(Updated) Top 10 Things A Grandma Can Do For An Exhausted New Mom Including Shutting Up A Lot

tips for grandmasSo your mom or mother-in-law is planning on visiting after you have the baby, or while you are in labor and after you give birth. Fabulous! Or, not so fabulous depending on what your relationship is like with these lovely women. As a woman who has both a mother and a mother-in-law, I know a bit about these sorts of things. I have been extremely lucky in having my own mom come for visits soon after I gave birth, and it’s awesome to have an extra set of hands around the house when you bring a new little person into it. Except when it isn’t awesome. Moms mean well. They usually do. But sometimes they forget why they are visiting in the first place and this is when you start screaming at them like you are a hormonal teenager and you slam your bedroom door and cry all over your baby’s cute little downy head. Not good. Those of us with moms and mothers-in-laws are so fortunate to have them, and even though they can sometimes drive us a little batty there is nothing like being able to count on an older woman who loves you offering to come help out when you need it most. So here is what I think the most important things that a new grandma can do for a new mom.

You Are There To Baby Your Baby 

As much as you may think you are there to help with your new grandchild, you are not. Yes, you may get to hold the baby on occasion, but it is YOUR job to make sure that YOUR baby has what she needs.

You Need To Shut Your Mouth-Hole 

Yes, you have done a fine job raising your child who now has a child. Brava. But she doesn’t need to hear your opinions on everything she is doing wrong. You may hate the baby’s name, but your kids aren’t going to march on down to the hospital and say OH we made a mistake because my mom hates the baby’s name so we need to change it. You may not like the nursery decor, the type of swaddling blankets your kids purchased, or the brand of diapers they are using. You need to shut up about all these things. You can act all scandalized that your daughter is practicing attachment parenting to your own spouse or bridge club when you return home.

You Need To Make Yourself Useful  

Cook something, clean something, fold something. If you don’t cook, go purchase some fabulous breads and cheeses and fruit. Wash all the towels in the house. Walk the dog. Mop the floor. There are things that need to be taken care of in a house with a new baby in it, and you can do these things.

 And You Need To Be Available When The Mom Wants You To Take The Baby

Offer to change the baby or hold the baby while mom naps. Bundle that baby up and take it for a short walk in the stroller. Offer to take care of the baby so mom can take a hot shower, alone, without the portable swing on the bathroom floor.

 You Need To Talk About The Baby 

No one will ever love this baby as much as the parents and you do, so you need to talk about the baby. You know what new parents like doing? Saying how cute/good/amazing the new baby is. Over and over again. Their friends will get really sick of this topic of conversation very quickly, so it’s your job to always mention the baby, at all times. New parents want to spend roughy six hours a day exclaiming that this baby is the best baby of all times. You need to agree with them.

 You Need To Give Advice. When Asked. 

If your daughter asks you for help, that’s awesome, feel free to show her your patented swaddling technique or the best way to get a burp up. IF she asks you. If not, shut the mouth hole.

You Need To Bring Fabulous Prizes With

You know your kid loves the chocolate chip cookies you make? Bring ‘em. Check her out brand new books from the library. Get her a DVD she has been wanting to see. Get her a stack of glossy magazines. Same goes for your son or son-in-law. People will be bringing all sorts of fabulous prizes for the baby so sure, go ahead and knit an afghan or buy a layette from Neiman Marcus but bring some things with for the new parents too. And if you have anything your own kid had when they were a baby, like a beloved outfit or a toy, bring that too. Great, I need to go cry now.

If There Are Other Kids In The Home, You Be The Best Grandma Ever 

It’s hard caring for a newborn and also caring for those old boring kids that have been around for a few years. Plus, those old boring kids might feel a bit jealous that the new baby is getting all the attention, due to their new baby smell and all that. Play with those old boring kids! Take them to the park. Read books until your mouth is sore, let them sleep with you, cook with them. It will be good for them and allow the new parents a chance to bond with the baby.

Take A Million Pictures 

When you ask old people (Yes, this means you) what is the one thing they would save if their house was on fire, the answer is usually pictures. Or their heart medication. Sorry grandma! But anyway, take as many photos as you can. Not only will you have a gorgeous collection to show off to your friends back home, but you can make the new parents a nice album.

 Did I Mention Shut Your Mouth Hole? 

