You’ve got yourself a beautiful new little bundle of gorgeousness… with that wonderful baby smell, tiny little fingers and toes, all fresh and brand new. And everyone wants a piece of the action.
From parents to grandparents, from aunts to uncles, from friends to neighbours, and even the lady that works in the local shop… everyone wants a little squeeze of your newborn. You’re barely getting to grips with how to hold this tiny bundle, how and when to feed them, how quickly you can sprint (ouch) to the loo, how you can make your hair look like it really has been washed in the last three days, and how quickly you can shovel random food that you think is still in date down your neck, when the doorbell rings again.
Enough is enough. It’s time to say ‘no’ – and you are, under no circumstances, being rude (see all of the above if you feel you still need justification).
I remember being desperate for my first visitors at the hospital. I was bursting with pride and wanted to show my mum and my closest family the amazing little person I had brought into the world. It also gave me a little connection with the outside, after three long days of being induced, followed by a C-section, followed by being bed-bound for the best part of 24 hours. Familiar and friendly faces, all cooing over my new son gave me a wonderfully warm feeling inside.
By the time I got home, hormones, tiredness, pain and the overwhelming realisation that there was this tiny little human in my arms, who was completely reliant on me for survival, kicked in. And my tolerance levels all but diminished. I needed time to get to grips with this new life, to bond, to fathom out the best way to feed him, how to change him, how to find time to eat, how to do pretty much everything – but entertaining guests wasn’t on the list.
Now, most people (particularly those who have kids themselves) will send a polite message of congratulations and ask you to let them know when you’re up for visitors. These people are the best. Others, however, feel obliged to announce they’re coming to visit, regardless, and some…. just turn up. Now is when you say ‘no’. Even though you may feel like the rudest person in the world, say no if you’re not up to it. Make up a reason, tell them you’re just not in the mood, tell them anything you like. If you don’t want their visit right now, tell them.
In the words of Dr Seuss: “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.