Why You Need Your Mom When You Have a Baby
Even people who don’t like their mother, need their mother when they have a baby. Truly. If you’re thinking to yourself, “but really, I just want to snuggle with my partner & babe. My mom will constantly be interrupting our peaceful new family”–you’ve clearly never had a newborn. There’s nothing more peaceful and simultaneously less peaceful than a newborn.
*Caveat: if your mom isn’t super helpful to begin with, and you really don’t want to share new baby time with anyone, disregard all of this advice and just gaze at my adorable little SweetPea’s photo.
People think that if they have a loving and supportive partner, they don’t need their mother. The two are not mutually exclusive. Consider the following facts that support Mother’s presence–qualifications that your partner simply can’t embody.
1) Fact #1: Moms have had babies before.
Yes, even if it was only a one-time occurrence, your mother had you. That means she knows about tearing, hemorrhoids, bleeding, nipple pain, exhaustion, postpartum depression, and hating everything in the world while simultaneously loving everything in the world, especially your little angel-by-day, devil-by-night. Remember my postpartum health tips? Mom should be on that list!
Moms know if the baby’s color is normal, if the poop is normal, and how to put on the diaper. They also know what baby stuff you actually need and what is modern materialism at its finest. They know how to swaddle, soothe, and bathe a newborn. Have you ever looked at a newborn’s umbilical cord area while it’s healing? Scary!! SuperBoy isn’t circumcised (see reasons here), but if you do cut your boy, how about having that heal at the same time?! Moms know about these things.
2) Fact #2: Even if you both have paternity/maternity leave, you will also both be tired.
Mom will do laundry. And wash dishes. And order takeout. And cook breakfast. And change diapers. And burp angel-by-day, devil-by-night. She will also hold baby so you can take a nap, have 4 minutes alone with your partner, both of you nap, one of you shower and the other nap, one of you go out to forage for food, the other nap.
Mom won’t be tired in the same way as you two. Her extra hands are invaluable. And if this isn’t your first baby, you need her even more. Who will discipline, diaper, and feed toddler while you’re languishing in your partner’s bathrobe, trying to rouse the newborn to get her to nurse? (Okay, so this should sound familiar . . . yep, this is my life right now 🙂 See post on Surviving with Two.) And if your partner is home on leave, they can play with the older child/children while you survive with the baby. And who is cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner? MOM!
3) Fact #3: Baby presents special bonding time for you & Mom.
We’ve all been less close to our parents at times. If you’ve been in the valley of non-closeness with your family, inviting Mom to come and help with the baby gives your relationship new life. Suddenly you have a common purpose: nurturing, loving, and surviving.
And Moms love to be needed. And necessary. And able to give lots of unsolicited advice that you can either follow or nod while saying “thank you for your input.” Accepting her help is a great gift you can give her, and more importantly, giving her an important and helpfilled role is even greater: grandmother.
Because, hey, this could be you in the next 20 or 30 years. Don’t you want your grown up child to want and need your help?