Home ... but Not Alone!
The phone starts to ring, the doorbell goes off like an alarm, and well-meaning friends and family members start trooping through your home. Even though they promise not to stay long and insist that you not go to any trouble, you probably feel compelled to make them comfortable.
The standard advice is to limit visits. Sounds easy, but it's tough to tell your 89-year-old grandmother that she has to wait a few weeks to see her first great-grandchild. Besides, you appreciate all of those presents, flowers, and casseroles people deliver, and it's nice to be congratulated once in a while. Plus, of course, you want to show off your baby.
The key is to make visits as stress-free as possible. We'll show you how.
Take It Easy
You've been through an arduous journey -- hey, it's called labor for a reason. As the demands and sleep deprivation increase, it's important to take care of yourself, along with the baby. Promise yourself you'll sleep when baby sleeps, kick out visitors when you're tired, and don't be too proud to ask for help.
When Gina Maggerd, of Neon, Kentucky, had her baby, she told herself, This is me, how I am after giving birth, and I am not going to fret trying to make everyone else feel comfortable.
Taking it easy also applies to the baby. "I made it a rule I would not wake the baby because someone was visiting," says Joyce Anthony, a mom from Erie, Pennsylvania. (Yes, people asked!)
No-Fuss Makeover for Mom
Okay, so they're really not coming to see you; they're coming to see the baby. But even so, you don't want to greet visitors in those pajamas you've been lounging in for four days straight.
Set aside one outfit that is decent looking and comfy. Put it on before people visit, then pull it off after they leave so it stays reasonably clean. Store it in the same easily accessible place so you know where it is at a moment's notice. Or "throw a cardigan sweater over whatever pj's, sweats, or drooled-on clothes you are wearing," suggests Stacy DeBroff, author of The Mom Book -- 4,278 of Mom Central's Tips -- for Moms, from Moms (Free Press).
For quick touch-ups, create a beauty station in the family room or living room. Stash facial wipes, lip gloss, a small mirror, a brush, ponytail holders, and breath mints in a drawer or in a box under the couch. After a touch-up, no one will know that you haven't showered or brushed your teeth. Keep fresh nursing pads there as well so you can change them before or after company visits.