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Postpartum Excursions & Outings: How Much Is Too Much?

Oct01

by

Dear Amy,

I am a sleep deprived, first time mom of a beautiful three week old baby boy. And my mother in law is in town for a two week visit to see the baby, and as you can guess that is where my problem begins! My mother-in-law is typically a very sweet, kind woman who I get along with really well but this week has me at the end of my drastically shortened rope.

Crazy me thinks that after having an emergency c section three weeks ago, and having a challenging three week old that (big surprise) wakes up every 2-3 hours every night entitles me to some rest? Help? Other nice things? But this trip has turned into me playing the hostess for my mother-in-law, who has endless energy (maybe because she gets to sleep all night long) and hauling my exhausted butt and my poor newborn all over town to take her to do all these things she wants to do. So far she has been no help with the baby, or around the house, acts like I’m selfish and lazy for wanting to maybe take one freaking nap during the day, and acts like I’m weird for not wanting to haul my baby on endless amounts of errands. And I am talking endless. As I type this, it is 4 p.m. and we have been out to breakfast, to the farmer’s market, to two stores, and up to a ski resort for Oktoberfest. I cannot even believe it. And I have told her and my husband countless times that I am a) exhausted and b) don’t want to take my newborn with his brand new immune system to all of these germ-infested places. I can’t even imagine taking care of a sick newborn. And c) whenever we take the baby out, he sleeps all day long in the car and in the stroller and then is awake all night long. To no avail. I was outvoted and away we went. Aside from locking myself and baby in the bathroom, I do not know how to get out of these trips!

Now my mother-in-law leaves in one week and the hellscape she has created will leave with her, so I can (maybe) bite my tongue a while longer- though I did have a breakdown and started sobbing on a bench at Oktoberfest. The real problem is my husband. His mom lives far away so it’s not typically an issue but whenever we get together, I go from being number one to a far distant number two. I have told him time and time again that I am really exhausted and physically can’t run his mom all over town, but he doesn’t seem to understand and seems to think I can suck it up, slam a Red Bull and spend all day with his mom making our own soap. Literally. That is one of the things she wants to do.

Aside from just the need to vent and have my feelings VALIDATED for a change. I would like your advice on 1. Am I taking crazy pills here? Or do I have a legitimate right to be seriously irritated right now? And 2. How do I make my husband get the picture? That as the mother of a newborn, I need rest! And that maybe he can put my mental sanity above giving my mother-in-law her dream vacation.

Sincerely,
Number Two

WHAT IN THE WHAT HELL. What’s your husband’s phone number? I am serious. I will call him personally to yell at him because CAPS LOCK IS NOT NEARLY SHOUTY ENOUGH.

You are absolutely 100% within your rights to feel irritated. Your husband and mother-in-law are behaving ridiculously. Downright atrociously. While I’m all for getting up and out of the house after having a baby and routinely hauled all of my newborns to a variety of germ-infested public places…I did it when I wanted to. When I felt up to it. And we’re talking maybe one outing a day. Followed by a day or two spent solidly at home. And I always reserved the right to change my mind and insist that we turn the car around and go home if, say, my c-section incision was bothering me, the postpartum bleeding felt too heavy, or if our destination was too crowded, etc. etc.

And it never, ever occurred to me that anyone else in my family — at least anyone over the age of six-years old — would OBJECT to that. Or override MY objections. Or, you know, go on enjoying Oktoberfest while I sobbed quietly on a bench somewhere. “What? Her? Oh, she’s just newly postpartum and wildly hormonal and utterly sleep-deprived. But I’m having fun, so whatever. I’ll go buy her a Red Bull and some tissues, ‘cuz I’m an awesome person.”

Seriously. Shame on your husband. He’s being a jerk. Your mother-in-law…well, she’s being ridiculous too by treating YOUR recovery time as HER vacation, but sadly I’ve heard a lot of similar stories over the years about wildly different expectations re: postpartum visits and how much “help” you expect vs. what you actually get. Some family members are wonderful and show up and do laundry and change diapers and make you coffee and eggs in the morning, while others (wrongly, IMO) expect you to basically play hostess the whole time. It’s why a lot of new parents institute a ban on overnight postpartum visits for a set number of weeks, or at least set limits of the duration (i.e. nothing longer than a week, or even just a weekend).

So I’m more willing to simply roll my eyes at your pain-in-the-butt MIL and rub your shoulders while reminding you that she’ll be gone soon and you can plan future visits accordingly (short, and with her own rental car or public transportation map and MetroPass, have funzies out there bye!!). I’m feeling much less charitable towards your husband, who is supposed to be on YOUR SIDE and LISTENING TO YOU and HELPING YOU and ALSO NOT BEING A BIG JERK.

Do not go on another single outing with them, if you don’t want to. Tell your husband that enough is enough, he is ignoring your needs and emotions and stress/anxiety levels and that is NOT OKAY. No one is going to pick you up and forcibly shove you in the car, correct? Even when you are “overruled,” it still involves you giving in and putting your shoes on and packing up the diaper bag. Stop doing all of those things. “No, I’m sorry. I’m tired and I’m going to stay home and rest, end of story. This is simply too much activity for me too soon after major abdominal surgery.”

If anyone argues, walk away. You don’t have to listen. You DON’T HAVE TO GO. If they want to take the baby with them, godspeed. Let them figure out how much “fun” these outings are without poor ol’ mom to take care of the baby. Then stay home and take a nap.

Or put your foot down about that too, if you want. Tell them the outings mean your son is getting his days and nights reversed, and since no one else is willing to help out at night when he’s awake and demanding your attention and alertness, you’ve had enough of that, too. They can go sightseeing and restauranting and shopping or whatever they want together. Curl up in bed with your baby and a Real Housewives marathon without a single twinge of guilt or caring about what they “think” about you. Because clearly, THEY ARE NOT REALLY THINKING ABOUT YOU.

Six weeks is the minimum recommended recovery time for a c-section. MINIMUM. And there’s no such minimum recovery time for your hormones and emotional well-being. That can be incredibly up and down for a lot longer. But you’re so definitely right in the thick of that part, too, and deserve — DESERVE!!— to be surrounded by people who 1) understand, and 2) give a crap about you and how you feel and whether or not you SOBBED on a BENCH today.

And I’m serious. If your husband still doesn’t “get it” after you go all zero-tolerance on his ass or DARES to get angry or pushy with you because you aren’t doing enough to make his mommy happy, have him come talk to me. I write an advice column on the INTERNET. I have nothing to LOSE. I will tell him WHAT’S WHAT and THEN SOME.

