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Advice for New Grandmas

By Amalah

Hey Amy!

I realize I am a little out of your normal spectrum of readers, but I started reading your Advice Smackdown when I was searching the web for new parent information, because my daughter is expecting a baby this month!! She lives 1000 miles away and it has been planned that I will travel to stay and help her out with her first baby (and my first grandchild — can’t wait!). The question I have for you and anyone else who cares to contribute a comment is: HELP! I so very much want to be helpful and not a pain. I would like to hear from other new mothers what did your mom/MIL do that was very helpful after your baby arrived? What was annoying or unhelpful that I could avoid?

My daughter and her husband are the most polite people I know and even though she is my daughter I am quite sure she would never communicate to me that I was in the way or getting on their nerves. My common sense tells me not to give too much (unasked for) advice and I would want to be helpful without being overbearing and taking over their household. I have been looking online (that’s how I found your blog BTW) trying to get the most up-to-date information on baby care (for instance I have learned that babies sleep on their back nowadays) in order not to be out of date with my baby knowledge.

So any advice to make this visit a helpful start to parenthood for my daughter and son-in-law (instead of a nightmare of “when will she ever leave?”) would be most appreciated.

Thank you!
Gramma-to-be

Hooray! And congratulations! And aren’t you SO NICE for even thinking about this stuff. I know quite a few daughters and daughters-in-law who would probably love to adopt you right now.

Five Ways You Can Help the New Parents

Okay, so here are some things that my postpartum family company (both mother and mother-in-law) did that we really, really appreciated.

1. Help assemble, address and mail birth announcements. Bring your own address book just in case your daughter realizes she’s missing addresses of cousins and aunts and other relatives.

2. Pick a household task that you can handle with minimal guidance and do it. Try to get a quick rundown on, say, their laundry preferences (detergent choice, water temperature) and a good tour of the kitchen so you can unload the dishwasher without a lot of “where does this go?” questions. Help with chores was a HUGE ONE for me, because that’s exactly what got kicked to the curb while caring for a newborn.

3. Take pictures of the new family, all together. Don’t constantly ask them to pose and say cheese, but if you see the three of them together on the couch, just grab a camera and snap a picture. I have so few photos of Jason and I together with the babies and I regret that.

4. Offer to babysit. Let them go see a movie or go out for dinner. (And if you’ve got the technology, send them text message updates or camera-phone photos during the date — this way they can be comforted without having to interrupt their night with nervous phone calls home.)

5. FEED THEM. Make breakfast in the morning and offer your daughter plenty of snacks and drinks during the day, particularly if she’s breastfeeding.

Five Things You Should Not Do

And now, a few DON’TS, also from personal experience.

1. DON’T have an open-ended visit. Commit to a set length — it’s totally fine if you end up extending the visit, but oh my goodness, don’t just stick around waiting for them to tell you to go home. Chances are by the time they tell you that, you’ve already overstayed your welcome by a couple days.

2. DON’T always feel like you HAVE to “help.” They may actually be looking forward to doing stuff on their own and they need to experience some success in this area before you leave and it’s trial-by-fire time. It can be hard to know when to step back and let the new parents be, but just remember to occasionally stop  and ask if they want your help before swooping in to take the baby or help with dinner. If they say no — even if you disagree or think they’re just being polite — listen and back off.

3. DON’T offer unasked-for advice. Your instinct is good: it’s your daughter’s turn to be a mom and make all the mom-type decisions. Even if certain choices seems completely off-the-wall to you, chances are you raised a smart kid who has researched this stuff and knows what she’s doing, even though she might not always feel that way. Be open-minded and respectful about modern parenting ideas instead of constantly talking about how things used to be done (at least in a tone that suggests you think it was better that way — plain old reminiscing is totally fine). Don’t argue and definitely…

4. DON’T go against your daughter’s wishes behind her back. I don’t even want to get into the specifics here but I still deal with this quite a bit with my in-laws, and it infuriates me to an unbelievable degree. You don’t seem like the sort who would ever think to do this, but oh my lands, it happens all the time and NOTHING will strain a relationship faster, because she always figures it out.

