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Have A Baby! Get Free Food, Maid Service And Errands Done!

Okay, so I’m just starting to tell folks I’m pregnant. I admit to being woefully under prepared/educated about showers and their etiquette. I have a friend who’s stepped forward to coordinate the shower. Another thing she’s offered to do is coordinate a “care calendar” for me and my husband when our daughter arrives. She apparently set such a thing up for another couple at their behest. I went to check it out, and my gimmie pig alert is screeching in my head.

Like I said, I don’t know if this is ‘the thing to do’ or what. But my feeling is that I know that motherhood will be difficult, I know that I will probably alternately want visitors while probably also wanting to retreat to a cave of hormonal puddles and lack of showering. I also think that I’m a grownup who can do stuff like prepare frozen meals ahead of time and use my lips for asking for things of close friends and relatives. In addition, while I’ll be stressed and tired, I will, to my knowledge, not have any significant medical problems (save a potential for a c-section), nor will I magically be disabled.

Anyway, this care calendar of the other couple basically has months worth of sign ups for people to bring meals to the couple, along with requests on the weekends for running errands and do housecleaning. Along with the meal sign ups, it says “please put the meal in the cooler on the back steps.” In addition, people who supply these favors do not earn an audience with the wee child they’re doing all this for. The parents have stated that volunteers are not to expect that they will answer the door, allow visitors to hold/see the baby, or any kind of “thanks for stopping by, we really appreciate it.” The rationale for this is that the baby’s immune system is too weak/young.

This strikes me as inappropriate. I went to nursing school, and did exceptionally well in the OB section (because I didn’t like it and I therefore made myself study it harder), and am aware that babies have fledgling baby immune systems that take a few weeks/months to kick into gear. Having said that, I think it’s highly inappropriate and presumptuous to tell your friends that “you’re good enough to cook/clean/run errands for us, but you’re too disease carrying to actually meet the baby.” I will grant you that I’ve never done this before, but even if I’m tired as hell, I would HOPE that I could muster the social graces to COME TO THE DOOR AND THANK SOMEONE WHO DROPPED A MEAL OFF FOR ME. Or that if someone offered to clean the house or run to the store for me, that they would earn the right to hold my baby. In addition, this is something that is being solicited by the parents through the shower coordinator, and being sent to shower guests, who presumably have already bought gifts and wished the couple well.

I’m seriously leaning towards telling my friend to please not bother on my behalf, that if I need help, I will ask for it. But then again, maybe people don’t think of this as weird. I’ve never heard of it, and would love your or your reader’s advice.   0112-16

The use of “care calendars” or online sign up sites can serve a practical purpose, particularly if there is a significant need such as after a c-section (it is major surgery), a baby born with medical problems requiring the parents to be at the hospital much longer than expected, or even death.   Not knowing the circumstances of the other couple who received “months worth of sign up” opportunities, I can’t outright condemn what I do not know.  Do they need that level of care?  Is mom experiencing significant postpartum depression?

For the typical birth, yes, I concur that it seems excessive to rally volunteers to bring meals for months.    Two weeks is the standard in my circle and even then the meals are arranged to be brought every other or third day so as to avoid a mountain of leftovers.   I’ve never known of a sign up to help a new mother do errands or clean her house unless the baby or mom is in the hospital for an extended stay.

So, humor your friend and consent to a care calendar that brings you meals every other day or every third day for 2 weeks after the birth.   Those who really want to bring you food will have the opportunity to do so but it’s not an excessive demand on people’s time.    Decline the errand and housecleaning services since that implies your husband is incapable of doing these tasks.    As for people seeing or holding the new baby, don’t get too “new mom” obsessive about it. Back when I had my first child, it was common for new moms to not come to church with new babies for four to six weeks.   By my third child, we had her out in public by five days old.   All the new moms of my acquaintance bring new babies to church within days of birth where they are ooohed and aahed over.   It’s fine to restrict who holds the baby if they have an active sniffle or cough or even ask people to use hand sanitizer before holding the swaddled baby.    When a new grandchild is born, that baby gets handed up and down the church pew all during the service with none suffering ill effects.