Now is not the time to bring up past grievances, or make snarky comments about how her husband leaves his socks on the floor, or how your friend’s daughter had a baby and she decided to quit her job and stay at home to take care of that baby and this is who she did it when she had you and blah blah blah blah. SHUT IT. You can voice your opinion in a letter you send after you get home or how about never? Listen, you raised at least one of these people. If you think you are a moderately intelligent person than chances are the person you raised is one too. This is their life, and their baby, and they should be allowed to make the same mistakes and celebrate the same milestones you did. Think back to if your own mother or mother-in-law came to visit after you gave birth and how they quite possibly drove you crazy too. Do not be that person.

Updated: For those who requested a more gentle take on the topic, I made one here

(Image: Pinterest)

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    • Bethany Ramos

      Favorite Napoleon Dynamite gif of all time!!! With that being said, I totally agree with the cooking and cleaning. My mom swore up and down that she was going to clean, cook, and help with the baby just a few weeks after he was born. For the record, I never saw one act of cleaning, but we did enjoy a little bit of cooking – that I cleaned up after!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        OMG that is the worst. It’s like “If you aren’t going to clean up after, don’t bother”

    • Madame Ovaries

      The shower thing, yeeeeeessss. My mom offered to take a day off work once a week for the first eight weeks of my son’s life to help me out. Once a week, I got to shower alone without the bouncer chair outside and it was TRANSCENDENT. She also let me take a two hour nap each afternoon. In conclusion, that is why I think my mom is eligible for sainthood. Thank you.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter
      • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

        Your mom needs to come and stay with me for a while when I have this baby.

        I love my mom to death, but she didn’t do ANYTHING for me when I had my son. Unless you count showing up to the hospital an hour after gave me the first dose of pitocin and repeatedly telling me how I needed to “hurry up and have this baby” because she only took one day off work. :( I was so jealous of all my friends whose moms came to stay at their house for a week or so until they adjusted. Granted, most of my friends are single parents. But my husband went back to working 12 hour days as soon as we were home from the hospital, so I might as well have been on my own.

      • Ptownsteveschick

        She sounds like my mom! While they were stitching me up, my mom repeatedly complained about how it was almost 10pm and she was tired and wanted to see the baby before she went home again. She generally means well but has no idea how the things she says sound. To this day, on my daughter’s birthday she laments how tired she was when she was born. Like I was just chillin.

      • Kate

        Ha yes. My mom was over the other day and pointed out that my furniture was dusty without moving a muscle. I’m like, “Gee, THANKS.”

      • Snarktopus

        Not trying to be a jerk here, but am I the only one who left my baby in her bassinet, napping, to take a shower?

    • chickadee

      Just do not invite your mother or mother-in-law if you have a strained relationship or a history of squabbling. Even if they promise to behave, they won’t. My mother criticized minor foibles of my then-husband when she came for the birth of both girls, and it stressed me out (especially with the second) because I had to play mediator. AND my mother *said* she would cook and take care of the house, but because she didn’t really like doing those things, I kind of ended up doing them. She did change nighttime diapers, though, and brought the babies to me for night feedings, which was nice.

      • historychick79

        Amen–follow your instincts about what will actually make your life easier. My mom has a long track record for creating self-centered drama around any major family event; we’re all very happy she lives about 14hrs away. She was determined to move into our house right when I gave birth and stay for 1-2wks to ‘help.’ When I suggested that she and step-dad (ahem, both chain smokers, agh!) would be better off staying in a hotel for the first few days while my husband had his brief paternity leave, or wait until he went back to work to become guests (sigh), it became a 2 month drama about how I was isolating her from her only grandchild, resulting in her sending me a nasty, bitter email 2 days after I gave birth and her de-friending me on FB (like, mature, right?), along with a few other hyper-emotional stabs of narcissistic melodrama in the following months. We haven’t spoken since, and C turns 3 next week; I feel guilty because it’s “mom,” but know it will never be a healthy relationship. Sometimes those major family changes become a chance to define/identify what your true family is, and who will be healthy role models for your child.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Amen x 1929239239393992392

      • chickadee

        Yes! My mother also liked to make things about her, and she could get really passive-aggressive about her drama. It was really stressful for me regarding meals, because she would hang out on the couch, quilting or watching tv and it would be getting near 4 o’clock and she would sigh and grumble, ‘I guess I should think about *dinner*…’ Like maybe *I* should be doing it, along with nursing my 5-day-old baby and making food for my toddler and cleaning up after her and changing her (‘when are you going to potty-train her? You shouldn’t let her run the show’) and dreading the moment when my husband got home and the polite sniping would begin.

