Post # 1
Hi bees. I am currently less than a week away from my due date. Darling Husband and I moved to a state away from family and friends just over 1.5 years ago. Originally when I found out I was pregnant my mom was going to come down for a month to help but we have since had a pretty serious falling out (I wrote about it here: https://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/make-ammends-with-parents-before-the-baby-comes/) and we have not spoken since. With that happening we have absolutely no one locally that can help us after the baby comes, which I felt alright with since I kept telling myself we can handle it on our own.
That was until the last few weeks when a handfull of my mom-friends from back home have started asking for my plans post-partum (which I will be taking 12 weeks off work and then taking the baby to daycare), and each of them seemed shocked and very worried that I will not have any family here to help us during at least the first 12 weeks. Honestly when one or two mentioned how difficult it will be without help I was originally not too worried but as those comments piled up I started getting anxious. I know they say “it takes a village to raise a child” but we can’t possibly be the only ones in the situation where it’s just the two of us (I mean gosh, there are cases of single parents out there making it work, right?). So I guess what I would like to hear is the truth. People who have done it themselves and those who couldn’t imagine doing it without help. How is it to not be surrounded by those who can help and what should we expect?
Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
I’m fortunate to have a lot of support from family with my son. I’ve lived with my in laws at one point (which allowed me to be a stay at home mother for a couple years) And my mother has lived with us for the last 5 years and provided lots of child care. Between us, my husband and I have 8 parents and several siblings and their support has been invaluable and our families are very close so our son has gotten lots of connection and interaction with all of them.
That said- My mother has a challenging relationship with her mother and she moved to a state across the country from her family. She and my father had me and my brother in a state where it was just the two of them and my mother said it was nowhere near as hard as people make it sound. She laughed when I talked about my friends putting together email groups to deliver food for new mothers and gifting each other meal services and laundry services. She was very much of the mind that it’s doable and not at all overwhelming.
I think it depends on the person and the timing. Even with all of the support that I had, there were times where I felt really beyond my capacity and I had friends who were in different circumstances and they definitely reached that place, too.
Post # 3
bzbride2277 : It’s hard but not impossible. My husband and I had little to no help. We just did what needed to be done and kept reminding ourselves that as difficult as it is, this time is precious and will pass all too quickly. Does your husband get any time off? The sleep deprivation was the hardest, so if you can take turns sleeping that will be helpful. You can do it, don’t be discouraged.
Post # 4
I had no one come stay with me after my children were born. We were fine both times. The 2nd time around I had a 3 year old to take care of also.
My husband worked during the day, so I was alone with the kids until he came home. My Mother-In-Law lived down the street, but she worked during the day and we didn’t have the best relationship. My mom lived an hour away, but didn’t offer to come.
We were fine. You’ll be fine.
Tips — sleep when the baby sleeps, don’t worry about keeping the house cleaned, just focus on you and the baby. Freeze some meals now and get an Instant Pot, so you can cook meals easily.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t have WANTED anyone else around when we had newborns. It is just SO HARD to be up at all hours, BFing and more. I was happy to have others around during the day to visit, but not 24/7. My mum only lives about an hour away, but we did not have her stay around the clock. The baby was OUR responsibility, not anyone else’s. Yes, it was harder to cope without sleep, but I still wouldn’t have wanted someone else around to try to do it while I slept!
Post # 6
My kiddo is 5 weeks old and so far it’s been easy for the time we’ve been at home. She sleeps most of the time still and leaves plenty of time for getting stuff done. She goes down for the night at 10 or 11 ish which is when I do, sleeps for 4 hours, sucks down a bottle (I am expressing) sleeps for 4 more hours then dh gets up with her so i can have a little more sleep. the worst part has been the time it takes to express but if you breastfeed or formula feed that wouldn’t be so bad. My lo was born with a heap of heart problems so couldnt feed for 4 weeks. we are trying to work to breastfeeding now.
Post # 7
I haven’t had kids so can’t really say much but wanted to pass along some advice my sister gave me; that the best things she did to make the first month easier were to cook lots of simple pre-portioned freezer meals in advance and to cut yourself enough slack to use disposable plates for a little while.
Post # 8
There are two different kinds of hard: looking after the baby, including breastfeeding, if that is what you choose to do, and looking after yourselves including cooking and housekeeping.
