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First grandchild paternal nanny

(26 Posts)
TerryM Sat 17-Nov-18 05:33:27

Just want to preface I do get on with my daughter in law smile she loves my son very much
My son is our only child
Her mother (cultural reasons and spoiling lol) delivers most of their meals sometimes by herself mostly by her other daughter who is very close to her sister (my daughter in law )
What should I offer to do when baby is born?
I have offered to drive over and pick up laundry (they can leave outside)and I can return the next day
I am quite aware paternal grandparents are usually as close. I just want to make sure I don't do anything wrong
Any suggestions ? Don't want to be pushy but also don't want to seem like we don't care

pensionpat Sat 17-Nov-18 07:48:50

The only person who could suggest how you could help is your DIL

Washerwoman Sat 17-Nov-18 07:57:25

OP you sound very kind and thoughtful.Your last sentence sums it up .If you get on well with your DIL tell her honestly exactly that.That you don't want to interfere or do the wrong thing but want them to know you're available to help practically -if they need it.My lovely and much missed MIL once said when my children were tiny if you ever want to come for a meal just invite yourselves.Over the years they very much got on with their own lives,but I felt I could pick up the phone anytime and invite ourselves round ,or ask for babysitting. Her roast dinners were legendary and very welcome when we had particularly busy times.

Anja Sat 17-Nov-18 07:59:55

Say just that - you want to help in any way you can but don’t want to seem pushy.

cornergran Sat 17-Nov-18 08:08:35

Don’t worry terry, it will work out with love and a willingness to adapt. As others have said have a chat with your daughter in law now, until the little one is here she may not know for sure what will help but she will know she can rely on.

sodapop Sat 17-Nov-18 09:07:20

Washerwoman is right, just ask how you can help. Things will work out don't worry too much TerryM

littleflo Sat 17-Nov-18 09:21:05

I am lucky enough to have 2 lovely DiLs. When you are with her, I would just say, “When the baby is born, I will help you in any way I can. I am never going to be pushing myself on you so I won’t be offended if you don’t need anything”. Just by being kind and never give an unasked for opinion, you will continue to build on the good foundation already established.

My DiLs know that I will always be there for them. Severa times I have had a phone call asking me to take care of the children or requesting sleep overs. I am happy to do it but they are not upset if I cannot. I have never been asked for advice. They are intelligent women who have all sorts of resources at their fingertips.

The other thing is not to fret if it seems that her mum is seeing more of the baby. I was much more involved with my daughter’s children than those of my sons. I think it is very important not to make an enemy of the other GPS. Sometimes you might have to bite your tongue, or listen to a little boasting but smile sweetly and let it go.

Newmom101 Mon 19-Nov-18 18:52:44

I would ask her if there's anything she wants, rather than trying to find something you could help with.

I didn't want or need any help after DD was born. DP and I got on with it all and managed quite well. If your son is doing his fair share they will probably be fine.

But on the note of laundry, I wouldn't want someone (especially family) sorting through mine, is be too embarrassed knowing they'd see my underwear.

crystaltipps Tue 20-Nov-18 07:29:47

Just offer to help , I too wouldn’t specify a job such as laundry, it only takes 5 minutes to shove something in a washing machine, how many of us had a laundry service when we had little ones? You might feel rejected if a specific offer is turned down for whatever reason. Just be available as and when.

Marydoll Tue 20-Nov-18 08:15:20

Congratulations, you must be really excited.
When my DGD was born, my DIL was really unwell after having an emergency section.
Her own parents, who lived ten minutes away didn't come near her. It was two weeks before her father arrived for a "quick visit". sad
We had originally stepped back, so as not to step on anyone's toes.
It was my DS and DIL who asked us to go up daily and help, as my son had to go back to work. My DIL said the best thing we had done was to take DGD so that she could have a shower, wash her hair and change her pyjamas which were covered in milk and sick. grin
Just let your DIL and son know that you are there for them and to let you know how you can support them.
Take your cue from them. I would think, initially DIL's mum and sister will be there most of the time, so don't be offended if they are doing laundry etc.
Just enjoy the joy of a new grandchild. It's the best feeling in the world.

BlueBelle Tue 20-Nov-18 08:45:11

Congratulations Terry you will be completely fine you are going into this with the right attitude what a lesson to some paternal grandmothers we get on here
Stay humble and let her lead the way you have been given great advice from other posters and good wishes to you all x

mcem Tue 20-Nov-18 09:00:33

I'm looking forward to the arrival of DGC 5 in April but I know things will be different.
First 4 are my DD's children (21 18 9 and 8) and I was very involved from day 1.
This one is first for DS and DiL. They live a little further away. Her mum has become a gran 4 times in the last 3 years so is more au fait with tiny ones!
Also I am significantly older now!
So far DiL and I have got on really well and I am happy to follow their lead.
I bought the prams for the others but did not asssume that I 'd buy this one although I had accompanied DD to choose hers. DS sent pictures of the pram they plan to buy and are happy to let me pay!

