Bringing Baby Home... During the Holidays
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Show of hands: How many of you are expecting a baby this month? Or in December? Or a New Year’s baby?
If this is you, first off, congratulations. There’s no better holiday gift. But also, I know exactly what’s on your mind these days...
As if waiting on your baby’s debut (early, late or right on time?) or bringing baby home (Congratulations, here’s your baby. Now go home and figure out how to be parents!) wasn’t stressful enough, bringing home a winter baby means you’re dealing with all of this in the context of the holiday hustle.
How will you plan your holiday travel when you’re not sure when baby will arrive? How do you deal with visitors? Or saying no to those big family gatherings? Or to not having enough help getting through it all?
It’s like a beautiful, fragile snow globe of wants, needs, and expectations swirling around you, with you, your partner and your baby at the center.
Let’s just say, it’s A LOT.
But, there’s good news. You will get through it one way or another. And you can make things easier on yourself if you keep just a few things in mind.
This is what I’m talking about in this week’s video. Check out the video and transcript below.
WATCH THE VIDEO:
This video previously aired as a Facebook Live. You can follow Happy With Baby on Facebook to catch all their live videos here.
Hey guys. Happy Monday. I hope--thank you for joining me.
So I had every intention to record this Facebook live on Thanksgiving and then my internet wasn't working and things got away from me. And so I probably should have just planned to wait. Anyways, so I'm gonna do two Facebook Lives today this week. So one today, Monday, and then again on Thursday.
But bear with me because my tripod isn't working, so I'm actually holding it here with my hand so the phone doesn't fall down. So hopefully it's not like shaking too bad here but if anyone has a wonderful idea or a good tripod, I would love to know what that is because I seem to have like the worst time and they never quite work right. This is like my third one.
So anyways with that being said, let's get to the whole point of this.
I know that bringing home a new baby definitely brings up a lot of anxieties for parents sometimes, especially when others have expectations of how things are gonna go, like wanting to maybe be in the delivery room with you or at the birth, or wanting to come over and visit as soon as the baby's born, or maybe saying "oh we'll wait until you guys get settled" and you're really wanting them to be there. Sometimes, you know, I've heard both ways.
So today I want to talk about the unique challenges that come up with expecting or bringing home a new baby during the holidays.
So this can definitely be, you know, doubly stressful because there's a lot of other stressors with the holidays for many people. And waiting on the arrival of a new baby or bringing home a new baby during the holiday chaos is definitely during the holiday chaos can definitely be even more crazy-making.
So these are some of the common things I hear people tell me all the time that their common stressors are:
They stress about having family at their home during the holidays with the new baby.
There's stress about not knowing for sure when the baby will arrive and so, then not really being able to plan things out very well, you know, especially for us that like to have schedule or like to know what to expect.
They worry about people wanting to come visit the baby and they they're not really wanting to host people or a bunch of people in their home.
Or they're not wanting to leave the house and they're worried about, you know, colds and illnesses and stuff like that and just not wanting to expose their baby to those things.
And then there's also stress about when they have a relative that they think they can count on and then that person gets sick and they're not available to them and then they're not--you know, then that help that they had, they can't bank on that. So it's definitely stressful.
So all of these worries are very understandable, but I have two things to say about them:
First, remember this is this is your baby and your baby is only brand new one time, right. And they will only have their first Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever it is that you celebrate once.
And I say this to give you the confidence that you need to stand up for exactly what you want for your child, for your family.
So the second thing I have to say is, in spite of that, remind yourself that there's going to be many more holidays. There's going to be to come and things do not have to be perfect right now. They do not have to be a certain way.
The truth is there's gonna be a lot that is out of your hands and that I hope this will inspire you to be flexible.
So that's funny, right, like total contradictions saying you only get this once and there's gonna be plenty of other holidays so in one breath.
That sounds crazy.
But motherhood and parenthood is full of paradoxes and I think that being able to hold two of the contradictions simultaneously kind of helps us expand our heart. It's how we're able to love even more.
So one of the many gifts I've found with motherhood is that opportunity to learn conviction and surrender and decisiveness and flexibility. The paradoxes of parenthood.
So I'm not gonna just say these things and then not give you guys some pragmatic ways to kind of help cope with these, with bringing a baby home during the holidays.
So these are some ideas I've asked around and people shared with me some of their tips, and these are things I've talked about with my couples and my moms in sessions.
My number one tip is have a back-up plan.
Maybe you have a backup helper or two. Maybe you have, you know, food delivery, housekeeping, yard work, or other whatever other services you need lined up in advance. Maybe you hire a mother's helper for a couple hours one afternoon. You can always post an ad like on NextDoor.com and see, if you don't know any of your neighbors immediately.
Number two, determine the areas where you'll need the most help and where you can make do.
So I have a new postpartum planning workbook and it walks you through exactly how you can kind of help look for that.
Number three is to determine what you can take off your plate ahead of time.
You guys, eliminate the things that aren't important. And sometimes--and I found this personally but also professionally--like sometimes it's a when the baby finally gets here that we realize that things that aren't important anymore and then we'll finally take those off the list because we're like "Oh what do we really want--how do we really want to be spending our time?"
And number four is come up with creative ways to incorporate maybe some holiday festivity with the things that you need help with.
Like maybe you do like a “12 days of dishes” like if you if you need help prepping some meals and you have people sign up for the different meals ahead of time. Maybe instead of like a typical baby shower, maybe you do a meal plan a meal prep shower where people come together and help you fill up your freezer with different meals. If you're needing extra time with a girlfriend or something, maybe you call them over and have them come and bring--maybe they're filling out their Christmas cards and you help them do that while you sit and chat with the baby, or they hold the baby and you help address their cards for them, or maybe they bring over their laundry and they do their laundry while you get a shower and so you're both helping each other out.
And then number five is obviously do any holiday shopping online.
Guys that needs no explanation, right.
So if you are expecting a baby this month or in December or maybe even in the new year, guys, I hope you check out my new postpartum planning workbook.
I've packed it with as much value as I could. It's some worksheets that I've used with couples for years now in both my sessions and in our planning workshop that was our Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival Guide to Baby's First Year workshop. And I've also added some new ones in there too, so I hope you guys will check that out.
I'll put a link there below and then also if you're local here in Sacramento, we have our next workshop is coming up on January 11th I think, Friday the 11th, that I co-facilitate with my husband for new and expecting parents. So I'll put that link down below too.
We still have some openings and spaces for that, so I hope you guys check that out. And if you do get the workbook there is a code in there for a discount for one of our workshops or a private postpartum planning session.
So I hope you guys have a great Monday. I will see you on Thursday for my next Facebook live and I hope you guys have a wonderful day.
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