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I currently work in an IT firm and my wife stays at home. She is thinking of going back to her hometown in 8th month to stay and give birth to our first baby. She thinks it requires her parents' (especially her mother's) help during, before and after birth.

But I want to stay with my wife during this whole time. If she goes back to her hometown; I may not be able to get to her when the baby is born, which both of us do not want. And in initial days, she will not be able to come to my work city. Please note that our parents also can not come here due to some other things.

Can we handle this alone?

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You and your wife can absolutely handle a baby without Grandparents help, many people have in the past and will in the future. The real question is: Do you want to?

Having a baby and caring for a baby is extremely taxing--both physically and mentally. If your wife plans on breastfeeding, she will be feeding every 2-3 hours. If the baby doesn't sleep well, you may have the baby sleeping on one of you. This makes it tough to sleep well, and you only have short stretches of time between feedings.

Just trying to keep yourself fed is a huge job when all you want to do is sleep. Having people you trust that can take the baby for a few hours, or cook you a nice hearty meal, or do some laundry is a great help. Also, in-person emotional support from close family members can be a sanity saver.

So all that being said, I think having family close by is a really good idea if it's possible.

Some possible things to consider:

  • Are you able to work remotely or from another office nearer her parents?
  • Are you able to take some vacation time so you can be closer to grandparents for a couple weeks?
  • Are there other people that could help support you if you don't go stay with grandparents?
  • How much are you able to help out with the baby and look after your wife if you aren't in a place where her family can support her?
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    Absolutely, at no other time is sleep, food (and time to eat it) and clean laundry more important or harder to come by than in the first days and weeks of becoming a parent. – Ivana Dec 29 '16 at 9:23
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It doesn't so much matter what we think, it matters what your wife thinks, and it sounds like she'll be happiest and most comfortable giving birth and learning to care for an infant with her mother's help. When you become a parent you learn you have to sacrifice a lot of your own wants in favor of the best interests of your child and his/her mother, and this might be one of the first times for you when this happens. Birth, in addition to being very physically taxing, is not without risks, and if your wife wants someone by her side who has been through that same experience, I think your best move is to be as supportive as you can be.

On the other hand, it will also be important that you and your wife maintain a strong relationship even after the child comes, and that you can develop your own strong relationship with your child. I would advise you to work with your wife to find ways you can meet those two goals even in the case that she goes to her parent's home.

Modern technology has opened up new paths of communication. Maybe frequent video-conferencing might give you a way to feel present even if you are physically separated. I know how hard it will be for you to not be present at the moment of birth, but you'll have a whole lifetime after that to build your relationship with your child.

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    Paternal involvement is more important to the child than grandparental involvement. – Warren Dew Aug 28 '16 at 6:02
  • Also, while it does not matter what we think, it matters a lot what the father (i.e. OP) thinks, and he is uncomfortable with the situation (and rightly so, I think). – sleske Aug 29 '16 at 9:24
  • Also, video-conferencing will not work with a newborn (or even a toddler). They rely much more on physical action than older children or adults. – sleske Aug 29 '16 at 9:25
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    I didn't get the impression his wife is planning on staying with her parents longer than a couple of weeks. The paternal involvement is absolutely crucial, but in my own experience, you as the father aren't much help at actual birth, or in the time immediately after. Your role grows as the child gets older. As far as the videoconferencing, that's a suggestion for the benefit of the OP and his wife, not for the child --a way for the OP to still be "present" even if not physically. – Chris Sunami Aug 30 '16 at 17:23
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    Don't get me wrong, I know it will be completely gut-wrenching for him not to be there, but if his wife wants her mom during the hardest experience of her life, I think his best move is to be supportive of that. – Chris Sunami Aug 30 '16 at 17:30
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Can you both handle this without help from you parents? Absolutely.

From the point of view of making life easier for your wife or yourself, using the help of the parents is just perfectly fine.

From the point of view of forming a family, it's bad. The family that you and your wife should be worried about are you, your wife, and the baby. Instead the setup is grandparents, daughter, and grandchild. Look who is missing.

There are two possible reasons why your wife wants this: Either because she is afraid of the responsibilities of a mother. That's something she will have to overcome sooner or later, and the sooner, the better, if she wants to become a good or just decent mother. Or because she doesn't want you in the picture.

I would act based on the assumption that your wife is afraid and try to encourage her. On the other hand, that baby has two parents, not just one. So along with the encouragement I would make clear that I don't want to be excluded from the two months around the baby's birth.

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    This, absolutely. The father should be more to the child than just a provider of income. – Warren Dew Aug 28 '16 at 23:59
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    While i fully agree that the father should be in the picture there are very practical reasons to want extra help: parents need to sleep and eat also, see other answer. Depending on how the birth goes your wife may not be able to stand or walk for a while. – Ivana Dec 29 '16 at 9:29
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Your wife will definitely want someone there after the baby is born. No question. If you are taking paternity leave, that would work, though having someone with experience with babies would be better. If you can't take paternity leave, then she absolutely should go to her parents, she needs their help during the day.

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    "No question." I beg to differ. I had my children without the benefit of paternity leave, and my mother-in-law came shortly after the first was born via CS (My mom had already passed away.) The in-law visit was more work than it was helpful, and was not repeated for subsequent births. Not all family members know how to really be helpful. – anongoodnurse Aug 30 '16 at 15:35
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    But she's not enduring a visit from someone else's mother, she's CHOOSING to go to HER parents. I hate this modern implication that women are supposed to be child care machines and do absolutely everything on their own with no help whatsoever. Most first time mothers need help. – swbarnes2 Aug 30 '16 at 17:37
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    I have no problem with women who want help (I wanted help myself! I just didn't get the kind of help I wanted.) I do object to people posting with such certainty ("definitely", "no question") what is best and necessary for first-time mothers. – anongoodnurse Aug 30 '16 at 18:13

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