How to Handle Visitors as an Introvert
So you just went through the marathon of labor and delivery, your adrenaline is pumping because you are holding the most beautiful and wonderful creation in all of the world…. but be prepared my fellow introverts, the energy crash is coming! Most introverts ascribe to the notion that they are introverts based on how they “refuel” their energy. Typically introverts need quiet, calm environments to refuel, they may need 5 minutes or 24 hours, either way being an introvert during labor, delivery, and postpartum can be tricky! Here are 10 ways to handle visitors after your delivery.
Spread Out The Visitors
This one may seem like a no-brainer but sometimes the easiest ones are the hardest! If you don’t want your energy zapped right away, spread out all those friends and family dying to see you and meet your baby. This can look different for everyone, maybe it’s only allowing 2 visitors at a time, maybe it’s creating a schedule, maybe it’s no visitors at the hospital, maybe it’s only a visitor every other day once you are home. Whatever it is, feel empowered and confident that you have every right to choose the visitation schedule to protect your energy and health!
Give Yourself A Grace Period
You just went through the marathon of labor and delivery, and you are adjusting to taking care of a tiny human being. Give yourself a grace period! Many introverts find not allowing visitors the first 24 hours to be a huge blessing. Some introverts choose to not inform people the baby has arrived until you are back home. Whatever you choose, give yourself time to regain some energy!
Put Them To Work
Visitors are the best busy bees! You will have an unending number of things to do postpartum and a wealth of people busting at the seams to help. Give them jobs! By taking the attention off you, they can be helpful by getting some chores out of the way as well not zap all of your talking energy.
Let Your Partner, Doula, or Trusted Pal Play Bad Cop
Not ready for visitors? Feeling overwhelmed by the amount? Need to find the words to advocate for more alone time? Let your partner, doula, or a trusted pal play bad cop! While you’re saving your energy and caring for your newborn, your trusted bad cop can communicate with your village that the best way to love you right now is to give you some down time.
Pre-Prep For Trouble Makers
Aunt Susie always likes to have her way, maybe she will want to be in the waiting room the entire labor, maybe she will show up on your doorstep within an hour of you arriving home, who knows, but get your thoughts together now. If you think she may show up on your doorstep the day you give birth and start telling stories and giving advice, get an email together now. “Auntie Susie, we can’t wait for you to see the baby! We are just getting the hang of things so we will give you a call when we can manage visitors.
Treat your time during labor, delivery, and postpartum as you would any other “out-of-the-office” time. Change your voicemail and email, let all of your loved ones know you are not available. This may seem extreme but sometimes clear boundaries are helpful, especially as an introvert who may not always comfortable expressing needs verbally.
The Great Exchange
Food = baby time? Having a newborn is exhausting, yet so rewarding. As an introvert, we know how easily our energy source is zapped! Have your visitors drop off food, this will help you by saving your energy for things other than cooking and meal prep as well as give your visitors a purpose in their visit and a way to love you!
That’s right, tag team! Your partner or trusted support person can be a great distraction for visitors. While you may need your down time and rest to reenergize, you can deploy your partner to carry on the conversations with the visitors.
Cry If You Want To
One of the best things an introvert can do to save energy is to be themselves! Trying to keep things together can be exhausting, if you feel like crying or wearing your pajamas for 3 days, and that helps you save energy, do it! Just keep that in mind and only allow visitors you can trust to see you in your “at-home” state.
Go with the flow!
Lastly, go with the flow! This is so much easier said than done, right? Having visitors in and out of your home can be draining, try to remain flexible and go with the flow. If the baby is crying non-stop or has a blow out and visitors are over, it’s OK. Going with the flow will become easier over time, just start practicing.
We hope these tips help you manage expectations and boundaries for visitors during your labor, delivery, and postpartum period. Introverts are awesome! We hope you feel empowered to let the people in your life know how they can best love you may sometimes be to give you that needed space and time so you have the energy you need to care for yourself and your family. As your doulas, we are always available to chat if you need to!