When Munchie was born, people came from far and wide to visit… both at the hospital and at our home. Like… to the point the nurses advised me to call security and have them hold all visitors so that I could take a nap. I will admit, I was incredibly tired… but I was so outrageously proud of how adorable our baby was (because for some reason, I was convinced he was going to come out with freakish amounts of facial and body hair… per numerous dreams I had while pregnant) … and I just really wanted to show him off!
I will say, post delivery, I was NOT one of those adorable, made up mommies, who dawn their own personal clothing. Screw that. Someone just throw me some disposable underwear (anyone who has had a baby will tell you to grab as many pairs of these from the hospital as you can before you go home… they are AMAZING) and a giant hospital gown (two if you want to be modest)… and some skid proof socks. Let’s just say, I was looking ROUGH. I couldn’t shower for a couple days (thank you c-section)… but my visitors didn’t seem to mind. Let’s be honest. No one was really coming to see me. (And I’m not in very many pictures either.)
Alright new parents to be, now get out your sharpies and write this down… because when your room is filled to capacity and you need to nurse, pee, or get some rest, you will want to remember this nugget of wisdom. HAVE A SAFE WORD. (Not that kind of safe word.) Once you are moved to your room, the first thing you need to work out with your nurses is a safe word. All I had to do is push my nurse call button and as for a GREEN POPSICLE (because there is no way I would ever eat a green popsicle… ever)… and my room would magically clear out. She would make up some reason that everyone needed to leave. Honestly… it was incredible! (Sorry to anyone that got “green popsicled”… but if/when you have kids, you will get it.)
Once you are released from the hospital, your spouse may be able to help keep the safe word alive in your home. Some people will WANT to hold your baby… but some people might not have a clue HOW to take care of a baby at all. Number one rule = Don’t drop the baby. If your friends/family/neighbors can handle this, you might be able to get a shower, pee, escape to a room without a screaming baby… maybe even take a nap.
I would like to publicly apologize to the many unsuspecting visitors that we had who were just expecting to sit on the couch and talk to me while I held my own child. I remember one afternoon, a friend stopped by after work for a visit, I shoved my baby into her arms, and while waddling up the stairs she said, “Woah, where are you going? I don’t know what to do?” And I just yelled back,”Just don’t drop him. You’re doing really great! Keep it up. I’ll be back. I’m taking a shower.” Then, when I reappeared, she had to leave.
Don’t be too prideful to let people clean your house, do laundry (you can put your unmentionables in a separate basket so people don’t have to see those), do dishes (though pre-baby, I recommend stocking up on disposable dishes and utensils), and take care of your baby (maybe they can take them into a separate room, outside, etc… so you really get a break), change your sheets… however they want to help. AND… if you don’t have anyone to help arrange meals for you, go ahead and set up a meal train for yourself! If your friends/family aren’t local, they can always call in delivery (or even pick up if you have someone to pick it up) for you!
My final tip… you know all those people who always say, “Let me know if I can help you with anything,”… well… write down their information. Even if you don’t need their help initially, you might need some down the road (like, when I ended up in the hospital for a week, unexpectedly). Don’t be afraid to ask for help… because one day those people will be in a pickle and need some help from you, too.
Note to Visitors: If you don’t really want a new mom to tell you her birth story, don’t ask about it. Right after a new baby, that process is still quite a raw memory and chances are… she won’t glamorize it for you. I fully believe a new mom’s recollection of childbirth is one of the BEST forms of birth control… so… just take my advice… and don’t ask.
This post was inspired by Scary Mommy’s “Rules for Visiting a New Mom”