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Almost a gran worries

(41 Posts)
Gilly59 Fri 03-May-19 08:32:22

My daughter is expecting her first child in 3 weeks and it will be my first grandchild. I am worrying about how she will during childbirth naturally but more so afterwards when the baby is here How much help should I give I don't want to become a nuisance but long to help.

Liz46 Fri 03-May-19 08:44:09

My daughter is assertive and I received precise instructions! With my first grandchild I was delighted to be invited to the hospital a few hours after she was born. I had no idea how much I would instantly fall in love with her.

We were looking after GD when my daughter went into hospital for the birth of her second child. After he was born we were instructed to take GD to the hospital so they could have family time together and go away! We went and cleaned her kitchen which had been left in a bit of a state (I never interfere in any other part of her house) and eventually she phoned and we were invited to meet GS.

Just be guided by your daughter and maybe tell her to be honest about what she wants from you.

wildswan16 Fri 03-May-19 08:47:29

Just ask her - do you want me around in the first few days, or would you rather settle in with baby by yourself?

What would be the most helpful thing I can do?

Would you like some meals prepared and put in your freezer?

Etc etc.

Sarahmob Fri 03-May-19 08:47:56

Gilly I think that your worries are perfectly normal, I know that I worried about my daughter as D- day drew nearer, and when I knew she’d actually gone into labour I was as jumpy as a cat on a hot tin roof! My philosophy to grandparenting and support has been to offer what I can and then wait to be asked. I do have a good relationship with my DD so that helped. I’ve also never proffered advice unless my opinion has been asked for which I think has been appreciated by both of my DGS parents. Consequently, I spend lots of time with my DGS and am having a great time building a relationship with him.
Hope all goes well with your daughter’s pending birth and that you enjoy being a grandparent.

Newmom101 Fri 03-May-19 09:04:20

I'm not a 'gran' OP but had my DD not too long ago.

I think the fact that you're actually thinking this over is good, it's means you'll be aware of how they're feeling and will probably sense when they don't need help and want their own space.

My own mom went charging in with everything she was going to do, without considering me or my partner and it led to a lot of arguements in the first year or so.

For the birth, has she asked you to be there? Or is she planning on it being just her and her partner. Most women I know didnt have their mother there, so if she hasn't asked you then don't feel left out.

After the babies born I think it's a case of being led by the parents. Just offer once to help out in anyway and see if they take you up on it. It may be that they need help with more practical household tasks for the first couple of months, rather than baby related things.

Also, for the first couple of weeks if her partner is having paternity leave then they may not need any help at all as they will both be there, but she may need more help when her partner returns to work.

Just be led by your daughter, and take her partner into consideration and you can't go wrong. Obviously I don't know what your daughters partners like, but my DH is very involved with DD, he would help with night feeds and was very hands on. If her partners like that then she may not be needing much support.

Oh and although you're keen to help, just remember that the people who are supportive without being pushy, and who follow the parents lead, tend to be first to be asked to babysit wink

Gilly59 Fri 03-May-19 09:11:05

Thanks for all your advice. I am feeling a bit scared as it has been 30 years since I had a baby! Also the other granny to be has two very young grandchildren so knows loads more already. Oh well I can only try and hope that I don't get too enthusiastic. I can't wait though and also looking forward to all you lovely grans to give me some sage advice.

Gilly59 Fri 03-May-19 09:15:49

Sorry and new mums too! And yes she has asked me to go in with her and her hubby when she goes in to have the baby. If only to give him a break 😊

Liz46 Fri 03-May-19 09:23:47

I remember the first time my GD was left with us, she came with two foolscap pages of instructions! I have a photo of me showing them to GD and telling her she was not obeying them.

After the second one arrived they were just thrown into our house with 'Just do what you think, they behave differently for you' and parents happily made a rapid departure.

Sara65 Fri 03-May-19 09:24:05

I think a lot of it depends on your daughter and your relationship with herI have two daughters, with daughter one, I never offer advice unless I’m asked, even then, I’m very sparing with it, I have to be a bit careful what I say to the children, give them to eat, let them watch etc

Daughter two, constantly asks my opinion about things, is grateful for any help she can get, and generally has a far more easy going attitude

So, play it by ear, I’d say, good luck, and enjoy your new baby grandchild

crazyH Fri 03-May-19 09:33:32

I too have a very assertive and 'know all' daughter. She gave my much loved and lovable first grandchild. I helped when asked. Her m.i.l. (now ex) was also quite hands on. So she had a lot of help.
Her husband was the only one at the birth. She didn't ask me to be there, nor would I have wanted to be there.
Anyway, congratulations to you and the family. What an exciting time !!

fizzers Fri 03-May-19 09:35:37


BradfordLass72 Fri 03-May-19 09:40:35

The fact that your daughter wants you there during labour is wonderful and a very good omen for future help and visits.

