Written by Feba Maryann
The arrival of a new child spells confusion for a family. Everyone is yet to find their footing with a new baby in their life and parents tend to feel overwhelmed. To avoid such chaos and tears, it is highly advised to establish some boundaries postpartum. Telling your parents or friends that you might not make it to brunch has many benefits when you have a baby to care for.
Having a new baby also means hordes of relatives lining up to visit and spend time with the baby. Read ahead to find why establishing healthy boundaries postpartum is crucial for the parents as well as the baby.
Need For Routine
You have a new baby and certainly, it takes some time to get adjusted to the motions of parenthood. For at least a year after birth, new parents can be found trying to feel confident in their abilities to take care of the baby. Most parents have a rough schedule of how to manage childcare and other duties together. Family and friends visiting unexpectedly or traveling to meet family can throw a wrench into the carefully set schedule.
Besides, the baby might have its own established schedule of waking, sleeping, and eating. Unexpected guests who wish to spend time with the child will disrupt this cycle and make the baby cranky.
To Stay Healthy
Postpartum looks different for everyone but excessive bleeding, hormonal imbalances, and breast tenderness are highly common. Adding stresses like hosting dinners and parties will surely affect the mother. Surround yourself with people that you are comfortable with and those who will aid your recovery. Also, patience is of utmost importance while recovering, new parents should understand that luncheons and parties will be held in the coming years as well.
Besides, newborns do not have a fully developed immune system. Sudden and prolonged exposure to allergens and germs is not ideal for them. At times, young children may also get overstimulated by new people and places. Thus, refraining from a load of new activities will be beneficial for all the parties involved.
A family will need time to adjust itself to its new addition, especially when there is more than one child involved. Everyone has different levels of intimacy with people, therefore, choosing people from your intimate circles to be around you is a healthy practice. Saying no to those who exhaust you or are unsafe to have around a baby is not selfish. Put yourself and your baby first.
Attempts to set boundaries with in-laws and parents have about a million ways of going awry. This is a fact that expecting parents worry about, making most of them fail in establishing boundaries. Here are a few tips on how to go about doing it the right way:
The pregnancy period is the best time to start talking with your family and friends about your postpartum expectations. This will give them time to process and understand your decisions. Expecting parents can also make use of this time to discuss each other’s wishes about the future. Expressing your needs and wishes to others can be difficult but doing it is completely worth the effort.
Building A Support System
Having a sibling or a friend to support your need for space can be of much help. A support network can also come in handy when parenthood becomes overwhelming and you need a shoulder to lean on. Finding a group of people who are ready to help you anytime will be appreciated when you need a babysitter or have some emergency errands to run.
Trial And Error
After establishing some boundaries, if you feel that it is not right for you or the baby, express your desire to alter them. Let in more people if you need to or stay away from events that you do not want to be a part of. The whole process is about learning what is good for you and your baby, everything else can be dealt with later.
Parenting is a skill that takes many years to master. New parents always need space and time to acclimatize themselves to their new baby. Family and friends will have advice and suggestions on parenting, but at the same time, new parents should try to figure out the basics themselves. This will help them bond with the baby and make lots of memories. This is why establishing healthy boundaries is extremely important and should be respected to have a pleasant experience.