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Mother wants to move in to help with newborn

  1. #1
    tnpatton is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Hong Kong

    Mother wants to move in to help with newborn

    My husband and I are expecting our first child in December. According to Chinese culture, the month after giving birth is a time when the wife's mother helps nurse the new mother and child back to health. My Chinese mom, who now lives in Europe, wants to move in with my husband and I here in HK for the first month after giving birth to help out. I think I would like my mother here, but my husband thinks we can, and should, do this ourselves.
    So my question is: Is the first month a time when it would be a good idea to get outside help in learning how to care for a newborn, or should my husband and I use this as a time of bonding with our new child and learn to do things ourselves?

  2. #2
    woodstock07 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hong Kong
    I would say get all the help you can. I wish my mum, who does not live in HK, could come and help me during the confinement month but she couldn't so we hired a confinement nanny.

  3. #3
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South District
    i would definitely have your mom help is always better than outside help...bonding is nice, but you've got plenty of time to bond, not just the first month. also, it's always easier to just leave your baby with your mom if you and your husband would like some down time than someone else (except for a confinement nanny in my opinion)...

  4. #4
    jvn is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Mid-Levels, Hong Kong
    I'd say it really, really depends on your relationship with your mum and your husband's relationship with your mum.

    The first month is hard and any help you can get is fantastic so if I were you I'd try and look at the situation as it is without any shoulds (we should have mum to stay vs. should do it on our own). Think how you will feel having your mum there for a month, will she be happy, will she actually be a help (sorry but some arent'!), will it cause tension?

    Just a thought; will your husband able to take time off or be leaving you on your own? If he's going to be at home with you helping you maybe he has more say in the matter, otherwise 'we can manage on our own' is actually 'you can manage your own while I'm at work'!?

    Best of luck with your decision.

  5. #5
    ssheng is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Kowloon Station
    I had my mom come for the first month and my husband, who is not Chinese, was very supportive. He recognized that the first month is a lot of work for me specifically - recovering from the birth physically, crazy hormones, etc, while the baby is sleeping most of the time. We gave birth at Matilda, and they taught us the basics - feeding, changing diapers and bathing, within the 3 days we stayed there. It doesn't take a lot to learn how to do this, and you and your husband will figure that out quickly.

    The real challenge is how well you recover from your huge physical feat. Is your husband going to be going back to work during that month? If so, leaving you by yourself with a newborn when you had the option of having your mom around seems unnecessary. There is a good Chinese saying for this: 你跟你自己過不起。

  6. #6
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point
    I'm not Chinese but my husband is. When our daughter was born, we thought it was important for us to get used to our "new" family without other people in our house. My MIL seemed to really want to be here to be my kind of "confinement nanny" but as a non-Chinese I didn't really want someone telling me what to do when I didn't even believe in it. I could see it creating tension unnecessarily.

    In the end after much discussion, my husband and I decided for my mother and MIL to come visit for 2 weeks - they arrived when the baby was 2 weeks old. For me, it was ideal. I was in hospital for a few days, then when I came home my husband was off work for a week paternity leave, then I had just a couple of days just me and bub at home before my mother and MIL came. It was nice to have them around - but I do think that it's better for you and your husband to really bond with the new bub and figure out your new family together without other people getting in the way of that.

    I think sometimes that too much "help" can be a bad thing because ultimately you need to be your own family... but you probably have a gut feeling about what is right for you :) So just go with what works for you. But don't feel bad if you want to say no - if that's better for your family, then don't be afraid to say that :)

  7. #7
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels
    I loved the fact that in those first few weeks my husband, new daughter and I were a little unit - just the three of us. We had our helper for assistance whenever we needed it, but she naturally respected our privacy and never offered unwanted advice!

  8. #8
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    my mum said to me, when i was pregnant with our first,
    "you guys have spent a lot of time as a couple. now, you need to get to know your baby and learn how to be a family. the LAST thing you need is someone hovering over your shoulder saying, 'that's not how I would do it...' "

    i have a VERY close relationship with my mum, but i was VERY glad she didn't come right away. we had a helper and i was happy for the help BUT that was because i could tell the helper how I wanted things done. there was no questioning me, my motives or reasoning. it was done the way i wanted it because i was the boss.

    i am VERY glad that my MIL did not decide to "fill in" for my mum after the birth of our baby or i probably would have gone insane.

    i LIKED the fact that my hubby and i could discover how to care for our own baby. i had a lot of experience with babies anyway but never with a newborn. i think women today sometimes rely too heavily on books, internet, other people and forget that they have a "mothering instinct"...

    but, it's a very personal thing...i am not chinese but hubby is, so for me it isn't a "cultural" thing at all.
    Last edited by carang; 05-29-2010 at 06:36 PM.

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