Myth #1: Relatives Help
Myth #1: My relatives will help me with the baby.
Ha! Don't kid yourself. You may be spending time with parents, siblings, and cousins, but they're not about to volunteer to change a diaper or calm a tantrum. They want to hold your baby when she's happy, play with your toddler when he's well rested, and beyond that, sit back and offer well-meaning advice.
If you're really lucky, someone (likely your mother or sister) will pitch in with some of the dirty work. Just don't count on it. My friend Jen Daily loves her family and her in-laws but didn't find them to be much help when she visited them last year. "It seemed like there was always too much going on. Everyone was already occupied," says Jen, whose son, Miles, is 1.
The embarrassing part for me is that I was the no-help relative for many Christmases before we had our 2-year-old, Grace. My sisters-in-law have four and two kids, respectively, and other than playing with the children when they were in good moods, I did nothing to assist. I felt that washing dishes -- while my sister-in-law tried to hold a crying baby and flip pancakes simultaneously -- counted as doing my share. I was just happy, at the time, not to be in her shoes. There's the bottom line: Managing baby insanity is ultimately the parents' problem. You'll get to relax when you're a grandma.