5. And lastly, don’t forget to be her MOM. My mom and I watched old B&W movies and made popcorn in the middle of the afternoon a couple times, because that was something we used to do when I was a kid. We went out for lunch. She got a blanket and tucked me in when I fell asleep on the couch. When I had problems nursing, she didn’t pretend that she could fix it, but just gave me hugs and assured me that I was doing a really, really good job and she could tell I was going to be an amazing mother. The confidence she gave me is the thing I most remember about her visit, even more than the baby clothes or clean kitchen counter tops.

Photo source: Flickr/ ScottieT812

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

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 Ama...

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 [email protected].

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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Angela
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Angela

One of the things that my MIL did that was wonderful was to encourage me to take naps. She was perfectly content to hold the baby and let me sleep for a little while. She also helped with laundry, cooked for us and probably best of all, she told me every day how thin I was because the weight was coming off and how great I looked. I think that might have been my favorite part, after the naps. My mom was there mostly when we were in the hospital, but I do remember that she was more “advice-y”, which… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Great advice Amalah! And new Grandma- you are awesome! DO NOT GO BEHIND MAMA’S BACK- I caught my MIL mixing up rice cereal to GIVE MY NEWBORN. She was (and is) convinced my breast milk just could not be enough. Sheesh. My own Mom- best thing was to be my Mom, not just Grandma, but take care of me too!

Melissa C
Guest
Melissa C

I love this question. How thoughtful of you! My mother came at the 3 week mark and these are the things she did that were so helpful: 1. Ventured out of the house with me and the baby (my husband was back at work by then). It helped build my confidence to have another adult with me for Target runs or a trip to the store. After she left, I knew I could do it on my own. My Mom did a great job of getting us out and about once a day – even if it was just for… Read more »

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

She’s right, we want to steal you away! Just for looking up all this information I have a feeling you will be just fine. Pat on the back for a caring Mom & future Grandma.

Cobblestone
Guest
Cobblestone

OH OH OH!!! My mom is 800 miles away and too allergic to my house to be able to come in so here is what we did. She was there for the birth and hospitalization. I had a scheduled-c and my husband agreed that he should keep teaching while I was in the hospital and be home my first week home. It worked well for us and my mom is really good at sitting in hospitals so we just chatted it up and she stepped around the corner every time I had to whip out the girls to get the… Read more »

EmilyG
Guest
EmilyG

You sound *so* sweet! I will second the taking pictures idea. My MIL took a million pictures of my husband with the baby, but not a lot of me with him. That was kind of sad. The most helpful thing that both my mom and MIL did was let me start doing everything gradually. So before they left, I had made dinner once, I had done the dishes once, I had taken out the dogs and bathed the baby by myself. It was a real confidence booster to get to practice doing all of that alone, but knowing that my… Read more »

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

Yo Go Grandma! You sound like you’re on your way to a great visit already. Like Amalah said the fact that you are even asking this makes my heart happy for your daughter. My mom stayed with us for a week after my son was born. She was there when I needed her and was pretty good at disappearing when she thought my husband and I needed to be alone with the baby. Here’s what she did that I love: 1) She fed us. She didn’t ask a lot of questions about what we’d want, she’d just say stuff like… Read more »

Alexa
Guest
Alexa

I want to second feed her…my mom and aunt came down while I was in the hospital and cleaned up the house and made a lot of food for the freezer. It was such a relief the first few weeks to just pull something from the freezer and put it in the oven. I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t even think of making something in the kitchen, so the frozen home-cooked dinners were a godsend.

kate
Guest
kate

Oh I love you – your daughter and son-in-law…and grandbaby! – are so lucky to have you! Here are my additional comments to what Amalah mentioned: 1) I personally liked being able to do my regular “chores” around the house – it helped me feel normal. So my mom / mil would just sit with the baby so I could vacuum, etc. 2) I loved that I had help staying at the house with us, but also loved having “alone” time with my baby. So my mom/mil would run to the grocery store for me, or make up some kind… Read more »

HomeValley
Guest

This is great! I am expecting my first in May… how do I politely get this to my own mom to peruse??

