How to Visit a New Mom – The Good, The Helpful and The Avoidable
Having a baby is joyful and amazing. It is a beautiful time in your lives, one you are excited to share with the world, you as a family.
It is also slightly overwhelming and nerve-rackingly new. You have just chartered unto an unknown new journey, one that you learn as you go and consumes your whole day, every day. This phase of life comes with a plethora of advice, papers, information on how to swaddle, how to breastfeed, how to bathe them, what to watch for, when to do all the checkups and what forms to fill out, etc. It is a lot to take in, you are so focused on wanting to be the best mom to your new bundle of joy, that you really don’t have the patience and mindset to also take the best care of yourself, or to deal with much else going on.
I recall those first weeks or so when I was a new mom, and then again when I had my second. It’s a roller coaster of emotions, fatigue, and pure joy. Truly, I loved receiving well wishes and people wanting to see my new love, so guests were welcome. It warmed our hearts to see how happy people were, and I will remember it always. However, looking back there were a few things that really stood out and made things easier for me, and some that maybe made me feel a little overwhelmed. Here is the first of things that, I feel, are important to cover, if visiting a new mom, as per my experience.
Part One: Visiting and Dropping by
I recall the first day I came back from the hospital, I wasn’t expecting anyone but immediate friends and family, however, my house was filled. I was exhausted, I was just not getting the breast-feeding right, and it was the middle of a heat-wave. I won’t even get into the fact I was in pain still. While I was so excited and elated at how happy people were for us, some well-meaning guests did stay much longer than I expected and the noise and me wanting to sleep got to me, I snapped and kicked everyone out. I wish I was a tad calmer, but my emotions ran high and I just wanted quiet time. The first day home, should be a little respected, in my opinion, and reserved for those called over vs. just showing up. Also, a new mom is rather tired and emotional, and may not quite be herself on that first day.
I did have breastfeeding challenges at first, I couldn’t get the technique down and my son had a tongue-tie, which we had to get fixed. This made the first week very stressful for me. As I was trying to learn this, to have people come in the middle of nurse visits, unexpectedly, was awkward to say the least. At that moment, I really only was looking for support from my husband, moms, sisters, the people that I was comfortable being semi-dressed with. While, again the visit was appreciated, the timing was terrible. I couldn’t be myself and sit and have them hold the baby.
So, the takeaway there is, wait perhaps a few days for the mom to settle in before visiting, and always call to check in if it is a good time to visit.
Written by Christina Chandra. Christina Chandra is mom to two toddlers and enjoys discovering eateries and play places around the city. When she isn’t playing with her loves, trying a new smoothie recipe, or trying to stay afloat with busy mom life, she is blogging at Turning Mommy.