Parenthood: with and without help
One of the things I get asked a lot is whether it is easier or not now that my in laws have left.
Undoubtly, physically harder. They were so helpful with cooking, errands and watching Ollie while I get a cat nap in.
But emotionally and mentally, it was terrible. Not because they are bad people. Any guest in your home can take a toll.
For instance, I felt I never had time to myself or with my husband. He didn’t have a second to himself either, the moment he walks in the door… It’s advice after advice. He was really exhausted from working all day, helping me take care of Ollie all night. So, it’s understandable that he would like a little quiet time when he gets home.
Another negative: hovering. I was told 24/7 about what I’m doing wrong. They meant well but tell me that I’m holding my baby wrong or taking my baby out of my arms broke my heart. New mommies are pretty sensitive (and insecure in my case) and I felt like I wasn’t good enough when that happened.
My in laws are very old school Hong Kongers. My MIL had a talk about the expectations of being a wife. She had told me that my husband shouldn’t do any of the household duties. She and my FIL said that the husband should sleep all night without interruptions from the baby, that I should be the one doing all of that, day and night.
While I would love to do everything myself. It’s just not possible. I’m only one woman, I’m tired! I do what I can and the hubs helps out.
I also don’t feel comfortable in my own home. No fault to them, I would like to take a shower and sit on my sofa in my robe. I would also like to breastfeed my child without company watching.
But they were so helpful in those early days, especially while recovering from my c-section.
However… What do I prefer?
200% doing it on our own. I feel more tired and exhausted. I’m more busy and sometimes crazy. But I am so much happier doing it our way. I’m more comfortable and happier.
Since we are moving to HK, anxiety had crept in. They plan on staying there half the year. The other half back in the states in our condo to see their other grand kids.
Ack! I started to stress. I couldn’t even handle 4 months of them in Shanghai!
The hubs and I agreed that they can’t stay with us anymore. For our sanity and to have our own family time. We will, of course, see them so Ollie can play and get to know them. But it can’t be an all day – everyday thing.
So what do you think? Are we being fair? I don’t want to hurt their feelings but I need my space. I can’t hand another talk about my duties as a wife and how I’m not doing things right. Lol
Ok back to Ollie! He is awake!