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Protect Your Postpartum Sanity

Posted by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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The part about bringing home a baby that I probably spent the most time worrying over was the inevitable descent of family and friends on our tiny (and usually imperfectly clean) house. I'm not the most social person in the world (I'd rather lay on the couch and soak up baby snuggles than play hostess to guests), and I'm just enough of a control freak that sometimes letting people "help" means I just end up majorly annoyed that things were done the "wrong" way. That kind of attitude mixed with crazy postpartum hormones seemed like a recipe for disaster, so I wanted to make sure I did what I could to prevent it both times I brough my babies home from the hospital. 


If this sounds familiar, I think the best thing you can do is to be honest with yourself, and with your family and friends. If you're not the type of person who loves a ton of house guests, acknowledge and respect that and then make sure you won't be bringing Baby home to a giant crowd. If you need someone to run interference for you--to manage your visitors and make sure they're not driving you nuts--be clear about what you need and then try not to feel bad about it. Settling into your new life with a baby is HARD, and there's no shame in wanting to do it at your own pace and without an audience.

I know there are people out there who don't have this problem, and to those lucky folks I say good for you. For the rest of us, though, my advice is to not be afraid to speak up to protect your own sanity in those first few days (or weeks or months) after Baby comes home. Experiencing the whirlwind that is birth and then parenting a newborn can be really rough even in the best circumstances, and if you feel more capable doing it without a peanut gallery of onlookers--as well-meaning as they may be--it's totally okay for you to want to protect that ideal. Maybe it means your in-laws have to stay at a hotel instead of in your guest room. Maybe it means limiting drop-in visits from friends to ten minutes. Figure out what arrangement makes you feel the most at ease and then ASK FOR IT. You've just given birth to a brand new human--you deserve a little special treatment!

Did you have a lot of visitors after you brought your baby home? How did you handle it? Did you welcome everyone with open arms, or did you have limits in place to keep things from getting too overwhelming?

Image © iStockphoto.com/Christopher Futcher

by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Spring.Mom
by Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 12:16 AM

I really wont mind the visitors. What I will have a problem with is my newborn baby being treated like a football. Passed around from person to person when I am going to want that important bonding time for the baby, DH, and myself. If anyone want to come over and help I'm all for that but it wont be to take care of the baby...

mnmo3bb
by Bronze Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 1:50 AM

 I just asked that they wash their hands and not come if they are sick :) But we had funerals to go to when the 2nd & 3rd were still newborns... plus with older children in school/around other children, they are bound to get sick.

KelliansMom
by Darbie - Head Admin on Apr. 15, 2013 at 7:33 AM
We had my mom for a weekend after my son was born and my mil for a week (they both got into town the day I gave birth) other then that we had no visitors. I think I would have handle things better or felt less stress if maybe they had come and visited three weeks later bc that's when my husband went back to work and it was a month long trip away from home
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la_bella_vita
by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM

 I don't mind visitors. Everyone was very respectful of not staying for very long. My husband and I had no help. We did everything. After he went back to work, my MIL only stopped by to cook lunch and take my older kids to a playdate. I stayed home and napped with just the baby. It was very nice and very helpful. Also, many people dropped dinners off.

Bmat
by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

I did not have a lot of visitors.  Only a few, and I was never overwhelmed.

aneela
by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM

did not have a lot of visitors so it was actually nice when i did

Leelee1008
by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM

I did not. with my 1st I had a few, and it didnt really bother me.

when I had my 3rd and brought her home, I was overwhelmed with my older boys. both had adhd and when I came home DH went to work right after we walked through the door... My mil ended up taking my oldest for the night for me because their fighting was to much for me

Vertical15
by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 10:20 AM

I didn't have a ton of guests.  In my area people just don't drop in unannounced-new baby or not.  The few that came, I was prepared for and that is how I like it.

MamaBear2cubs
by Nikki on Apr. 15, 2013 at 10:38 AM

I had no visitors after the babies were born.

TerriC
by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 10:51 AM

My family lived out of state and so did DH's.  So, there were lots of people flying in, coming to the hospital etc.  It did get very overwhelming.  It was hard not to scream at everyone to leave.  LOL!  Thankfully DH made sure everyone let me and DD rest.

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