Posted by Ideal Baby to New Moms
Lucky new mothers who do not feel the need to hibernate may cringe at the thought of not having someone over to show the baby to. But for some who cherish this new experience and would like to spend time with their newborn and their spouse to foster that feeling of family, even in-laws – who by social convention have every right to see the new member of the family – can get to their nerves, especially if the latter expect to be waited upon and leave a mess.
Unless Nana and Gramps and relatives who come over are someone you are really comfortable with, you may need to keep an arm's length even to people you are moderately close to pre-natal. But what do you do when they invited themselves over and somehow clueless to the fact that you want to be left alone, either to recuperate, savor the moment with your husband and your newborn, have uninterrupted sleep, or all three?
Say it outright before you give birth
Sure, you will step on a lot of people's sensitive toes when you say flat-out (but politely) that you can only start receiving guests perhaps two weeks after you give birth. Tell them you plan to recover - especially if you are scheduled for a CS - so you'll have plenty of energy and be in the right mood to entertain them when they come and cuddle the baby.
Announce the birth a week later
Delay the announcement of the birth. Protocols, however, demand that you should tell grandparents right away regardless if the birth happened at 2AM. But if you have parents and in-laws who have little regard for boundary, having them over when you are in dire need of sleep may just make you all the more cranky. So it's your call whether to listen to wounding comments when you are good and ready, or to put up with somebody's business when you are barely good and ready.
Make husband the 'gatekeeper'
Agree with your husband beforehand that if you want to have quality time together, then he will have to pitch in himself. He may not be much of use around the kitchen or with the baby, but perhaps he can be a good PR agent to keep you out of striking distance of unwanted company.
Simply go MIA
Should grandparents insist on entrenching themselves in your house to get maximum cuddle time and keep an eye on how you do with the baby, simply go to your room at the time you feel the need to and tell everyone you and the baby need to sleep. Grandparents and anyone who is a close family may not feel the need to give you personal space, so assign your husband the role of gatekeeper again especially if it's his parents who are insistent.
Put out a “Mom’s out” sign
Helpful but not mandatory are signs that say 'Beware, here lives a new mother and her sleeping baby' next to a drawing of a monster. Also take the doorbell battery out, mute all phones, and don't respond to anyone calling at the door. If the business of the caller is really urgent, he or she will come back some other time when, hopefully, you are more ready to face the world.
True, all these no-houseguest rules sound anti-social, but you have to keep in mind that at this time in your life, it's your and your baby's welfare that is of utmost importance. Everyone else should just come a far second. People who truly care about your family will understand.