We all have that friend or relative who likes to turns up unannounced, usually when you’re sat in your pyjamas with bean juice down your top, holes in your socks and a sink full of dishes. It’s irritating but can usually be tolerated, particularly if you’re fully rested.
Now, when you become a new parent, especially in the first few weeks/months, life is a blur. You’re utterly exhausted, you don’t know what day it is and tempers are frayed. Yes, you still have bean juice down your pyjamas only now it’s coupled with baby sick, breast milk and tears. The sink is barely visible due to the dishes that you haven’t had time to wash and your baby has demanded to be fed on the hour, every hour, since 1.30am.
In these circumstances, unannounced visitors are the last thing you need. But rest assured, if you have just given birth, these uninvited guests will be queuing for miles to gawp at you at your very worst.
And it’s not just ‘that’ friend that turns up unannounced, it’s the neighbour, it’s your crazy Auntie Barbara that you haven’t seen since you were demanding midnight feeds from your own mother, all of your old work colleagues, the local baker, almost everyone from Facebook, midwives and the breastfeeding specialists.
I probably sound terribly ungrateful. After all, these people have gifts and well-wishes for your first born and they want to offer advice or a cuddle with your son but please, PLEASE just phone ahead to pre-warn us. After having 11 minutes sleep in 5 days, I don’t want to be making you tea, serving biscuits and passing the baby around, whilst a bunch of semi-strangers volley questions about how I’m ‘holding up’ when I look like a reanimated corpse. So if I could offer some advice as to what we would have wanted at this very fragile stage in a new family’s life, it would be just two simple words – call ahead. Let me at least schedule a time to suit ME and which allows me to pull together some scraps of dignity before you arrive.