Overnight Guests – Are You Meshuga?
Your due date is only two weeks away and you can’t help fantasizing about your new baby, what he or she will look like, how great it will be to get a good night’s sleep (right?)! And what about the excitement of having your family stay at your home to “ohh and ahh” over your new little bundle. So many great things to think about between those trips to the bathroom and trying to get comfortable each night?
Little did you know that after twenty grueling hours of labor, the last thing on your mind is a house full of guests. You can’t cancel them, after all, they are your family and only want to help. You can’t run away or check into a hotel under an alias, you’re a mom now. The only possible solution that makes sense is to grin and bear it, keeping your fingers crossed that your houseguests will make your life easier.
So after the adrenaline stops pumping and you come down to earth from this miracle you’ve just brought into the world…let’s face reality – your houseguests will be arriving any minute. Oy Vey!
Here are some tips to help you cope when the doorbell starts ringing.
Before the baby arrives:
• Give some serious thought about having guests in your home that first week. The timing may not be right and it’s okay to say no.
• Discuss having over-night guests with your husband or partner before the baby arrives. Don’t feel like the burden of making this decision is all on your shoulders.
• Make a plan that will work for both of you. Remember, even though your new baby is a tiny little thing, he or she will get hungry every two to three hours and won’t care that it’s 3am. Are you going to be worried that the baby will wake up your house-guests or that you can’t flit through your house in your PJ’s?
• And is it really your obligation to let your family sleep over those first few weeks? Will they be a help or a hindrance?
If you decide overnight guests are okay:
• Organize everything before you give birth.
1. Put out the linens and towels.
2. Let your guests make up their beds, no struggling while you’re pregnant.
3. Buy enough coffee, filters and creamer for the mornings.
4. Buy some frozen food, drinks and snacks to have on hand.
• Ask your guests to help with chores. Doing a load of laundry, emptying the dishwasher or making a grocery store run isn’t too much to ask. There is no such thing as free room and board! And it’s not their job to care for the baby unless you need a break.
• Don’t be afraid to set up some boundaries before the well-wishers arrive. No young children allowed those first few weeks, especially if it’s cold and flu season. And you really don’t need the extra commotion.
• Don’t be a martyr. If you are so exhausted you can hardly stand up, ask Grandma to watch the baby so you can take a nap. She did know enough to raise you!
• Make it clear that you and your husband/partner are in charge of the baby. It is not okay to pick up the baby whenever the idea strikes your guests fancy.
• Guests should not expect you to have a ten – course spread when they arrive or anytime during the visit. And don’t be shy about suggesting they go out to eat while you rest.
• Try and be flexible. When there is a new baby in the house there is just no predicting what each day will bring. Those first few weeks are an adjustment period for all of you. Try and go with the flow if possible.
• And remember; enjoy this incredible miracle along with the warmth and love your family and guests bring. A new baby makes everyone’s heart smile!
Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions. She is passionate about babies, toddlers and their parents. After working in the field for over thirty-five years, she wrote her fourth award-winning book, HELP! MYTODDLER CAME WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS, now available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Audible.com and all major bookstores. You can hear Blythe's weekly radio show, Baby and Toddler Instructions each Wednesday, 11am EST @ www.toginet.com Blythe is available for in-home, video and telephone consultations. You can contact Blythe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her office (480)-510-1453. Become her Fan on Facebook and visit her website: www.mybestparentingadvice.com
©Blythe Lipman 2015