Anya
Guest
Anya

A few other suggestions: If your daughter tries to do something nice for you, LET HER. Remember you are still a visitor in their house, and while she is sure to appreciate everything you do to help, she may still want to keep up with certain good hospitality things. Give them SPACE. If your daughter excuses herself and leaves the room, don’t automatically follow her. If they don’t seem all that engaged in whatever conversation you are trying to maintain, maybe try quieting down for a bit. They are sure to be overwhelmed with everything else new going on, and… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I second EVERYTHING she says here! Spot on advice. What an amazing Mom! Just the fact that you want to help, not OVERHELP, and that you know your daughter well enough that she might not tell you if you’re overstepping…I think you’re probably already set. My Mom came and stayed with me, too, and I loved it. The biggest helps were: COOKING. She kept us fed, and I never had to think about it…and CLEANING! Oh my. Not the most fun thing to do, but honestly, I SO appreciated her help with the regular chores that I was too tired… Read more »

Erin
Guest

I second EVERYTHING she says here! Spot on advice. What an amazing Mom! Just the fact that you want to help, not OVERHELP, and that you know your daughter well enough that she might not tell you if you’re overstepping…I think you’re probably already set. My Mom came and stayed with me, too, and I loved it. The biggest helps were: COOKING. She kept us fed, and I never had to think about it…and CLEANING! Oh my. Not the most fun thing to do, but honestly, I SO appreciated her help with the regular chores that I was too tired… Read more »

Katie
Guest
Katie

Not too much to add to Amalah’s advice. My mom was at our house making dinner when we came home from the hospital with our newborn, and she had stocked up on fresh bread and milk and lunch meat and simple things we could make quick meals of. I loved that. She was really good at being supportive and commiserating without offering too much unwanted advice. It helped that she lived a mile away and was “there” for me without always being THERE. Ha.
I think you’re going to do great, and I’m sure your daughter will appreciate your help!

Amy
Guest
Amy

In major metropolitans – or heck, probably anywhere with a decent sized hospital these days – they often offer Grandparenting classes at the local hospital. These may give some more tips like the “no back sleeping” thing and hopefully even some advice on being helpful without overstepping boundaries. My mother was a saint when I gave birth and the biggest thing she gave me was encouragement! She also brought a TON of already cooked food (lasagna, chili, pans of enchiladas, chicken tenders, cut up fruit/veggies), which although you probably can’t do if you’re flying to visit, you could prep during… Read more »

jive turkey
Guest

I heartily second the “backing off when they say they don’t need help” advice. My mom came to stay with us during my first week postpartum, and she got really offended when my husband and I wanted to handle all the diaper changes, sponge baths, etc. I couldn’t make her understand that we just NEEDED to do those things to prove to ourselves that we COULD, not because we wanted to exclude her. She cooked and cleaned and did the grocery shopping and laundry for us all week which was AWESOME and PRECISELY what we needed, but when I would… Read more »

heels
Guest
heels

The best things my mom did for us were: 1)COOKED! And kept a full glass of water next to me at all times. 2)Held my son so that I could shower and let me take as long as I needed. 3)Helped me get to the first few doctor appointments- it was difficult because I couldn’t drive (too much damage) and was not yet used to packing around a baby AND all the STUFF. 4)Hung out with me, and helped me through those lonely few weeks when my husband went back to school. 5)Reassured me that I was doing a great… Read more »

Kay
Guest
Kay

This is a great question! Things my mom/MIL did that I really appreciated: * Baked yummy cookies and treats. * Made a huge pot of soup that I ate for a week after she was gone. * Babysat for a couple hours so daddy and I could go out for breakfast. * Took baby on a walk outside for a bit – it was so nice to be in my house relaxing without worrying about the baby. * Washed dishes. * Made comments about what a good job we were doing (made a big difference!). * Offered to look up… Read more »

CLE
Guest
CLE

If you choose to help out by cleaning and organizing their house while they’re at the hospital (which I appreciated, because I went in an emergency situation mid-nest), make sure you label everything or give a map or something. Five months later and I’m still not sure where everything is. DO NOT say things like, “well I raised X# of babies and…” Yeah. I don’t care. This one is mine. DO NOT hijack the baby so that mom feels like a dairy cow and only gets him for feedings. DO make dinner. Don’t ask, just do. I overdid it trying… Read more »

Jess
Guest
Jess

One thing my mom did that I don’t see mentioned was – when baby went to sleep for a nap and then I crashed as well, she would stay in the room the baby was in (with a book or the tv on) and tell me to turn off the monitor. If baby woke up, my mom would see if anything besides a feeding would calm him down to give me a few extra minutes of sleep.
Not being woken up by crying every single time I tried to get an hour of sleep was HEAVEN at that point.

