Dear Aunty Lisa,
I’m a first time mum. I had my precious baby boy with an emergency C section almost 2 months ago. Ever since I gave birth, I have not rested well because of baby demands, sleepless nights and all. My hubby has been very supportive and helping as much as he can – he cooks, cleans and holds the baby while I get some sleep – but he recently got a very demanding job that makes him stay too long from the house. So, because of that I’m always home alone with the baby. There’s no help from anywhere as we live in the US.
Following these challenges, we decided to bring my mother-in-law over so she can also help out. Hubby spent a lot of money for her visa and ticket. She’s been here for like almost a month now and things have gone from bad to worse. She is not helping with anything at all except giving the baby a bath which I have to almost beg her to do. I’m so frustrated! She can’t even help me in changing the baby’s diaper when he poops. Even to help me hold him while I cook is a problem. I find myself running around the house every day while she’ll just sit and watch TV.
To crown it all, she has never travelled before, so she’s so new to the system of the country and understands nothing about technology. She doesn’t like the food here too, so, I have to cook different types of South African food like pap in the morning instead of tea and bread for her to serve her. When she finishes eating she doesn’t even bother to wash dishes. At night when the baby is crying, she has never made an attempt to help calm the baby. She is always busy sleeping while myself and my husband are busy running up and down in the house.
My hubby, who normally wakes up 5 a.m. to go to work, ends up having sleepless nights and is usually stressed out for work. I’m so tired of all this because I’m on exclusive breastfeeding; the stress, sleepless nights, extra rounds of cooking daily for her and all, is really affecting my health and milk production.
I have complained to hubby several times. He’s not in support of what his mum is doing but doesn’t know how to handle the situation to avoid hurting her feelings. Truth is, my MIL is an old woman and really too old to do much. How I wish she told us that she can’t take care of a baby before processing her visa; we wouldn’t have even bothered to bring her. People think we are enjoying now that my MIL is around, not knowing it would have been better if she didn’t come at all.
Please I need advice on what to do because I’m really stressed out and losing weight every day. The whole thing is even affecting the relationship between hubby and I as there is no more happiness. Though I have never disrespected or shown any sign of disappointment to my MIL, I just can’t continue cooking, breastfeeding baby and having sleepless nights all the time. It was way better when I was alone at home. Please what can I do? I have a very good relationship with my hubby’s family, especially my sisters-in-law who all live in South Africa; only hubby is in the US. I have been praying to God for wisdom. What should I do?