factor. The nights when the baby sleeps makes her a better person. Just hang in there and things will get better. Good luck and congratulations.
I am 60 years old, a first time grandmother and have taken care of 15 nieces and nephews.
My advice would be,part of her wants you to see that she can do this (being a Mom), but part of her is doubting herself as all new mothers always do.So you have to find a happy medium and give her a lot of praise for the things she is doing well, and simple advice when you think "your" way is better. I think that her hormones are a huge part of it, try to be patient and things will get better when her confidence gets stronger and she and the baby get into their own routine.Congratulations!!
Begin the day by bringing her coffee or whatever her favorite morning beverage is. Then ask her what she wants you to do that day. Remind her that you are leaving in a week (or whatever) and you want to help her as much as you can before you go. Offer to go to the store for her. Cook and freeze meals that she likes for her. Offer to let her and her husband go on a date or offer to watch the baby while she runs an errand. Ask her what you've done that has been the most helpful, so that you can do the same things next month for your other daughter. Like you wrote, don't take it personally - hormones, first time mom, etc. Just the fact that you are there speaks to your commitment to your family. Watch too for signs that your daughter's moodiness is more than typical post-partum and maybe a sign that she may need more help than you can offer. I commend you for being so supportive!
Congratulations and good luck! Yes a lethal combination, but not necessarily if you can sit down and ask specifically what your daughter needs/wants from you AND STICK TO IT! Even if you feel like the maid or chef. You said you want to be the best Gramma, so you will be if you listen to her and not your inner voices. I am your age and managed to have a baby at 45, so I was perimenopausal AND post-partum when I gave birth! I hated when people offered unsolicited advice--even the most useful/helpful things were annoying. When she feels that her experimenting and gut feelings aren't sufficient, if you have kept mum she will turn to you. But right now she needs to follow her own inner voices--she's got to connect to the baby and follow the baby's lead, too. It's her turn--you had yours with your 2 daughters. Any outside information can be distracting and confusing, unless you see something dangerous. I remember feeling that everybody had advice, but nobody brought what I needed--FOOD!!!!! Yummy, quick, fresh, shove it into my mouth food. See if that's all she wants, and a pair of spare hands WHEN SHE ASKS FOR IT!
Oh, you're so sweet, and I feel so bad for you in that position!... but, yes, go home, and here's why. With the new baby, she wants to spend time alone with the baby, and just having someone there, esp. during the first two months, it's one person too many. And it's not YOU, it's the new mother thing, I remember it well, and remember wishing my mom would just head out into the sunrise, herself. And I love her dearly, and know she meant well, too, but I really wish I could have had some time to bond and get to know my new baby, and not have someone there with me all the time. What you could do is offer help IF she needs it.... and... another nice thing you could do, if you're the cooking type, make some dinners she likes, separate them into little freezable portions and put them in her freezer... this way, if she's up all night with the baby, hungry the next day but doesn't feel like cooking, or have the energy to.... she can just pop something into the microwave that you made for her. I hope that helped some? :) GOod luck, and congratulations on being a grandma! You'll have plenty more opportunities (probably more than you want! LOL) to help out, when more help will be needed... bigger kids = bigger problems, more help needed! :)
This is such a challenging and stressful (although happy) time for new moms.
My advice is to help out any way you can around the house, cooking, grocery shopping, etc, but leave her to take care of the baby.
New moms are inundated with well intended advice from parents, neighbors, friends. Everyone has their own take on things. It is important for your daughter to figure out on her own what is going on right now. Let her take care of her baby and you do everything you can to make her life easier.
There will come a time soon enough when she will welcome more and more help with the baby.
M., it is obvious you are a very devoted, caring and considerate mom to even ask how to help! Remember what it was like when you had your children. We get advice from everyone, whether we ask or not! Your daughter needs to learn how to be a mom and feel like she's not being critized (I'm sure your not doing that but funny how hormones make us take things all wrong!) You need to take out that thick skin you used when your kids were teens (that's where I am now) and put it on and just be there for her, she appreciates you but is going through what I think is the toughest transition a woman goes through, learning to be a mom! Don't be afraid to just ask her what she wants you to do, stay and help and what to help with, or go home! Good luck and God Bless your newest little additions to your family. N.
If it's any comfort I did the same thing when my twins were born. I was just sleep deprived and on edge all the time with pretty much everyone. But your mom tends to get the brunt of that sort of thing because I guess you feel most comfortable being your grumpy childish self around your own mom, right? Have you tried sitting down with her and saying what you said here, that you are with her now to help but you feel like you're just annoying her. Ask her what she would like from you during this time. How can you help without getting in the way. I guess it's possible that she envisioned a lot of time alone with her spouse and new baby to bond and feels you're preventing that. It's even more possible that she had lots of ideas about what this time would be like and the reality isn't living up to her expectations. That's pretty common for new moms today. But either way your best bet is to try to talk with her directly.