Keely
Guest

The best thing my Mom (actually, both my parents) did for me: 1. Took the BABY out of the house. I didn’t feel up to leaving, and I felt guilty not attending to the baby even if other people were there. They bundled him up in the stroller and took him for a 2 hour walk so I could have a long, luxurious nap! 2. Brought over take-out. No mess, no guilt about my mother slaving over a hot stove, and there were leftovers. 3. Told me I looked confident (even if I wasn’t), I was doing a great job,… Read more »

Beth
Guest
Beth

I wish I had a mother as sweet as you. I’m 25, and I don’t yet have any children. So I can’t give you any advice. But you sound like a kind, thoughtful person, so I’m guessing you don’t need very much.
If I had a mother like you, my life would be SO different.

Someone Being Me
Guest

The biggest things that my Mom helped me with were laundry(after a c-section that was really painful for awhile), buying yummy groceries and cooking for us (she got lots of fresh fruit and snacking foods which were great for breastfeeding/pumping), and hiring a housekeeper for 6 months to help me until I got used to working and having a newborn. I think the biggest thing is just looking for the day to day stuff that gets put aside because of the baby like laundry and dishes and stepping in to help. Also a huge help if grandma gets up early… Read more »

Tracy
Guest
Tracy

I wish my MIL had felt the same way! Instead, she had ME serving HER and refilling HER water!

Sara
Guest

Oh wow, what a thoughtful question and great advice already from Amalah. Especially the taking photos idea – we (still) have barely any photos as a family and I regret that as well. I loved the week and a half my mom came to visit, because through the emotions and baby-blue-isms, and general “omg what am I doing, I can’t do this” feelings that I had, she was my support and sounding board. And she made dinners and helped with the laundry and all that stuff. And reminded me to sleep (badgered me to, in fact) and it really was… Read more »

Jenn
Guest

My son was a barfer, and puked on everything. My Mom constantly kept the washing machine going those first few weeks, and folded and put everything away too (my nemesis!) It was a godsend!

Molly
Guest
Molly

Please, please please don’t hover. My mother has an annoying habit of standing two feet away from me and staring blankly at me while I’m doing anything baby-related (nursing was the worst.) We know, it’s a cute little baby and your own baby is so cute being the cute little baby’s mother, but OHMYGODPLEASESTOPIT. Make dinner, and freeze the leftovers. Run to the grocery store. Pick up a movie at redbox (or order a few from Netflix). Ask if she feels like getting out of the house, and go out for lunch with her if she wants to. Be thick-skinned.… Read more »

Musings of a Housewife
Guest

I can’t think of anything much to add, but I’m touched that a grandma-to-be would be so considerate. I’m sure you’ll be GREAT. My mom basically came right out and said, “Let me know what you want me to do. I can hold babies, change diapers, make dinner, scrub toilets… Just tell me and I’ll do it. I don’t want to be in the way.” That was great b/c it allowed me to tell her exactly what I wanted and needed. She stayed for a week when my first baby came and 2 weeks after each of the next ones.… Read more »

Lindsay
Guest
Lindsay

Here’s the only thing that drove me NUTS! If your daughter asks you NOT to do something, DON’T do it! No questions asked.
Remember to have fun and just hang out with your daughter. How often do you get to do that? 🙂

DB
Guest
DB

Both my mom and aunt came (not at the same time) and I have to say, my aunt actually out-shined my mom (I know both of them will never read this, so it’s ok). Even though my mom was awesome in many ways, one thing that was not good was when I was having trouble breastfeeding she really tried to get me to give up and give him formula instead. Now I know it was because I was REALLY upset, and so was the baby, and in her day no one really breastfed, but it only took a couple more… Read more »

cassie
Guest
cassie

Like Rachel above, my mom cleaned my whole damned kitchen, in places even I’d never gone, and it sparkled afterwards! It was such a great gift, above and beyond general cleaning. I’m still amazed. Other things she did that helped out tremendously: * Offered to take over with the holding and rocking late at night when Hubby and I were exhausted and at our wits’ ends. * Made me nap. MADE ME. And then took over caring for the baby if he woke up before I did so I’d get a smidge more sleep. * Took lots of pictures, including… Read more »

