I would like to thank and acknowledge the beautiful and courageous mums in my Due in July mother’s group for their inspiration, words and honesty about receiving visitors during the first weeks of their baby’s lives. These are our stories. You girls rock my world.
Having a baby is one of the most exciting, joyous times in your life. Everyone is excited! From you and your husband making dreamy plans for your future as a family, to your friends becoming your cheer squad and offering lots of support. Right through to the sticky beaks who wouldn’t go to coffee with you, but keep tabs on you… waiting for all the goss; and the interfering family members who broadcast your every move and progress like a fog horn. Sigh.
No matter how prepared you are though, or which number baby you’re having, the reality of actually having that baby and bringing him home is quite an emotional experience. One that is different with each baby. Everyone gets excited for you which is so lovely and they all want to come and see the new baby and celebrate their arrival with you. It really is such a special time.
People mean really well. They want you to know that they’re there for you and that they care. They care so much that they schedule into their busy lives to come and visit you and congratulate you in person. It’s really lovely. They’ll bring flowers, gifts and meals and offer their full support and help.
Then, there are those visitors. You know… the ones who just romp up and make it all about them. Sure, they still say and do ‘all the things’ that other visitors do, but they have a funny way of going about it. And by ‘funny’ I mean ‘annoying’.
Here are the 7 visitors who you don’t want to see just after having a baby.
The one who takes the opportunity to visit because they’re taking a sick day from work
Ummmm, no thanks. Just because you have spare time, doesn’t mean that you should visit. Firstly, one would argue how sick you really are to be staying home from work and going out visiting people. Secondly, if you are sick then why the heck would you go near a newborn?
Kindly arrange to visit at another time please! And keep your germs away from my newborn. Cheers.
The one who pops up like nut grass
You know, the unexpected guest that just pops up out of nowhere (always at the most inconvenient times). Like when you finally get a chance to shower, or sit and have a peaceful cup of tea. Better yet, while you’re still in hospital after a c-section and there are nurses jabbing your stomach fat with needles, your catheter filling the bag with urine (in full view), nurses and doctors coming in to check your wound and blood loss on your pad. All while feeling nauseous and vomiting, trying to figure out how to get your baby to latch onto your boob and actually breastfeed.
Yeah. Unexpected visitors are great and it’s just peachy when they see you like this! Raaaaaagggee!!!
The one who outstays their welcome
Seriously, there’s a time limit. New mums are exhausted! All. The. Freaking. Time.
New mums need space and room to get themselves into a routine (not to mention the baby). They need time to rest when they can and they need to be able to get things done around the house too. Overstaying your welcome is a burden. Be mindful!
Notice the cues!
The one with all the unwanted advice
As if the first few weeks of motherhood isn’t hard enough, the last thing mothers need is people coming into her home and offering all their wisdom and advice (as if your baby is exactly the same as their baby). Or better yet my personal favourite, their imaginary baby because they haven’t had a baby yet. Sigh.
The general rule is that unless advice has been requested, there’s no need to offer it. Simples. Overwhelming a mother with ‘great advice’ is the quickest way to inflict mummy guilt and making new mums feel like they should be coping better or doing better. There are already enough emotional pressures in the early days of motherhood to do things ‘the right way’. Double that up with the pressures from society and the unsolicited advice from everyone else and that poor mother is going to deflate very quickly.
The one who says they’ll be there at 9am but doesn’t arrive until 11am
You know, the time when you’ve just put the baby down (after much floor walking, tears and rocking).
Then they insist on seeing the baby.
Which wakes the baby.
Then before you know it, it’s the middle of the afternoon, the baby is overtired, you’re overtired and the house is a wreck.
If you plan to visit, then arrange a time and be punctual.
The one who comes with a car load of ALL of their pre loved baby items
Now don’t get me wrong. Gifts are fabulous! The specific items I’m referring to here are the ones that they’ve been hanging onto for years (or decades) that they can’t bring themselves to throw away or donate and are stained, damaged and/or unusable with a few hidden treasures scattered throughout.
Guess who’s problem they suddenly become? That’s right, yours! It would be rude not to accept such a massively generous gift, but suddenly you’re left to clean, sort and dispose of anything that is damaged or unsuitable.
I already have 3 bags of donation clothes that have been getting a free ride in the boot of my car over the past 3 months… I really don’t need to add any more.
The empty-handed, non-helpful visitor
Literally and metaphorically. The person who brings nothing, offers no help and expects hospitality.
“Oh Thank you for coming to visit and then giving me the pleasure of making you morning tea, lunch and cleaning it all up.”
There’s nothing more beautiful to a new mother’s eyes and ears than someone bringing a precooked meal, offering to hang out the washing or sweep the floors. The smallest offerings of help can be the biggest blessings.
Oh motherhood. What a ride! These initial weeks are some of the most precious (and trying) in the world. It’s time you’ll never get back, to bond with your baby, enjoy your time as a family and create some beautiful memories.
My wish and hope for all new mums is that they receive caring, wonderful visitors who pre-arrange their visit, arrive on time, are feeling well, offer to help, give advice when invited to do so and stay just the perfect amount of time.
Best wishes to all new mums. xx