You'll be great - just don't faint in the labour suite, or panic when she yells, swears she'll never have another or tries to assassinate her husband grin

flowers Congratulations Grandma flowers

Wildrose24 Fri 03-May-19 09:42:30

Ask your daughter what level of help she would like.Knowing your daughter well will help.Although I was excited to meet my grandchild my daughter was my first thought when I visited the hospital made sure she was ok then was ready to meet baby.On their return home made frequent short visits and gave practical help rather than baby care.This was really appreciated.I often took washing home as well.I wanted to give her and her partner time to bond with the baby without doing too many chores.I also made sure I asked the new dad how he was doing as well.I did not give advice unless it was asked for.A few months later things are going really well.I see my grandson frequently and really enjoy my visits.Going gently has worked.When baby arrives you will remember more than you think.

KatyK Fri 03-May-19 09:43:55

I would say don't give advice unless asked. Just be there if needed. It will all work out.

JackyB Fri 03-May-19 11:02:56

I would say: even if they say now that they want you around, expect a change of attitude when the baby is actually there (or vice versa).

No one can ever know in advance how physically exhausted or how easy/difficult the baby will be. Especially not with the first baby.

Either way, do discuss it in advance and co-ordinate with the other grandparents.

annemac101 Fri 03-May-19 11:51:30

My daughter is due her second baby in three weeks. I am at the worried stage now just hoping everything goes well and mother and new baby are well. It's just the thought of your daughter going through that pain. I'm glad she hasn't asked me to be at the birth I don't think my nerves could take it!
I have told her same as I did with the first baby that she only has to phone or text and I will be there to help. I won't visit in first few weeks unless asked as her husband will be there to help. Her two year will stay with us while mum goes to hospital so I feel I'm helping.

Nanny123 Fri 03-May-19 11:52:17

I worried about mine too but they got through the birth as every woman does. As for afterwards I would cook them a meal and pop it round, casseroles, chilli’s, cottage pie, all things that were easy to heat up when they were ready. This was really appreciated as any new mum would understand. I sat with the new baby a couple of times to let her go and have a sleep and I constantly told them I was at the end of the phone if you need me and just call. She was very grateful for some help and company when her hubby went back to work and she was on her own for the first time.

Theoddbird Fri 03-May-19 11:52:44

It is all up to your daughter. One sentence is needed. If you need anything just ask. Oh and stop fussing. Fussing makes people nervous. Enjoy your grandchild when it arrives but do not go charging in...

Patticake123 Fri 03-May-19 11:55:17

Gilly59 I feel your anxiety but you will be amazed how well everyone adapts, just like you did 30 years ago. The one thing I wasn’t ready for is the absolute overwhelming love I have had for each of my grandchildren. All the cliches you have heard about grandchildren are , in my experience, quite correct. I’m feeling quite envious of you, you are about to enter a wonderful stage in your life, treasure every moment.

Mcrc Fri 03-May-19 12:31:00

Ask her

Mcrc Fri 03-May-19 12:33:14

Oh, more, lol. we were a military family and grandparents did not come. we managed fine and your daughter will too. As for sleep deprivation? o one can help much there!

MawBroonsback Fri 03-May-19 13:09:26

Am I in a minority?
I would not have gone into the labour ward with any of my daughters (3) for all the tea in China, that was their husband’s place.
I visited when invited -hospital on Day1 with DD1 and DGS1 and day 3with DD2 and her first. Day 4 with DD3 and her first.
DD3 told us all we would hear once the baby was here and while her sisters might have had a hint that she was in labour, none of us grandparents knew. I was absolutely fine with that!
I am aghast at the Grans who seem to see it their place to move in for two or three weeks when their daughters have a baby. Where is the new dad’s place in all of this?
Modern young couples are more than capable of coping with the early weeks, fathers need the chance to be “hands on” without their mother in law breathing down their necks too!
I bought my DD and SIL. £100 worth of Cook! Vouchers to provide meals for those first weeks, specially once he was back at work, I also offered to bring a load of washing back, but no need, my SIL had everything under control!
I think it is paramount to respect their space , the fact that they have their own households and their new status as parents and to take a back seat.

annodomini Fri 03-May-19 13:29:34

As I have no daughters. I wouldn't know what it would be like to be in the labour room with a daughter. I do know that neither of my DiLs had had her mum present, both living at a distance. Circumstances allowed me to have the first cuddle on Day 1, but I doubt if there was any resentment on the part of my co-grans.
What I do know is that I would have been horrified if my mum had volunteered to attend my labour. shock

Noname Fri 03-May-19 14:16:00

I have two daughters; the younger was the first to have children and I was in the delivery suite with her and her partner for hours during labour until she was rushed to an emergency caesarean, but I saw the baby very soon after arrival. My elder daughter wanted to get home with baby and settle in to being a family before I visited (they do live further away). I asked them both at the time and went along with their wishes; everyone is different!

Sheshyshowshum Fri 03-May-19 15:32:30

I was clueless too, but when it came to the birth of my grandson, I was there and knew when to stay out of the way and when to help. It just seemed to come naturally. So be there for your daughter and son in law as he’ll need help too.

As for after, I was very much out of practice too, but if I held my grandson and he stopped crying we were all happy and it gave them a break. ...and sometimes your daughter will need a cuddle too and be told that it will get easier and it will. One year on and now we’re flying it and can’t get over how happy we all are. You’ll be great. smile