Photo source: Michael Blann/ Thinkstock

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About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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84 Responses to “Postpartum Excursions & Outings: How Much Is Too Much?”

  1. Alissa Oct 01 at 12:29 pm Reply Reply

    Dear Number Two – Could you please give your husband a swift, HARD, kick in the nuts for me?  Because that’s about all he deserves right now.

    Take a nap and stop the madness.  And good luck with the next week of MIL!

  2. claire Oct 01 at 12:41 pm Reply Reply

    Seriously, give Amy his number, a recording device and let us read the transcript. Both of them are unreasonable. Good luck xxx

  3. LMo Oct 01 at 12:47 pm Reply Reply

    Wow. You have all my sympathy. We don’t have any children, but I do understand the Number One to Number Two transition. It’s infuriating, and if I had a solution for you I’d share it. Instead, I will share my internet hugs, because it’s the best I can do!

  4. Rachel Anderson Oct 01 at 12:55 pm Reply Reply

    WTF?! Did your husband not HEAR the doctor when s/he talked about recovery time?!

    If you’re too emotional to stand up for yourself (which I totally understand–seriously i was such a wreck those first two weeks I couldn’t have told anyone to do anything) you can always pull the “doctor” card. Have the pediatrician or your OB put the kibosh on this crap.

    • Rachel Oct 01 at 12:57 pm Reply Reply

      replying to myself–at 3 weeks post c-section are you even supposed to be going up and down stairs yet?!

      • Christy Oct 02 at 11:19 am Reply Reply

        Totally agree, play the doctor’s advice card. Major abdominal surgery! I think my recovery period after a laparoscopic procedure was longer than that!
        Tissue takes time to heal and you (they) are not allowing that healing to happen. This is medical fact, I am a veterinary nurse, but I am pretty sure tissue heals the same in a variety of species.

  5. Jesabes Oct 01 at 12:58 pm Reply Reply

    All those outings are waaaaay too much and, if necessary, I’m sure there is no shortage of women who will call your husband and yell. Me included.

  6. SarahB Oct 01 at 1:00 pm Reply Reply

    Good God.

    You poor thing.  In the short run, you need to stay home and rest and take care of your baby.  That is it.  There is no “outvoted” when you are the one recovering from major surgery.  Your limits need to be respected, period.  I would be tempted to ask your MIL to leave–or, at minimum, announce to DH that you and the baby will be doing your own thing for the rest of the week and that DH is responsible for feeding and addressing any of your MIL’s wishes.  This goes so far as to potentially set back your surgical recovery.

    In the long run, you need to have a serious come to Jesus talk with your husband about why you’re suddenly #2 when his mom’s around. Right now he is doing serious harm to your marriage.

  7. AmyRenee Oct 01 at 1:08 pm Reply Reply

    Here’s a comparison for you – if she had come to visit after you had your appendix out and you were out on disability, would she expect you to be up and about playing hostess to you? NO! But a c-section is just as major a sugery and you need to recover. There is a REASON women as given disability pay for their first 6-8 weeks of maternity leave – because they just went through a major medical procedure and need to recover.

    I’m all for being straightforward, but if you can’t handle that with your MIL can you put in a call to your OB and tell them how worn out you are – I’m pretty sure they will order you to take it easier & rest. Is your MIL going to argue with doctor’s orders? And if the sobbing on a bench continues even after MIL leaves, get checked out to make sure it’s not something more serious than a bad case of monster-in-law

    • Katherine Oct 01 at 1:50 pm Reply Reply

      I second getting your OB involved. That way it’s not just you being hormonal, or a party-pooper, or whatever their justification for trampling over your recovery is – it’s a serious medical event that needs to be treated with respect to allow you the time to have a complete, unimpeded recovery. You deserve this, and if having your OB have a chat with your husband is what it takes, so be it.

  8. Jen Oct 01 at 1:10 pm Reply Reply

    I’m just horrified for you, you poor thing. I’m so sorry! It’s probably a little late for this, but I have found this helpful for newly post partum mamas to give to other to help them understand being a good guest is vital. Maybe you could print a copy for your MIL. :-) http://community.babycenter.com/post/a21026385/the_lemon_clot_essay_if_you_have_people_over_after_birth.._you_need_this

  9. Stephanie Oct 01 at 1:19 pm Reply Reply

    Oh my goodness… NO! This actually made me cry – I feel so badly for you. I had an emergency c-section 6 1/2 months ago, and it took me a good 7 weeks to be completely healed. At 3 weeks? I was still barely getting around. And also exhausted and crying from sleeplessness. I could not imagine being dragged around town with my my newborn in tow AND recovering from a c-section. Your husband needs some major talking to. This is NOT okay.

  10. Autumn Oct 01 at 1:19 pm Reply Reply

    Oh my!  You are not crazy at all!  Your hubby and MIL, definitely, or just clueless.

    I’m guessing your husband is back to work now, thinking it’s no big deal for you to entertain MIL while on “vacation” aka “maternity leave”  If you are nursing its a bit harder to hand the kid off, but I found another solution.  

    My  hubby is a very heavy sleeper and a bit clueless and NEVER hears/heard the baby (now 13 months) cry when he was sleeping.  So to help him realize how tired I was (she was about 3 weeks old then), I woke him up every time I got up with her for a week.  Then woke him up again when I got back in bed.  I did this for a week.  No sleeping in on weekends.  Woke him up, handed him a fed, clean, dressed baby, and got in the shower.  Getting woken up 6 times a night, he got the picture pretty quickly.  

  11. Autumn Oct 01 at 1:23 pm Reply Reply

    The other thing I was going to add:  This is good practice saying no for when your charming newborn becomes a sassy toddler.  

    And mean it.  It took my MIL a little while, but now she knows No means No when we say it.  Not maybe, or I guess so (like her other kids) but NO.  

  12. Katherine Oct 01 at 1:24 pm Reply Reply

    I had a very similar situation with my FIL after my daughter was born. My midwife said all the extra moving around pushed back my recovery, and I ended up in therapy because it was the only way to make peace and get past feeling traumatized (those hormones do a number to you).
    I don’t have anything productive to tell you, just sympathy to give. Hang in there, she’ll leave soon.

  13. Debra Oct 01 at 1:28 pm Reply Reply

    My mouth dropped open reading this. I’m absolutely horrified by how the OP is being treated here! What horribly selfish individuals your husband and MIL are being!
    Grrrr. 
    I agree; just DO NOT GO. Yes, it may suck as far as emotions and the guilt trip they might try to lay on you. JUST DON’T GO!  You have GOT to take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby. All this running around so soon after a c-section is just careening towards problems.

