The First Rule of Newborn Club: Talk About Newborn ClubAllana Harkin
Spring has sprung, new Momma! You have spent the winter expanding your waistline on a monthly basis and that baby is either here or ready to pop. Plans are formulating, paint is drying in the nursery, and if you’re anything like Allana’s family … the staircase will be put in momentarily, please use the ladder provided. Nest preparation is in full throttle! Preparation for said baby also includes the business of deciding how you want to introduce your child to others. Are you the kind of person who will enjoy a hospital visit seven hours after you gave birth from your former boss you never liked anyway? Or have you built a safe room in the back of your house where you and your child will live for the first few weeks to “recoup, recharge and avoid your drunk Aunt?” Would you prefer to breastfeed in private? Or are you cool with answering the door topless like Samantha Bee? SO MANY DECISIONS!
Let us help you! We are experts in the area of being ballsy about what we think out loud … it’s really the only requirement necessary to be an actual blogger. Here we go …
Rules for Moms of the Newborn Club:
1. First rule of Newborn Club is talk about Newborn Club.
Don’t wait until you give birth to figure out what you need or you’ll be answering the front door topless. Start formulating a plan about who you want to see and when you want to see them. When people ask “What can I bring?” and you can’t think of anything say “a latte” or “dinner for four.” I recommend going with the latter.
2. Say no.
Your parents want you to take the baby within 48 hours of birth to see Great Grandma even though she’s told you over and over again how she hates babies? Say no.
Yes, I get it. She’s old and fragile, but you are bleeding and fragile. Your hormones are fluctuating like a crazy woman and you just woke up in a pool of your own sweat. You are actually allowed to take care of yourself: A human just came out of your body.
3. Tell people the truth.
I can’t stress how important this is (unless the truth is telling someone that you hate them … in that case wait a few days until you stop sweating). If you are feeling like a bag of crap that is stuffed into another bag of crap, tell people who you trust so they can help you. For some reason asking for help is not a regular occurrence in North America but it is all very natural and very necessary. And truly, this is one of those time that no one will say no to you — ask away!
4. Do not feel like you need to put out cheese plates for your guests.
I bet that you are usually an amazing hostess who puts out delicious appetizers for people including a variety of olives stuffed with a variety of cheeses. And one day you will be this girl again. But no one will leave your house thinking, “Wow, look who’s dropping the ball on entertaining!” Plus, you may not be wearing an actual shirt so all bets are off.
5. Be choosy about who you tell things to.
Frozen maxi-pads are definitely a “thing” but not everyone needs to hear about them.
6. Don’t just invite anyone over.
If you are still wearing a frozen maxi-pad, it most likely means you shouldn’t be accepting visits from work colleagues who will go into great detail at work the next day about your frozen maxi-pads.
7. Let people hold your baby.
And when I say “people” I’m not referring to random people at the grocery store. I’m talking about your mother-in-law. It’s okay, she won’t run off with the baby. No one can blame you why you’re attached to your baby that you grew in your body, but she raised your partner whom you love so she may know what she’s doing. You may eventually get to the place where you feel comfortable saying, “So you’re good with the baby for an hour? Mind if I go get my nails done?”
Which leads to the perfect segue for….
Rules for Grandparents of Newborns:
(And let it be known I enter into this topic with great trepidation. I’m not one to bestow advice on someone who has accumulated far greater knowledge than I have in this time on earth, but when it comes to babies all bets are off. Grandparents go as equally insane as parents. Let us proceed … )
1. Grandparent, there is a chance you may not see your grandchild immediately.
This isn’t a bad thing. Your daughter or daughter-in-law does not want you to see her looking like Linda Blair from the Exorcist. She wants to change her pants. She may not have slept in 2 days. This isn’t personal.
2. Relish in this moment of being a Grandparent.
For if you were a good parent (aka: you tried your best even when your best felt terrible at times) your child will look at you (for perhaps the first time EVER) and be truly appreciative for what you’ve done. Maybe even a tad apologetic. That being said this isn’t the time to launch into stories about how the modern mother is far too neurotic and that Postpartum Anxiety didn’t exist in the 1970’s. Timing is everything and those stories should be saved for your like-minded friends while polishing off a second bottle of wine in your retirement Kaftan. You go girl.
3. Show up with rubber gloves.
There will be things to be done … you’ll be far more comfortable with your own gloves on. Be honest, you love your gloves.
4. Be prepared to change diapers.
Granddads … now some of you got away with not changing one single diaper in your lifetime. Congrats! (I guess?) But if you want to spend time with your grandchild they are going to poop. In fact, your mere presence may elicit an immediate response of calm in your grandchild which makes them poop. Takes this as a compliment. It’s going to get weird if no one thinks they can leave the baby with you because you are afraid of a table spoon of poop. And yes, sometimes it will be an explosion but who says that a good story in your late 60’s can’t involve poo?
5. Let’s not talk about what was “easy” for you.
If you bottle fed with formula, it’s best not to exclaim that “breastfeeding” was really easy for you.
6. Pay no attention.
There are frozen max-pads in the freezer … and maybe even some placenta.
7. Proceed with caution.
If you are told that you are not allowed to hold your new grandchild, excuse yourself and go into the bathroom and silent scream for 15 seconds. Return to the scene of the injustice and perhaps in a calm voice with no expletives ask “Why”? Understand that your child or child-in-law is most likely petrified and still sweating out estrogen. She/he is not thinking straight and you are correct — it’s insane. But start small … suggest that you maybe sit next to the mother on the couch and take it easy. In time she will most likely be down the street getting her nails done while it suddenly dawns on you how ridiculous it is that your husband has never changed a diaper.
Congrats to you all! Go forth and take a break before you multiply again. Seriously, this stuff is exhausting!
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Check out other posts by Sam and Allana:
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