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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jan 9, 2014
DEAR ABBY: In response to the letter from "Family First in Florida" (Nov. 3), it's no wonder her son and daughter-in-law want some peace and quiet when their new baby arrives. Grandma-to-be appears controlling, entitled and someone who will be more of an endurance test than a helping presence. They are right to set kind, yet firm, boundaries with her.

I wanted privacy during and after childbirth, and I'm grateful my mom and MIL respected our wishes. I needed time to establish a nursing routine, heal and get to know my baby before I was ready to host overnight guests.

My kids' grandmas both have strong, loving relationships with their grandkids, so please remind "Family First" she's not missing out on anything. She'll still get to be a doting granny, but for now she should back off and remember the arrival of the child is not about her.-- EXPERIENCED MOM IN OMAHA

DEAR MOM: I'm pleased everything worked out well for you. That woman's letter hit a nerve with my readers. A sampling of their comments:

DEAR ABBY: I had the same vision of being there when my grandkids were born. However, my kids have not involved me the way I imagined.

"Family First's" son is putting his family first, as he should. He and his wife have chosen what they feel will make the smoothest, least-stressful launch for their new family, and he is protecting that plan. If she doesn't respect her son's right to make that decision, she risks jeopardizing her future relationship with him, his wife and the grandkids.

The essence of a mother's love is sacrifice. It's time to put aside her dreams and help her son fulfill his.-- SUZIE IN OLYMPIA, WASH.

DEAR ABBY: The new parents are greatly misinformed about the importance of having grandparents around just before and immediately after the birth of a new baby. It helps to have a family member in the waiting room to update other family and well-wishers so Dad can devote full attention to the new mom and baby.

My mother was a godsend, taking care of everything while we bonded with our child. She did the cooking, the chores, and gave us needed breaks during the day so we were able to tolerate night feedings. When our second child arrived, she helped with our older one.

Childbirth is difficult. I don't think this new mom realizes she won't be able to do it all.-- SHANA IN LOUISIANA

DEAR ABBY: Has "Family First" considered that her daughter-in-law's mother may be coming? Unfair as it may seem, in cultures around the world, the role of the paternal grandmother is far different than that of the maternal grandmother.-- KNOWS FOR SURE IN KENYA

DEAR ABBY: My son and DIL told everyone, including the other grandparents, who live near them, they wanted no visitors for at least six weeks. That sad grandma needs to brush up on her Skype and Facetime skills so she can see them frequently on her computer and phone. We do this with our kids.

In the first year, the baby learned our voices and saw our faces often. When we met again, it was like we'd always been there.-- COMPUTER GRANNY

DEAR ABBY: While she isn't invited to be there for the birth of her first grandchild, I'm sure her son and DIL will be begging her to come for the next one. After a week of no sleep, they are going to wish they had told her yes this time!-- GRANNY IN ILLINOIS

DEAR ABBY: When I declined my mother-in-law's offer to help out when my son was born, she paid to have a catering service deliver daily three-course dinners for two weeks so I wouldn't have to cook. It was the best gift I ever received, and I love her for it!-- LISA IN NORTH CAROLINA