Courtney
Guest

My mom came and helped out for a week after my husband went back to work, when my son was about three weeks old. It was great. She had absolutely no expectations – no pressure for me to provide food or entertainment, and she was seriously so happy to just *hold the baby*. At first I felt bad when she got there and I would tentatively ask if she’d mind if I went to take a nap, but by the end of the week I would just hand him to her and run to the bedroom. She talked with me,… Read more »

Marni
Guest
Marni

What a sweet, wonderful mom! You’re so nice to ask. Both my mom and my MIL were very good about not offering unsolicited advice. (Although, my mom still did it now and then, but a quick look from my father would stop her in her tracks.) My husband does most of the cooking, but the moms (they were NOT there at the same time, thank goodness) were great about cleaning and laundry – that was huge. The thing that did strain me a bit, and others have mentioned it: I felt like I had to beg to hold my own… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

My mom did all the lovely things mentioned here. I’ll also add that she got the baby(s) (she was there for all 3) soothed, changed and ready for me to nurse, for EVERY feeding. All I had to do was stumble to the rocking chair, feed the baby, and stumble back to bed. My mom figured I would lose enough sleep after she was gone, so she took the hit while I recovered from my ceasareans. And right before she left, she took me to the salon for a cut, color, mani and pedi. She sat right next to me… Read more »

NewMom
Guest
NewMom

All the comments are great. You’re definitely on the right track by even asking. On the list of DON’Ts (things that my mom/MIL did that drove me NUTS!): 1) If you are cleaning, DON’T move everything! My MIL cleaned our house when I was in the hospital before my first was born (he came early, so we hadn’t finished preparing the house), and while that was nice, it took 18 months to find some of the stuff. Her cleaning now drives me NUTS in general, because I (somewhat irationally, I admit) feel like she’s insulting me, or saying that my… Read more »

Margie
Guest
Margie

My only thing to add besides emphatic head nods are that, obviously, every mom is different, and I personally pretty much always wanted to be holding the baby except when she was crying and I was losing it. So I worried that my MIL and FIL would want to hold her too much, but they were great, and I made sure that they got to hold her as much as I could stand, and they made sure that I got to hold her a lot too and didn’t make me feel like I was being selfish. It was very gentle… Read more »

kakaty
Guest
kakaty

All great advice, both in the post and the comments. One of the things I know about my mom is that she *can’t sit still* so I was ready with a couple of bigger projects for her to do when she came for a week. She was great about doing all the other stuff and not hogging the baby from me but she HATES idle time. Before I had my girl my mom and I talked and I threw out a couple of “nesting” projects I didn’t think I’d get done before I went into labor. She remembered these and… Read more »

gizella
Guest
gizella

this is a good question. I had a terrible experience with both my mom and MIL, so i can only say what not to do: My Mom: Don’t make it all about you from the get go. I had a c-section, and needed womanly help around the vagina etc, but my mom was fixated on what she could clean or cook. My husband wanted to cook. She got offended. It goes on, and in the end, she went in her room and sewed, then left while my husband was in the shower. a day before Christmas. I was a wreck.… Read more »

Krista
Guest
Krista

Someone else said this, but I’ll reiterate — sometimes the best thing you can do is leave for a while. Go grocery shopping, return some of the baby gifts that won’t be needed after all, pick up photos from Target or wherever — just give them an hour or two a day to be by themselves to rest or decompress. I loved having my mom around, but she was a still an extra person in my house, and that can be draining however much you love them. Also, if you put a load of towels in the washer right before… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

There’s been so much good advice already that I only have a few things to add. If you’re there for the labor/delivery and your daughter is ok with you leaving for a bit offer to go out and get takeout for everyone. My MIL did this while I was in labor and it was awesome. Also, my mother brought real coffee with her so no one had to drink the terrible hospital stuff. My mom only lives 2 miles away so she didn’t stay with us after the birth (although she offered) but we spent a lot of time together… Read more »

