DEAR HARRIETTE: I am planning on taking my first trip out of the country since giving birth. I am nervous to leave my husband alone with our child. He has barely spent any time alone with our 7-month-old son.
How can I put myself at ease without offending my husband regarding his parenting? I would feel more comfortable if my mother came to stay with our son as well. -- Mom Knows Best, Jackson, Mississippi
DEAR MOM KNOWS BEST: Trust your gut. It is smart for you to set up your husband and son for success. Don’t think of this as offending him.
Consider the idea of inviting your mother to come help as a support. Talk to your husband and explain to him that you want to make your absence as comfortable as possible for the family. Given how much time and attention you know is required with a baby, you want to make it easy for your husband to manage his time and care for your son. For this reason, you want your mother to come and stay at your house while you are away. Present this to him as a suggestion so that he doesn’t feel like you are bossing him around, as that may annoy him.
Talk to your mother about boundaries and expectations. She needs to be mindful that your husband may need his space. Whenever he wants to help out with your son, she should allow him the time and space to do so. They should discuss a plan for who will do what in advance, if at all possible.