by: Michael Kabel

          The baby is born – hurrah! Now the busy work of caring and feeding for the precious child begins, lasting weeks and months in a seemingly around-the-clock need for vigilance. It’s enough to absorb parents’ complete energy and concentration. The only problem is, friends and family members keep checking in, over and over again. You know they mean well, but after a while they become a real collective nuisance.

            You can manage you friends’ and family members’ constant well-wishing and curiosity without exploding at them when the frustration builds up. We know it can be tough, and that you’re under a world or pressure, but there’s no sense taking out nervous energy on people that only want the best for your baby. So, if the phone won’t stop ringing or they can’t seem to stop themselves from coming over, consider the following ideas to help “train” them not to interrupt too much.


If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Them

            There’s really only one solution for a phone that just won’t stop ringing: turn the ringer off. Family members (especially the new grandparents), new godparents and assorted friends can ring up constantly, eating into time you spend caring for the baby and (sometimes worse) hijacking those rare moments you have for yourself.

            Turn the ringer off and let the voicemail take the messages. When you have the time, you can call everyone back, possibly even when you know you’ll get their voicemail. Playing guerrilla phone tag isn’t necessarily the warmest way to communicate, but you’ll at least have a better grip on your time.

            If you’ve got the web savvy, you might choose to create a website or blog about your baby’s progress. All the pictures, journal updates, and news and information can go on the site and all interested parties can check out the latest information whenever they like. The advantage here is you can update the information as often or as seldom as you like.

            Websites can be time-consuming to create at first, though the maintenance and updating quickly becomes easier and even enjoyable, as you learn the tools necessary. Many free personal websites, like MySpace and Facebook, are very simple to use and come with a range of image and video hosting features. Signing up is free, too, and both you and your spouse can update the information together, or whenever one of you has the time.


If they come over, they’re fair game for chores

            Inevitably, you’ll have visitors drop by unannounced. When they show up, however, don’t hesitate to draft them into helping out with baby. The types of chores you ask of them will most likely depend on how familiar you are with them already (anything goes with the baby’s grandparents!) and how comfortable you feel asking something of them. But don’t be afraid to ask. By coming over on their own steam, they’ve essentially imposed on your time (no matter how good their intentions). There’s no reason you should enlist them into making that time productive, over and above visiting with them.