Hi M.. Congratulations on becoming a Grandma-Finally right? Your are probably right about the post partum thing. I would just be honest with your daughter. Tell her you really want to help her and ask her what she would like you to do. She is probably overwhelmed and feeling inadequate because she can't do it all. Ask her if she would be more comfortable if you weren't there. I guess just let her ask for advice. My mom was never really involved I would have loved the help, but all people are different. Maybe she would just like some meals made up ahead of time, or just laundry. Try not to be offended if she doesn't want you there, she may just want time alone as a new family. What is important is that you tread lightly-she's hormonal-so that you keep your great relationship and get to spend lots of time with your granddaughter in the future. And keep in mind both your daughters may have different needs. In a month you may find your older daughter begging for help.
Don't feel bad..my mom is staying with me and I'm sure she feels the same way you do. (I'm 39 and mother of 17 month and 3 month old babes)
It's hard being a new mom let alone doing it under the watchful eye of an elder.
Ignore her moods and enjoy your precious grand daughter.
If you want to help her do things like the dishes or clean bathroom without saying a word. Don't look for credit, don't ask any questions, just do it.
She appreciates you don't worry.
I just went through this with my mom two months ago and it did not go well. We had a close relationship before and now, because of her actions, we may never have a close relationship again. It is so sad and so unnecessary.
You have to understand that your daughter is going out of her mind right now. She is not herself and there is nothing you can do to change that. She is scared and feeling out of control. She is trying to get feeding and sleeping and everything else down, not to mention what her body is feeling like after the birth, issues with her husband, etc. With your first child, you have no idea what to expect and no idea what is "right" or "normal" so you are freaked and scared and VERY sensitive.
You have got to give your daughter a break. Forget about yourself, about your wants and needs and feelings. There will be time for that later. For the next few weeks while your daughter is learning to be a mother, learning how to survive in her head, she needs support, not a headache. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU RIGHT NOW. It is all about her. She has to get on her emotional feet before things can get back to normal.
The best thing you can do for her is put yourself on the back burner and focus on what she needs. Let her yell at you. Let her tell you how to clean or cook or whatever because that is the only thing that she can control right now. She is feeling like a crazy person and is sleep deprived too! She will tell you one thing one day and the opposite the next. JUST GO WITH IT. Anything she says concerning the house or the baby goes. Do what she wants even if you think it is the wrong way. She is trying to figure out how to trust her instincts with the baby. Don't make her fight you on things in the process.
If you don't allow her this, or can't, you should leave. If not, you will turn this delicate time after your grandchild's birth into hell on earth for your daughter. She will always remember that you made it hard on her, not easier, and may never forgive you for it.
My mother lives out of state and came to stay with us for a month after our daughter was born. She fought me on everything. Stupid things that didn't matter. What to put on the baby, how to arrange the baby's room, how to nurse, what cleaning products to use, how to bathe and change the baby. It was exhausting and none of it really mattered! I wanted to do things that I thought were best for my new daughter, not what was done 28 years ago when I was a baby. So much has changed and the books all say different things now. My mom was right about a lot of things, but that wasn't the point. She fought me and had to be right and didn't understand how important it was to let me figure things out on my own. I needed to build confidence as a new mother, not take instruction from her.
I wish she would have been here for me as a support, not an instructor. I wish she would have let me do things the way I wanted, and then when I was wrong, be there to show me the right way WHEN I ASKED, not fight me because she knew she was right about the issue.
It is a grandmother's job at this stage to be in the background. To quietly help out where and when you can. This is not your show anymore, it is your daughters. I understand that it may be hard for you to make to transition, but you must!
My mom is a very strong woman who raised four daughters (and did a very good job). She is used to being the one in charge. She couldn't step back so I could practice my moves as a new mom. I think it might have cost us our relationship. I am so angry at her right now that I don't even want to talk to her. She was so selfish and made the first four weeks after my daughters birth hell. When she left, I was so relieved that I sat on my couch and wept. She was a burden, not a support, and it was awful.
Try hard no to let this same thing happen with your daughter. You can do it and you should if you want a good relationship with your daughter (and grandchild) in the future. Good luck!
M., kuddos for reaching out it says a lot. Me too have a great relationship with my mother, however when she came in to help with my daughter we were at each other's throat and she ended up cutting her trip short, which deeply hurt me but I understood. What I wish she would have done was help around the house and with the cooking and let me handle the baby and let me learn on my own and make my own mistakes, just be there in case I wanted to ask something. Everybody that came into our house to help really didn't come for us they came for the baby and we didn't need help with the baby, we needed help with everything else. Mothers now a days know a lot more about babies than our mother or grandma did because all the information available, so when we come home with the baby we are more excited than scared. This is also a new person in our lives and a new adventure therefore I wanted to do everything myself; you want to learn and get to know your baby. Today I would give anything to have my mother close so that she can come in and take care of the baby while I get some food or some me time.
