Do you feel special when you’re pregnant? Well, step aside, because your baby is finally here and people love babies. The dilemma that comes with having this little celebrity in your home now is that millions of people will want to come visit them. So here are a few handy tips I’ve picked up along the way so you’re able to show your magnificent little miracle off to the world.
Spread out your visitors
People love to see the baby immediately, that, or they feel obliged to see the baby immediately. Either way, try to spread them out as much as you can so you can get settled and enjoy everyone’s company long after the fanfare typically dies down.
Go to people that you think will overstay their welcome ~ don’t have them come to you
Sometimes this really isn’t their fault. I was one of these people before I had kids because I had no idea how tiring a newborn can be and would sit there gabbing on about work while staring into the vacant eyes of my best friend holding her newborn. I’m sure she wanted to tell me to go home, but just didn’t have the energy. Newborns are very portable because they eat, sleep, need nappy changes and that’s about it, so take advantage of this window when you can cart them anywhere and they don’t care. Secondly, it’s all on your terms when to pull the chute and you won’t have to drop the little hints that go unnoticed.
Put them to work
Some people are just itching to help when you have a baby and you know what, let them. Let them do dishes, tidy up, clean the bathroom, take out the bin, or take your other kiddies to the park. Just leave your to-do list out and if they ask if they can help, just point them to it and tell them to help themselves if they feel like it. Not everyone is comfortable around babies but really want to help, so give them the satisfaction of doing something for you and just enjoy it and thank them.
Partner plays the bad cop
If you think you’re second string to the baby, just imagine how your partner feels, this is his chance to shine because I can guarantee you that there will be some tricky situations when visitors come. Dad (or partner, or sidekick), it is your job to step up and say, “Oh, hell no.” You know why? Because everybody thinks a protective father is cute and everybody thinks a protective mother is nuts, so do everybody a favour and unhinge.
Make them bring food
As my Italian grandmother used to say, “Don’t show up empty handed”. Which loosely translated to don’t show up ....without food. Not only should you stagger visitors, but try and get them to bring you food, cake or snacks. Not only do you get a dinner that you don’t have to cook, but you get to decide when they can viisit so you can control the flow of people. Have them pop it over or sit down and share it with them, either way, they get a baby fix and you get some lasagna. I say win-win.
Treat it like an Out-of-Office Reply
Sometimes people think it’s nice to pop in to see how a new mother is doing, it is not cool to arrive unannounced at a new parent’s front door because there is no telling what kind of craziness is going on that day. To avoid these awkward moments, I like to treat it like a holiday notification. Change your voicemail, Facebook status and your email to let people know you’re kind of off the grid. It may seem like a no-brainer to you but some people feel the need to constantly “check in”. Just have an auto-reply that says, “Thanks for your email (call). We’re just getting the hang of parenthood so forgive us if it takes a little longer than usual to get back to you. Don’t worry, we’re just fine and loving every minute of it.” I know this may sound a little over the top, but it’s an easy way of letting them know they’ve been heard.
Do you think Auntie Beryl is going to be a problem? Get your responses thought out NOW or start laying the groundwork NOW. If you think she’s going to show up on your doorstep the day you give birth, get an email ready saying, “Auntie Beryl, we can’t wait for you to see the new baby! I’m just getting the hang of it so can I give you a call when I come up for air so you can come over and meet him/her?” then hit *send*.
Or....feel free to ignore all of the above and go with the flow
Does Auntie Beryl still show up? Does your Mother-in-Law that you’ve never met fly in from Ireland and set herself up on your settee? Does your sister drop in every day expecting to be fed and watered? Roll with it and save your energy. Ask Auntie Beryl to hold the baby while you go have a shower. Thank your mother-in-law makes dinner then go lie down with the baby. Tell your sister she needs to help by running the Vac around the living room floor for you.
The best thing you can do with visitors, a new baby, and I suppose life in general, is to just roll with it. It’s still your show. So remember, choose your visitors wisely and enjoy the little star that everyone wants to see shine.