All I want for Christmas is some peace on earth and time alone with my new baby.
If your baby is due during the holiday season you might be feeling like Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve can pass you by. The greatest gift all those festive well-wishers with time on their hands between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day can give you is some space.
Whether it’s weddings, Christmas or how you welcome your new child into your lives – you can’t please everyone, so just for once, why not please yourself? Wanting time alone to adjust and enjoy this time isn’t selfish, it makes complete sense. So, if you are feeling like you’d like to turn off the fairy lights and block up the chimney, skip the visits to the relatives and just have time as your new family or as a couple, I say do it!
Pregnant over Christmas
The thought of eating a big dinner might be the only thing keeping you going. If that’s the case let someone else do all the hard work. You’ll need to be near to the place you are going to give birth whether that’s in a hospital or at home. Having a house full might not be ideal if you go into labour so have conversations early on to and try and explain to close family what will make you feel the most supported.
If you fancy one last Christmas just you and your partner – what could be nicer. Sounds relaxing and romantic to me, and could be just what you need. Next Christmas is going to be all about your Little One, you’ll never get this chance again. So put your feet up, go for a walk, watch a little TV and enjoy quality time together, because soon that’s going to hard to come by. It might not be what your mum and dad want to hear but part of being a parent is putting your child’s needs first, and you’re still their baby.
Yule Tide New born
It can very special to have a new baby at Christmas but it can also be overwhelming how many people are off work and want to visit. If you are in a relationship, or have a close family member or friend that you want to be with you give them the role of Gate Keeper. Let them answer the calls, emails and texts on your behalf and say no we aren’t ready for visitors just yet.
Or if you do want people to stop by, make it clear when and for how long they can stay. You don’t want people knocking on your door when you’ve just got the baby to sleep and are ready for some much needed shut-eye yourself. Be specific about when it’ll be OK for people to visit, say something like, ‘You’re very welcome. If you’d like to pop in for a mince pie and to say hello between 3-4pm on Thursday that would be great.’
Don’t be afraid to cancel. If you’re having a difficult day and really can’t face visitors than just cancel – good friends will always understand. Keep tabs on how you feel. After a new baby your emotions can be up and down. Whatever feels right for you, is the right thing to do. Whether that’s having people every other day, three times a week, or once a week. Suit yourself.
Don’t try and do it all
Entertaining people takes a lot of preparation. You also need to keep yourself well-nourished because you’ll noticed your day mainly consists of feeding, feeding, feeding. If funds allow get your shopping delivered. Food that’s easy to warm up is a blessing, and you’re going to need that energy giving nourishing food now more than ever.
If friends and family want to help out let them know a homemade stew or lasagne and of course cake and mince pies would be very welcome. It’ll give you the time you need to focus on taking care of your baby and yourself if you’re not having to worry about preparing meals.
Ooops, I forgot to get them a present
You’ve just given the gift of life what more could anyone expect and also money might be a little tight with all the new baby shopping. With a new baby on the way it’s understandable that buying presents and sending cards to loved ones might have slipped your mind. What could be nicer than a photo of your little Christmas angel and a text message or email letting everyone know how you are.
Do it your way
However you want to spend the holidays is the right way to do it. Whether that’s merry-making with loved ones or a cosy time just the two or maybe three of you.
You are the expert on your own child, lots of luck and Merry Christmas.
About Sarah Beeson MBE
After four decades as a health visitor Sarah Beeson MBE and her daughter Amy Beeson co-wrote The New Arrival, Sarah’s true story of life as a trainee nurse in 1970s London. The follow up memoir She’s Arrived! (March 2016) and parenting book Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby (7 May 2015) will be published by HarperCollins.
See Sarah’s advice featured in Mother&Baby on leaving your Little One for the first time.