I came across this image on a few Facebook mom groups recently. A new mom wrote this set of rules for anyone visiting her newborn in the hospital and it went viral. The public reaction to it seems to be generally similar: Good for her for defining her boundaries and setting expectations.
My reaction, however, was not as warm and fuzzy as that of other mamas. Why? Well, frankly the letter made me react like this:
Stop yelling at me. Too many ALL CAPS, exclamation points and underlining going on.
I’m here because I like and care about you and your baby. This letter makes me feel like you do not reciprocate those feelings.
You're making me feel unwelcome. And that makes me feel like I don't even want to hold and love on your baby anymore.
Most of the things on this list are common sense. It’s a bit insulting to have them spelled out to me.
All the privacy stuff? You didn’t just have the royal baby. Who do you think is SO interested in your baby?
Granted, my chill factor is high. I have six kids and welcome ANYONE who will hold my babies while I’m busy with a toddler or older sibling. Heck, I’ve even brought my babies into “show and tell” at school so that all the children could get their grubby little paws on my newborn. My last was constantly exposed to all the germs of his five older siblings, so swaddling him in bubble wrap seemed pointless.
Having said all that, a wonderful family I know lost their newborn last year at only twelve-days-old because she had been exposed to HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores. Simple for us, deadly for newborns. Someone who kisses a baby before the cold sore even shows up can infect the baby. I had NO idea that this was even a thing. I just judged all you germ freaks….and then this happened and made me rethink my whole stance. (You can read the family's story here.)
Still, at the end of the day I think it's all about balance. Balance allows everyone to enjoy and celebrate their love for a new baby, while also keeping baby safe.
So mamas, I want to know: What are you like with your newborns? Do you have a hands-off policy or are you an all-hands-on-deck person?