        I need a drink just remembering all this.

    • Snarktopus

      Oh my god, I can not agree with ‘shut your mouth-hole’ more. Listen, MIL, I don’t caaaaaare how much my husband pooped when he was a baby, I’m not basing my diaper purchases off of that. Also, please stop telling me how much my husband pooped as a baby. Please.

    • Michelle

      I should have known better than to allow my MIL to watch the baby while I showered when she was 5 weeks. She begged and begged to help so finally I gave in (read: my husband made me). She always talked about how she had severe PPD with my husband and that she would put him in the basement and lock herself in a closet upstairs while having a break down. She wasn’t much better when my SIL came along and she was a perfect baby. I got out of the shower to hear my baby screaming, poop up her back, and my MIL pushing the baby at me saying she’s done. Some help she was. Thank goodness my mom is amazing.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        OMG

      • Blahblah

        I second Eve’s OMG. That’s just… No.

    • Lisa

      I love this all, except for the suggestion to bring over the adult kid’s old stuff. A Care Bear in good condition here or there, maybe, but my MIL has saved *everything* from my husband’s childhood. She has insisted I wear her itchy wool 1980 maternity dress that could double as a tent, pushed tons of terry-cloth-cinched-waist baby jumpsuits and always brings a bag of toys to our already toy-intensive house (we have an 18 month old and a 5 day old). She immediately opens the bag of toys when she arrives, shoving them in front of our son (the older child) one after the other while he just sits there like “whoa, grandma, let’s slow up.” When she leaves, she takes the toys back and leaves the rest if my son’s toys strewn about. Meanwhile when we came home from the hospital with our baby girl, after a C-section, she didn’t even ask “how are you feeling?” … Ok, rant over :)

      • SDA

        Yeah, I have some random toys my mom keeps bringing that I loved as a child. It is apparent how much I loved them because they are worn, missing, pieces, and beyond use. Thanks mom, but you can keep those at home for your memories! :)

    • LadyClodia

      My mom is awesome! She was so great after both of my boys were born, and she’s still great! The day I broke my ankle she cleaned up the house while we were at the ER, and she’s been running the boys to their classes and whatever else we need since.
      My stepmom is pretty good too, although they don’t come to visit very often, but she will help with whatever needs done when she is here. They always bring a cooler of food and I don’t have to cook the entire time they’re here.
      My MIL lives in The Netherlands, so has only been able to visit twice since the boys were born. She’s not very motherly and is not great with babies, but she would do small things while she was here, and she played with our older son a lot, so it was OK.
      Overall, I’m pretty lucky in the mom department.

    • StillReeling

      The day after I gave birth to my daughter, my mother fell down and broke her right arm, ultimately necessitating surgery and pins (yikes!). When we called the morning we were leaving to let her know we were heading home, my mother spent that phone call complaining and whining that I hadn’t read the email about their predicament. While I understand her frustration, I had also just had a baby so I wasn’t about to check my email. Sorry. However, my in-laws were in town (and would not leave the hospital room for anything so I had to stay awake and entertain them when all I really wanted to do was snuggle with my baby and sleep) and, in a sleep-deprived state of delirium, asked my MIL to stay on for a couple of days to help out. I had visions of her helping with the house, doing the laundry, cooking meals, walking the dog, generally being useful. NO. She sat on our couch and read. She ate our food (did none of the cooking – husband and I had to do this). Now, I understand that she did all of that – be a bump on the log – because she didn’t want to offend me, which I can kinda sorta appreciate, but it was 100% absolutely not what I needed. I called my mom (who was reeling from pain meds), sobbing that I just wanted someone to *^()*@Q(*^@*() pick up some damn BBQ and watch the kid for 15 minutes so I could eat in peace. Within 15 minutes, one of her best friends showed up at the house with 5 lbs. of brisket and a metric-butt-ton of sides. She held the baby while I ate, and it was glorious. She was also amazed that my MIL did absolutely nothing (and in fact wanted to ask, “Then why the f**k are you here?”) and gave me a big hug.

      Ugh. Clearly I am still not over all of this. ;/

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        You poor baby. I am so glad your mom helped you out by sending her friend over.

