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How NOT to Ask for Help With Your New Baby

by Julie Ryan Evans on November 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM

crying babyIf there's one helpful thing I think women would do well to learn and accept while they're pregnant, it's that it's okay to ask for help when the baby arrives. While we all want to be, and perhaps think we will be, that mom who has everything under control, no problem, the fact is it's hard, and sometimes you just need help.

The key, however, is knowing how to ask for help the right way. Gawker got a hold of a Facebook post complete with a Google doc from a new mom who was not shy at all about asking friends and family for help, which is good. Except it's how she asked that is so incredulous. Here's a taste of what she suggests people should do for her written in what comes off as the most condescending, self-centered tone possible.

She starts out pleasantly enough:

Dear friends and family,

The following helpful list are the kind things that we will remember and appreciate forever. This is what [Parent]'s body and soul needs, and will be most helpful for our bonding with the baby. By devoting just a few hours doing one of these things, we will get the support and rest we need with our newborn in the house.

People often want to help and don't know how, so composing a list of things they can do is great. Except when it reads in part like this:

Come over at about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then complete one or more household chores, such as:

-fold laundry
-scoop the litter box
-take [our dog] for a well deserved walk or run around the neighborhood or park
-clean the kitchen or the bathroom
-vacuum

Come over at 10am, make me eggs, toast, and ½ a grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw anything out that you doubt — don't ask me, just use your best judgment. Clean the kitchen stove and the kitchen floor.

Come over in your work clothes and vacuum, dust, clean the litter box, and then leave quietly. It might be too tiring for me to chat and entertain, but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to a clean, organized space.

There's more where that that came from, but you get the idea. Giving some suggestions is one thing, but dictating the good will gestures of friends and family this specifically is going just a tad too far.

Still, while annoying as hell, I have to say that something like this is a lot more helpful to people who genuinely want to help out new parents than a resounding echo of "nothing, we're fine."

Did you/will you ask for help with your new babies?

 

Image via Chalky Lives/Flickr

Filed Under: baby prep, emotions, motherhood

Comments

41
  • kaerae
    -- Nonmember comment from

    kaerae

    November 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM
    What did we excpect when the entitlement generation became parents? Don't get me wrong, there are many hard-working, selfless kids born in the 80s, but there are many more like these, unfortunately. They were taught that the mundane minutae of their lives was cause for excessive praise and that their every move was special. They got a gold star every time they wiped their own butt (which they didn't do until they were six) and now they want a gold star every time they wipe their own baby's but. This post would be funnier if it weren't so normal nowadays...
  • dirti...
    --

    dirtiekittie

    November 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    hahahahahaha entitled much? geez, everyone could use some help sometime, but outlining a schedule and meal list is a bit overboard. i wonder if she happens to be related to the bridezilla who can't have cheap bridesmaids next year? ;)


  • amber...
    --

    amberdotsmom

    November 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    How to never be asked to participate in this more than once:  Go over and make breakfast - runny egss and burnt toast (you'll have to think of your own clever way to ruin half a grapefruit). Then clean out the fridge by throwing out everything except a carton of week old milk and leave her a note that you "used your best judgement"


  • abra819
    --

    abra819

    November 12, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    this just made me laugh......people, have a sence of humor


  • kdaiuto
    --

    kdaiuto

    November 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM
    It is funny. It's just... I'm not sure it's supposed to be. Reading the entire thing, it doesn't really sound like she meant it to be tongue-in-cheek!
  • Tst
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Tst

    November 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM
    Come over in you work clothes....leave quietly....1/2 a grapefruit....
    This is hysterical!!!!! I have three kids- including a new one- and I didn't have anyone offer to help, nor would I expect it. It's my job.
  • navyw...
    --

    navywife0204

    November 12, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    WOW... My mom came to help me out when I had my second... she stayed for three weeks, and i appreciated every minute, but this is too far. 

     


  • Deanna
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Deanna

    November 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM
    My mom came to see us when our son was born. We lived quite a long way from each other and she wanted to see him. The only thing I asked of her was if she would make her meatloaf for me since I had craved it my entire pregnancy and was unable to have it! Everything else she did was just done out of love and she knew how much we appreciated it.
  • ruby_...
    --

    ruby_jewel_04

    November 12, 2012 at 1:22 PM
    I would chew this womans ass if I knew her. I'm expecting my 4th, and have never expected anything from anyone. Other than my husband. She must either not have many friends, or they are all idiots.
  • Siren...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Sirena Robinson

    November 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    I still feel guilty when I have to ask someone to watch my daughter. My mom offered to take her last Thanksgiving because I was cooking for all our family, and I struggled for hours before handing over my four week old for ONE night with MY OWN MOTHER! Not everyone born in the 80s feels entitled. I'm 25, I'm married, have a one year old, work full time, am working on my Master's degree fulltime, and I keep a house. I may do homework at 3am and not get to spend as much time with my baby as I'd like, but I'm sure as hell not entitled. This woman who wrote this letter needs a big reality check. It's great to have help, and every new mom appreciates it, but expecting it like that is just wrong. People don't like to feel used, and that's what she's doing. She's using her family and friends to be able to get a clean house and not have to do it herself. Here's a thought: hire someone!


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