  14. J Oct 01 at 1:41 pm Reply Reply

    Holy AWESOME response, Amalah! Rrrrrrrrarrrr! YES!

    Yes. When reason ends ass-kicking needs to begin. OP — seriously, no more miss nice wifey/daughter-in-law.

    I’m not one for throwing a fit, but it is time to firmly say NO. And mean it.

    Your husband should be the one telling your MIL no, but since he won’t you have to tell both of them NO.

    And really — you might as well start now getting good at saying NO — they both sound really selfish and inconsiderate. You will probably need to say NO a lot.

    And seriously — your MIL needs a boyfriend or a babysitter or something to entertain her. :P

  15. Karen Oct 01 at 1:52 pm Reply Reply

    I am so sorry but congratulations on the new baby! Definitely just the circle the wagons around yourself and stay home. If it were me though, I would probably hold off on mentioning exactly why you are pissed to your husband until after his mom leaves. It’s unlikely that he will just have a “Eureka!” moment and tell his mom to shove it and make her own soap. Let her go home, and in the meantime spend a few days putting together how his lack of support has affected you. get some rest and get a grip on your emotions. write down some thoughts. Then sit him down and calmly explain how hurt and angry his lack of support has made you feel. Short and sweet. I hope he comes around. Good luck.

  16. Jess Oct 01 at 2:10 pm Reply Reply

    I too am ready to kick some MIL and husband butt. Not in that order. It took me MONTHS and MONTHS to get feeling somewhat normal after my csection. Not to mention the hormones and sleep dep. Oh the sleep dep. I’m with Amy. Plant your new mom toosh on the couch and order some chinese. And maybe a maid, because my hell… Hugs girlfriend. You are not alone and you are not unreasonable. Call the chinese food people now. Just go.

  17. ListenMaudy Oct 01 at 2:21 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t have kids, but I am furious at your husband! I agree with Amy that people are clueless, so the best you can probably do with your MIL is ignore her.
    Your husband though… omg, I am so mad! You had major surgery and need to recover. If his mom wants to make soap all day, she can do it with him on one of his days off. I agree with everyone else that you need to say “No, I’m not going” and then really not go. Please take care of yourself! Don’t let them guilt you into compromising your recovery. We’re all behind you. You can do it!

  18. Chelsea Oct 01 at 2:25 pm Reply Reply

    Are you having to drive you MIL around? Because my OB told me I was NOT ALLOWED to drive a vehicle for at least 6 weeks after my c-section and that if you are in an accident during that time you may not be covered by your auto insurance. Not to mention at 3 weeks out I was still in so much pain. 

    I’m sorry you are being terribly mistreated, I wish I could do something for you. I understand how hard it is to stand up for yourself in these situations because my MIL put me in a slightly similar situation 2 weeks after my c-section. I didn’t stand up for myself and I ended up being angry for a very long time after that. I blew up at my husband and thankfully  he was very apologetic and did his best to fix things. However, you might not be getting the support you need from him even after you put your foot down.

     Please get help, sooner than later from professionals. Because of the c-section, the sleep deprivation (going on 6 months  now), and some difficult situations I have been going through terrible postpartum depression. I am finally getting the help I need but it took so long to receive help even after I worked to get it because of things waiting lists to get into clinics. Get help now before you feel too terrible to even pick up the phone. Bad after-birth and birth and pregnancy experiences, plus crazy hormones equals postpartum depression. 

    I’m praying for you, and please please get professional help.

  19. Carolyn Oct 01 at 2:35 pm Reply Reply

    Oh my gosh, I can’t even IMAGINE! (That day you described sounded unbelievably overwhelming and exhausting, even if you WEREN’T recovering from MAJOR surgery!) I think people tend to think c-sections these days are no big deal, but you know what? They took your INTERNAL organs OUT of your body! If you feel like traipsing around town after that procedure, more power to you! But I don’t think I even LEFT the house on my own after my c-section until my 6 week follow-up (well, I wasn’t allowed to drive until then, so that was the first time I was allowed to go out by myself … but I definitely didn’t WANT to prior to that, either!) So no, don’t let anyone guilt you into thinking you should be going all over town and doing crafts. You’re perfectly within your rights to want to stay at home for a few weeks (or if you’re me, months!) and rest, recover (both from surgery and from all the physical and emotional changes taking place), and get into a groove with your baby. Just don’t go.

    In fact, I bet your OB would back you up on needing to take it easier, so if I were you I’d have an email or phone conversation with my doctor, and then you can tell your husband and MIL, “The doctor says I need to get more sleep and not do so much walking. I’m sorry, but I really can’t take you to make soap without jeopardizing my recovery”. BOO-YAH! What can someone say to THAT without sounding horrible? :) Then if they want to take the baby, like Amy said, fantastic. But if not, at least you’ll be at home and able to sleep when the baby sleeps.  (And if the outings are reversing the baby’s day/night cycle, use that as a reason you can’t go, also! “Sorry, the pediatrician said it’s important for the baby to sleep at night and be awake during the day, so until we get that sorted out, we can’t be going on outings anymore”. And then if they insist on taking the baby and messing things up, THEY have to wake up at night with the baby and let you sleep!)

    • Carolyn Oct 01 at 2:35 pm Reply Reply

      (Oh, and I do hope you’ll write in with a follow up! I’d LOVE to hear what your husband had to say after this epic smackdown!) :)

  20. Amy Oct 01 at 2:44 pm Reply Reply

    First, congratulations!  But OH, honey, I am SO SORRY they are treating you this way.  I agree – this time period is for mama and baby to be cocooning, cuddling, bonding, resting, and recovering – and that’s it!  Whatever outings seem like a good time to you, go right ahead and go, but personally I had a helluva time getting out of the house during my maternity leave.  Like Amy said, one outing one day, and then it’d be a couple days at home before I was up for doing it again.  And I was lucky to have a totally uncomplicated delivery – with a C-section you should be doing only what’s absolutely necessary, and absolutely none of what she has had you out doing qualifies!  I hope your hubby pulls his head out of his ass and realizes he needs to be on your side.  He’d better figure it out quick and do everything in his power to make the rest of your leave as sweet and serene as humanly possible!

  21. Diana Oct 01 at 2:51 pm Reply Reply

    The previous commenters already made the point, but I’ll repeat it.  Point out to your husband and his mother that you just had abdominal surgery and this level of exertion is dangerous for you.  Give them the car keys, go to  bed, and tell him to bring take out for dinner.