 

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  • starstruck January 14, 2016, 8:48 pm

    With my first child it was a cake walk. Baby went to sleep at 7pm and slept all night until 8am. My second however, didnt sleep all night until she was almost two years old and barely slept at all when she did. I was in a constant State of exhaustion having another baby already at that point. I had friends come over and watch the kids so I could just nap and I was beyond grateful. But cleaning my house? No. Cooking my meals? No. It may have been different a long , long time ago, but in a modern world its easy enough just to order a pizza , or make a big pot of gumbo or soup to eat on for a couple of days and sandwiches. I do feel for women who have no husband to help though. In that situation I would help with such things for a close friend or relative as long as I feel they aren’t taking advantage of me. But even then it wouldn’t be for weeks on end. Just the first week most likely.

  • starstruck January 14, 2016, 8:52 pm

    I would like to add there are always extenuating circumstances. Not everyone has the same experience. And some have it harder. If I thought someone close to me truly needed those things I wouldn’t hesitate to help them.

  • Aunt4god January 14, 2016, 11:42 pm

    Actually, it’s only in recent history that mothers started immediately back to taking care of the household. It used to be that a mother wasn’t allowed out of bed for days, much less was up and around doing all the cooking and cleaning, etc. They were able to rest, recuperate, and bond with the baby. I was recently reading an article that was talking about how we have an epidemic of women who are exhausted to the point of hallucinations because the baby is keeping them up all night and day. While I don’t think mothers need to be forced to stay in bed for a couple weeks, I do think we don’t support new mothers and fathers as much as we should. Birth is a very physical, tiring job that requires a time of recuperation.

    • Kirsten January 15, 2016, 8:35 am

      You’re talking about Western middleclass women. In plenty of cultures around the world, women are back at work pretty quickly.

      • Aunt4god January 15, 2016, 9:34 am

        No, I’m not. I am not talking about current times. I stated that it’s only recently, as in the past 100 years or so, that we’ve stopped this practice. Even lower class women, back in “olden” times did not go right back to taking care of the house, etc. I can’t speak as to other countries and cultures and what they do post partum.

        • Kate January 15, 2016, 11:17 am

          May I ask the title of the article you read? Because that directly contradicts everything I have ever read concerning the social history of that time period, including books like “How to Be Victorian” by Ruth Goodman.

          Quite frankly, only the upper and the middle class men could afford to have wives (and children) in their families not work. And even then middle class wives would often work with their husbands at his profession, but this wasn’t considered “working” to people then: they were just helping their husbands after all, like good wives should. A great book about the lower classes in post-Victorian times is “Below Stairs” by Margaret Powell.

          • Dawn January 15, 2016, 1:20 pm

            It depends on the culture. When you read “A Midwife’s Tale” – a book created from the diaries of Martha Ballard, who was a midwife in Maine before the Revolutionary War, you see women “kept to bed” for several days to a week; it was quite unusual for a woman to resume care of her household right after a birth. But, on the other hand, if there were no neighbors, then yes, the woman had to be up to care for the others.
            Some cultures encouraged being in bed, others didn’t.

            I think the idea of a few meals is very nice, and if someone had offered to clean once or twice, or do my laundry, I would have accepted it graciously, as a kind offer. Yes, Husband was ready, willing, and able. But extra hands (we had parents help out) were always welcome.

          • Dee January 15, 2016, 2:11 pm

            Kate – It is my understanding that lower class women also were cared for postpartum; usually it was a 10 day period or so. It was done by the other women in the family, usually, and of course the new mom had already done caregiving for others before and would, again, in the future. Every woman was expected to participate at some time or another, whether working or not. A working woman did not have ready access to childcare so she often had to take her children to work, too. Having a job wasn’t necessarily a black-and-white thing. Also, those periods of rest were absolutely necessary, as the new mom could expect to be back to work, at home or otherwise, at 12 hour days, 6 days/week, from that point on. We enjoy much more leisure time than they ever did and that recuperation was just a brief calm in a permanent storm.

  • FunkyMunky January 15, 2016, 1:20 am

    OP, it’s your preganancy and it will be your motherhood. If you don’t want this done, don’t do it. It doesn’t matter what someone else did; you get to be the decision-maker this time.

    I personally would HATE for someone to do this on my behalf, I think it’s extremely rude. “Please come do my chores, and bring me food because I’ve had a baby, but don’t expect to be able to see the baby or to get a thank you for your efforts”. I would be so much more inclined to post on my Facebook page “Finally finished cooking up and freezing all the meals for the first few weeks home with baby, so excited!” Then everyone know we have enough food and they aren’t trying to force their well-meant but unnecessary offerings on me.

