What Would You Say

9 Replies
Courtney - February 2

Hi ladies, I have a family matter that I need some opinions about. My aunt, who lives ten minutes away, recently went into rehab for alcoholizm. It is a wonderful thing because she has been battleing it for several years. She is in a treatment program for an undetermined amount of time. However, her husband has said to the family that when she is released she will need a lot of support at home and is worried that if she doesnt stay busy could easily slip back into old habits. He suggested that she come over and help me with my baby everyday since I will be at home alone once dh goes back to work. She does have previous childcare experience, but I am protective and really want to take care of him by myself. Also, I dont want my baby to be used as a theraputic tool for her recovery (is there a risk she will become too obsessed with careing for him?) I want to help my aunt in recovery, but not at the expense of my child's wellbeing, our mother/baby bonding, or my own sanity having her ALWAYS there and involved (I am more of a private person). (Additionally, I am not sure I can trust her enough to stay sober while careing for him - I will be there, but still...) Since I am 39.5 weeks, I am now greatly looking forward to my son's arrival and cant imagine letting anyone else care for him. Will my protective feelings change? What would you say? Thanks in advance for any opinions or feedback.

 

Kel - February 2

I'm so sorry to hear that you have been put in such an akward position. I would maybe just say some of the points you mentioned in your post....something along the lines of how this is your first baby and you would really like to get in some quality mother / baby bonding time before you have full time visitors. Mention that the baby (and probably you as well) will be sleeping alot the first few weeks until you get into a routine and that you would be happy to call them when you are ready for visitors. I feel the same way you do, I am dreading all the visitors, etc that will want to stop by after the baby is born. I would just say you will call them when you are ready, and that way you are in control and can set a time that they can come over and visit. Maybe this will help them get the idea that you don't want a full time guest at your house 24/7. I wish you all the luck

 

Emy - February 2

First off, it is great that she in recovery. How long will she be there? Maybe by the time she is out you will feel differently about needing some help. But anyways, I don't think, in order for recovery to be successful she needs to be there all the time. I think that even once or twice a week for a couple hours might be enough to give her something to look forward to. Seeing a new life might turn her in the right direction. And although you now feel as though you will want to do this on your own (which I can totally relate to - I am the same way), you might want her to come one or two mornings to just help out. Maybe you can reach a compromise. I agree with Kel that you should set the time as to when it can happen, if at all, but maybe just express that you don't need help everyday....and you would rather not have it, so that you can really be there for your baby and have peaceful quality time with him/her. But maybe once in a while would be just enough to give both you, and your Aunt the help you need. Just something to think about. I know that all my friends who have had babies are usually ready for a break after a couple of weeks of being home alone. They go a little stir crazy!

 

andrea - February 2

Obviously trust is the key. If she is not trustworthy than I wouldn't want her help. But if she's a good person with a bad habit-then give it a shot- but don't feel obligated. There are other places she can go to occupy her time. aa groups, volunteering, etc. I'm sure you would be able to tell if she's drunk, so you won't have to specualte on that too much! I know it's one of those things where you have to do what feels right to you. You don't want to be uncomfortable in your own house!

 

Girl Gilly - February 2

It would be nice to be able to help your aunt however, I personally do not feel this is the way to help her. I would suggest to your Uncle to check in with the rehab clinic for suggestions for your aunt and how she can keep busy. Battling an addiction is not an easy task and she may be emotionally/physically unstable for a bit - which is not what you need to deal with especially with a new baby. Keep in mind that this baby is yours and it is up to you and your husband to decide how to raise him. It is your time to be selfish and put the baby's needs first.

 

JennyC - February 2

Don't forget that there's a decent chance you won't be all that emotional stable for a while yourself. You could use that as a reason to not be her stability. Maybe suggest that after a few weeks, you could go over to her house once or twice a week with the baby? then you could leave when you're ready and you won't feel like someone is invading your space all the time. You're in a very tough spot. good luck

 

bean - February 2

I agree with Girl Gilly - talk to the rehab clinic first. They're the professionals, they'll know what you can expect and what your aunt will be able to handle. I don't think it's fair that you're going to have to take care of a new baby AND a recovering aunt. I don't have any experience with alcoholism (thank God) but I have a feeling it's not just something you "bounce back" from are your old self immediately. She may need more care than you and the baby do. If you have no way out of this situation - try coming up with other jobs she could do, rather than taking care of your baby. For example, could she come over a clean your house a couple times a week while you're at a Mommy's cla__s?

 

Courtney - February 2

Thank you so much for all of your responses. You have all given me a lot to think about and good suggestions. I heard today from my mother that she is scheduled to come home February 14th. I think I will tell my aunt and uncle that we need a few weeks to develop our own routine based on Baby's schedule but would be happy to let them know when is a good time for a few visits. I definately think I would not be able to handle her everyday, but a few times a week for an hour or so might be okay. And, like Emy said, it would give her something to look forward to rather than dependant on. I also like the idea of going to their house so that I can dictate how long we stay. thanks so much for your responses.

 

L - February 2

Ah, geez, you're expected to babysit two kids! Sorry to be sarcastic but that's what it sounds like you have been asked to do. I agree with the others that it would be nice to help your aunt, but you also sound like me so I can appreciate your wanting to enjoy this special time bonding with your baby. Can you compromise and invite her to participate in a few activities (like walks or shopping) instead of being at your place all day?

 

Courtney - February 3

Thanks, L. Thats a good idea too. It goes along with the getting together once or twice a week. I can go to her house for a walk around the neighborhood and then leave. Or ask her to come grocery shopping with me because I wont be able to carry Baby and all the bags. Good advice.

 

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