      • StillReeling

        Aaaaaaaaaaand reading back over that, I want to say this to myself:

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        No way! I think you deserve sympathy. It sounds like your MIL is a total piece of work

      • Edify

        Thank god I’m not alone! The only useful thing my MIL did in the 6 weeks (!!!!!!) she was here until I could drive again was take my eldest to daycare. She certainly knew exactly what time to appear for dinner. I even had to cook my own birthday dinner a week after baby was born but a month later, she had no problems putting in an “order” for what she wanted for hers.

        I’m going to be recovering for some time.

      • Amber Starr

        That really sucks. I’m so sorry that you didn’t have the help that you needed. Thank god for mom’s friend and the yummy bbq. Best wishes!

    • Soon-to-be-Auntie

      Thank you for this! I’m not a grandma, but a (very) soon-to-be-auntie, and I’ve already been guilty of not keeping my “mouth hole” shut by offering my sister unsolicited advice for her first baby. ;-) This is a great list of reminders to (quietly) let my sis do what she needs to do, but still be available to help in any way I can. This could not have come at a better time! <3

    • Ptownsteveschick

      My mom took a weeks vacation starting on my due date because she knew my husband wasn’t going to have any time off beyond the hospital. My baby was 11 days late. I sometimes think I would have taken even my lame ass MIL to sit there and do nothing the first few days so I wouldn’t feel so utterly alone. I asked my sister to come spend the night with me and she didn’t want to. Not a single person in my entire family offered to bring me dinner or come spend the night even though I lived 15 minutes from many immediate family members. People are jerks sometimes.

      • ChillMama

        I’m so sorry to hear that. It is no fun being exhausted, lonely, and slightly terrified those first few nights.

      • Ptownsteveschick

        We powered through it! I think what riled me most was that if I wanted company or help, everyone was like, come over, bring the baby! Because there is nothing that a week postpartum mom wants to do except load her baby into the car and drive across town.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      I begged my mom to fly to me after my lovely, beautiful, slightly awkward looking, parasite had emerged. She stayed with us for a month. For the first week postpartum, I wasn’t sure if I had escaped into a lovely alternate reality the pain meds created or it was real. She helped me get around when my husband was taking care of our baby, she made formula runs, showed me how to make my tender titties feel better with rice socks and the last Friday she was with us, she told us to go and enjoy ourselves. It was so nice to have a day/night out together. I have never been more convinced that my mother was a robot in my life.

      My MIL’s advice: Slip a little Benedryl/Tylenol PM into their bottles and they’ll sleep through the night… I did it with all my kids.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

      Oh my God. Yes.

    • SDA

      I agree with most things. Note on the taking pictures one….make sure you are taking millions of pictures of the BABY and ASK before taking pictures of the MOM! My darling, helpful, wonderful mother and her picture taking….there is now a picture of me 3 weeks postpartum, with a 102 fever from mastitis on Facebook! YAY! I look like I am on the verge of death and tears. I never said anything because they were such a big help, but yeah, I was mortified!!

      I do agree, the absolute best thing you can do is listen to the “baby talk”. I am so fortunate to be able to share all my child’s daily activities with my mom and her be as thrilled as me over every single detail. :)

      • SDA

        Oh and if you are a MIL, try your best not to yell at your new mom daughter-in-law….she does in fact hold the “keys” to the baby and might decide not to let your psycho ass babysit for a few years.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        OH I TOTALLY MEANT of the baby – NOT the exhausted mom

      • Shea

        Ha, there is a truly terrible picture of my mother two weeks after I was born, sitting up in bed with a thermometer in her mouth, hooked up to a makeshift IV stand my dad constructed out of some scrap wood (my mother got a bad infection after I was born and had to stay in the maternity ward of our small, rural hospital for a week, at which point she informed the doctors she was going insane having to listen to women in labour 24/7, so they allowed her to go home as long as my grandmother, a nurse, stayed and looked after her. I guess they didn’t have any proper IV stands to spare, hence the MacGyvered one). To be fair, I think my dad took the picture, and this was way before Facebook, so the picture exists only in an old photo album.

    • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

      I so wish this had been available before I gave birth… My Mom had envisioned and imagined the perfect situation: available at the drop of a hat for the birth, in the room totally ready to support my husband, promised to take a week off and come help us after a couple days of alone time so that she could clean, cook, change diapers, all that jazz.

