How To Deal With Houseguests as a New Mom - Baby Chick
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How To Deal With Houseguests as a New Mom

Having a new baby inevitably comes with dealing with houseguests, which can be stressful for a new mom. Here are some tips for handling it.

Updated July 14, 2024

I was once a brand-new mom during the holidays. It was a challenging season for me between handling the hustle and bustle of the holidays, managing family traditions, entertaining houseguests, and living with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. Layer in the flu, COVID, and RSV season, and I can only imagine the anxiety new moms feel going into this year’s holiday season.

One piece of advice I give to all new moms is “your house, your baby, your rules.” It is easy to get caught up in thoughts like, Will I offend my uncle if I ask him not to come over sick? How will my parents react if I ask them for help with chores? Or Will my mother-in-law get upset if we limit visits to only an hour per day? Maybe you will. But your family and friends should ultimately respect your rules, even if your rules do not excite them. And if they are unable to respect your rules? Unfortunately, they will have to wait to meet the baby until it is a better time for everyone.

Dealing With Houseguests as a New Mom

Here are some tips for handling houseguests when you have a new baby:

Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries

Setting clear boundaries and expectations and seeking agreement before visitors come to your house will alleviate any awkwardness. For example, if you limit visits to one hour, you can kindly remind your visitors via email or text message what they agreed to before they visit. Again, if they cannot adhere to those expectations, it will be healthier for everyone if their visit is postponed. When they can respect your requirements for protecting your family, just reschedule! Be sure to enlist the support of your partner, if you have one, in setting and enforcing the boundaries you have established.

One topic that can be controversial is wearing masks indoors. If wearing a mask while being around your infant is important to you and your immediate family, be upfront with any houseguests before they arrive. Then, they can decide if it’s something they are comfortable with. Setting these expectations in advance will allow your guests to visit within your boundaries or stay home. Allowing your guests to choose within your limits will help alleviate any tension you may feel imposing these boundaries on your guests.

Make a List of How Visitors Can Help

I can assure you that all visitors who come to see your new family during the holiday season want to help and not be a burden. Visitors will automatically default to wanting to hold the baby. Who doesn’t love a newborn?! And perhaps holding the baby while you take a restful nap is the best way for them to help. But there may be other activities they could be helping with to ease the burden of new motherhood.

There might be chores that your houseguests could easily help you with that would take a burden off of you. Some examples of tasks I wanted help with when I had a newborn were emptying and loading the dishwasher, hand-washing and sanitizing bottles and breast pump parts, bringing or preparing food and snacks, and doing a load of laundry.

I vividly remember sitting on my couch with my newborn son while my mom reorganized my linen closet, which desperately needed it. I felt guilty for putting her to work instead of letting her relax with the baby. But that chore was exactly what she wanted to do for me at that time. Shortly after, my in-laws helped us break down all the cardboard in our garage and take it to the recycling center. I was immensely grateful for help with the things I was not physically or mentally up to doing.

Don’t Feel Pressured To Entertain

The holiday season naturally lends itself to entertaining and parties. Please do not feel the pressure to entertain your guests! That chores list we discussed earlier? Let your guests know (in advance) that you won’t be able to entertain them. But mention how much you’d appreciate some help with chores around the house after they have had a chance to meet the baby. Have them throw on a pot of coffee. Or boil water for some hot chocolate. Maybe even put on a Christmas movie! There is no need to clean in advance or have activities prepared. The most important thing for you to do this season is to relax and get as much rest as possible.

Setting clear expectations and boundaries for your visitors and providing them with ways to help around the house will make everyone more comfortable during the visit. Not feeling pressure to entertain houseguests this holiday season will be critical to enjoying those first few weeks with a new baby.

What advice would you give a new mom going into this holiday season? Were you a new mom during the holiday season, and if so, how did you handle houseguests?

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  • Author

Katie is a stay-at-home mom of one (age 1) and a dog mom of 2. She is the author of Pieces of Cake Blog, which primarily focuses on topics related… Read more

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