What are your thoughts on having visitors soon after your baby being born?
When I meet new mums at my baby massage classes or post-natal massage sessions, the topic of visitors always comes up. Many have commented on how overwhelming they have found visitors so soon after getting home so I thought I would let you know that yes, it is O.K to say no to visitors, especially if they turn up unannounced (or if you don’t want to face them, just don’t answer your door!!!)
Some people love having visitors straight away and can’t wait to show off their new squishy bundle of joy and some people can’t stand the thought of having visitors until they have settled in to a routine at home and are feeling a bit less overwhelmed.
The immediate hours, days and weeks after having a baby are important and special. You get to know and bond with your new arrival, learn how to feed them and settle in to life with another member of your growing family. You learn how dynamics and relationships have shifted within your family unit and how to adjust to these changes. Sometimes a continuous string of visitors may hinder this process and you may find it hard with people invading your postnatal bubble.
A new baby gets people excited. People who you haven’t seen or heard from in years, neighbours you’ve never really said more than ‘hello’ to in the street and distant family members who live a million miles away will all be lining up to meet your new born and who can blame them, you’ve just made the most beautiful little human! Becoming a parent is both exciting and daunting all at the same time and it took me a while to realise it’s perfectly acceptable to say ‘no thank you!’, this can be applied to a range of situations from visitors to advice! You don’t have to please everybody else, it’s your health and well-being and that of your family that needs to come first, so if visitors don’t like that you politely decline their company when they turn up unannounced, then they really aren’t worth worrying about!
After the birth of my first son we had lots of visitors from day 1 of being home and although it was wonderful for them to meet my precious boy it was also a bit stressful, for me handing him over to people I didn’t know that well, not having my full mobility due to a C-section birth and feeling self-conscious of my post baby body that I had not yet got used to. Throw into the mix the feeling like a complete and utter sleep deprived ‘mombie’ (sleep deprived mum who looks like an extra in The Walking Dead) and this was a tough phase! It wasn’t until the visitors tailed off that I was able to reflect on this and felt it was too much too soon
This prompted me to think about what I wanted as a new parent the second time around and be firm with my wants and needs as a mum.
This second time around we decided to just invite immediate family to visit us in hospital and initially when we got home. We gave ourselves 2 weeks at home together before opening up to visitors. I personally found this a much more relaxed way of going from a family of 3 to a family of 4 as we could work it out with the help and support of our immediate family as needed. It also gave me time to recover from a second emergency C-section and get back to being mobile and not moving around at the pace of a 90 year old woman!. After this period of time we felt we had adjusted well and spent some really special family time together and were ready to take on the world…or the long line of lovely visitors who wanted to meet our newest addition and we were totally ready for them to come in, hold and cuddle our newborn and entertain our toddler! At this point we also felt a lot less like we were winging it as parents of 2 little boys (you know you are winning in parenthood with 2 smalls when you are dressed, hair and teeth are brushed AND you’ve even managed some breakfast!) Bring on the visitors!
.It is such a big adjustment to make to life with a baby, whether it is your first, second or tenth child! New parents have a whole new role and way of living to adapt to as well as getting to know the tiny human they have been growing and keeping safe for 9 months! It is a demanding new role, quite often done on limited sleep and half the time, I don’t know about you but I feel like I am totally winging it!
Leave me a comment and let me know how you feel about visitors so soon after giving birth 🙂