  • Rebecca January 15, 2016, 1:38 am

    Ugh, if I was asked to do a “sign up” such as this it would really put me off. If someone I was close to were having a baby, I might bring food over myself, without being asked. Involve a third party and weeks of housework, and I’d be put off – maybe I’m not in a position to help time-wise or money-wise, and this sounds a lot like pressure.

    As for the immune system, I thought that strong immune systems were built by the baby’s exposure to a wide variety of the kinds of microscopic organisms that naturally inhabit the earth. Common sense to stay away if you have the flu, but not allowing anyone in the house seems a little paranoid to me.

    • Cat2 January 15, 2016, 12:15 pm

      Gradually yes. Immediate overexposure will overload the baby’s immune system, making it try to deal with too many things at once, with no already existing protections in place to work on some bugs while it figures out how to deal with new ones.

      • penguin tummy January 17, 2016, 4:53 am

        You can’t “overload” a person’s immune system just by casual contact. Humans (including babies) come into contact with thousands of bacteria and viruses every day.

        However I would be making sure my social circle was not actively sick and was definitely up to date with their vaccinations.

  • Reaver January 15, 2016, 2:35 am

    Reminds me of a letter I saw on a site about how to treat Mothers of new babies!

    It went on about how you should make sure your food costs big $$$ and can feed the WHOLE family (and asks you to question, if you can’t afford a meal you can’t afford to hold or see the baby)

    Bring them a gift, not just for the baby, but for the new mommy as well

    Bring groceries, be willing to do errands, clean, and tidy (still don’t expect to hold the baby)

    and if you didn’t do these things don’t visit, the mommy deserves her rest/ good friends

    It made me want to gag

    • Reaver January 15, 2016, 2:36 am
      • shhh its me January 15, 2016, 12:52 pm

        GADS!!!!!!!!!!!

        I went back to work 10 days after having my son ,had 2 surgeries in the first year and the dozens of extra doctors appointments associated with them , while my husband and I stayed the first week with my parents so they could help those first few night , no-one cleaned my house for me or ran errands, I’m sure my mom occasionally brought food (she brings everyone food ) my son DID NOT SLEEP. I still hosted a party when he was 6 weeks old , sure I bought food rather then cook but when I offered people food it wasn’t resentfully. Everyone is different , really really different I think there are only a few universal rules.

      • kingsrings January 15, 2016, 3:55 pm

        Yikes! I think that article should be retitled something along the lines of how to be your mommy friend’s slave. I’d love to say that this article was satire, but I’m pretty sure it sadly wasn’t.

      • Miriam January 18, 2016, 10:43 am

        Crikey!

        I visited a friend when her baby was perhaps 8 or 10 weeks old, and all I took was my ‘housework dress’ [I’m not great at keeping the bleach off my clothes, so have a dedicated (and very bleachy) dress to do all ‘messy’ cleaning], and a small gift for her [might have been bubble bath, could have been cchocolates, I forget].

        I figured the baby would have enough gifts, mum maybe not-so-much, and if I could do any cleaning/laundry that would be a help. I didn’t have *any* spare cash, but would have cooked for her if that was her wish…

        All she had me do was hold the baby [that was *not* what I’d offered (terrifed small babies are breakable) but I was willing to do whatever] whilst she had a bath & washed her hair.

        And then when her older child came home from nursery/kindergarten I bathed him & played Pokemon [all I know about Pokemon, I owe to Joe!], and then read him bedtime stories until my friend realised I’d been missing a long time!

        [Who knew that small children will stretch story time as long as possible when it’s done by a rookie?! ]

        I already thought my friend was wonderful, but having read that blog post I’m super-impressed with her (and, indeed, all other non-gimme-pig mothers).

      • Goldie January 26, 2016, 1:45 pm

        Wow!!! I feel that mother’s pain, it is so hard to find good help, err, I mean friends, these days. friends, friends!! that’s what I meant, I promise.

  • Lex January 15, 2016, 4:20 am

    Wow, who thinks up these crazy things? It must be a cultural thing in the US because I’ve never even heard of this kind of thing here in the UK. When a friend or family member has a baby, they usually ask for X amount of time alone with the baby, and no-one is expected or scheduled to bring food or gifts at all. For a close friend or family member, you might OFFER to make something, or pick up some shopping etc, but to have someone organise a schedule seems really presumptuous to me.

