A few days after David was born, one of Daddy's sisters, my Aunt Susie, came to help with all the work until Mom was able to manage on her own again. As tradition has it in all the older Amish settlements a single girl comes to do all the work while the mother stays in bed for a week to 10 days after her baby is born and then sits and enjoys her newborn and does light handwork etc. until the baby is six weeks old.
Aunt Susie was a no nonsense and definitely not fun loving person. She did her work with a vengeance and had neither time nor patience for little children bothering her. It wasn't long before John and I stayed in the bedroom with Mom and played on the floor in there, rather than risking the disapproval of Aunt Susie.
Susie took good care of the garden and the house, and when Mom could finally sit in the living room life seemed a lot better. But there was a strained atmosphere in the house until the day when Daddy and Mom paid and thanked her for helping out and sent her back home.
That first evening alone was wonderful. Daddy and Mom laughed and talked like they used to and we were once more, a happy little family with a beautiful baby boy that made the previous six weeks worth living through after all.
Monday, October 30, 2017
The First Six Weeks
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I must admit that the concept of having help for the first six weeks after having a baby is wonderful. But I can’t imagine the strain of having a stranger in your house or someone who sounds like the caregiver you had. It would take what should be a joyful time and turn it on its head! Your little family and home life sounds so sweet. Blessings always, BetsyReplyDelete
A less than joyful helper tends to put a damper on things.Delete
That does sound helpful, but kind of unbearable too!ReplyDelete
I had a helper for our oldest three who were all born while we were still Amish. With Steven though, we had no help. I actually didn't mind, but then, doing laundry etc is so much easier with electricity the need for help isn't really there as much.Delete
So glad you survived! All the "Aunt Susies" of the world leave such lasting impressions. A relative came to stay with my sisters and me when baby number five came. I was three, and my mom never pushed bananas on me. Aunt Susie I'll call her, for some reason maybe a super-strong "Waste not, want not" ethic determined that I eat a ripe banana. When she peeled it and I showed her all the bruise marks, she took a knife and cut them off. But that left the ugly black seeds showing! I never forgot the disgust and distaste.ReplyDelete
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Oooh .. that banana sounds awful. I'm sure most of us can think of an "Aunt Susie" or two. :)Delete
Ooh, Aunt Susie sounds like she might have been missing out on lots of Joy in her life. How sad. Funny now, these gals birth these babies and out shopping WITH THE BABY a week later. I remember when having my babies, my youngest is now 31, that my grandmother and motherinlove came over during the day to help with house work and cook but we stayed alone with our baby at night. So enjoy reading your posts. Hugs and blessings, CindyReplyDelete
I can't imagine going shopping within a week of giving birth!Delete
I agree with the previous comments. Your Aunt Susie wasn't much of a warm- hearted lady. It must have been a long 6 weeks for all concerned.ReplyDelete
Yes, those six weeks seemed to drag on very long.Delete
That had to be a strain! We lived next door to my mil, and that was enough. LOL She was a great help with cooking and laundry, but we wanted to tend to the baby ourselves.ReplyDelete
Thankfully the six week helper didn't tend to the babies. I wouldn't have liked that. It was hard enough giving her free rein of my kitchen.Delete
I'm sure you would have enjoyed having your Aunt Vernie much more as a mother's helper instead of your Aunt Susie:-)ReplyDelete
Vernie wouldn't certainly have been a much happier choice of helper!Delete
My mother had rheumatic fever after the birth of # 5. So as was the tradition, a single Aunt came to help. I was 6 years old and will never forget her scolding me for not knowing how to clean the refrigerator and other things. We knew the in-laws didn't approve of her cleaning abilities (she a Mennonite married Dad who had left the Amish), but to keep telling a 6 year old 'You haven't learned to do it right, and never will unless you learn it now'. That left quite an impression on me. Thing is Mom heard some of the comments.😒 So we were thrilled when the aunts from 'the other side' helped a day or so.ReplyDelete
Oh my! That does not sound like fun. I'm sorry you had to experience that.Delete
Yes, sometimes it's the wrong help for the time! But you survived!ReplyDelete