Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I have a new baby and two aggressively competitive new
grandmothers who cannot seem to accept the fact that my husband
and I are competent capable and caring parents. I really do appreciate
their thoughtfulness, good wishes, and help, but not whenever the
whim strikes them to appear at our door. One lives within walking
distance, and the other a short hop away. I feel like a pawn in a one-
ups-womanship contest. I have friends with new babies who have no
local relatives and they think I’m nuts for ever saying No, thanks or
Not now. But honestly these two are wearing me out faster than my
baby, who at least sleeps and gives me moments of quiet.
Dear New Mommy:
The greatest laments most new parents have is lack of personal time,
and lack of help. If you are getting time to shower, wash your hair,
and take care of your home you are a lucky new mommy indeed.
I recommend sitting down with, at the same time. Put the baby on
your husband’s lap, and sit with a weekly calendar. Identify times you
know you need help (perhaps a shift each morning and afternoon).
Have them volunteer for the times that work best for their schedule.
Then say very clearly, Please do not come to help unless it is one of
those times or I have called to say, Yikes, Help, I need you. When can
you come? I appreciate your willingness but my honey and I want
quality time with our baby and no one else around. I guarantee there’ll
be years and years of chances to help over time. Get their sign-in. If
someone shows up unannounced, just shake your head through the
door and do a shushing, sleeping baby pantomime.