  22. Diana Oct 01 at 3:03 pm Reply Reply

    Also, in defense of husbands, even after three babies my husband has never really understood how ridiculously tired I am for the first few months after the baby is born.  he always seems to think that as soon as I’m not pregnant I’ll be back at 100% the next day, and it’s just not true.  They are used to you being just as energetic as they are and sometimes you just have to spell out for him how much energy you do or don’t have.  

  23. SarahB Oct 01 at 3:04 pm Reply Reply

    With this many responses this fast, I hope the OP simply prints this all out, hands it to them, and says, “DH, you’re in charge of hosting MIL from this point forward.  I am hunkering down in the bedroom. I expect there to be food in the kitchen for me to eat whenever I come out.  Otherwise, have fun.”

  24. MR Oct 01 at 3:37 pm Reply Reply

    OMG! Definitely count me in the absolutely HORRIFIED at your dh and MIL category!!!
    Make your dh read this: http://babygooroo.com/2012/08/how-other-cultures-prevent-postpartum-depression/

    I am so sorry! You are NOT crazy, nor selfish. They are being completely awful to you. Tell them no, and that they have to help you. ((Hugs))

  25. Random Nennie Oct 01 at 3:43 pm Reply Reply

    I am 15 months post c-section and wouldn’t even want to do all of that!!! (Really, I’ve been obviously healed for months. Just trying to be funny)

    Really, mama. You are more than within your rights to think this is ridiculous. I feel bad for you and wish you had a supportive, understanding partner to back your up.

    I saw a comment about getting your OB GYN involved. I think that is a great idea.

    You deserve your rest and do things on your own terms. I really wish you the best

  26. Jeannie Oct 01 at 4:00 pm Reply Reply

    … I was going to say that your MIL and husband are crazy, and you are not overreacting AT ALL, but I think that’s been covered.

    FWIW, as a comparison, I had the easiest possible birth with my second, no c-section, and there is NO WAY IN HELL I would have put up with that three weeks later. I did things on MY schedule, thankyouverymuch, or not at all. Recovering from carrying and delivering a baby is HARD.

    And you, with all that AND a c-section, AND being a new parents of a newborn who has his nights and days mixed up? NO. FREAKING. WAY.

    Go back to bed. Say no. If you’re overly emotional, cry when you do it. It might be more effective. And show your husband, at least, all these replies. Maybe he’ll get the picture. Because yes, he is Out Of Line. Completely.

  27. heidi Oct 01 at 4:04 pm Reply Reply

    Count me in as one of the horrified. As a woman who has had 4 c-sections, I will tell you. No. No, no, no. You shouldn’t even be driving! Also, feel free to drop me a line and I will speak to that husband of yours. This is unacceptable. How is he going to feel when your recovery takes longer or something happens to do damage? Is he going to tell  you that you should have said no? My guess is yes. So do the right thing (although I know how impossible that seems when you are so damn tired and emotional) Tell him no now. Tell him I said no.

  28. Oh my god. Unbelievable! 

    Honey, say no. Just say no. Damn the consequences and JUSY SAY NO.

  29. Katie Oct 01 at 4:29 pm Reply Reply

    Holy hell. I think we might share a MIL. At 4 days postpartum they were visiting and she whined that they were bored could we please go for a walk? I didn’t have a c-section but my baby wrecked my insides and I couldn’t walk more than 10 feet without leaking pee. Seriously, why so glamorous, motherhood? And yet, i was told to suck it up and walk.

    And so I know how hard it is to put your foot down and not go. I know how you worry that your husband and MIL will think you’re weak or how she’ll make snarky comments about you being a lousy host. But you have to listen to your body. Not just your healing tissues but your mind also. You need physical, mental and emotional rest. Your baby needs you far more than your husband or your MIL do and so it’s time to make you and baby priority 1&2 and tell 3&4 to kiss your ass. You need to make your needs known even if it steps on toes or pisses off your mil. She’s a big girl, she’ll deal. You have my sympathies. I hope she’s gone soon and you can give your husband the lecture he deserves for being such an asshat.

  30. Angela Oct 01 at 4:39 pm Reply Reply

    OH MY GOD. As a person without any kids, without having given birth three weeks ago, without having my MIL here… I would not be able to go out to breakfast, to the farmer’s market, to two stores, and Oktoberfest in ONE DAY! Seriously! Your MIL must be the energizer bunny with some extra energy. I am so sorry you are dealing with this! I hope you can figure out a way to stay home and hang with your baby and husband rather than traipse all over creation.

  31. Suzy Q Oct 01 at 4:44 pm Reply Reply

    Did your MIL find her son in a cabbage patch? If not, then barring adoption, she gave birth to him, either vaginally or via c-section. In that event, she should KNOW how hard it is to care for a newborn even without major surgery involved.  Major surgery WHICH YOU HAD JUST THREE WEEKS AGO, OMG.  A pox on her and her stupid soap-making!

    Lovely lady, please take care of yourself. You are worth it, and so is your baby.  Sending Internetty hugs and healing thoughts your way.

  32. kimm Oct 01 at 4:54 pm Reply Reply

    Make a dr apt asap like today, and tell your husband he has to go with you. explain all you have been doing is making you so tired,and ask the dr’s advice,in front of your husband. that all sounds just impossible to do!

  33. AlexMMR Oct 01 at 5:02 pm Reply Reply

    What the actual fuck!? At 3 weeks, my feet were still so swollen I could hardly walk to the bathroom! This is so wrong on so many levels! My girls were hardly allowed to leave the house the first 2 months due to germs, doctors orders. And your kid is being hauled to every germ party in town? No! Just no.

    Ok, since you haven’t been able to take a stand on your behalf, here’s some ammo to help you strengthen your just say no resolve. There’s a whooping cough epidemic out there and your baby can’t get the first vaccination from it until 2 months. Every time that kid is surrounded by people, he is put at risk and it’s fatal to a newborn. So Mama, what’s your choice? A pissed off MIL that you hardly ever see, or the possibility of a dead baby? You’re going to have one or the other so make your choice and stick to it.

  34. Delora Oct 01 at 5:04 pm Reply Reply

    Oh. My. God. I couldn’t even WALK properly 3 weeks after my c-section, I can’t imagine having to do a full day of errands in that condition!

    I love the suggestions about involving your OB in this as a professional who will be fully in your camp. Short of getting an appointment, do you have a close friend who could come over and help you for a day while you explain to your husband that since he clearly isn’t helping you at all, you needed to reach out to someone else? Because you just can’t PLAY HOSTESS right now while you’re newly postpartum and still recovering? Maybe a friend could help watch the baby while you nap and your husband and MIL go off and do all the touristy things she wants.