    In this day and age of takeaway deliveries, online shopping and other services, there is very little need for a community to support new parents in everyday tasks. I’ve never, ever heard of this kind of thing. I know if I ever manage to have a baby, my sister, mother and mother-in-law will be around to support Fiance and I in the first few weeks – this is pretty standard in most families, but beyond that I can’t imagine why you would schedule friends and others to come clean the house or cook meals. If I want shopping I can choose from Asda (the UK’s Walmart) and Tesco right up to Waitrose/Ocado – there is a service to suit all budgets so this is not exclusively a preserve of the rich or those not on benefits or struggling financially. I would not EXPECT my family to help us clean the house, but I know they WOULD – but this is just what families do for each other. Keep it in the family.

    OP, you have already mentioned that you feel uncomfortable with this concept. I don’t think it matters one iota whether or not this is common or expected, if YOU aren’t comfortable with it for whatever reason, be honest with your friend and tell her that you appreciate the shower organising, but the Care Calender makes you uncomfortable and you don’t want it. I suspect potential draftees will be secretly relieved.

    • Vic January 15, 2016, 9:59 am

      “It must be a cultural thing in the US…”

      Lex, please don’t generalize about an entire country. May I remind you that the US is made up of people from every other country and culture. There are entitled people everywhere, not just in the US. Yes, even in the UK. I live in the US and I’ve never heard of this before either. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I’d be willing to bet it’s the same where you live.

      • crebj January 16, 2016, 9:08 am

        A brief look at Ehell archives proves you right. I’m tired of the “ugly other” featured often in discussions here.

      • Lex January 18, 2016, 3:50 am

        There are a number of event-related ‘traditions’ that, whilst probably not originally or exclusively US in origin, are popular in the US and due to the influence of the US on the world stage, these events are seen globally as ‘a US thing’ – same as other countries are stereotyped for other characteristics: Canada for politeness, UK for Thank-you’s and Queuing, Russia for Vodka etc.

        Good examples of these are the little parties, ‘showers’ and community volunteer drafting that we elsewhere in the world hear a lot about from people living in the US. That is not to say these things happen universally, or even that they are exclusive to the US, but the US is exuberant in celebrating their culture so perhaps it’s more a case that these things are more obviously promoted?

        Either way, drafting people in and committing them to cooking and cleaning for new parents sounds horribly rude to me – I imagine as a new parent I’d probably feel frustrated and embarrassed that someone else has assumed I can’t look after my household concerns and drafted people I might not be comfortable with into cleaning or cooking for me. As I said, keep it in the family.

        • Vic January 20, 2016, 12:47 pm

          Well, we definitely agree on how we’d both feel if someone tried to set one of these up for us. Just like you, I’d be horrified that someone would assume I approve of these things and I personally would be annoyed if not downright angry that someone would assume I can’t take care of my own business. I’m glad I’ve never heard of this before. It means it’s not the norm in my circle.

  • Mojo January 15, 2016, 5:11 am

    Don’t be afraid of turning it down if it would make you feel uncomfortable and beholden to the participants. This isn’t standard practice in most communities.

    Your baby, your rules.

  • Ant January 15, 2016, 6:02 am

    I know every birth is different but some people (much like weddings) really milk having a baby. After reading this I’m hoping my brother in law’s wife never hears of care calendars. She was bad enough without one. She had a normal birth, 8 hours, everyone fine and healthy and out of hospital the next day. She insisted her mother and mother-in-law went round morning and night to “help look after the baby” which meant doing all the cooking, cleaning and baby care. For about 2 weeks no-one saw her out of her chair by the TV. On the upside anyone coming round to “help” was allowed to hold the baby. Brother in law once commented (and I’m sure it wasn’t a joke) that she didn’t change a nappy until the baby was 4 weeks old. Although he’s never repeated that comment I’m sure it’s true.

    • Tracy W January 15, 2016, 1:12 pm

      With my second I had a much easier time of the birth and expected to just bounce back but found myself spending nearly two weeks unable to do much as the stitches healed. What I really missed was playing with my toddler.

  • Willynilly January 15, 2016, 8:52 am

    Being a twin mom I see this care calendar as intriguing. I did not have one done for me, and I have no regrets, but I did have some very generous family hire me a post partum doula who helped in many of these ways (light meal prep, light housework, etc) and I don’t know how I would have survived without her.

    My husband got 1 week off of work, and that was burned up while I was in the hospital for 4 days recovering from my c-section, twin A was in the hospital for 5 days and twin B was in NICU for 6 days. Then he was back to 9 hour days plus an hour commute each way (standard in my area) and I was left with two newborns.

