One of the things that amazes me most at the hospital is the number of mothers I see going home with help from their own mothers. It’s not uncommon for grandmas to take weeks, or even months off of work (if they work) and move in with their daughters to help out with the new baby. The majority of the time, the moms have partners, whether it be a boyfriend or a husband.
I have to admit, part of me wonders, what gives?
Is this the norm?
The thought of my mom taking time off of work to stay with us was something that genuinely never crossed my mind. And although I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to the occasional dinner swung by or desert dropped off, I’m not sure I would even want my mom around during those first early weeks. There is nothing like those first weeks, getting to know your new baby and living in a blur world of feedings, snuggling, and quiet times with a newborn.
That being said, however, as the weeks counted down to the delivery of my second daughter, I was in full-blown panic mode. I did not want to be at home, recovering from birth, with a newborn and a two-year-old. I was terrified. My concern was primarily for Ada–I worried she would be forgotten and neglected with the demands of the baby. And as it turned out, I was right. Mya was a needy newborn. She screamed for hours, wouldn’t sleep and threw up literally every time I fed her. A horrible mixture of colic, a gash in her throat that went undiscovered for a week, and as I know now, just her personality.
I was desperate for help. For whatever reason, I had a hard time recovering after Mya. I felt like the walking dead for literally months. It took me almost six weeks before I could even get through the day without a nap.
Suddenly, I understood the appeal of live-in help.
Thankfully, my sister Shelby stepped in to help me. I am still, and will be, forever grateful to her for help. She came over almost every day, keeping me company, entertaining Ada, helping me clean up the hourly Mya messes from her spit-ups and massive poops. I expressed my thanks to her in a previous post (yes, I am a blubberball), but it just can’t be said enough.
It made me realize that contrary to my belief, I really didn’t have to do this all on my own. When on earth had women ever given birth and recovered completely by themselves? Women have always helped women, right?
I have to admit that I am a little jealous of the moms who can drop everything to help their daughters usher a new life into the world. In all honesty, I’m more jealous of the food I read about being dropped off…especially deserts. Did I already mention that?
But, part of me is more prepared this time around, now a seasoned mother of three (what the??). But the largest part of my relief lies simply in the fact that I know I’m not on my own this time. It’s no accident that this baby’s birthday falls during the summer, precisely during the time that my teacher husband will be on summer break…
I will have help this time. Thank God.
So what about you guys? I’m curious how you all recover after a baby? Any moms move in? Husbands do the major lifting? Any do-it-yourselfers out there? Spill, spill!