Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Visiting After Baby

Someone sent me this article and I wanted to get your input - especially from the mamas! It's all about visiting friends after they've had a baby. I really thought this was interesting because we are starting to try to figure out what our family/friends visiting schedule will be after our mini is born. ALL of our family live 3+ hours away so pretty much everyone will be visiting from out of town. I must admit - I'm a little freaked out about playing hostess while also learning to be a new mom.

The article starts out by saying visits to new parents should only be 15 minutes (that seems extreme but what do YOU think??)..

Before you walk in the door, put your game face on.  Set a timer, on your phone or watch for 15 minutes. When it goes off, get out of there! Remember that you are going to be a quiet, productive blessing.  This visit is NOT about you.  It is not about the parents hosting you and putting on a cup of tea so you can sit and visit and hold the baby. Think about how you would feel if you had either had surgery or ran a triathlon.  What would you want people to do for you?  This visit is about blessing the parents and making their life a little bit easier.  Your prize is getting a quick peek at the cute new human.

Here's how to play out your 15 minute visit:
1.  Bring a healthy meal. Include a salad or fresh vegetables.  Only use disposable dishes. There is nothing more annoying than
a) having to wash more dishes when you have a new baby
b) having to try to return dishes to all sorts of random people when you have a new baby
2.  In addition to your meal, bring cut up veggies and fruit, unsalted trail mix or nuts, or other such healthy snacks for daytime munching for mom to eat while she's nursing.
3.  Go into the kitchen and spend 5 minutes clearing off a counter, washing a sink-full of dishes, loading the dishwasher etc.  Don't ask permission, just do it.  Then set the table for their dinner.
4. Before you leave your house, put some paper towels and some powdered bathroom cleaner like Commet or Ajax in a baggie.  Stick it in your purse.  While you are at the house, go and use the washroom...and while in there do a three minute bathroom shine-up, using your paper towels and cleaner.
5.  Coo over the baby, but wash your hands before touching it.
6.  If they want to eat right then, heat the food up and put it on the table, give everybody kisses and then leave.
7.  Take the garbage out when you go.

In and out. This will be the best visit the parents will have had.  They will love you and you will be awesome in their books forever. You can come back and have a longer visit when the parents have adjusted to their new normal.

So I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and also other words of wisdom you have for hosting visitors in the hospital and at your house after a new baby :)

Happy Tuesday!!!

(source of article: http://www.birthresourcenetwork.org/resources/109-how-to-be-the-best-post-partum-visitor-in-15-minutes-or-less)


amybyrd said...

My best visits were just like this(minus the cleaning). we had a hard time after our little girl was born and started losing weight. I actually put it out on facebook that we needed help. My friends responded in numbers--I had people drop by with a meal and snacks, give me a hug, look at Elle, give her a kiss and out the door. I did have dishes to return later but there was no pressure with that. I truly felt like I had been hit by a bus in the first 2 weeks and didn't want to visit much so this was perfect.

Brittany Ann said...

I think this is perfect. This is exactly what I'd want from visiting friends. Because our parents will be staying with us because they are out of town, too, I know we'll have plenty of help, but I'm just afraid it will get over-crowded.

KSK said...

Somebody should have sent this to my in-laws!!! They would just stop over without warning... We started locking the doors during the day when my FIL walked in while I was nursing!!! (However, that was a quick visit.. and kind of put an end to their no call visits!) *They also lived 1 1/2 hours away! What if we weren't home? ..Sorry for my rant, I was so annoyed and my husband didn't say anything for a long time!!!
People who bring you food are awesome!! However, I don't think they should have to leave, they could eat with you, you're not a leper!!! Not sure how I feel about the sneak attack cleaning of the bathroom... It sounds weird now, but if it happened.. it could be amazing :)
If you're not up for guests, you're allowed to say so, feelings shouldn't get hurt... you just did a super human feat and gave birth for crying out loud!! :)

MJ @ MD School Mrs said...

Oh! I love this! But really, I think that as long as the visitors are courteous and have any sort of sense, they'd be able to tell if it was a good time for them to be visiting, and if yes, then extend to maybe a half an hour. With everyone being from out of town, as in your case, the thought of having to play hostess while learning to be a new mom sounds terrible. Hopefully visits are spread out for you!

I'm totally a sneak-attack cleaning the bathroom kind of girl. Plus, I'd have to buy a new purse large enough to fit a bottle of cleaning spray! Win win:)

Katie said...

Hmm! I'd have to say I probably agree with the article in a lot of ways. Before I delivered Emmy, I felt strongly that I didn't want lots of visitors, especially lingering around with their germs. But! It was actually soooo nice to have my mom and MIL go grocery shopping for us, freeze us a few meals, and tidy up. We also had a couple of friends freeze foods for us before the baby came.

I do agree with the idea of guests not staying long, depending on who they are, of course. Where we were living at the time, the master was off of the family room, so when I would try to nurse or rest, I could hear everything that was going on, and couldn't settle. That was super annoying to me!!!

I will agree with amybryd, and say that I felt like I got hit by a bus, too, and needed a lot of help. Mostly, emotionally.

A friend once told me to wear your pajamas and people will get the hint not to stay long! ha! (it actually worked!) But in the long-run, you are the Mama Bear & your husband is your advocate. Keep the lines of communication open. If you don't want someone to be there, or if they're extending their stay too long, speak up! If they get all huffy about it, they'll get over it. Who cares!

I don't know how often your hubby will be able to be around, but I strongly suggest having someone with you often (if he's away) to talk with/offer support/or watch the baby sleep while you sleep. It can be lonely and your mind and hormones are all over the place.

Hope that helped! You're looking awesome mama-to-be! :)

Annie said...

This.Is.Awesome! I'm totally re-posting this at some point. This is totally how I want my visits to go...maybe add 10 more minutes so they can clean ALL of the bathrooms :-)

Allie said...

I agree with this article and all of the comments. I think visits should be short and sweet. I was beyond exhausted after having my son, and each time someone came by to visit, I was more worn out when they left and stayed too long.


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