The Dos and Don’ts and Whys and Hows of being a respectful and HELPFUL visitor to your new-parent family and friends. This is some frank talk based on Esther’s decades of observation and cultural comparison. Everyone can learn from this episode, whether or not they are, themselves, or know new-parents-to-be.
This is a must-read guide for the new grandparents, for a neighbor, friend or other family member who is stepping in with much-needed support for a new parent. You offered your help. The expecting parent(s) accepted. So … what’s next? Buy those plane tickets and cute onesies and you’re on your way to cuddle that new bundle of cuteness.
But what you’ll encounter is a delicate environment where your careful attention to the needs of others will determine whether your visit is actually received as true “help”. Key to your success will be putting the needs of the parent ahead of your own, and being quiet, attentive and knowledgeable about what to do.
- Don’t inundate your new parents with questions – for example, don’t ask a new mom who is breastfeeding if she is hungry, just make her food and leave it next to her bed
- Do clean up without having to be asked
- Don’t tell your own birth stories, this is their time
- Do take care of the pets
- Don’t expect to have anything done for you – this is about you helping others
- Do talk about expectations early, ideally before baby arrives, so that everyone knows what will be perceived as the most useful and helpful during those precious first six weeks at home