I just had a baby. Well, I actually didn’t just have a baby, but for the purposes of this post, let’s pretend. You just got word that I’ve finally had the baby, and before you jump in your car and rush over, there are few things that I need from you.
Don’t stop by the hospital. If this is my first baby, I don’t understand that this is the only time I am going to have round the clock “help” ever again. I am so pumped up on adrenaline that I don’t fully comprehend that I should be using every second I have before I go home to rest. If this isn’t my first rodeo and I’ve given birth before, I understand the fact that I need to chill out and you being there is just pissing me off. Unless you are immediate family, do me a favor and don’t stop by. Send a card, a cute gift, or shoot me a text. Give me a few days to bond with my new baby and new family and visit when things settle down.
Thank you for giving us some breathing room in the hospital. When you do decide to make your way over to our house to visit with our new bundle of joy, I have some requests.
Make an appointment. Do not, under any circumstances, just “pop” over to my house. If you do this, I promise you, I will cut you. Give me a chance to anticipate your visit. Give me a chance to brush my hair and brush my teeth. I would like to look like the best version of the cave woman I have been impersonating that I possibly can. I have no idea when the baby will be napping, and Lord help you if you come over right as that child falls asleep. Hell hath no fury like a woman who’s newborn has just been unintentionally woken up.
Wash your hands without me asking you to. I don’t want to insult you and remind you to wash your hands before touching my brand new baby, but I will if you don’t do it before I ask. We all know how filthy money, your cell phone, and your steering wheel is. I don’t care if you tell me you bathed in antibacterial soap before coming over. Your first step after saying hello to me is to walk right over to the sink and scrub up. Make a production about it for good measure… Say something like, “I can’t wait to see that cute new squish! First let me wash my hands, and Ill be right over.” Spend longer than you think you need to wash you hands. I appreciate it. I’m not even going to mention the fact that if you even think you may be getting sick that you shouldn’t come by. Just don’t do it.
On the topic of coming over, don’t stay long and don’t expect anything more than small talk from me. Whether I admit it or not, I’m exhausted and overly hormonal. I’m so glad to see a member of the outside world, but I’m too overwhelmed to have a proper conversation. The likelihood that I took a shower before you came over is slim to none, and you’re lucky if I remembered to put on a bra. I’m wearing a maxi pad the size of an adult diaper and recovering from birthing a tiny watermelon. While you discuss the latest work gossip, I may or may not be sitting there, breaking into a sweat, trying to mentally prepare myself for my first post partum poop, which I now realize I am more scared of than actual childbirth. Don’t ask me how I’m feeling if you don’t want the truthful answer. I feel like a tractor trailer truck ran me over and then backed up a few times to make sure the job was done. Do me a favor and just tell me I look great. Even if it’s a lie, I need to hear it.
Same thing goes with my baby. At this point, my child probably looks like a wrinkled up old man, regardless of it’s gender. You can tell me how cute my baby is, but don’t ask me anything that is going to play into my insecurities. “That weird mark on their head will go away, won’t it?” “Wow, isn’t her nose is an interesting shape.” I’ve already spent more time freaking out about that weird birthmark and whether or not it will go away. I haven’t fully come to the conclusion if I think its cute or not, and I’m not sharing that fact with you. In my delirious hormonal state right now, if you say something even just a little bit off to me, you can be sure I am mentally preparing your funeral in my head. Just shut up, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
Please don’t ask me to make you anything to eat or drink, even if I offer. I’m just being nice. The thought of me playing hostess makes me nauseous right now. I have never felt so needed by someone else so much in my life and I’m still wrapping my head around the amount of responsibility that has just been placed on my shoulders. Help yourself to my coffee machine or grab a cookie from the cupboard yourself- I won’t care, just do it. Do me another favor by putting your cup in the dishwasher before you leave too. If you want to be really awesome, bring my family an easy meal to heat up. I can’t remember the last time I turned my stove on to cook something, and a hot meal would definitely make me feel more like a human.
When you hold my child, do not under any circumstances put your finger in their mouth. I’m not sure why people do this, but it’s disgusting. Do not do it. I don’t do it, and I’m not sure why you think it’s ok to do. I know where your hands have been. I don’t care if you washed your hands in bleach, I don’t care if you have been blessed by the Pope, your fingers do not belong in my baby’s mouth. It’s not cute to have my infant practice sucking on your finger, and its making me physically ill to see you do it. Thank you.
If you offer to babysit, you better mean it. Every single person who has come to visit me in the past few days has offered to babysit and what I will soon find out is that no one actually follows up on their offer. Help a sister out. My baby is four days old, I’m not ready for a night out on the town. I could use a nice hot shower and a nap though. So offer to hang with the baby while I do both things. If I have older children, offer to take them to the playground, the library, out for ice cream, anything. Get them out of the house and give me a break.
I’m so glad that you love me and my family so much. Thank you for being an awesome person and caring about us. As you read these requests, please remember that I love you, and I can’t wait to get back to re-capping the latest episode of the Bachelor with you, glass of wine in hand. For the immediate future though, I’m just trying to survive, so please try to understand.