My milk drunk two-month old is burrowed in my arms. Coffee is at my side and a three-year old is still snuggled in bed. 

If someone knocked on my door right now I’d happily open my home so they could ooh and aaah over our precious new addition. I might even pour them a mug of the dark roast and settle down for a good chat. Perhaps even go so far as hand the babe over and jet to the shower. 

But those first few weeks after I delivered our third child- I wanted very few people in our home. 

Unless you were dropping off a casserole at the front door, were in my circle of bestest friends, or were my mom or mother-in-law I wanted you to stay away. Far away.

Gracious, that sounds awfully witchy, doesn’t it?

But hear me out. 

I live in a small-town. After I brought my first child home from the hospital I had unannounced guests popping in and out of my house all hours of the day. A fake smile was constantly splattered on my face. I even had a code word I set up to use so my husband and best friend could politely get uninvited company out of my house. Except when I winked and said that the “hummingbirds had been coming to the birdfeeder” my hubby and bestie forgot the code word and started small-talking about birds to the guests. Gah! 

It was exhausting and unsettling to my natural introverted nature. 

But third time is a charm, right? You live you learn. 

When I brought home my latest child I took a few precautions to avoid the influx of people. 

I sent out a text and posted on social media that I was taking a break from the world to love up on my kids. 

People got the message and this time I was graced with two weeks of recovery sans unannounced company. 

Here are five reasons why I didn’t want visitors post delivery:

1). Selfishness. This fresh newborn stage only lasts a wee bit and I want my arms to be holding this new child of mine. My nose soaking up the scent of baby. My lips giving smooches. A little selfish, but hey… I’m the one with the c-section battle scar.  To the victor go the spoils.

2). I’m bleeding.  Like everywhere. And I mean everywhere. My son told one friend, “We think baby might be a vampire because he’s drinking blood with his milk.”  Yeah…my I bled out of my chest. And that’s not the only place. I didn’t want to be feeling the grossest I’ve ever felt, small-talking about small-talk. 

3). Bra-free. Post delivery I want to lounge in my bed, in my pajamas, without a brassiere, with my newborn perched on my chest. The highly recommended skin-to-skin contact is hard if folks are all around me. Topless hosting is not exactly ideal attire.

4). Nursing.  Newborns eat around the clock. In the first few weeks nursing hurts like a mother. I’d bite my lips every time my little man latched on (yet another bleeding body part). My toes would curl from the pain. Adding a nursing cover to the mix (because I really didn’t want company to see my boobs) just added a whole other unwelcome dynamic. Plus I didn’t really want to cover my child with a blanket. I’d rather be privately sitting in my bed, without a shirt on- feeding/bonding with my child, than sitting on my couch, struggling with the newness of nursing, small-talking.

5). Sleep.  It doesn’t happen at night and it sure as heck won’t happen when company arrives. I just wanted to rest my eyes in peace. Or take a shower. Or veg out and watch a marathon of The Real Housewives

6). Germs. Enough said. 

So yes, I wasn’t exactly the epitome of etiquette when I placed the “Do Not Disturb” sign on my front door, but I did trust my mama bear instinct and kept my little cub right where I thought he belonged this go around- in my arms.

And I’m so happy I did protect my snuggle time. 

I look back at those first few weeks as genuine bliss (granted as blissful as exhaustion and deep pain go) instead of living in absolute mayhem.

But now… feel free to come on over! Just call first. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Sarah Philpott

Sarah Philpott Ph.D lives in the south east on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children (with one on the way!) and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. A former teacher, she now spends this season of her life cleaning peanut butter & jelly off the counter, dreaming of traveling the world, hosting “get-togethers” for her family & friends, and chasing her kids around the farm. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency. You can visit with Sarah at her blog where she writes about cultivating a life of down-home simplicity. She also has a passion for helping women cope with pregnancy loss.

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