      Of course, her dreams I think faded away somehow…

      1 – In the delivery room, when we discovered that my epidural had come out by accident while I was trying to flip my baby over, insisted to the staff – over our heads – that they give me a C-Section because she couldn’t handle seeing her baby in pain. Then proceeded to say I was just trying to be a hero when my husband and I explained that we just wanted it redone since no one was in danger.

      2 – That oh-so-awesome week of vacation to come help clean, cook and care? Still waiting for that after almost 9 months…

      3 – She ALWAYS finds a way to take whatever piece of info like a new milestone or feature and immediately attribute it to one of HER babies. Somehow she doesn’t seem to think that my daughter can be just… my daughter. It always has to be attributed to one of my sister or myself. (Which utterly irks my husband, too, since our daughter is identical to him.

      4 – Her two cents seem to cost me a lot…

      (My MIL on the other hand, although she constantly has something to say about my parenting, whenever she’s in town, offers to help out with making dinners (still), babysitting, she even stayed awake with the baby over the xmas holidays one night so that we could sleep (so awesome!).

      Ugh, rant over.

      • Véronique Houde

        Omg your mom sounds just like mine!! Wait…

      • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

        Aren’t you supposed to be on vacation in a remote area? I think you’re addicted to Mommyish…

      • Véronique Houde

        I’ve survived 6 days without. ;) and I’m sitting in the single coffee shop with Internet and have 5 minutes before we head out…

    • Blahblah

      Still got about three months before my parasite is done cooking (I hear you like them to be well done as opposed to medium). But already my in laws are not so good at shutting their freaking pie holes. I have heard;
      1. Why I can’t possibly explain homosexuality to my child when she asks.
      2. Why my own mother is trying to steal my baby.
      3. How *they* did X with their kids, and it worked, so even if I don’t like it, it’s fine!
      4. Why I simply HAVE to allow them to take her to church.

      • Ptownsteveschick

        I told my husband that he could either lay down the law and expectations to his parents before the baby was born, or my 9 month pregnant hormonal self would do it, and he could bail me out after. He chose to handle it himself. Good luck!

      • LordOfHate

        I realized that Blair has brainwashed people into thinking that it is cool to be the kind of parent that she likes, but calling your baby a parasite? Don’t get me wrong I get the humor, and I am not saying that it is wrong – all I am saying is that it is ok to not use names like parasite or crotch fruit – if you lose cool points in her book who cares. Good luck and congratulations with your upcoming parasite.

      • alice

        but they are parasites. little aliens!

      • Blahblah

        I started calling my baby Parasite when I found out I was pregnant. Because it felt parasitic to be pregnant.

        Sure it’s okay to NOT use terms like that. I don’t look down on anyone who doesn’t. This is just the way I view my pregnancy… With some humor. Because it’s been miserable, I hate being pregnant, and I NEVER want to do it again. If I didn’t try and find some relief that makes me giggle, I’d be locked up by now.

        It’s equally okay for me to use those terms. Or anyone else. Because I don’t control other people. :)

        And thanks! Parasite will be beautiful, I’m sure.

    • smishsmash

      Oh my God yes. I am a twin, so basically every single thing I say to my mom comes back with a statement like “Oh, you’re tired, well, I had TWINS!” And yes, I know that was hard and I appreciate that, but c’mon, this isn’t easy for me either just because my two kids weren’t born at the same time. Can we please focus on the fact that I am tired and overwhelmed NOW and not on the fact that she was tired and overwhelmed over three decades ago?

    • disqus_RcnfTzAghr

      My Mum was pretty much the bee’s knees with this stuff. I used to give her my credit card and a shopping list and she would go off and do my groceries for me (and then I got my credit card statement with no purchases on it and did have to tell her off for paying for my groceries, she’s just that kind of person) and there was one night where she stayed over, took the baby into the lounge with her and demanded that my husband and I sleep.
      My MIL had wonderful intentions but sometimes poor execution. She would come over with cakes or nice cheeses and things, but then would use twice as many plates as required, use several knives to cut the cake, make everyone coffee and spill the coffee on the kitchen bench and not wipe it up. So whilst cake and cheese was greatly appreciated, it always meant more work.

