When I was pregnant with Alice I remember reading about people who weren’t going to allow visitors for the first few days/week after their bundle had arrived. They shared horror stories of pushy relatives who wouldn’t leave, and recovering mums making the tea. This wasn’t my experience at all.
We are very fortunate to have a fantastic birth centre only 8 minutes away, and they allow any number of visitors, at any time of day, as long as you are up to it. My mum was staying in our house looking after Ted, so when Alice was born she was able to come and meet her at about 9 in the morning. We then had a steady stream of visitors throughout the day/evening.
Everyone brought gifts for Alice but also treats for me, mostly in chocolate form. This would definitely be high up on my list of recommendations. I’m sure any woman who has just burned more calories than running a marathon (or so my midwife told me) will appreciate the energy, and the comfort of some sweets and chocolate.
When we left the hospital, the visitors continued, and we were very fortunate that most, if not all, of our visitors, brought food with them. With the fog of caring for a newborn, Lewis and I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what day it was, much less prepare a cooked meal for people! So we were absolutely thrilled when people wanted to come and meet Alice and brought tea with them at the same time.
We are also very lucky in that Alice has very hands-on grandparents, aunties and uncles. My brother in particular has always volunteered to change Alice’s nappy if he’s around. If the new parent is anything like me, they won’t ask for help directly, but will likely bite your hand off at the offer of a tiny respite from the monotony of caring for a newborn.
Similarly I would never ask anyone to come and help me with my housework, but I have been eternally grateful when Alice’s Nanny and Grandma have come over to watch Alice while I get stuff done, and even done a few jobs for me while I’ve fed her!
Although it is getting easier, and I’m learning how to get stuff done (mainly because Alice will entertain herself on her play mat/in her bouncer for short periods of time), in the first few months, your sole focus is on this new addition, and how to meet her needs. It feels like an overwhelming task. There’s a lot to be said for the restorative power of a hot shower and blow drying your hair, and having someone to watch the baby so you don’t have to rush!
Like I say, our visitors were a dream, and they made the exhausting madness just that little bit easier! If you are going to visit a new parent, take chocolate, or dinner, or both! And load/unload the dishwasher while you are making the tea, I guarantee they’ll thank you for it!
Taken from my blog: www.followingourfootsteps.wordpress.com