  35. Alexia Oct 01 at 5:05 pm Reply Reply

    So I think the fact that this is NOT OKAY has been covered. I would, also, like to add myself to the list of people willing to give your husband a piece of my mind

    You can attempt to explain to your husband how you’re feeling but, come now ladies, let’s all be honest, they’re never going to truly understand. My husband has a hissu when he cuts his finger. Can you imagine your husband going through what you experienced in the last 10 months or so? I don’t think so either.

    You, my dear, just produced a human. A real live person… out of your body. In my opinion, that wins you the gold star prize of ‘no one’s opinion matters more than yours’! Seriously, I didn’t have a c-section and my husband practically had to bribe me off of the couch for a walk around the block… like a week after we got home. I didn’t move because I didn’t feel like it, I didn’t care who else gave a rat’s patoot, and my baby wasn’t going anywhere I didn’t feel was not icky germ infested.

    I’m happy to be the bad/mean person. Tell your DH and MIL that I said you’re not allowed to do anything other than sleep, cuddle in bed with your little bug, relax, eat whatever food appeals to you, and watch lots and lots of on demand TV. No loud noises, interruptions or whining will be tolerated!

  36. Liz Oct 01 at 5:24 pm Reply Reply

    UNBELIEVABLE. I couldn’t even urinate on my own 3 weeks post-C-section! Your situation would be inexcusable even if you had a vaginal birth that was a breeze….but absolutely NO after a C-section!

    Sadly, I am reading a deeper issue here, of your husband putting you second after his mother. That is NOT ok, and will ripple into every aspect of your life and parenting, well, forever. Please, after you have bounced back a bit more, encourage him to attend couple’s counseling with you, to gain some perspective on your role as wife and mother, and how you and baby need to be #1 from this point forward.

  37. Beth Oct 01 at 5:25 pm Reply Reply

    Just. Say. No. And if they still won’t listen, you go right ahead and lock yourself in the bedroom… there’s no where to lie down and watch tv in the bathroom. Seriously. I am 4 months out from an uncomplicated, good drugs laced, vaginal delivery and going to the grocery store is a major accomplishment in my opinion.
    Better yet, just don’t get dressed and hand her a shopping list and say “while YOU’RE out… Thaaaaanks!”

    • Becky Oct 02 at 10:35 am Reply Reply

      What she said! This is such a crazy time when life is flip flopped and sleep is screwy…figure out the fallout later, but for now I agree with Beth!

  38. Danielle Oct 01 at 5:34 pm Reply Reply

    I imagine that saying “no” feels like it will be hard. I imagine you worry about how they’ll react, and that you’ll be made into the bad guy. Do NOT let them turn their abusive, selfish, damaging behavior around on you.

    We’re not talking about something you just don’t “feel” like doing. You just had MAJOR abdominal surgery, and can VERY SERIOUSLY hurt yourself by doing so much. You have to take care of yourself, so you can take care of your baby. You need to find that inner mama bear to protect you and your little one before you hurt yourself further, or at least slow your recovery, which will in turn HURT YOUR BABY!

    I agree with involving your OB and Pediatrician. Have them talk to your husband. Have them lay down the law.

    You have to act now. Otherwise, your failure to set and enforce healthy boundaries is only ensuring you’ll continue to be treated like this in the future. They aren’t going to figure it out on their own.

  39. Ash Oct 01 at 6:06 pm Reply Reply

    Wait… If your up all day with your MIL, and up all night with your newborn.. When do YOU get some rest?! That is the only thing that is important right now, and your hubby and MIL need a stern telling off! That’s just not fair.

  40. Christen Oct 01 at 6:31 pm Reply Reply

    What the hell is WRONG with people? I am so sorry that you’re being guilted into playing hostess and that your husband isn’t on your team right now. Say no with zero guilt and think of this as training for all the times you are going to have to stand your ground when it comes to you and your child in the future. Get your doc involved if necessary and definitely show your husband this letter, Amalah’s advice, and the dozens of strangers who are supporting you. Good luck and hopefully you can start to enjoy your time with your wee one soon!

  41. Susie Oct 02 at 1:25 am Reply Reply

    Additional HELL NO with an added slice of KickAss. You just give Amalah his number. She’ll do the rest. 

  42. Jessica Oct 02 at 1:54 am Reply Reply

    WTH?! I could barely make it up the stairs on my own 3 weeks after my own csection. I was in a similar situation, although my MIL lived in town in her own place thank god. But too many visitors, and too many outings caused my incision to come open and become horribly painfully infected. Two weeks of antibiotics and 5 weeks of packing gauze into the wound later, I realized I should have said no. Seriously, go lay down!

  43. Jessica Oct 02 at 2:32 am Reply Reply

    This makes me want to throw a hissy fit for you. I really really want to take all of my 8 months pregnant stress, anxiety and general level of uncomfortableness and channel it all into one screaming torrent of rage on your behalf. I promise to cover the fetus’ ears as I do so.
    WTF???? Soap???? Octoberfest? That’s absurd. Crying at Octoberfest should only be tears of joy at the vast array of beer and sausages.
    How about some starter sentences:

    “My incision is really hurting today, can you please go and get the baby from the crib? I can’t get up. It must be from all the movement.”

    “I’m sorry, I really am, but I can’t seem to get out of bed without feeling like my stitches are going to tear.”

    “I’ve made an appt with the Ob/gyn since I feel like something isn’t right, it’s at 11am today, can you please drive me there? She said I absolutely should not drive until I get it checked out.” (this should ideally coincide with soap making day, which I still can’t get over)

    BTW, that lemon clot essay is amazing. And gross. Ew, that’s going to happen for real?

    • AmyRenee Oct 05 at 9:21 am Reply Reply

      Yup, thats very likely going to happen for real. Here’s what I learned after I was too spineless with my first son and the instructions I gave my husband for my second: 1) I want to be able to nurse my baby in my own living room. When I say “I need to feed the baby now” you have 15 minutes to get any and all people out of my sight. I wll not allow you to banish me to the bedroom bored out of my mind for hours at a time while you entertain our families in the living room. 2) If the baby is sleeping and we have people over, I’m going to go take a shower or a nap. Make my excuses for me or tell them to leave, but I’m not going to sit around making small talk and play hostess.
      My parents and my in-laws and extended family all live near us and tend to “drop by” whenever they want. This is fine, but I’m not going to play hostess to them. If they don’t understand that, i don’t want them in my house.

    • Jamie Oct 28 at 9:30 am Reply Reply

      These are great!  

      I hope that by now things are going better for you, I think my MIL is much more sensitive than yours, but still dread visits.