    • Genevieve Rutherford

      My mother would walk my dogs, cook the occasional meal, but always leave a ton of mess and I have yet to have anyone offer to babysit (18 months later) MIL age me fllowers post delivery. My SIL on the other hand has had a night away each week plus more if needed, dishes done for her etc etc… So incredibly jealous.

      • Genevieve Rutherford

        Oh wait my cousin who lives two hours away has offered to baby sit, I take that part back.

    • Edify

      I think we all deserve a round of drinks. BIG ones.

    • momjones

      Mother of three, Grandma of two, retired teacher after 38 years – worked up to their birth and went back to work with all mine. My daughter of two is also teacher. I was fortunate, my Mother watched my children when I worked, and my Grandmother lived with my parents at the time. Furthermore, my in-laws lived close, and we took our children to see them weekly. Let’s just say I was given lots of advice, warranted or unwarranted. So what did I do? I listened to them, I thanked them, I respected them and valued what they told me even if it drove me crazy. So what do I tell my daughter? “Do whatever works.” And I remember the wise, loving women who guided me. Does she sometimes snap at me? Does she thank me? Does she get aggravated with me? Of course. The last time she told me (after the 3 year old didn’t listen to her while I was there), “She doesn’t listen to me because you let her get away with things,” I kept my mouth shut, and said, “OK, I think it’s time for me to go.” And that was it. She has an excellent child care provider, but my husband and I will watch them at our house whenever we can since we live close to one another. At least once a week or on weekends, we will keep one or both of them overnight so she can get some things done as well as spend time with her husband who also works long hours.

      I guess the reason for my long post and explanation of myself is that it makes me sad to read about so many young women and families who have strained relationships with their parents. I was blessed, and I try my best to impart the same wisdom and patience that my grandparents and parents taught me. Yes, we “old” Moms sometimes think we know more than new ones, and perhaps we do in that we have experienced the next stage beyond the one our grandchildren are currently going through. And yes, life is relative, isn’t it? And in all my experience with other people (teaching does provide lots of that), I think that the unresolved issues that parents had don’t magically go away when they become grandparents.

      One of my daughter’s favorite stories about our relationship occurred on the second night her first born was home. She was having a difficult time nursing, and I was spending the night – I was asked to and I stayed about 3 nights after they come home. My daughter was determined to use the damn Boppy pillow, and I kept saying that I hated the thing. After sobbing and feeling like a failure, I grabbed the pillow, threw it across the room, said, “Fuck the damn Boppy pillow,” took the baby, put her little head under mother’s breast while guiding her toward her nipple. And she nursed, and did from that point on – without the damn pillow.

    • BubbleyToes

      My sister-in-law’s in-law’s (confusing, yes.) once told her to “rub a little whiskey on the bottom of her feet! She’ll sleep all through the night!”…..yes, yes I’m sure she would sleep quite well with a little alcohol poisoning…we’ve all been there, right?

      • Ptownsteveschick

        Seems like a waste of whiskey. My advice is drink the whiskey yourself and let the baby cry for a few minutes longer before you jump out of bed.

    • Kate

      I kinda get where you’re going with this, but the article kinda reads like you expect Grandma to be slave labor. If I sent this to my mom she would laugh in my face.

    • ROF

      I had issues with my mom when she tried to help me when my baby was born but she WAS genuinely trying (in her own way) to be helpful. I think the article is supposed to be funny and just for laughs and probably not be meant for this purpose, but if I sent her this article, she would be sad and hurt and it would make a happy occasion into a sad one.

      I would prefer an article written in a way that I can ACTUALLY share with her when baby number #2 comes along to explain in a sympathetic way why changing her behavior would make the situation better for everyone. Is there one that exists?

    • BubbleyToes

      I think it says a lot about your relationship with your mom if you can/cannot send this article to her. I sent it to my mom and she got a kick out of it and agreed with everything in it..

    • Momma425

      Eve, if and when I ever have another baby, I am going to need you to anonymously send this to my MIL. And my GMIL too.
      BEST. ARTICLE. EVER.

