How do I avoid conflict while visiting my daughter and her boyfriend after having a new baby?
My daughter asked me to come stay after giving birth. I arrived to a house that reeked of animal urine from 5 cats and dogs....cigarette smoke and butts in cars and on the ground outside...rotting food in the fridge...neglected pets (no nails trimmed and mites) laundry piled everywhere...unpaid bills laying around...no money for household or groceries, but there are always cigs available. I tried to help by cleaning everything, taking the pets on daily walks and grooming them, and buying a ton of groceries and household items. I tried to talk and she flips out.
Oh dear me....such a dilemma, Grandma. I apologize in advance 4 asking this question but seriously, Khaki, if U R confident U raised your daughter 2B better than this slob she portrays, what do U feel the problem may B? Is it possible she is dealing w/ extreme fatigue or worse, post-natal depression?
Is "Baby Daddy" incapable or unwilling 2 pitch in & do his share of maintenance &/or care of the baby?
Since U say UR daughter asked U 2 come & stay, is it safe 2 assume she hoped U would step up & help in the ways U have helped thus far? I mean, U didn't expect 2 get 2 the house & just sit around & do nothing, right?
This tells me that she is aware the place is a shambles & requires serious attention, (which is a positive sign.) Is the baby's Father going 2 a job every day & working full time 2 at least help alleviate some of the financial stress?
Sorry 4 asking so many questions but it can B nearly impossible 2 suggest anything w/o more facts, upon which I can base any advice.
Other than having a few minutes of baby-time 4 Grandma, it's really best that Mommy & Daddy deal w/ the bulk of baby care. This is an important time 4 their bonding.
This frees U up to continue 2 try 2 clean up the home, air it out w/ some Fresh Air & keep the animals fed & happy.
I can only hope these new parents R NOT smoking indoors or near their baby at all, at any time! If they R, this is a real problem that somehow needs 2B addressed with them by "someone."....preferably not U, since UR daughter bristles when U try 2 speak 2 her. Remember Mom, she called U 2 "help," not criticize. Believe me, I realize it has 2B difficult 2 remain silent in some cases, but 4 now, U need 2 try. Keep in mind she is a brand new Mom, she is healing from delivery, probably nervous and stressed...so UR support is vital.
It seems U've done quite a bit 2 help out & I should think it's appreciated. It also appears the only way 2 avoid "conflict" is 2 stick 2 helping out & (for now) not preaching or scolding. This couple may have gotten themselves into a temporary slump & fully intend 2 shape up. "Hope."
On the other hand, as 1 Grandma 2 another...if U don't see a vast improvement in the entire situation in a reasonable length of time, U have every right & responsibility 2 speak up firmly, 4 the health & safety of that precious new life. I wish U much luck. Keep us posted.
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