GabriellaG Tue 20-Nov-18 10:35:07

Why are you overthinking the scenario. I can't honestly envisage my parents or exes parents worrying what they should do when we had our first, second and subsequent children. Why can't they cope with their own washing? It's one tiny child. I managed very well with each of five children and a husband who was often in the middle of the North Sea at the time.
Coddled? Dear me. The snowflake era.

sarahellenwhitney Tue 20-Nov-18 10:46:09

I never had to ask my MIl to do anything as she would offer.
This suited my own M who was a 'made your bed' etc etc and would happily let my in law 'take over'.
I believe you should ask what you can do, as your DIL mother seems to have it all under control ??? rather than tread on her mothers toes.

mabon1 Tue 20-Nov-18 11:17:41

Ask your daughter in law

inishowen Tue 20-Nov-18 11:19:30

Your son and daughter in law are very lucky. When we had our first baby we lived abroad. No help from anyone. I don't know how we got through it. Nowhere to dry washing as we lived in a flat and didn't have a tumble dryer. So, back to your question, just offer to help in any way you can. You sound lovely.

GreenGran78 Tue 20-Nov-18 11:21:15

Not very kind, GabriellaG! Everyone copes in different ways. I too ended up with 5 children, but really struggled with my first. In retrospect, I think that I had post-natal depression, but 50+ years ago no-one really knew about that. My parents lived a long way away, and couldn't help, and both my in-laws were dead. I lived in a new area, and had no-one to turn to for help. He was born in the coldest winter for years (1965), and most of the house was unheated.
I was desperate for help, with a very small baby that didn't feed or sleep well, but just had to struggle on as best I could.

GrannyBeek Tue 20-Nov-18 11:49:03

It is more difficult for the paternal GPs I think (I’m one!). Particularly if DiL’s live practically next door. I’ve read some great advice from GNetters about this, which has helped me. I bake for the new family, and knit/sew for my DGS, so maybe you could use your carpentry skills to make toys.

Riggie Tue 20-Nov-18 13:02:01

I'd ask.
My mother in law would decide she'd come to help me do something. But that was something of her choosing and quite frankly asking us would have been much better. She once turned up unannounced to do my ironing...the day after I'd done it all - if only she had said it would have been a great help. Another time she turned up with our toddler niece and decided to wash my curtains while I entertained niece (!)...I had an overflowing laundry basket so really she was no help (and of course the curtains weren't dry when she left so ironing and re-hanging was left to us)

Telly Tue 20-Nov-18 13:09:28

Well you could offer to help, but I wouldn't really think they would need anyone to do their cooking and washing? Surely they will want to manage their own lives?

grandtanteJE65 Tue 20-Nov-18 14:37:40

Congratulations! Have a chat with your lovely DIL soon. Explain that you hope she will accept help from you, but that you are scared of treading on her mother's toes, so you hope DIL will help with some guidelines.

Hm999 Tue 20-Nov-18 14:44:25

Congratulations, you sound like a lovely MiL.

Ask her what she would like you to do to support her; maybe give her a list of possibilities. Try to be the MiL you may have had, or maybe didn't have, but would like to have had.
And tell her you want to be the gran that in future years they look back on with real fondness 'She was the best'.

DIL17 Tue 20-Nov-18 14:54:28

Coming from a DIL viewpoint, I would just say that you're happy to help if they need anything.

There's no need to mention not wanting to step on her mother's toes or any of that, to me that sounds as if you're bothered about her being there.

Let them come to you.

Summerstorm Tue 20-Nov-18 16:39:07

A good way round this is to phone or text and say you are coming through at the weekend and what would suit them best ? Saturday or Sunday for instance or I'm coming through on Wednesday what time would be best morning, afternoon or evening? You get the idea of what I mean. And don't sit and expect to be waited on, offer to make mum a cup of tea or whatever.

luluaugust Tue 20-Nov-18 16:56:40

I don't remember my MIL doing anything except cuddle the baby occasionally. Just say you are happy to help out when its wanted, don't forget to phone before you pop over, often the ironing seems to be the thing that gets out of hand. Until he or she arrives the parents won't really know if they are going to need help or not. I do agree one small baby shouldn't really mean lots of help is needed but somehow it often does! Good luck and enjoy it all.