So this piece was actually one I didn’t know if I should post. So much so that I sent it to my husband, parents and trusted friends to ask if it was “too bratty and ungrateful”. We decided it might be, but I’m posting it anyway because I promised from day one to be honest and vulnerable, and this is my truth. I also whole heartedly believe that as parents (moms particularly) we put everyone else’s needs before our own and during the first few weeks postpartum it’s especially really important to take care of ourselves too.
Everything (obviously) changes the second you bring your little bundle home.
It’s super amazing (How do I already love you so much? You smiled at me! Oh no that’s just gas..).
It’s also super overwhelming. Your life has changed in an instant and it takes a minute to figure out what your new normal looks like. However it’s during that exact minute that everyone you’ve ever met wants to come over and meet your little love and congratulate you. It’s such a lovely thought, but in reality I wish we would have had a little space to ourselves initially.
As a new mom your body is exhausted, your hormones are going crazier than Charlie Sheen and you have a tiny human with no instruction manual. It’s overwhelming to say the least.
I was really overwhelmed by the revolving door of guests when JJ was born, in fact it made me cry on a daily basis for a good week or two. I was vulnerable, exhausted, and sore. The last thing I wanted or needed was to be taking care of other people’s needs. I was offering drinks and putting out cookies when all I wanted to do was sleep, cry and stare at my baby.
Don’t get me wrong- I was and am SO thankful for all the love and support we received, it truly welcomed Jagger into this world beautifully. I just wish I had known how to take care of my own needs (rest/recover/adjust) during those first few weeks better, rather than giving everyone else what they wanted/needed (to come over/meet JJ/show their love).
I share all of this because one thing Scott and I are going to do differently with the next baby is have a plan beforehand to deal with the influx of (wonderful and well meaning) visitors. We’ve decided that the first few weeks are just for us. It’s the time when we will adjust to being a family of four, let JJ get to know his new little sibling, and recuperate. We’ve decided to use a codeword so I can nicely tell Scott when I’ve had enough and he can gracefully empty the house.
These all seem like such simple and obvious ideas but the first time around we were so overwhelmed and grateful for the support that we didn’t know how to set healthy boundaries for our new family.
Again this is all my experience and I definitely air on the side of introvert, so I thrive with a few close friends and family around to help, hold the baby and keep us company- rather than huge groups of people. Know what you need and set healthy boundaries and expectations up front. We’re all different!
Live and learn. Stay tuned for whether we get it right the next time!