Do what you can in the time you have left to make some extra meals for the freezer. If you are a great cook, after the baby is born lower your standards. No one is going to die if you buy a rotisserie chicken and a big bin of salad for a few meals. Check out getting groceries delivered.
Identify the resources you have available to help you with the baby and breastfeeding, Do you have a Nurseline available through your health insurance provider? If not, many Nurselines have an online component: http://www.healthlinkbc.ca is ours- lots of good information available there.
Do you have public health nurses available to make home visits? Also check the availability of lactation consultants. There are breastfeeding resources online:
You will make it and so will baby.
Post # 9
PaperQueen : I have an instant pot. My favorite kitchen gadget by far!!!
Post # 10
Daisy_Mae : Darling Husband is taking 2 weeks vacation for after we have the baby but I will be breastfeeding so pretty much getting up every few hours will be up to me. I plan on pumping but everything I heard is to wait to start pumping for at least the first month, so it looks like I won’t be able to just have him get a bottle to feed.
Post # 11
bzbride2277 : Yay — your set with the instant pot already! Throw some meals in the freezer now for it, so you can just dump those in and then sit down to feed the baby while they cook.
Post # 12
We didn’t have any help and it was SO hard, but we live a long drive from town and I had ppd, so I’m sure those issues made it worse. My baby was also very colicky.
But it can be done. It might be hard but it gets easier. There was no routine in the beginning– it just wasn’t possible. We just survived. But we eventually found a rhythm and that helped a lot. I had a lot of expectations for who i would be as a mother and I fell short…don’t do that to yourself.
Post # 13
i know your friends probably mean well but unless they plan on coming to help they shouldnt give you negtivity so close to your due date. it is easier with help, obviously but its not impossible for you and your husband to do it alone. it was most useful for me when i wanted to take a long shower or bath at night and when i just needed a few minute to myself without little hands touching or holding me. another reason why having someone around is good is because if you breastfeed it take a lot out of some women; i personally would doze off everytime my son would latch on. seriously. so if youd like my advice id say get as much rest as you can. i know everyone says it- sleep when the baby sleeps- its some of the best advice youll get. also, dont constantly hold your baby; i never wanted tyo put my son down and eventually he never wanted to be put down. he hated his swing, his little bouncy vibrating chair. anything.
hope this helps. best wishes.
Post # 14
bzbride2277 : As long as your husband is just as active in taking care of the baby as you are, you will be okay. My parents were here when I gave birth (baby came late) and while it was nice to have them looking after the house while we were stuck in the hospital, I kept feeling like I needed to think of things for them to do and otherwise entertain. Also my mom loaded up my fridge with the most pointless leftovers just as she does at home (you know, that last spoonful of potatoes) and I couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could dump it all. So they tried to be helpful and they were, but I was still happier to not have them around, to be honest.
A couple of weeks later my husband’s family came out and we stayed in a rental. Again, it was great having someone extra to hand the baby to and it was nice to be able to leave him with them awhile and get a life for a few hours. But… every time he cried, Father-In-Law would intervene, which sounds great except I felt like I really needed to learn how to soothe him myself and was missing that opportunity. I told myself it was only a few days and to just let it go, but I was still happy to lose that particular obstacle, even though it drives me nuts when he’s screaming.
Now when my husband was out of commission, I really felt it! He got a very unpleasant cold, that happily did not hit me or our son even remotely as hard. So he was home with a major headache, feeling like crap, walking around like an old man. Meanwhile I’d taken my dog for a minor leg surgery and brought him home with a cone on. He kept getting stuck on everything. I hadn’t eaten, hadn’t pumped and needed to feed my son who was crying up a storm while waiting for the bottle to warm. The house was a mess, my dinner was getting cold and I was exhausted. That was the one day I lost my own control and just sat and cried with my son for a few minutes. Husband was immediately out of bed and downstairs to help me pull myself back together again.
I have no clue how single parents survive – whole new perspective on that one – but I feel it’s not really that bad if both parents are together and supporting each other, taking turns with whatever needs to be done.
Post # 15
Commenting to follow!
We want to TTC next year. Our closest family (my parents) are a three hour drive so we probably won’t have a lot of help from family.