How to be a great postpartum visitor in 15 minutes or less

posted May 3, 2011, 12:20 PM by Rachel Supercinski

I saw this post recently and thought that it was wonderful. Perhaps as new parents, you can forward it to all the people you know that might be bringing you food. Good luck! From the post:

Have a friend who had a baby and you're on the roster to drop off a meal?  Here's everything they want you to know and do, but are too shy and polite to say and ask.  

They are tired.  Breastfeeding is still awkward and having people around makes it more awkward. The mother is recovering physically, either from a surgical birth, or from the equivalent of a triathlon where the prize was a grapefuit sized head flying out of her vagina.  Either of these things makes you sore and tired. They would like to see you, but don't want to be tired out by a long visit.  You are not going to stay longer than 15 minutes, no matter how polite the parents are in saying you can stay  longer. If your visit/meal drop off scheduled for 5.30. BE ON TIME.   Make plans for 6:15 so that you HAVE to leave.

Before you walk in the door, put your game face on.  Set a timer, on your phone or watch for 15 minutes. When it goes off, get out of there! Remember that you are going to be a quiet, productive blessing.  This visit is NOT about you.  It is not about the parents hosting you and putting on a cup of tea so you can sit and visit and hold the baby. Think about how you would feel if you had either had surgery or ran a triathlon.  What would you want people to do for you?  This visit is about blessing the parents and making their life a little bit easier.  Your prize is getting a quick peek at the cute new human.

Here's how to play out your 15 minute visit:
1.  Bring a healthy meal. Include a salad or fresh vegetables.  Only use disposable dishes. There is nothing more annoying than 
         a) having to wash more dishes when you have a new baby 
         b) having to try to return dishes to all sorts of random people when you have a new baby
2.  In addition to your meal, bring cut up veggies and fruit, unsalted trail mix or nuts, or other such healthy snacks for daytime munching for mom to eat while she's nursing.
3.  Go into the kitchen and spend 5 minutes clearing off a counter, washing a sink-full of dishes, loading the dishwasher etc.  Don't ask permission, just do it.  Then set the table for their dinner.
4. Before you leave your house, put some paper towels and some powdered bathroom cleaner like Commet or Ajax in a baggie.  Stick it in your purse.  While you are at the house, go and use the washroom...and while in there do a three minute bathroom shine-up, using your paper towels and cleaner.
5.  Coo over the baby, but wash your hands before touching it.
6.  If they want to eat right then, heat the food up and put it on the table, give everybody kisses and then leave.
7.  Take the garbage out when you go.

In and out. This will be the best visit the parents will have had.  They will love you and you will be awesome in their books forever. You can come back and have a longer visit when the parents have adjusted to their new normal.

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