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Thread: How much help do you get?

  1. #1

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    Default How much help do you get?

    I am just curious to know how much help others have received when they've had a newborn baby on their hands.

    I have a 6 week old bub and I am beginning to feel a little swamped because she feeds very so frequently and is now sleeping less (she's only small). I feel as though I've pretty much done it alone since bringing her home. We had some lovely people bring us some frozen meals and whenever my mum visits (she lives 2 hrs away and is looking after my dad who has cancer so cannot visit as much as she would like) she brings meals and does the washing up etc. Apart from this, no help in the past 6 weeks (I don't like asking for help).



    DH is great in generally handling bub but only occasionally helps with the housework (doesn't wash up after dinner, or do any washing) or changing baby if
    I ask him to. Has only gotten up about 2 times during the night the whole 6 wks to tend to the baby. To his defence he is really busy having only gone back to work recently after 6 months off with a broken leg and complications. He leaves at 6 am and hasn't been getting home until 6:30 or 7 at night.

    Would it be unreasonable to ask DH for more help give the circumstances and that I am the one who gets to stay home with our beautiful girl?

    Who do you get your support from and how/how much??
    Should I ask for help or just get myself more organised and get on with it? Just so tired!!

  2. #2

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    Ok, first thing - the first three months are a write-off. Don't stress about how messy your house is. Your first priority is baby and YOU.

    Do you get time for you? Not time for you to clean... I mean even, fifteen minutes of each day, baby free to do something for you? It could be a lifesaver. I always asked DF for help with the house, but I never asked for time for me. I believe this largely contributed to my PND, because now that I'm makign time for me, I feel sooooo much better.

    Time for yourself is so vitally important. Being a mum IS hard, it IS draining and some days, even when you have the quietest, loveliest baby in the world, you still need some YOU time. 15 minutes is all it takes. Your guaranteed hot shower - a walk around the block. I get up earlier than DF now and try to head out before DS wakes. It makes my day sooo different, so much more organised, so much more refreshing.

    Okay, as for the house stuff, i am eternally frustrated by the lack of help I get. Okay, DF cooks dinner most nights, but he sleeps through baby crying in the night, refuses to wash cloth nappies, is a shocker for letting the rubbish overflow... Hell i'd be thankful if he just made my ruotine easier, rather than doing anything!!

    All i can suggest is try and stipulate some "rules". Sounds harsh, but it's the only way I get anywhere. If he doesn't stack the sink to make it easy for you to clean the kitchen etc, dont clean until he fixes his mess. If he doesn't pick up his washing, dont wash his work clothes. It really peeves them off and makes them realise how hard it can be for us.

    Hope things get better soon! Good luck!

  3. #3

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    Hey ,thanks.

    Good point about the me time. I get a little time to myself during the day when bub is sleeping (but with her frequent feeds and cat naps that is not a lot) which usually spent grabbing a bit of lunch, having a shower...the basics really. I try to read a mag while she's feeding with her eyes closed.

    Apart ftom that, no. Have been with her 24/7.

    DH came home with a beautiful ring last night - a gift for having our baby girl. While we were in bed I asked for back rub cos I was reaally sore, to which he 1/2 jokingly replied "doesn't the ring make your back feel better"!! He lucky i didn't whackhim right in the nose with the ring!

  4. #4

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    Other then my DH i got no help what so ever from friends or family

  5. #5

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    My parents stayed with us for the first week, and that was it really. However, I'd just give Pip to DH and go do something like the dishes. The first 6 weeks were a blur of not sleeping, feeding and the like. Pip wouldn't sleep in his cot so I'd camp on the recliner chair with him overnight, that way we'd both get a little sleep. It is hard ... so very hard.

    If there's help offered - take it! And when someone you know has a baby, pay it forward.

    And on your DH's days off, give him a list of chores with a choice - the chores or the child
    *hugs*
    good luck.

  6. #6

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    I dont think its unreasonable at all to be asking for help from your Dh right now. Its exhausting those first few months. Its such a life altering time bringing a new person into the world who you are completely responsible for. I personally have only ever had the help of my DH but im the type that likes to manage on my own anyways...but my Dh is a godsend..hes always been helpful, without question as raising a family, we both believe is a shared responsibility.

    Jo

  7. #7

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    I completely agree with what Ash said. You need YOU time.

    My first two months with DD looked like this. Still in chronic pain from unstable pelvis. Unable to walk, stand or bend without serious pain. Trouble breastfeeding which meant I tried to express five times per day. Was meant to go to physio for unstable pelvis but that would have meant not expressing so chose the latter. A week after DD was born, my DSD started saying that she wanted to return to live with us. That meant we would have to renovate the house. So inbetween expressing I was trying to deal with DSD's situation in the US, talking to an American lawyer and figuring out how we could get the renovations done, talking to builders and engineers and figuring out financially whether that meant I would have to return to work.