    • Andy

      A-freakin-MEN. The baby isn’t even here yet and I’m already having to grit my teeth a lot when dealing with my mom. She’s normally great, but she’s riding my ass about getting a maid in ASAP. Well, guess what-we can’t afford one, we’re only budgeting for one to come in while I’m in the hospital so we can start with a clean house before the baby comes. Not to mention that this is my second kiddo, so you’d think she would have learned the first time around that I’m going to take her advice with a grain of salt anyway. Hell, I just wish everyone around me would shut their mouths and let me gestate in peace!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        She can get you a damn gift certificate for a maid if it is that important to her

    • CrushLily

      “You can voice your opinion in a letter you send after you get home or how about never?”
      I received that letter from my MIL. Apparently, I was very inconsiderate to think that she would want to see the baby so soon after it was born (in June). Didn’t I know she was very busy with work and she would see it in August on her way to her holiday in Italy?! The six months notice she was given of the impending birth was obviously insufficient. Silly me.
      My mum came to visit ‘for company’. She wasn’t particularly helpful but then she died very unexpectedly nine months later. Now I am just so grateful that we had that time together and all the crap leading up to it doesn’t matter.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I am so sorry about your mom :(

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    • Courtney Lynn

      With my mom, it’s all about how my sister does it differently. I don’t caaaaaaaaarrre! I’m doing it my way!

    • kbr

      I’m not even going to get into my MIL’s behavior after the birth of my child, but I have to comment on how lovely my own mother was. She came every single day to see the baby, for my entire maternity leave. She called first and asked, natch. Some of her visits were just that she squealed and cooed and held the baby and then left. Sometimes she and my dad would come over to walk the dog or bring a meal or hold the baby so I could nap or shower. She never offered her opinion about the baby unless asked, but was always honest. She pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone and leave the house by myself, wear the baby, nurse in public, even tag along on a family vacation. But the best, best, best thing she did was help me get used to leaving my baby. Towards the end of my maternity leave she would invite me to her house. I’d bring the baby and hand her over to my mother, and then go upstairs to watch TV or knit or nap or whatever. Sometimes I’d go grocery shopping or to Target. Those short breaks from the baby were both terrifying and lovely, and easing into it made my transition back to work soooo much easier.

      My husband works really long hours and isn’t around much, which she doesn’t approve of but would never say out loud. She has never criticized us but feels comfortable pushing him, too, to try to calm the baby, put her down to bed, and do things by himself, which has been really good for all of us.

      We haven’t always had the very best relationship, and so it is so much more special that she has been such a rock since I’ve had my daughter.

    • Erin Murphy

      Oh. Eve. I’m due in October. I’m going to need you to come stand in as my scandalously young mother when the baby is born. I love my mother and my MIL but I am the caregiver, the pace keeper and the tongue biter. I’m more anxious about them than I am about getting him out of me.

    • whiteroses

      My son was born in Australia. The day after he was born, my parents (who I hadn’t seen for a year and a half) showed up in my hospital room. The trip wasn’t a surprise, but boy was I glad to see them.
      I got home from the hospital, and my mom looked at me, took the baby and said, “I’ve got this.” I slept for three glorious hours, then took a shower solo. When nursing didn’t work out, my mom straight-talked me and bought the first can of formula. She brought a buttload of clothes for my son, gave him his first bath, and gave me pep talks. She also somehow knew when I didn’t want the advice. When she left three weeks later, I felt prepared. I SO wasn’t, but I felt like he at least wouldn’t die.

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    • new gma

      I’m going to be a new g-ma in 5 weeks and I will be staying with my daughter and son in-law for a month. I’m nervous about overstepping boundaries, him not liking my cooking or them feeling like I’m taking over there home or critiquing their cleaning if I clean too much, will they be comfortable with me washing their clothes and handling their under garments to do so, lol. When I have visited in the past, it’s only been for a week at a time and I usually stay at a hotel, but this time I will be staying at their house (when my husband and son come to visit I will stay at hotel with my husband). I’m very nervous, every time I visit my daughter and I argue at least once when she feels like I’m giving advice on a topic regarding her that she feels I don’t understand. I usually try to keep my mouth shut about any and everything and if I give advice and I feel like I’m getting resistance I let it go. I’m really having anxiety about all of this. Let’s not forget the baby, I will have to really bite my tongue and step back regarding every decision they make from here on out. I’m ultimately grateful that she is ok with me wanting to be there for labor, delivery and postpartum. I’ve been learning throughout this pregnancy with her to follow her lead on how much she is willing to let me say or do by what she ask. In the beginning I was so overjoyed that I was bombarding her with info and she told me I was overwhelming her. My sister told me to let go and let her let me know when she wanted info and she eventually did. But I’m very nervous about this trip and every trip there after…