Abby
Guest
Abby

I’m sure I’m repeating other folks, but the key for me was simply having my mom there to mother me (and my husband)! My first was born five months ago and my mom drove from another state so that she could be present for the birth. She made it and boy was I happy. The best thing she did was stay at the hospital with me that first night (baby was born at 7:20p, we made it to our room at 11p) and sent my hubby home so that he could get some sleep, send out the announcement email and… Read more »

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

I think the comments here are awesome and second basically all of them. I especially second the following: 1. Cook. My mom also made a few things to store in the freezer, which were so great to have when she left, especially since they were “mom’s cooking.” 2. Clean, to the extent you can given that it’s not your house. But stuff like vacuuming, dusting, cleaning kitchens and bathrooms is pretty universal, I’d guess. 3. Give advice/help when asked, and not when not asked. I think the fact that my mom wasn’t over-advicey made me more likely to ask for… Read more »

Becky
Guest

This is all good advice! Just remember to not take it personally if she does something different than what you did. In some cases, the recommendations have changed — like babies sleeping on their backs nowadays. In other cases, your daughter may just have a different parenting style than you did. Don’t take it as an attack against what you did — it’s not like she remembers when she first had rice cereal, or whether you carried her in a sling. She’s just doing what’s best for her family. My mom and MIL have both, in general, been great. It… Read more »

KEK
Guest
KEK

Oh, what a wonderful Mama/Grandma! Everything everyone said above, seconded heartily – especially the part about just being her mom, like you always have been. Comfort her like you always have when she cries (oh, the hormones!), make a big deal over the adorableness of the baby (not that you have to be told that, but my MIL seemed a little cool at first, which hurt my feelings – she was trying not to be grabby, and by day 2 of their visit couldn’t help herself anymore and things were good). Also, just DOING without asking “how can I help”… Read more »

Heather
Guest
Heather

The best gift I received was from my dad and his wife. They literally cooked us dozens of meals and filled our freezer. I didn’t have to think about cooking for weeks. They made numerous soups, casseroles, all simple stuff, but it was a life saver. I echo everything everyone said about keeping mom feed, cook breakfast, make snacks, prepare things for a few days out. Walk the dog, clean the house, all the simple stuff makes a huge difference. Your daughter will be so grateful!

LJP
Guest
LJP

What a thoughtful question! I’m sure I’m repeating much of what’s already been suggested by Amy and the other commenters, but here’s what my mom did for me that I really appreciated: From the outset, she quickly made it clear she was here to help ME, not just visit the baby. Then I didn’t feel badly bossing her around (nicely, I hope!). Also: (1) Cooking and cleaning. Probably number one. I felt like I lived in a hotel in my own house. Even little things, like making the beds, made it seem like the place wasn’t full-tilt chaos. (2) Noticing… Read more »

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

What a great question! We had our first baby last September and my MIL came for about a week and a half & it was great. My own mom lives closer so came for shorter visits. Some of the stuff my MIL did that was awesome: – made meals. This was HUGE for us, as if she hadn’t done this, we literally would have forgotten to eat or just eaten complete garbage. She even brought us breakfast in bed almost every day (not that you should feel you have to do this, but it was lovely!) – let us have… Read more »

Kimberly
Guest

My son and I struggled with breastfeeding, and my mom handwashed my pump parts after every pumping session. She also cleaned up after herself – the guest room and bathroom were ready for her next visit! Congrats, Grandma!

Gramma-to-be
Guest
Gramma-to-be

Oh! I cannot BELIEVE how much amazing good advice you all have and how much I have learned from reading all of this. Thank you so much Amy for answering my plea!! Well, here I am right now at my daughter’s house…baby was due on the 22nd…we are waiting (not very) patiently. . . but doing some fun stuff while waiting like shopping, eating out and going to the beach. I have gotten many many good ideas here…particularly making positive remarks about how she looks & how well they are doing, taking a few pictures when everyone is cleaned up… Read more »

Karen Chatters
Guest

My mom and dad were SO helpful with things around the house. They did everything in the kitchen – cooking, cleaning, emptying the dishwasher and things like laundry. They ran errands and did all the grocery shopping. But most importantly they stayed out of the way!! My MIL was very unhelpful. She was great with the middle of the night crying (she’s a night owl) but was kind of in the way and wouldn’t go to the store and therefore didn’t cook anything because we didn’t have any food. Anyway, find out what would be most helpful to them and… Read more »