    DP was very helpful when he was here and would often do the night shift but he also usually works 9 days out of 10, leaving me with very little 'me' time. I have no family support here which meant it was just me and DD. DP and I didn't go out together for a night until she was about six months old.

    I reckon it was a miracle that I didn't get depressed because I just had TOO MUCH ON and in chronic pain.

    As DD approaches her first birthday, I feel ripped off that this year has been so hard. All the things I expected to be hard about being a mum were easy. It was all the external crap that was so hard and it meant that the experience was not as joyous as it could have been.

    My advice is that even if you're kind of doing OK, still have a chat with your DP and family members and get some extra help so that you have some you time. You want to be able to look back on this time as a happy one not one that you just survived.

    I have friends with newborns who have a lot of family support and their experience has been so different to mine. I hate to say it, but I'm as jealous as all hell.

  8. #8

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    My mum came for about a week when I had both of my babies - she lives a couple of hours away. Other than that we have no family here, so no help whatsoever
    DH was pretty good but I was breastfeeding so we didn't feel there was much point him getting up during the night and both of us being wrecked...someone had to be nice to the two year old! lol.

    It's hard with no support, try not to look to far ahead...it does get easier. You adjust and they start to sleep better (hopefully!)

  9. #9
    Butterfly_Princess Guest

    Default

    Help? Whats that?? (Im joking Ben)

    Ben helps a lot. Its kinda like, i look after baby, he cleans house. He does everything related to house work. And when he is home from work (he works 1 week on 1 week off) he cooks me dinner every night I couldnt ask for anything more.
    With baby, he will do the occasional nappy change, and will look after her on occasions. But im okay with that, coz like i said, i dont have to worry about house work.
    Friends and family. No help. I remember one day i was visiting my parents, and Isabell piped up and was screaming her lungs out. NO one helped me, they just looked at me all helpless and like htey were sorry for me. Its not like they thought hold on maybe ill take Isabell and try settle her coz she obviously isnt settling for Meg. And then they got shirty at me coz i didnt go to my sister bday party later that afternoon just because i didnt want to take a screaming baby to a birthday party.

  10. #10

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    yes nicca
    KNow that you are not alone in the first 3 months of having a little catapillar constantly feeding and wanting you

    As for the help:

    DD was born on a sunday afternoon - DH went back to work monday morning (his boss wouldnt let him have time off at all). i went home after 1 day.

    My closest family was a 1300km drive away. So pretty much was alone for the first 7 months (till we moved closer to family).

    DH and i came to an agreeement that he would take the baby from 8-11pm at night so i can go to bed early (bringing her in only for feeds) and then from 6-8am so i could have a shower etc before he went to work. I didnt ask for him to get up during the nights as i know he had to work and if he was too tired to work then i wouldnt be able to take time off from working if that makes sense

    Our chores didnt change. i did the house work (a sling was a godsend) and he did the gardens/pets/maintenance. DH has had 1 day off in the past 13 months to look after DD as i had a very bad sinus infection and i needed to rest.

    Now we live near family. I still dont have anyone take DD for me to get things done and i work partime as well on weekends when DH has DD.

    So i had NO help at all but i didnt mind as i feel it made me more competent in managing my house and family life.

    But i think it is about what YOU can handle and you need to ask for help when you can. Dont feel scared or that you arent entitled to help as you are.

    And i found with men.... you need to spell it in black and white or they have no clue!!!!!!!!!

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the replies. I think I need to chat with DH. I just don't seem to be able to do that at the moment without getting really cranky with him.

    Fiona - sounds like you have had your hands full. I really hope all of those things have worked out. Is your plevis better now?? That sounds so painful!! I know how it feels to have so much going on around you. (DH dislocated his knee twice, that put our owner-building on hold which is not good when living in a shed for 2 years, my Nan died, DH broke his leg, got a staph infection,Dad diagnosed with cancer etc, etc, etc it goes on....).

    I feel a bit ripped off too. I feel I coped well through all the bad stuff but now I am just blah. Plus I feel so guilty when I ask DH to do something for me in front of friends and family and they look at me as though I am asking too much of him when he has a sore leg. This also happened right through my pregnancy as well due to his leg.

    I know this is all very selfish of me and I sound so resentful but I think I just need to vent before I explode.

    Sorry and thanks for listening if you got through all this.

  12. #12

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    I absolutely agree you need some you time, and not just to have a shower, do the dishes etc. You need some time when you do something you want to do. Having said that, my DD#2 is 9 weeks old and the only time I have had away from her was one occasion I went to do the grocery shopping on my own. Its starting to take its toll on me and I can't remember the last day when I wasn't in tears at some point so this Saturday afternoon I'm going to go to the movies on my own. I find that unless I leave the house, I really don't get a break.

