Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Honeymoons are very well known ideas. Time for a recently married couple to be alone together. Often they take a trip, unwinding from the hoopla surrounding the wedding. It's designed to be a time of relaxation. A time to get to know each other as husband and wife. A time to be treasured.
Babymoons are not as well known. They are every bit as important. A babymoon is taking time to get to know your baby in relative peace. A time where you take the phone off the hook (that's why we have call answering services). A time when you don't neccessarily answer the door. A time of peace and adjustment.
I know what you are thinking. How is that even remotely possible? Everyone wants to meet the baby. How do you turn away friends, family and acquaintances who come bearing gifts without giving them time to hold the little one? Is that fair?
Here's a story from our first days with our little one that demonstrates how it's okay to say no.
As I'd said our little one was newborn. It was sometime in the first few days of life when we were really adjusting to having him around. We'd both had very little sleep. My parents (who were his first scheduled visitors) had not yet arrived from across the country. My husband was napping. My baby was napping in my arms and I was just enjoying the silence. A knock on the door. Who was it? Aquaintance friends of ours. These are not good friends. These are not people we have over on a regular basis. These are just people we know. Well intentioned people. They came bearing gifts and wanted into our little haven and proceded to enter our living room and sit on our couch. Of course this little disruption woke my son. And now he wanted to eat. Being a new mom and new to nursing, I hadn't yet warmed to the idea of nursing in front of other people. I went down the hall to wake my snoozing husband, hoping he would be able to get up to entertain these people so I could feed our son. Unfortunately, having had very little regular sleep he had fallen into that deep sleep that's hard to rouse from and was not very coherant. I started to go into panic mode. What am I going to do? I was not very good at speaking up for myself and being somewhat sleep deprived myself I couldn't quite figure out how to politely say, 'this isn't a good time'. I could see the look of 'I want to hold the baby' in the wife's eyes. Fortunately, her husband started to clue in and finally declared that they would go.
My husband I decided that we would be a little more pro-active in sending out the message that yes, indeed we were extremely thankful and grateful that people wanted to come by and drop off meals and gifts. And that we would be more than happy to visit with them in a couple of weeks, once we got into the swing of creating a routine. We changed our answering machine message to declare that they had reached our little family of three, making sure to include the details of his birth (date, time, weight, length) with a gentle message of we are enjoying this time to get to know each other and would return their call within the next few days. People respected that. We also made a sign on the door reminding people that there was a new baby sleeping in the house and we may not be able to answer the door. It worked. People were very polite and respectful about it. One of our good friends offered to keep track of people who wanted to bless us with a meal and arranged for the pickup and delivery of them (a very handy thing especially if you can arrange for it beforehand). And really, no one was offended. If they had children of their own they remembered those days and remarked that they wished they had guarded that time more carefully. It just whizzes by and is such a blur.
Everyone who wanted to meet our son met him within the first month, but more importantly we got to spend those first few days with our son, just us learning how to be a family together.

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