Another thing that was driving me crazy was her comments around the way I did things and how she didn't do it like that with us and we turned out fine. Share your message with her, let her know that you are there to help in any way she needs and let her take care of the baby herself she will come to you as she feels the need, and when she does don't lecture her or say I told you so just give the help, trust me if she asks for help is b/c she knows you may know best about the sitiuation she is asking about.
DON'T GO HOME!!! I didn't want my mom to leave I just wanted her to understand and give me space. Ask your daughter what she wants and how can you help best, you are a great grandma I can tell. Good luck.
Given the hormones running through her, if you pick up all the magazines spread over the coffee table and arrange them in a neat pile she may take it as criticism over how messy her house is; maybe all the magazines were in a messy pile even before she got pregnant and you doing things around the house for her feels to her as a disapproval of how she keeps her house. It's very tough between mothers and daughters, and even worse between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. The best way to help is to ask her to tell you whether she wants you to go there or not, and when it's a good time for her. Once you go make it clear to her that you are very willing to help but she needs to tell you what to do. She needs to know that you are not trying to fill her shoes, only help. And please don't be offended if there are days when she doesn't want company or help. In American culture it's important for people to figure things out by themselves.
Congratulations, and good luck!
When my daughters had babies (I have 5 grandchildren), I didn't offer one bit of advice...I waited for them to ask me. Then, I would give them about 3 different choices/suggestions to pick from if they chose to. Sometimes they don't want to hear about how we raised them, even though we must have done something right for them to turn out pretty decent! I would ask them if there was anything they needed to get done or if I could help in any way...I just didn't jump in & start doing their "chores" because I thought they might feel like I was taking over or that I didn't think they could do it right. Basically, I just stayed out of their way & let them come to me. If you live a distance away, maybe you could just visit for a few days, under her terms. Yes, it's hard not to step in & help as much as you think they want you to, but surprising enough, they probably just want to prove to you & everyone else that they can "do it all"! Just take a step back, relax & wait for the phone calls!
Yeah Grandma, congrats! From my personal experience, I know that for one, at times it might feel like advice from people means you are failing at something, so you might want to hold onto advice until she seeks it or try a different approach. Also, as far as house work, JUST DO IT. If she has to organize it or delegate, she may get overwhelmed. If you see laundry, fold it, dirty dishes, clean them, etc.... Good luck, support your girls and they will thank you later!!
Hello, M.. First of all, my congratulations with your first grandchild! Your daughter behavior is normal and, I think, you should just take it easy on her. I can understand your daughter very well. My daughter is 3.5 months young and I think, I can say that I'm pretty much in your daughter's shoes. If you could remember yourself after giving birth to your daughters, and your feelings at that time. If you think she does not want your advises, you may just present them in some easy form, not just like you *must* do this. You may just ask what she thinks about diapering, feeding, etc, ask what help you can offer to her.
New moms usually think that they know everything about caring of the baby and may reject anything else that may clash with their views. I think you should listen to her and agree, not push too many advises, and be near her.
You are a wonderful mother for seeking advice. I wish my mom had, because so drove me nuts! If I could have done it again, I would have wished I could explain how tired I was, overwhelmed by the reality of my life change, and hormonal. The worst thing you could do right now is share advice on how to parent. I have no doubt you have a wealth of knowledge to share, but it is her journey. She might be ready to hear your advice in a few months, but not right now. It is so important that your daughter builds confidence as a parent and that means going through trial and error with parenting. What you can do is everything else. Vacuum, laundry, cook meal, and send her to sleep when the baby sleeps. I hated that I had to ask my mom to cook me food, I wished she had just read my mind and prepared and served it to me and my husband. If you can make it possible for her to have no other worries but parenting, you'll be a wonderful asset. Best of luck!
I only wish my mother would have offered like you -- but I can understand how your daughter is feeling. Remember, it is overwhelming and you need some time to sort it out and figure out how you are going to handle being a mom. If I were you, I would lay back with the open offer that when you need help or a break, I am here for you. Or, maybe you can pick a day and say, "I am available on Mondays and Thursday if you need me to babysit or whatever." You'll see, she'll love that offer and she will come around. It's so funny how everyone handles things different -- I would have paid for a break from my first son...and actually I did -- I ended up paying for a sitter during the week to get a break. Give her time -- lay back -- and put out the offer. I would literally say that "I don't want to be in the way -- so you tell me what you need and when you need it. I will give you space right now." I believe she will apreciate it. -A.- (ps. I am 44 soon to be 45 and mom of two crazy boys -- 5 1/2 and soon to be 8yrs. And I know hormones!!!
