When you find out you are pregnant all your family is so happy for you, and they should be, it is a happy time in your life. They want to buy things for the new baby and they want to throw you a baby shower. People you hardly ever see are suddenly calling and checking in once a week to see if you have had the baby yet. Then, the baby comes.
Once you start telling family that the baby is here they can’t wait to get their hands on him or her. They start coming to visit before you are even out of the hospital. They even start planning when they will visit after you are home. It’s like people think they can just barge in your house once you have a baby.
For me, I had at least 2 visitors a day for the first two weeks of my daughters life. No one cooked or cleaned for me, so not only was I taking care of a newborn, I had to keep the house clean. Thankfully my husband was home and took care of most of the cooking and cleaning, but to be honest I think we should have been able to enjoy our new baby without having to worry about it.
When people would come to the house all they wanted was the baby. They wanted to hold her, then when they would leave we would be stuck having to hold her. I rarely fed her when people were over because they wanted to feed her. I basically just sat on the couch.
I didn’t want to have visitors. I mean if you ever had a child, no matter if it was natural or a c-section, you are in pain. Your stomach is cramping, your crotch hurts if you had a vaginal delivery and your stomach hurts if you had a c-section. You feel gross because well, you know. Your breasts hurt because you are engorged from your milk coming in, if you are breastfeeding or not, and your nipples hurt if you are breastfeeding. You are tired from being up with the baby. All of this combined and you just don’t want visitors, but I don’t think people get it. They seem to think they are entitled to see your baby.
When I have visitors, especially those that I haven’t lived with before, I feel like I need to at least try to dress decently and do something with my hair and makeup. There comes a point when my parents, grandparents, siblings, mother-in-law, or sister-in-law are coming over that I don’t care what I look like. There are people though who haven’t seen me other than in jeans and with my hair done. When I had all these visitors I felt the need to make sure I wasn’t in sweat pants, but I wasn’t ready to get back into jeans after 5 days. Either way, I did it because I felt obligated to.
As a nurse, I also know that having all the visitors means an increased chance for infection with all the people visiting. Thankfully there were a couple of people who avoided coming because they were sick, but that doesn’t mean there is no risk to her getting sick.
The thing that upsets me the most about the whole situation is the fact that people come to see you that you hardly ever see, and chances are they won’t be back. I don’t know how many people came to our house for the first time after our daughter was born, and we had been living here for almost 3 years at the time. The best part is, those same people haven’t been back to our house since. They always make comments that we should come visit more often, but why is it only a one way street?
Why do I have to drive to visit? My daughter is a war and a half and she is hard to entertain, especially when she doesn’t have that many toys to play with, because I can’t take all her toys from home with us. We do go visit, don’t get me wrong, but it still irks me sometimes.
Everyone who comes to visit always says “if you need anything just let us know,” and I know they have good intentions, but only a few of those people have actually stepped up to the plate when we need them.
Because of this, I have decided that with the next child, the only people I am going to let visit are those who have actually helped us with the first child. I do not say this to be mean, but when I have another child, I will also have a toddler to take care of and I will need help with that. I will want the baby while someone else entertains my daughter. Plus, I want to try to breastfeed again, and I feel like I shouldn’t feel like I have to hide in my own house to feed my child.
I have always been told that you learn from the first child and you do things differently with the second and this is one area I will do differently. I will speak up and tell people, nicely, that I don’t want them to visit if I don’t want them to visit.
How did you deal with all the visitors after you had your baby? What will you do differently or what do you wish you did differently?