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Family

The Welcome Wagon
January 12, 2012

Bringing a new baby home is one of the most exciting -- and frightening -- times of your life. It's also a time when friends and family will likely express an eager interest in stopping by to meet the newest addition to your family.

In the early days of take-home parenting, this can be at once wonderful and a bit overwhelming, especially when you are scrambling around sleep-deprived, trying desperately to get the hang of things. So how can you conjure up some hospitality for the welcome wagon while preserving your need for private time to get acquainted with your newbie?

Here are some tips to help you stay sane and social:

  • A new baby at home can get in the way of quality phone sessions. It doesn't help that your little angel doesn't quite yet understand the meaning of phone decorum. Besides, you might just want to tune out the world and gaze into those sweet little eyes for a while. To avoid feeling spread too thin, become a screen queen and let your answering machine act as a buffer between you and the outside world. This way, you can reach out for adult conversation when you are good and ready.
  • Instead of rifling through the phone book for hours, make your birth announcement in one quick and easy shot. E-mail is an expedient way to let friends and family near and far in on the preliminary details. A brief announcement of your arrival, complete with photo and birth stats, should do the trick until you can find the time to pick up the phone.
  • No one should expect you to play the model hostess right now. When visitors ask if you need anything, don't be shy -- say yes! This is one of those times in life when it's okay to ask for help. Let your friends and family bring food, help with errands or chores, or mind the baby while you take a shower.
  • It's perfectly fine to say no to an uncomfortable situation. For example, if a friend or family member would like to drop by at a less than opportune time, don't be afraid to communicate your needs. Fill them in on the visiting hours you are comfortable with. Getting through this period of adjustment on your terms is what's most important.

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