  44. Alisa Oct 02 at 7:59 am Reply Reply

    Wow. Your husband and mother in law are being really insensitive to your needs as a new mom. I don’t see why your forced to go places. You can’t respectfully decline saying you’d rather stay home with the baby??? Or even better let them take the baby out with them while you stay home and get some rest. Do whatever you gotta do. Quote the pediatrician or even your OB who should have given you specific instruction to stay off of your feet so your incision can heal. Practice getting your fiercely protective mama grizzly on!!! If they still don’t get it, when the baby wakes up at night ask your mil or duh to take the baby after you nurse so you can get some sleep. Good luck mama!

  45. Lisa Oct 02 at 9:04 am Reply Reply

    Please know that every sane person would fully support your feelings…. Your husband is not thinking clearly and completely does not understand. I can’t even talk about your MIL.
    YOU ARE THE MOM and YOUR INSTINCTS on what is right for you and the baby ARE CORRECT! There is a reason you have those instincts and those instincts are what helped humanity survive for 200,000 years. TRUST what you know to be right. ;) Best wishes! p.s. Jessica’s comments above are great–USE THEM!

  46. Becky Oct 02 at 10:33 am Reply Reply

    Stop.

    Starting now, your priorities are you and your baby: Eat, Sleep, (bathe if you can), and rest. Draw a little circle with those basic things you NEED right now and that is what you are in charge of. EVERYTHING else is on someone else, and you don’t have to explain this to them. Just don’t do them.

    When they say, “hi we are going to the farmer’s market”, you say, “Have a great time! I’ll be staying here catching up on sleep.”

    Dishes? Left in sink. Let them pile up. Thank whomever does them.

    Dinner? Husband can cook, grocery shop and order. Write a list. Say thanks when they bring you dinner in bed.

    Mother in law makes comments? Leave the room and go back to bed to watch bad TV and snuggle with that cuddly new baby.

    Just. Don’t do it. Don’t explain. Your job isn’t to host or feel like you HAVE to do anything! They’ll follow your lead (eventually) but you owe it to your baby and yourself to get healthy….

  47. Corinne Oct 02 at 11:20 am Reply Reply

    This makes me so angry. I cannot even express how angry this makes me (other than I am willing to drive to wherever you are, kick your husband’s ass out of the house with his mommy, then lock the door, make you freezer meals for several weeks and do your laundry. BECAUSE THAT IS HOW YOU TREAT NEW MOMS, ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAD MAJOR SURGERY!)

    You need to tell your husband that if does not start putting his family (you and your child together) first, that he’s not going to have a family anymore. That is just absolutely unacceptable. And do not let him or her tell you that you are just hormonal (you are, but they are still being assholes and no self respecting person would just accept that behavior. Your hormones and exhaustion are probably why you’ve been giving in, instead of standing up for yourself).

    If you want to be nice and avoid conflict, you could use some of the things suggested above, but if you want to get your point across you could just say “No, I just had my stomach and uterus cut open in a major surgical procedure three weeks ago, I will not be going anywhere today.” If they argue with you, just ignore them (because you should already be in bed with the remote, a book, your baby, some food, and a beverage). And don’t let them take the baby unless you want them to take the baby – if you want the baby to stay with you so you can nurse and bond and snuggle, then they can go enjoy MIL’s vacation by themselves.

  48. Sharon Oct 02 at 11:50 am Reply Reply

    I second (or third, I forget) the advice to call your OB! She (or he) will be horrified at the level of exertion you are being forced to make. My OB would have hauled my husband’s ass to her office for a serious talking-to about rest and recovery and respect and etc. Your heath, both present and future, both physical and mental, is on the line here. No one – particularly not those who purport to care for you – should be playing around with that.

    So (1) congrats on that adorable sweet baby, (2) you are not at all overreacting and (3) make someone else. like your OB, the bad cop who will smack some sense into these thoughtless people. Also (4) it is not only bad for you, it is bad for your baby – firstly because hell, babies need rest and quiet, and secondly because an unhappy mama is the worst thing for a child of any age.

    Please let us know how you make out!! Y’know, after you get some rest…

  49. bethany actually Oct 02 at 12:42 pm Reply Reply

    I rarely comment here, but I had to chime in on this one to say I agree with Amy 100%. Your MIL and husband are recklessly disregarding your health in pressuring you to go on all these outings when you’re only a few weeks post-C-section, and especially when you’re PROTESTING that you don’t want to go.

    Be polite, but firm. Just say no! They are welcome to go have fun without you. It will probably be more restful for you and your baby boy to have the house to yourself for a few hours, anyway!

  50. JenVegas Oct 02 at 12:51 pm Reply Reply

    Yes what Amy said 100%  I am so sorry that your husband and M-I-L are oblivious to standards of human decency. Shoo them out of the house, let your hormones fly and have a good cry, that usually scares my husband right off. God. I am already cranky today and this whole situation made me super mad on your behalf. I’m pretty sure we’ll ALL volunteer to tell your husband to F Off with all of this mess if you need us to.

  51. Hannah Oct 02 at 1:07 pm Reply Reply

    Congratulations on the birth of your baby!

    I am spluttering – SPLUTTERING – with rage on your behalf, you poor dear thing. I have three children; the youngest is 9 months old. And there is NO WAY IN HELL I would be able to keep up with that kind of frantic activity level with *my* baby and lots of experience, let alone as recovering mom of a three week old.

    You are not crazy. Not even. Your MIL is a thoughtless, selfish, irresponsible person and your husband… well. I realize that he is the father of your child so I’ll refrain from calling him too many names, but he has a pile of growing up to do in a fast hurry. He’s acting like someone’s child instead of someone’s father, and he should bloody well be ashamed of himself.

    Please, trust yourself and your instincts. Lock yourself in your bedroom and bond with that wee babe if that’s what it takes. And let us know how you are doing. 

  52. Courtney Oct 02 at 2:38 pm Reply Reply

    Oh sweetie! I had to do this, too. My husband thought our lives would stay exactly the same and tried to get me to bring the baby out every night after my c-section. Ha. Not happening. Do what Amy said. Just tell them to go alone and that the baby only goes where you go. If they still give you crap about it or get upset, go with them, but make it as difficult as possible. And then when the baby is up all night…guess who’s bedroom light will suddenly. magically. be on. every time I have to get up? You got it. Oh sorry MIL…i just have to grab the extra diapers in your closet. Also, I really need that sling we stored under your bed. Excuse me…sorry for waking you up, but the baby really likes to lay on the pillow you’re using. May I have it? I know…it’s suckes being up so much at night. If only we could stay home so he wouldn’t sleep so much during the day.

