Just how soon is it OK to visit someone’s newborn?
If you ask some moms, the appropriate time might be when the baby’s not quite a “newborn” anymore.
The issue came up recently on a Mumsnet.com forum, where a mom questioned why so many people seemed to feel entitled to see “a squishy newborn” so soon after his or her birth.
“My friends have sent messages saying congratulations, let us know when I’m up for visitors/meeting up etc. Lovely. But family, especially family that you don’t see much of normally, expect to come round and see you when the baby is a couple of days old,” the mother writes, later pondering whether to take off to a cabin for a month without telling anyone. “There is never any question of ‘is mum ready for it?’ Or is it convenient?? No of course not!!”
The question of visitors after having a baby is a common topic of debate among expectant parents and their families. Some people want total privacy for at least a few days while others can’t wait to show off their new addition.
In this particular forum discussion, which was summarized in a recent post on CafeMom, parents had a variety of opinions but many people agreed with the original post.
“I don’t know how people tolerate visitors with newborns,” one commenter wrote. “I just ignore all calls and texts for a good two months.”
Two months seems extreme, but we get it. It’s undoubtedly an annoyance for some families when more distant relatives expect an impromptu visit while you’re healing from your delivery, working out breastfeeding, bonding with baby and probably letting the housework slide.
But the question didn’t go over so well among some other parents, who felt the author was being unnecessarily harsh.
“Why all the dread, the disgruntled martyrdom? Can’t you just be glad someone wants to celebrate with you?” one mom responded. “All this metering out of time ‘no visitors for 2 weeks …’ so sad.”
Another parent wrote this: “I bet they have the audacity to bring you gifts as well. Complete bastards eh?”
Ouch. So are parents just being greedy if they refuse visitors after their baby arrives? Or do they have reason to be concerned?
Spread out visitors, put them to work helping around the house or ask them to bring food, the author recommends. For people prone to overstaying their welcome, head to their house instead so you’re in control of when to end the visit.
And moms might consider having their partner be the “bad cop,” the article suggests, “because everybody thinks a protective father is cute and everybody thinks a protective mother is nuts, so do everybody a favour and unhinge.”
The bottom line? Let parents be the judge on when to take visitors – and let everyone else judge away. Because if they aren’t judging your decision to refuse (or allow) visitors, they’ll probably come up with something else anyway.
What do you think? Did you allow visitors right away after your baby was born? Tell us in the comments.