    I don't get help from anyone but DH. My mum will occupy one of the girls when she comes over, but she doesn't do anything in terms of housework, cooking etc for me (although she would if I weren't so stubborn and asked her). My DH will help with the girls, go and pick up takeaway etc but very rarely would do something about the washing, dishes etc. He would never, ever think to pick up the vacuum cleaner, wipe over the table etc. During the night though it usually takes me being in tears before he thinks to pick up DD#2, although in fairness most of the time she only wakes to feed so he can't do anything anyway.

    I don't think for a second you should feel guilty about asking your DH for more help, however busy he is. He may work a long day in the office, the factory or wherever it is he works but then he leaves his work behind. Your "work" is with you 24/7. Yes, it is a privilege to be able to stay at home with your gorgeous girl but it is still very tough emotionally and physically. There is no reason why your DH should think he is entitled to come home and do nothing while you continue working. Your baby is his daughter too, so he gets to share in the workload. If you're anything like me (and most mums), your day starts around 7am (if you're lucky) and at 9.30 pm or so you're still on your feet. Day doesn't finish then though - night time feeds, settling, nappies etc. That's hard work. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there your DH might be hinting at DTD!

    Lovely that he thought to give you a gift, but that doesn't get him off the hook for the hard stuff.

    ETA: Oh, and I agree with the whole idea of not worrying about housework etc too much for the first few months, but again, if you're anything like me that is far easier said than done. It stresses me out more having an untidy house, the washing not done, dishes on the sink than it would just putting in the extra work and getting them done.
    Last edited by LuluHB; July 9th, 2008 at 03:00 PM.

  13. #13

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    I am only getting on top of everything housework wise now and DS is nearly 12 months old!!!
    I am very lucky as DF is fantastic and has been since day one. He would get up with me in th early days, even when I told him not to.
    Anyway, Maybe let your DH know that you don't feel like you are coping with all the housework on your own, and just ask if he can pitch in a little.

    As someone else said, the first 3 months are a write off, but in my case, write off the first 9! LOL

  14. #14

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    Hey Nicca, Don't worry too much about the housework, as other girls have said it is a write off in the beginning until you get a routine in place. By the time you get that routine into place you are busy chasing after the crawling monster who creates even more mess.

    I have to stress one thing. Men need lists!!! They cannot be asked do any cleaning and remember what to do 5 minutes later. If you just write down a list of things that need to be done and then have a discussion with your DH about getting some help with the stuff on the list you might find it is a bit more effective. He has something he can reference that way. Good luck!!!

  15. #15

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    I have to say that my DP is pretty good at helping but even so, those first few weeks/months are a write off! When i had DD1 i actually felt really good and had flexible work so i only had 3 days off and went back to work and took her with me. DD2 I am stil not back at work f/t and DP only had 2 days off to help me out with the munchkins, I was sooo tired and the only thing that got me through was foregtting cooking and cleaning, if the baby slept and the bigger one was happy i would have a nap on the couch!

    My family are all busy working hard and all my friends have bubs a similar age so i didnt get any help whatso ever from them, not even a cooked meal come to think of it! hmmmmmm

    It can only get better!

  16. #16

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    Maybe if you made a list of ongoing chores that you feel you have to get done and then sit him down and tell him you NEED help. "Here's a list of jobs, which 3 (or 4 or whatever) do you think you could handle each day/week?" Giving a choice usually works with children...LOL
    My DH works two weeks on, two weeks off. When he is home, he does all the cooking plus cleans the kitchen each morning (hooray!) As he is an early riser, I find it really nice to ask for a sleep in now and then, so he gets DD up and looks after her for a couple of hours. I never made him get up at night because I was BF, but once I stopped (just recently, I did the 6 - midnight shift, and he did the second half (if necessary) Maybe your DH could help in this way on his days off by just getting your baby for you so you don't have to get out of bed?
    Try not to worry, it gets better

  17. #17

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    We were living in Namibia, Africa when I gave birth to DD - for the first year of her life I had no family or friends and DH was working very hard and didn't contribute to house or baby at all - I went nuts - didn't enjoy my baby which is the saddest thing in the world for me to look back on this - it is only now I am back in Aus that I am having fun with her. With this second bub it will be different, oh so different, my mum is coming to stay with me for the first couple of months........anyway, enough about me.

    You need time for yourself, a happy mum = happy baby - definitely get DH to contribute - a day at work is SO different from being a mum 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I think the first 6 months are the hardest - remember it does get better and you will never have this time with your little one again so if the houseword doesn't get done, who cares.

    Laurin x

  18. #18

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    NO help for first six months.... then parents moved down and i get alot of help, but don't really need it - but it is nice.... DH and I now both work, and the other night DD was up until 530am, and of course i was too..... even though we are both working there is no way in hell he would tend to her in the night.... i do it all and thats just the way it is. you have to get in early and train them.... i've left it too late so am doomed for eternity

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