You have probably gotten a lot of responses already, but...
I'm a first-time mom (6 months now) and my mom gave me the promise that she would only give advice when requested. This has worked very well because I know she raised two kids successfully and is a great resource, but she gives me the space to figure things out on my own, make mistakes, and develop my own style and confidence. In the meantime, clean the house, let her sleep, buy her favorite groceries, and adore your new granddaughter.
Grandma- I know you want to help and have tons of advice and experience as all grandmas do. Your daughter is a mom now. Let her be the mom to her baby. We all learn through experience and there are several ways to handle things with a baby, and the baby will help her learn what is right. She needs to learn through experience as you and your mom did. This is normal. Id f she needs help, she will ask, just be there to support her when she requests it. Maybe offer to watch the baby so she can run errands, take a nap, enjoy a shower, eat a hot meal, have a date with her man or simply hang with her friends for a bit, but don't push it. First time mom's can be possessive without meaning to be or realizing it. I know I was. Maybe help with yardwork or dusting would help. Sometimes being a first time mom can be overwhelming but we don't admit it until we are ready. She still loves you and needs you. Always know she loves you and trust that you did raise her to be happy, healthy and able to succeed. You have succeeded raising your child, let her have that opportunity for hers. I mean this all in honesty and not to sound rude, I'm just blunt, honest and direct. Enjoy being a grandma, let her be mom, and everything will work out, I'm sure. Perhaps a card with some simple, direct helpful hints she can refer to when she feels necessary would be a positive suggestion. You can offer your ideas and she can accept them and try them when she is ready. Good Luck and enjoy your family growing and learning.
It's probably hormonal! no! don't go home - stay and support her - when I just had my first I just wanted someone to clean and cook for me and my husband so I could sleep when the baby sleeps.
I suggest you stay there help her with offering to cook, clean and getting her water everytime she sits down to nurse the baby and if the baby is awake but doesn't want to nurse - send your daughter to bed and watch the baby - she needs the rest.
Enjoy your new grandchild.
Congratulations to the family - a new baby is such a joy!
I just gave birth to my first child. My mother-in-law, who has got to be one of the nicest people on earth, offered to come stay with us for a couple of days every week. I felt myself turning mean and nasty. I know mother-in-laws are different than mothers, but what I felt was that I really needed to be in charge. At the same time, I felt really insecure (what did I know about being a mom?). This was impossible to do with my mother-in-law there. I felt constantly concerned that she might think she knows better. There is just so much judgment and advice for new moms. My suggestion would be not to give any advice, unless she asks for it. She needs to find her own way, listen to her own instincts, make her own decisions about raising her child. Ask if she wants help with chores, meals, etc. Ask if she needs some space to be a new mom. While I am still in the throws of new parenthood, conversations with friends have led me to believe that, overtime, as my confidence grows and I get to know what my child needs, I will no longer feel threatened by moms. I imagine the same will hold true for you. Your daughter just needs a little time.
I wish I knew if you lived nearby or not. Is she breastfeeding? that is so tiring. Yes hormones do make a big difference and at 2 and half wks I saw a big difference. As a grandmother 6 times I have stayed with my daughter to help. With the first baby I felt the same way you are feeling. I ran into a woman on the plane down and she told me when her mom came she helped but kept to herself just enough to give privacy to the young couple. So I took that advice and just cleaned and did what was needed,laundry and asked what else they needed. If I was done I went and took a nap or read a book. First babies are so hard and esp if breastfeeding. Try to be up front and just ask what does she want from you..lately I had my first experience as the mil and that was here in town..I wanted to help but also give privacy to my son and his wife to enjoy the new baby..hard for me trying to do what is right..it is going well now. My best advise is to try and help as much as you can during that 2-3 rd wk..most moms are at the end of their rope at this point..just getting to 6 wks is so nice when Life looks a bit brighter. I did try and always be there to rock the baby so my daughter could nap each afternoon..but that was with me staying at the house with them..I hope some of this helps..it is hard being the grandmother that balances the situation correctly.~D.
Oh boy have things changed since you gave birth. The best way to help your daughter is to remember vividly how you felt when you had her. You yearned to follow your strong instincts and mother her they way your heart told you to. Do you remember how you felt when someone else, especially a relative, told you what to do? Weren't you protective of your baby the way your daughter is now? Grandma puts a blanket on the baby, mama takes the blanket off the baby. Grandma puts the blanket back on the baby. . . etc. The best way to help is to convey to your daughter, sincerely, that you want to know how you want it done and then strive to do it that way. Remember to tell her that she is doing a marvelous job. Compliment her. Help in ways that allow her to rest. She is sleep deprived, hormonal, strung out and unsure of herself. She needs your love and affection, so keep the comments and suggestions to a minimum and you'll be fine. You are a good person to be there for her.