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Jan 9, 2014
My then wife and I managed to get thru the first few weeks of our childs life without any intrusions from doting inlaws of any kind. You dont need to have your meals catered, you need to tell your husband to rustle up some grub. You need to learn how to be a tag team for feeding, and playing. Sheesh, you people who rely on others to pick up your slack are amazing. Glad I am was not as helpless as you folk seem to be.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Jan 9, 2014
RACE wrote:
My then wife and I managed to get thru the first few weeks of our childs life without any intrusions from doting inlaws of any kind. You dont need to have your meals catered, you need to tell your husband to rustle up some grub. You need to learn how to be a tag team for feeding, and playing. Sheesh, you people who rely on others to pick up your slack are amazing. Glad I am was not as helpless as you folk seem to be.
And you would have the same opinion if your wife had a c-section? After #2, my wife could not sit up, much less stand up, without assistance. For over a week. Daddy still had to go get the bacon, so it would have been extremely difficult without the help of the grandmas.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Jan 9, 2014
RACE wrote:
My then wife and I managed to get thru the first few weeks of our childs life without any intrusions from doting inlaws of any kind. You dont need to have your meals catered, you need to tell your husband to rustle up some grub. You need to learn how to be a tag team for feeding, and playing. Sheesh, you people who rely on others to pick up your slack are amazing. Glad I am was not as helpless as you folk seem to be.
And lw never said she NEEDED ( nor requested) those catered meals. But she was damn happy and thankful to have them. You're tone seems to be that you dis-approve of her getting that assistance. Why?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Jan 9, 2014
As I recall the original letter ( and I may be wrong) the MIL wanted not only to be there for the birth but also in the delivery room. That breached way too many boundaries.
My in laws drove in from Nebraska after the first week and stayed in a hotel. My mother who drives me nuts was told she had to call first before coming over. When the baby was about 2 weeks old my husband had to go out of town for 10 days. It was great. Baby and I got acclimated to each other better, schedule was to our liking not someone else and a couple of the neighbor's had me and the shrimp over to dinner or brought a dish

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Jan 9, 2014
RACE wrote:
My then wife and I managed to get thru the first few weeks of our childs life without any intrusions from doting inlaws of any kind. You dont need to have your meals catered, you need to tell your husband to rustle up some grub. You need to learn how to be a tag team for feeding, and playing. Sheesh, you people who rely on others to pick up your slack are amazing. Glad I am was not as helpless as you folk seem to be.
Race - are you old enough to remember when women booked a registered nurse to help with the baby for the first week or 10 days? That was often the case in the 50's and earlier at least in my grandparent's set. Starched white cotton and little caps. I seem to recall we had one when my sister was born in 1955. By the time my cousins were born in 63 that was no longer done.

(3 kids, 2 parents a 1 bedroom apartment and a starched white nurse. In retrospect that sounds horrible)
Blunt Advice

Berkeley Heights, NJ

#7 Jan 9, 2014
First time around the parents to be think it will be easy. When they decline your offer just be ready when they change their minds.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#8 Jan 9, 2014
I was speaking in the generic sense, no complication delivery. Of course Surgeries, and complications change the game, but nobody mentioned having any problems.
I just think that people who expect others to help them do their job are taking advantage of those helping. Saying "I dont know how I would have managed if momma did not help" is redundant because they never tried to do it without their help.
I find it odd that people would so readily admit to being unable to take care of their child. Medical conditions aside (for parents or baby), I just dont see how they can not handle it.

And its the expectation of assistance that I disapprove of.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>And lw never said she NEEDED ( nor requested) those catered meals. But she was damn happy and thankful to have them. You're tone seems to be that you dis-approve of her getting that assistance. Why?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Jan 9, 2014
I say its all about preference. One lw touted the value of someone else being in the delivery room to disperse info to the family and well wishers. Well, if you find that important, great. We didn't. Felt no need to noify the masses the very second baby popped out. Did not call or have people at the hospital pacing the hallway like in the movies.

On the flipside, I took some time off work to stay home. Then we had the grandmothers over in staggered weeks to help while I was at work. We did not EXPECT it, but we were happy for the assistance and they were happy to offer. We had no special need for alone time.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#10 Jan 9, 2014
Geez Louise! There is not one right answer people. What worked for you is not automatically going to work for someone else.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Jan 9, 2014
RACE wrote:
And its the expectation of assistance that I disapprove of.
<quoted text>
Well, if that's the case, you clouded you position by directly referencing the lw who specifically refused MIL's assistance and in turn MIL decided to get them catered meals. That woman had no expectation of assistance.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#12 Jan 9, 2014
RACE wrote:
Saying "I dont know how I would have managed if momma did not help" is redundant because they never tried to do it without their help
<quoted text>
Or it could simply be a person acknowledging how helpful momma was. Have you never had someone help you with a difficult task and then you make a similar comment? "Don't know how I would have managed without your help. Thanks. Lemme buy you dinner"

