Products and Pointers
The New Mom's Guide to Handling Houseguests
By Kristyn Kusek
During pregnancy, you probably fantasize about the few days after
delivery when you can show off your baby to a slew of family and
friends. But after the big day arrives, it's hardly uncommon to realize
that the last thing your exhausted body needs is a houseful of
well-wishers. Here's how to handle in-house visits, courtesy of Lauri
Berkenkamp, author of Go Parents!
(Nomad Press) parenting guides:
- Be prepared
Organize extra linens and towels for
overnight guests. Also, make a list of chores that will be tough to get
done once the baby's born. When mom asks how she can pitch in, you can
hand her the list instead of shrugging your shoulders.
- Make overnight guests work for room and board
close relatives or family friends stay at the house after your
delivery, make it clear ahead of time that you will be enlisting their
help, and they won't be allowed to simply "ooh and ahhh" over the baby
while you cater to them.
- Be proactive instead of reactive by setting rules
you suddenly find your house overrun with relatives, friends, the
entire neighborhood (and their kids!), set some ground rules for "baby
visitation time." Berkenkamp says, "Let close in-house guests, like
your mother, be the enforcer." Some good boundaries to set: Guests
shouldn't bring their kids along unless you're sure you won't have to
watch after them; no visits are allowed during "transition times" such
as when your partner gets home from work; guests shouln't expect to be
fed when they arrive.
- Be flexible -- and expect the same from your guests
new baby means there's little you can predict in your household, so
don't try to plan visits out too much. Even if you've arranged for a
friend to come by at a specific time, ask her to call first; you never
know when you might end up awake all night with the baby -- and
comatose when it's time for your pal's AM visit.