Family and friends can be one of the best supports for new parents as they transition into parenthood. You will want to work with them, however, in order for them to know what the best way to support you is.
Here are some tips to help:
- Communicate your wishes. Start in pregnancy and discuss things like what do you expect when it comes to the labour and birth. Do you want family and friends at the hospital during the labour or just after baby is born? Remind them that you need to rest so keep visits short. Ask them if they plan to visit on a regular basis after you get home. Grandparents, for example, may be able to come a couple of times a week for a few days to help out. This is especially helpful AFTER your partner goes back to work.
- Make a list. Write down useful ways visitors can help you. At the end of this blog is a sample email you can send. Visitors usually want to be helpful when they come over but don’t always know what to do. Tape a note on your front door with helpful hints for there visit. This could include things link “Thank you for your visit but please keep it short” or “Please take a look at our to do list on the fridge and feel free to do one or two for us”
- Don’t be afraid to ask people to leave when you have had enough. New moms AND new babies get tried easy. It is important to listen to your body as well as pay attention to baby`s cues that he/she has had enough.
- Have a open house. Invite everyone to come at the same time and for a specific amount of time. Having a revolving door of visitors is exhausting. Get it all done in a short period of time and then you can settle in to a better routine over time.
- Take advantage of offers to pick things up or bring things over. If someone asks if you need anything, say “yes” and tell them what you need. Do you need milk, diapers etc. ask them to stop and pick up lunch or dinner. It makes visitors feel like they are contributing and who doesn’t like that feeling?
- Send the email below to family and friends and send them to our blog. ‘How to be the best visitor for a new family ever!’
Dear family and friends,
We are so excited to welcome our new baby into the world and can’t wait for you to come over to meet him/her. Please keep these things in mind for your visit:
- Wait for and invitation. We may not be up to visitors right away so let us tell you when we are ready.
- Keep your visit to a maximum of 2 hrs but an hour would be better. It is important for us to be able to rest so we can settle into our new roles as parents.
- Bring us food please! A casserole or anything else that is easily frozen would be perfect. Something healthy is an extra plus.
- While you are over please understand that you may not be able to hold the baby. New babies sleep and eat and that’s pretty much it for the first few weeks.
- Feel free to help us with some of the less glamorous tasks that need doing. Such as fold clothes, do the dishes in the sink, empty the dishwasher etc.
- Please check out this blog for great ways to help us. How to be the best visitor ever!