It's a way of showing gratitide.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#13 Jan 9, 2014
squishymama wrote:
Geez Louise! There is not one right answer people. What worked for you is not automatically going to work for someone else.
Agreed. It's not about needing or not needing help. It's about the MIL's inability to recognize boundaries.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#14 Jan 9, 2014
If I ask for help, its only AFTER trying to do it myself and realizing I could not do it alone.
I just rebuilt my dock, my buddy wanted to help, but I did not want to wait till he had the free time, so I did it myself. It was not easy by any means, and his help would have made it much easier, but I chose to do it myself knowing it would be more difficult.
Maybe that makes me a moron for doing things the hard way, but I yam what I yam.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Or it could simply be a person acknowledging how helpful momma was. Have you never had someone help you with a difficult task and then you make a similar comment? "Don't know how I would have managed without your help. Thanks. Lemme buy you dinner"
It's a way of showing gratitide.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#15 Jan 9, 2014
Yes, MIL was told thanks but no thanks, and she instead foisted a catering company to give meals, which the LW raved about.

My take on that is that if the meals were not provided, then the LW would have had to do the cooking because the husband was incapable of doing it. That was the issue I riled against.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Well, if that's the case, you clouded you position by directly referencing the lw who specifically refused MIL's assistance and in turn MIL decided to get them catered meals. That woman had no expectation of assistance.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Jan 9, 2014
RACE wrote:
If I ask for help, its only AFTER trying to do it myself and realizing I could not do it alone.
I just rebuilt my dock, my buddy wanted to help, but I did not want to wait till he had the free time, so I did it myself. It was not easy by any means, and his help w&#279;ould have made it much easier, but I chose to do it myself knowing it would be more difficult.
Maybe that makes me a moron for doing things the hard way, but I yam what I yam.
<quoted text>
I'll go the easier route every time. I take no pleasure on doing it myself.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Jan 9, 2014
RACE wrote:
Yes, MIL was told thanks but no thanks, and she instead foisted a catering company to give meals, which the LW raved about.
My take on that is that if the meals were not provided, then the LW would have had to do the cooking because the husband was incapable of doing it. That was the issue I riled against.
<quoted text>
And I did not not read into it that hubby was incapable in any way, but that having those catered meals were a great help and work saver and greatly appreciated.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#18 Jan 9, 2014
Well, I cant help you there. It was plain as day!
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>And I did not not read into it that hubby was incapable in any way,

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#19 Jan 9, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>And you would have the same opinion if your wife had a c-section? After #2, my wife could not sit up, much less stand up, without assistance. For over a week. Daddy still had to go get the bacon, so it would have been extremely difficult without the help of the grandmas.
I was so thankful I had a C section, especially after visiting a friend in the hospital who didn't and who could barely walk for days and took weeks to heal. I was up and around in a matter of days. I shampooed the carpets a day or two after getting back from the hospital. Most people I know that had c-sections had a similar experience to mine.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Jan 9, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
I was so thankful I had a C section, especially after visiting a friend in the hospital who didn't and who could barely walk for days and took weeks to heal. I was up and around in a matter of days. I shampooed the carpets a day or two after getting back from the hospital. Most people I know that had c-sections had a similar experience to mine.
child#1: such an excruciatinhly painful vaginal delivery that for nearly a year, she ruled out ever having another(and she originally wanted 2).
Recover period was virtually non-existent

Child #2: easy peasy c-section.
Recovery period was so painnful and drawn out that she said she'd choose the pain of the original delivery over the pain of the c-section recovery if she could(c-section was medical necessity cause baby had turned the wrong way)

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