View Full Version : 1st-time parents-to-be need help in planning for the big change (warning, long!)

04-25-2005, 11:53 AM
My husband and I are expecting our first child in about 2 months. Neither of us have family within a 5-hour driving radius. We have very few close friends in town, and none of them have children. After my 12-week maternity leave, I am planning on returning to work, which is a financial necessity. We have made plans to enroll our child into this great day care center close to work.

All of a sudden DH is freaking out about how we will be able to cope or get by with a new baby all by ourselves. My parents will be here for the first week or so, and his retired mother can fly out to help for a month at a time. DH is concerned that it will be too much to do on our own and that our marriage will be negatively affected. He has thrown out the idea of having his mother come out to live in our town (not in our house, but we would rent an apt for her) for the 1st year. I am staunchly against that idea, because I think it would cause more stress between DH and I having her in town, not to mention the added costs of renting and furnishing an apt (having her stay in our home with us is NOT an option). Plus, it's not like it will become easier after the 1st year. I am not naive about how much effort and possibly strain will happen, but I also know that lots of other couples have to make do on their own. I just know that we'll have to do it, and there's no other way around it.

My suggestion to DH to help alleviate his anxiety was that we should start trying to find a very good babysitter (not a high schooler, but maybe a retiree or widow) who lives in the neighborhood. This has been a source of frustration between DH and I -- he thinks I don't want to talk about it, I say we just have to accept that this is what our situation is and that we should try to find someone who we could turn to for occasional child care needs. What else can we do to help prepare for this change?

Thanks in advance for your help.

04-29-2005, 02:45 AM
We were/still are in the same situation. My parents are 6 hours away, my inlaws and friends were useless but we somehow managed. My DH took the first week off, my mother was here the 2nd week. after that i was on my own and it was very trying/overwhelming but tremendously rewarding knowing that I could do it on my own. just to add that i never been around babies, never changed a diaper in my life, never held a baby! Plus my DH worked a lot so I felt like I was raising DD alone the first 3 months. So I ended up going to see my parents a lot, for a week at a time to give me a little breather. my mom is on disability so she wasn't able to do much but she helped with little tasks like diaper changes, laundry and giving DD EBM so I could sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time! I'm not saying it's going to be easy but I think having your MIL will only add stress.
I would recommend finding a reliable babysitter. we honestly didn't go out on a date until DD was 6 months. we were too paranoid to leave her with anyone so i guess i'm not too much help there. the only time we would go out is when my mom was in town or when i was down there visiting her. and it did put a strain on our marriage but we just kept the lines of communication open and grew together, not apart. we knew why we were making the sacrifice and looking back we wouldn't have changed a thing.
all i can say is wait until you have the baby. the first 6 weeks don't count because you won't be sleeping much at all and won't have time for anything. i strongly suggest getting your husband involved with the baby right of the bat ie. diaper changes, baths, dressing, EBMing or FFing. that way you will have support and you guys will feel like you are in this together. And eventually you will settle into a nice routine it will come together. and if you are still feeling anxious at that point than maybe go visit your parents or in-laws for few days here and there to get a break. I think having your MIL move into town is a bit drastic and like I said, it will just add emotional and financial stress. you guys will find your own groove...
you can email me through my profile if you have any questions!

03-16-2006, 05:03 PM
We are in exactly the same situation. I will be home for the first three months, and then my husband will be home for the next three months, but I am very concerned about the first few weeks by myself with a brand new baby all alone at home. I haven't been around babies much either. I expect my mother will come for a few days the second week, but after that, we'll be on our own. Having MIL there is not really an option for my sanity. If financial conditions allow, you may wish to consider hiring a doula or a baby nurse for the first few weeks. My doctor recommended a doula. A doula comes in for a few hours a day to help the mother with house chores, etc., for the first month or so, so that mom can spend her time with baby. Because they are experienced with babies, though, they are also a good source for breastfeeding advice and childcare advice. There is a national association of doulas, and I believe they have a website, if you'd like to find someone in your area. A baby nurse can also be an option. The baby nurse tends exclusively to the baby, and can be more expensive, because they generally live with you for the first few weeks, and help with the overnight time to allow you to get some sleep. That is an option as well, although I don't want someone living in my house. If you are looking for evening child care to free you and your husband up for some time alone, you may want to ask the people at your day care center. Some of them look for extra work in the evenings, and others may know people they can recommend for evening work.

03-27-2006, 04:01 AM
I just wanted to say that you are not alone. I wish that I could offer you some advice, except my DH and I are in the exact same situations. My DH LOVES babies, and wants to do so much to help and I have had alot of experience w/ babies/children, however I don't have much experience w/ newborns.
My DH and I live half-way across the globe from both our families and all our close frinends. We really sympathize with you. We have also had the same anxieties and I have been wanting to post about it, like 'how did you guys do it' sort-of thing. Im glad that you posted.
I wanted to say that its good you are able to take 12 weeks off and that you have found a good day care. The pp have given great advice about alternate day care and evening care. And I definitely would not want my MIL moving to town, and having the extra emotional and financial stress.
Good Luck and I know you'll catch on to all of this, we are all first time mothers once, right? :) ((HUGS)) and feel better it will all work out.

Take Care


04-03-2006, 10:35 PM
my heart goes out to you all. if we live in the same city i would certainly be there for any of you. it was so helpful for us to find other families with small children that were willing to share the burden. We also have great friends. You might think about joining a mommy group in your area.

I think it sounds like your DH is realizing the enormity of having a child...which is a good thing! Once that baby arrives, he will also realize that it's the best thing ever and despite the necessary sacrifices...completely worth it! Don't worry. Your family is going to do just fine...if you need anything don't hesitate to PM me (that goes to all of you). we are extremely fortunate in our situation and it breaks my heart to hear you all in what should be the happiest time of your life, fretting over all the incidentals, but that's what us moms do, isnt' it? it's our job to worry for our families.

Good luck to you all and congratulations!!!

04-04-2006, 01:23 AM
It's nice to hear people with the same anxieties as we have about our first child. Both of our parents are 3000 miles away and we have no family here to turn to in case of emergency. Cost of living in Seattle is expensive and we still have to deal with paying off student loans to go along with our mortgage. Our head is spinning regarding daycare, diapers, etc. and how to manage our finances properly. Eventually, we have to buy a new car as well since mine is two door hatchback that isn't quite kid appropriate. I think dw is taking 3 months off while I will definitely take paid time off (2wks). Her mom is flying out for a month within the first 3 months to help and I think I will have my mom and dad come out after the 3 months is over to allow dw to return to work. We also have talked about flexing our work schedules to make things work. We still don't have a real definite plan however. We're still excited about the approaching birth, but defintely know we have things to organize before Sept. rolls around.

04-18-2006, 05:50 AM
I would suggest looking for a moms/dads group ahead of time, and looking for places that are kid friendly in your area. I think it would help to start creating a network now. :)

Having a baby is a huge change, and its hard to realize how big until it happens. I had worked with kids the last five years before we had DS and it was still a hard transition for me. I would try to talk to DH and let him know you understand his concerns and express your own to him so you can start off communicating about this kind of thing before the baby is born, because it will be important that the two of you can relate to each other now, because it may be harder when the baby is there. I know for my DH, it was hard for him to understand what I was going through after DS was born.

Anyway, maybe make a list of things that you and DH are worried about, and try to see what you can do now about your concerns, because it will be harder later.

Big hugs!