The hysteria and excitement surrounding a new baby in the house is similar to you harbouring a member of One Direction, minus the advantage of oversized bodyguards and a fully fuelled chopper poised and ready to take flight to rescue you and your little family from the hands of the baying public. Screaming, hormone crazed teenage girls are replaced with over excited and tea swilling family, friends and neighbours all desperate for a cuddle and a picture with the new little star on the block.
As heart-warming and as exciting showing off your amazing new bundle can be it can also verge on the exhausting and encroaching as you find yourselves overwhelmed trying to fit in everyone's visits whilst also wanting to cocoon yourselves in a world of just you, your partner and snuggles with the newest member of your family.
Therefore, short of hiring one of the local nightclub bouncers, how the hell do you get the balance right? How do you ensure that your family and friends meet the little one without you meeting the end of your new mum tether and feeling that if you have to smile at one more visitor whilst wincing in pain or make one more cup of tea, you and your baby will be absconding as fast as your post labour body and stitches will allow.
NEWSFLASH! The only people you have to please during this special time are yourselves. Yes, just in case no one else is rushing to tell you (for fear of losing visitors rights), the truth of the matter is that for one of the only times in your adult life you are actually able and damn well entitled to do whatever the hell is best for you and the needs of your family. You are allowed to be selfish with your time and wishes and do not have to consider the needs of others. It's yours and your babies' needs that are now top dog. What's more, is that these needs will change daily, hourly even and as they change so others need to change their expectations of you and not take offence if all of a sudden it's not a good time to come knocking.
For the first time since the dawn of the age of family occasions you are now the master of visiting hour. You are the gate keeper and are allowed to schedule specific times for people to come and see you when it fits in best with your day and the schedule you are so desperately trying to engender. No more are guests invited to out stay their welcome. Once the allotted time is up, it's quite simply up. No matter how firmly their bums are moulded into your sofa or how strong their grip is on the handle of their mug.
Yes, your house may be the venue, however, it is not up to you to "host" visitors. Your job is not to make endless cups of tea and hand out copious amounts of biscuits whilst your baby is passed around eagerly. You have been the perfect host for the last nine months, you have grown an adorable human, brought them safely into the world and are now surviving the first throws of motherhood. You my friend have enough on your hands. It is the role of the visitors to make you the cups of tea, to ensure you and your baby are sitting comfortably and to ask if you have everything you need. Their job is to reassure you that you look great (even if lying through their teeth) and enthuse about the fantastic job you are doing. Then with a flurry of well wishes and no pre booking of next visits, kindly be on their way.
It does not matter if every visitor who passes over the threshold gets to hold your little one or even sees them awake. For God's sake do not fall into the trap of feeling as if you have to wake up your sleeping babe if their visit to the land of nod unexpectedly coincides with a scheduled visit from family or friends. Or that you have to pass them around so everyone gets a cuddle. Your baby's job is not to entertain the masses and as nice as cuddling a new born is, what's nicer for you as parents is a sleeping and contented baby and five precious minutes off duty.
If you have had the night from hell and now look like one of the leads from Twilight however more dead than drop dead gorgeous, then cancel any visitors until you feel more human. It's no big deal and if people take offence and forget the fact that you have just pushed a human out of your body and are now using every waking second to keep the little thing alive and not screaming then to hell with them!
Finally, don't lose sight of the fact that having visitors as well as helping break up the routine of nappy, sleep and feed schedules and providing you with some much needed adult conversation and access to the outside world can also work to your advantage of getting the boring jobs done. The majority of your visitors, especially, those you class as your closest, warts and all family members and best friends will want to do anything they can to help. Therefore, let them! If they ask if anything needs doing say yes, get them to run the hoover round, get some shopping in or put a wash on, so you can then concentrate on just you and the baby. They will leave feeling their visit has been helpful and you will have one less job on your list of many. Win/win
Remember Mums and Dads alike, this is your time, your boundaries, your schedule and people will have to fit in with you - like it or lump it!
For top mum tips on surviving post baby visitors please visit here
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