The Quick Answer?
If you were sitting an exam, or if you fell sick, or if you were going through a rough time in your life. Whom would you want around?
A lot of people might just say their friend, or their partner.
If you’d say partner plus mum. Then you’ve got your answer.
But if you wouldn’t say mum – it’s a-ok and go with it.
The Other Things.
After birth should be the biggest time of rest. A baby is already waking you up every couple of hours. So whatever time you have aside, should be sleep and rest and chilling out – and your frame of mind, should be super top priority.
But? Who does the cooking? Who does the housework? And trust me, if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll be super hungry. (This is the one time in my life I was surprised by how HANGRY I can actually get. Ask my mum for proof ;))
Get a cleaner. At least once a week. Just fork out the money you would have otherwise spent on another pair of maternity clothes (or probably baby clothes) and source the cheapest cleaner you can find. It’s a job that doesn’t need much intellect but will give you the biggest peace of mind once it’s done.
Cooking? If you’ve got frozen food – fab! If people are coming around, ASK them to bring a dish. If your husband cooks, let him take charge and let him take care of you.
The high standards. The perfectionism. The need to be busy at all moments. Let that go. The women who can do this, are actually the ones I admire the most. It means that they will just enjoy and purely be. This makes them great energy-vibe-people. And their babies know it.
In short, let yourself be looked after and ask for help – and if there is anything that falls outside of that, just let it go.
If you are having your mum around…
A lot of people are surprised I had my mum around for 6 months and I genuinely enjoyed it.
A few things.
1. A long time before I probably even got to month 2. I had said to mum, “I’ll need more attention than the baby. Post-birth it should be about me. Otherwise I might get depressed”. I think somewhere in the back of mum’s mind. She remembered this. She made it all about me. As overjoyed as she was to have her first grandchild.
2. At about week 2 of baby at home, I went to see the counsellor. I had started avoiding diaper changes because Aarav’s crying made me nervous. We came to the conclusions, that I had to take the opportunity NOW to do everything Aarav related. Mum could help with the cooking, cleaning and everything else. But this was my moment to learn from her and start figuring Aarav out. So we came home and told mum. She was phenomenal at this and after that point, she would always ask – “I think his diaper might need a change, would you like to do it?”.
3. People will say shit. Which will annoy you. But it’s what your mum’s say. Which will irk you the most. I think it’s because we actually care about their opinion of us. And mum’s are so ingrained into our lives. Both my mum’s first reaction to Aarav crying would be “is he hungry?”. Which doesn’t sound like something frustrating. But it would drive me mad. Another one would be, “What is his weight? Is he putting on weight?”. Or another favourite, “Don’t forget Karishma, my children didn’t get all grown up just like that!”.
Whichever culture you come from, there will be stigmas.
Whomever is your mum, she will reflect the insecurities of her own motherhood.
You have to trust yourself and know you are doing a brilliant job.
Don’t get insecure about it. Just go about doing your thing.
They will back off in time. Funnily enough, they will back off the moment you start getting your confidence. It’s like those old fashioned scales 🙂
They don’t mean it. It’s hard to believe that. But they really don’t. Half the time, they probably aren’t even aware of how they are sounding to your ears. Because they might be distracted, confused themselves (trust me on this one, our mums remember barely nothing of their own motherhood!), or just confused because they want to help your baby stop crying as much as you do 🙂
I truly hope this helps 🙂 It might feel like a lot to think about, but intuitively, you already know what you want 🙂 Go with that intuition. It’s made for you.