    Good luck dear! Hope you figure this out…and it will get better and easier. One day, you will look at yourself and be all “Damn! Look at me and what i’m doing! Good job, self!”

    • tasterspoon Oct 03 at 4:34 pm Reply Reply

      Ha, I totally wouldn’t have the balls to do this but the passive aggressive approach is right up my alley.

  53. Olivia Oct 02 at 3:06 pm Reply Reply

    No advice, just a holy hell you have every right to be pissed! With both our babies my husband wanted to take my parents sight seeing when they came to visit, and we did make one long day trip after my first, but that was it. Fortunately, my mother was always very clear that she was there to see the grandchildren and there was no need to do anything.

  54. Linnea Oct 02 at 3:21 pm Reply Reply

    Long time reader, first time commenter, because… WTH??!! Amen to everything Amalah said. AND – can we please get an update on this one?? Dying to hear how this will be resolved.

  55. Liz B Oct 02 at 4:06 pm Reply Reply

    Amy is 100% right as usual. Just another thought…what is your mom like? Is she around? If you’re not feeling emotionally up to standing up for yourself (which I understand a billion percent), maybe there’s a third party (even a best friend or sister) who could step in, come over during the day and run interference on this ridiculous situation that you absolutely should not have to deal with. Your mom could sweep in and say “No way! My girl needs her rest. Don’t you remember what it was like to have your first baby?”

    Good luck. Much love sent your way.

  56. Laura Oct 02 at 4:25 pm Reply Reply

    What???!!! I’m so sorry that they’re putting you through this. At 3 weeks after an easy birth with my second (so relatively experienced) I would maybe go out if I felt like it but otherwise I was enjoying snuggling with the baby on the couch most of the day. When my mother or MIL came over they helped with dishes, cooking, errands and sometimes baby care (although really, I found the biggest help is with all the other stuff so you can sleep and take care of baby). Your husband and MIL have things horribly wrong and I really hope you’re able to stand up for yourself and your baby.

  57. Hannah Oct 02 at 8:37 pm Reply Reply

    I have also been told that driving so soon after giving birth natural or c-section is NOT okay. So, for insurance and medical purposes, you should use that as reason #1. Is the point of your MIL’s visit a vacation or to see the baby? If its a vacation, then let her go out on her own – call a cab, have your husband play driver. Speaking of your husband, WTH is he thinking? Get the nurse on the phone, or drag him with you back to the dr and have her/him re-explain the whole recovery time thing to your husband. Break it down for him in boy terms, if you’re not allowed to have sex for 6 weeks, then you can’t be expected to go gallivanting all over town so soon after MAJOR surgery.

  58. camie Oct 03 at 1:43 am Reply Reply

    I agree with Liz B. I feel like you need an advocate. Its hard to speak up when you’re so drained. A friend, mom, or even a nurse could help intervene and speak up for you. Your husband should put you and his son first. So sorry you feel alone. You have a lot of readers here sympathizing, validating, and wishing they could come to your aid! Best wishes.

  59. nancy Oct 03 at 9:23 am Reply Reply

    Wow, and I thought MY husband was bad after my son was born. He pushed me to go out when I wasn’t ready, but it was to the park across the street, or to the bagel place down the road for a brunch. And when THAT was too much, we ended up talking to a counselor. Once a professional was talking to him about what I needed post c-section, he understood that I wasn’t just being lazy or anti-social (in his family, they consider going for a run treatment for being sick just to give you an idea of his mindset). Definitely, as a new mom, get someone with a degree to talk to him in clear, clinical terms. It is hard to advocate for yourself when you are that exhausted and emotional – that’s when you tend to get emotional instead of reasonable/logical when you really need to make a point!

  60. S Oct 03 at 2:35 pm Reply Reply

    I never comment but felt compelled to today.  I find it hard to stand up to my overbearing (at times) MIL but at this post partum period, you must. I have repercussions from my first c-section that perhaps would not have happened had I taken better care of myself. Don’t cause yourself irreversible damage like I did because I was too hesitant to ask for help.  Your baby deserves a happy, healthy, strong mommy.  Take care of yourself for his sake, if nothing else.

  61. liz Oct 03 at 3:08 pm Reply Reply

    I had a c-section and could barely stand up straight at 2 weeks, much less walk anywhere far.

    Dear God Above. Your husband needs his ass handed to him.

  62. tasterspoon Oct 03 at 4:55 pm Reply Reply

    I had a vaginal delivery two weeks ago, and today is a big deal because it’s my first chance to GET ON THE COMPUTER. You have been a hero and a saint.

    I like the ideas of calling in a third party authority, whether it’s your mom or your OB or a shrink, since it sounds like you’re bending over backward to be accommodating beyond all reason and in a really self destructive way. You can pass on the “need to rest” message softly that way, by saying, “Oh, I’d love to make soap, but Dr. Z has instructed me to stay off my feet.” Maybe they’re not taking your recovery seriously because you have gone along with their shenanigans thus far.

    Try reminding them in subtle ways. For example, I ask my husband to carry the car seat or the groceries (even though I could), just to keep him aware that I’m NOT back to 100% yet. And I gripe constantly about being tired, comment at every feed how much breastfeeding hurts, and report on all the diapers I’ve been changing. I do it in a good-natured way because I’m not trying to play the martyr, but I don’t want anybody thinking I’m on vacation, either, just because I’m burning a hole in the couch.

    Or you can try some mental judo by ‘confiding’ in the MIL, woman to woman, that you need *her* help talking to your husband, because he seems to think you can do all these activities when, of course, she must remember when she had a baby/ last had major surgery, it’s a really bad idea for both you and the baby, and can she help you talk to your husband about it because he just doesn’t understand?

  63. Kaela Oct 04 at 10:35 am Reply Reply

    This advice is almost moot at this point, but maybe for the next time around, or if you have a similar type of guest coming soon. A lot of people mentioned sending your husband out with his MIL all day…maybe it’s just me, but I would have been really annoyed if my husband spent his precious leave time/weekends taking care of anyone but me and the baby in those first few weeks. Not only does he miss out on bonding and enjoying the newborn phase (which will be gone in a blink) but you NEED someone around to help you after a c-section. Who’s making you lunch? Cleaning up the 8,000 diaper blowout/spit up? Taking out the trash? Holding the baby while you take a nap? Seriously, it is not selfishness to expect his undivided attention right now. MIL will be back for many visits in the future when you can treat her like a proper house guest. Right after becoming new parents is not the time.