    I had pre-made and froze meals, but 4 of them (quiches) were no good as one baby had an issue with eggs, so I couldn’t eat them while breastfeeding.

    My mother and mother in law were both around but neither is any good at housework and neither can really cook, and both were 35+ years out of the baby game and we’re very nervous to do much without my help or oversight. Not to mention they both have at least a 45min trip each way to get to me and my babies were born during an especially snowy January.

    And among my fellow twin mom’s I had an especially easy birth, especially short NICU stays, and especially helpful family. So I can easily see how some families need, or at least have a justified want, of community help.

    • MJ August 1, 2017, 9:49 pm

      THIS. So many of the commenters here don’t seem to understand that life isn’t picture perfect with a new baby! And “I’d just ask close family, not friends” is assuming that people that ask friends have family around to help but they’re just not asking them. What a lot of rubbish! Not everyone has family or helpful/willing family/spouse around to help out. And what about for a second or third baby? When you’re nursing one hour and sleeping the next, repeat for days/weeks on end, how are you supposed to take care of other children, much less cook and clean and, dare I say, take care of a few of your own needs? And this is assuming a non-C-section delivery, no PPD, etc.

      Please don’t make those of us who are alone feel badly for asking friends for help. It’s hard enough to ask the way it is without all this judgment.

  • DGS January 15, 2016, 9:09 am

    Mmmm…no. Just no. I have had a placental abruption (basically, an obstetrical catastrophe) as well as 2 healthy, normal deliveries and have run the gamut between vaginal, Caesarian and emergent Caesarian deliveries, and I have never in my life thought to engage in such a selfish, inconsiderate, grubby special snowflake things as a care sign up. My husband and I handled ourselves with help (not asked for, but very generously provided and much appreciated) by our parents who had flown in from out of state – for instance, my Mom stayed at home with our older children, while DH helped me in the hospital with the baby. My DH’s siblings all had young families themselves and none lived in the area, so other than the usual congratulatory cards and small gifts sent for the baby/babies (which were all responded to with handwritten thank-you notes), there was no possible way for the siblings to provide assistance. Other young families in our synagogue, however, had reached out to us – a friend had dropped off a bag of breakfast goodies (bagels, cream cheese, coffee urn, juice, muffins and yogurt) on our first morning home from the hospital; another couple of friends had offered to stay to clean-up after the baby naming/bris ceremonies, and other friends would drop by to visit and see the new addition. However, there were no demands or requests for help, no sign-ups and no begging/soliciting, as there was no need for it – I had thought to throw together some casseroles and slowcooker soups to put in the oven/slow-cooker from the freezer, so we would have dinner, and my DH and I communicate well and were able to divvy up responsibilities. Childbirth does not make one an invalid. As another poster said, there are also grocery ordering services online, take-out menus/delivery menus and maid and even, baby nurse services that one can pay for, so there is no need to play the victim and demand lasagnas and baby booties from the neighbors. If people are generous enough to provide help, that’s great (and they should be thanked graciously). Care sign-ups are for people in catastrophic, tragic circumstances (cancer, horrific accidents, sudden death in the family), not for accommodating entitled mothers and their offspring. For the record, I’m not an old fussy biddy blathering about the good ole days. I’m 36, and my youngest is 16 months old.

  • Semperviren January 15, 2016, 10:54 am

    I can’t speak for your crowd, but my friends and family would not take at all to having my abossy friend direct their help.

  • Rose January 15, 2016, 12:48 pm

    Where I’m from there is a thing called kraamzorg, meaning a nurse will come by for a 10 days, to check on mother and baby and to clean your house, cook the food, play with the other kids. It’s absolutely wonderful to be able to focus on the new addition to the family and on your own recovery when needed. However, to demand this in the form of a care calendar from friends and family sounds absolutely bizarre to me.

    On another note: it’s for the parents to decide who holds the baby and there is no such thing as a right to hold the baby. My own parents had to wait a few weeks, simply because the baby was either sleeping (thou shalt not wake a sleeping baby) or because baby was just all comfy in a wrap or because I simply did not want to hand over my child while I was cuddling with her. Babies should be with their parents and there is absolutely no benefits for the baby to pass so many hands at such a young age. If the parents want it, fine. Otherwise, let the baby be. You’ll get a chance later.

