So when your little bundle of joy has finally arrived and you are just getting to grips with everything… you have a parade of visitors wanting to hold baby…
This should be a nice thing right… sadly that’s not what I felt. Sure, I was proud to show her to
most some people but actually having others holding her… not so much.
Firstly I’m still terrified that I’m going to drop her and I’m her mum! Surely others can’t possibly take as much care as I will?? What if they didn’t wash their hands or they have a cold sore??!
Secondly… I earned that quiet warm snuggle (or a sleep)… She’s been crying, pooing, puking for ages and I’ve just got her settled and the visitor wants to take the good part. The happy snuggles. I worked hard for that bit. Literally blood, sweat and tears went into that moment of joy. It’s mine (my precious!).
Thirdly… It’s a huge stress of wanting to “have it all together” around visitors. You want to show them that you’ve got this… The challenge of actually achieving that when routines (ha – more the ease of just being the two of us and going with the flow) are interrupted… but visitors themselves throw off the balance. Inevitably resulting in meltdowns from all angles and participants! You sit there while the worst is on show, thinking about the perfect day (ok hour!) that you had yesterday.
And fourthly… if she is awake then visitors are keeping her awake when she (and I) need to sleep. Not great once they do leave and you get to pick up the pieces!
I know that people are often just trying to be helpful, they are excited to meet little one, and they only mean well… but sentiments are fine when they don’t leave you in a worse state than before they arrived.
So a few little tips for visitors…
- keep visits really short – 10 mins could be enough, half an hour might be ok… 2 hours generally is a really big imposition.
- watch out for cues – baby crying, new mum getting uptight, anyone yawning?
- if in doubt… leave.
- don’t expect tea and cake… unless you brought it with you!
- do something useful… empty the washing machine, do the dishes, clean the loo!
It’s a really tricky time for new parents and everyone will have different needs. I really struggled between wanting to see people to have a slice of normality, and needing to just tend to baby and me. There will be days that it all goes wrong and days when it’s all ok.
Don’t be afraid to say no or reschedule
Don’t worry… you got this.