    • -k- Oct 05 at 2:50 pm Reply Reply

      YES YES YES @ subtle reminders. I’m 2.5 weeks out and am locked in an epic battle with my own desire to do the dishes. It’s too easy for the other parent to not get it, both because they’re not experiencing it (pregnancy replay, anyone?) and because things *look* more or less normal.

      If on-demand feedings and hours of trying to intuit the needs of a screeching infant were a vacation, there would be resorts for that.

      (There aren’t.)

  64. Jennifer Oct 04 at 11:19 am Reply Reply

    Compared to most of these stories I guess I had an easy recovery from my c-section.  When my daughter was 10 days old we went to the State Fair for a couple days and I walked around carrying her in a sling – BUT! I felt up to it, I didn’t go very fast or very far, and my parents camp there with a camper, so a nice place to rest and I got to take naps, and I WANTED to go.  If my husband had tried to drag me around all over the Fair all week with no naps and the baby not sleeping at night, and I didn’t want to be dragged around, oh HELL NO!  Even as good as I felt I would not be wanting to push it or to stress my baby with all that nonsense, and anyone who doesn’t get that needs a swift kick in the behind.  My Aunt has been an L&D nurse for over 30 years and she was at Fair when we were, she was fine with me being up and around and doing what I was doing, but she stressed to me over and over DO NOT PUSH YOURSELF, if you feel tired or sore or any of that, stop, sit or lay down, and take a relax for awhile.
    Do what you need to do get this stopped.  If he won’t listen to you, call your Dr, make an appointment, drag him down there and have him listen to him/her explain how DANGEROUS this can be for both you and the baby. If he won’t go ‘just because’ start with the ‘my incision hurts, no its not the normal soreness, it doesn’t feel right, I think something is wrong, etc’.  Above all, do NOT feel bad about putting your foot down and saying NO to anymore outings.  At this point what they think does not matter, and if you do end up doing damage to yourself or the baby gets sick,who’s going to be dealing with that?  YOU, exactly.  So ENOUGH!

  65. Amy Oct 04 at 2:07 pm Reply Reply

    OP, you are not at all unreasonable for not wanting to traipse all over creation with your child. I did too much post-c-section out of necessity and ended up with complications to my incision, which set my recovery back weeks. Please take care of yourself and your baby.

  66. VP Oct 04 at 9:00 pm Reply Reply

    Oh. My. God. 
    You are one seriously strong and brave and FAR TOO NICE of a woman. 
    I just cannot even imagine, in my head, dealing with my husband and MIL acting this way 3 weeks after having a baby. I would not put up with this from either of them 3 MONTHS AFTER HAVING A BABY. 
    You haveto haveto haveto give Amy his phone number. Or show him this page. 
    I’ve never posted a comment here before. But this is completely unacceptable and beyond that, damaging to your health. 
    Please just stop. Rest. It’s okay to say no. 
    And congrats on the baby boy! (: 
    (Sorry if this was too caps-locky. I think I just threw a tantrum on your behalf)

  67. Rose Marie Oct 04 at 9:39 pm Reply Reply

    I started reading Advice Smackdown when I was about five days postpartum. My daughter is now ten months, but oh how vividly I remember not only the exhaustion but also being completely overwhelmed by taking care of a new baby. While I had trouble rolling over in bed or walking down the block post c-section. This is the first time I’ve felt compelled to comment, and I’m going to echo everyone else here, but it needs to be said: You deserve rest and for other people to take care of you. Show your husband Amy’s response if you need to. And don’t get in the car. There may be some fall out, but you deserve to take care of yourself, especially if they wont take care of you. Good luck!

  68. Jess Oct 05 at 9:05 am Reply Reply

    Nothing to be added, except I do need an update on this! Have never commented before, but this story made me so FURIOUS that I had to check back. 
    I seriously hope you, LW, found a way to involve a third party or get your well-deserved rest another way. This is a very clear case of no, it’s not you, it’s the others that are fucking mad.

  69. Stephanie Oct 05 at 5:54 pm Reply Reply

    I must agree with earlier commenters who suggested some kind of therapy for you and your husband.  I am absolutely dumbfounded by his utter lack of support for you, his WIFE AND THE MOTHER OF HIS CHILD!  It does not bode well for the future of your marriage.  If my husband put me second to anyone (except for our kids), I’d probably dream of ways to kill him in his sleep.
    I also think that getting your OB involved is a great idea.  I know that mine would have fiercely backed me up if I had been dealing with this kind of situation.
    I know that it’s hard sometimes to stand up to strong personalities, I used to be very shy.  But one great thing I’ve gained from being a mother is the wonderful liberation from giving a shit what anyone else thinks or says.  I was so busy taking care of my baby and her needs that  I stopped having time or energy to care if someone didn’t agree with me.  (For the most part–I’m not as bad-ass as I’m making it sound, but I have no problem being the bad guy when it comes to sticking up for myself or my kids.)
    I hope you are able to find a way to get the rest and the help you need, for your sake, and for your baby’s sake, too.

  70. AmyH Oct 05 at 6:58 pm Reply Reply

    I’m three and a half weeks post partum and this letter made me weep. I want to punch your MIL and your husband and then go hug my MIL who stayed for a week and kept cooking me meals and telling me to nap.
    My heart aches for you. I had a vaginal delivery and I still feel like I got hit by a truck. I really hope you feel better soon

  71. Mrs. Q. Oct 05 at 9:51 pm Reply Reply

    Holy lord!! You poor woman! That is awful, but it’s a useful lesson that will help you as you face the toddler years and not-always-adorable parenting moments. When you say no, mean it. Then walk away.

  72. mm Oct 10 at 6:57 am Reply Reply

    i actually think every expectant mother (and their families!) should be made to read THIS ARTICLE about resting after the birth. really, it is worth it. make your husband read it.
    http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=171

  73. jennifer Oct 09 at 7:59 pm Reply Reply

    Husbands can be extremely retarded and don’t understand pain and recovery at all. My husband was trying to tell me we were going on a 4 hour road trip to visit his mother in virginia 3 weeks after i give birth! I looked at him like he lost his damn mind! He felt offended as if i was being anti social and didn’t want to see his mother for thanksgiving, completely ignorant and ignoring the fact that I’ll be bleeding perfusely out of my vagina or healing from a c section, ALSO, nursing a brand new baby!

    My advice is don’t budge at all! Be serious about your NO’s and let him deal with it, he’ll get over it, and you’ll be happy that you stood up for your body and what you know it needs, as well as your baby. I’m sorry but during postpardum weeks, as a mom already aware of what it entails, everyone else can got shove it!

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