  • Shannan January 15, 2016, 12:51 pm

    My mom came in for the birth of my son. She and me step-father cooked and cleaned and spent time with the baby while i recuperated after a c-section. My church had asked us if we wanted them to coordinate meals for us so we actually opted to have them do that after my parents left and my hubs returned to work when our son was 3 weeks old. Such a big help!!

  • Lynnawinks January 15, 2016, 1:05 pm

    While it makes me cringe that anyone would EXPECT that, I did have a meal calendar (not a care calendar) set up for me after my C Section.

    I had many friends who wanted to come by, drop off food, and see the baby. I was perfectly happy to see whomever but so many people would say “Let me know what day is good for you!” and I accidentally set up two people to come on the same day. I blame being overwhelmed. After that, if someone asked, I could look at the calendar and see who was coming what day. And others could refer to it as well. I had a couple people tell me they were grateful because they could see what others were bringing me to make sure they did not repeat anything.

    It helped me organize my thoughts for those who asked, but I certainly did not push it on others or expect everyone who came to sign up. And I only used it for meals – not for chores. It just helped me not have to do the organizing. Maybe other people have a mother or a church member who can step in and organize for a new mom, but that wasn’t the case for me.

    As with anything, I think this is a good tool that can be abused by people oblivious to social graces.

  • OP Here..... January 15, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Thanks for all of your input. The couple has not yet had the baby, and to my knowledge has had an uncomplicated pregnancy, I guess they just thought this would be nice. The husband did have a serious accident a few years ago, which is probably where this idea originated. I just can’t see having people drop off food in a back door cooler and me not having the social graces. Plus, and let’s be real here, having someone do “housecleaning” for me would be more stressful because I would have to make the house “messy but not too messy” which basically at that point, I might as well have cleaned it my dang self. I expect that my mother and my mother in law will both be by at some point (neither lives very close by, but mother in law lives 90 miles away, and my mom is five hours away, but semi retired). Plus, we live in a major metropolitan area where you can literally have all kinds of stuff delivered to your door. We have Amazon Now, Target’s rolling out a delivery service, and you have your choice of multiple grocery deliveries OR pickup. Thanks for letting me know that a few weeks of people dropping food by is appropriate,.

  • Elizabeth January 15, 2016, 5:36 pm

    I’ve participated in one of these for a family who was coping with a child dying slowly and painfully from cancer. In that type of situation – yes. For the normal birth of a child – no. For a baby or mom hospitalized for weeks/months – yes. For a mom with a broken leg – yes. I did sympathize with the mom who had friends and family who let her sleep. That is probably the greatest gift of all.

  • Cat January 15, 2016, 8:07 pm

    This reminds me of an incident many years ago. A friend was having her first baby and I was adopting four rabbits from a local rescue center.
    Someone from the rabbit rescue came to my home to inspect where the bunnies would be housed, how much room they would have, if it was safe for rabbits. the food they would be eating, and I was quizzed on what I knew about the proper care of rabbits.
    My friend was given a few pointers on how to feed a baby, handed her child, and sent home. That was it; no home visit and no questions on caring for a newborn. “Here you go, bye.”
    That still strikes me as very odd.

  • JackieJormpJomp January 16, 2016, 11:01 pm

    A meal schedule? Sure. Seems nice. It may not be necessary but it’s kind and why not.
    But an order to place the food on the back stoop and not make yourself seen?! Aw HECK no. That’s just bizarre.

  • Elisabeth January 17, 2016, 4:10 pm

    This “care calendar” reeks of gimme-pig stench so much that I wouldn’t let your friend set one up for you at all. I am a firm advocate of mothers-to-be making sure they are COMPLETELY able to take care of their child before having one, and asking friends and family to be a rotating series of chefs, housekeepers, and nannies goes completely against my belief. The level of entitlement in one of these calendar things astounds me.
    This is not to say that friends and family can’t volunteer of their own accord to help out; that’s totally fine. Always welcome free food and house help – but don’t make demands for it.

  • Cattra January 17, 2016, 9:23 pm

    Never heard about this here either (Australia). Seems very odd. I would say let people decide if they want to help out and provide meals etc, rather than feeling obliged to add details to a “Care Calendar”. If they’re good friends, let them ask if the OP would like a meal provided or help. I think better to possibly put one friend offside and say thanks but no thanks for the idea of the Care Calendar, rather than putting out many friends and family with the induction of one.