Baby’s first Christmas, she didn’t have a clue of course but we did and we took lots of photos and videos of us opening her presents, she cooperated wonderfully, smiling away at our silly squeaky excited voices over each present. Awwww, it’s a new pretty outfit, ‘oh look she loves it!’ yup sure she does because at 10 weeks old she is totally into fashion.
The fun of present opening lasted all of 10 minutes, the rest of Christmas day was not quite as enjoyable. For starters we made a terrible decision and offered to cook Christmas lunch. Morons. My husband likes to cook and his mother sadly cannot cook so Christmas lunch at her house is usually pretty disappointing and this year he wanted to ensure it was delicious. I, clearly sleep deprived and not able to make logical decisions, agreed to his plan. It was very selfish of us really and resulted in the baby being passed around family members for most of the morning which I’m sure they enjoyed but she didn’t have her morning nap so by the time lunch was ready at around 2.30pm our poor baby was inconsolable and neither I nor my husband ate much and we definitely didn’t enjoy the food we had prepared.
We left the table prematurely and decided to take a walk, hoping a ride in the pram would induce sleep. To be honest I also desperately needed a break from the in-laws. Where we had been juggling the food and trying to console our baby the others had been swanning around, drinking excessively and then insisting that the baby wanted ‘cuddles with grandma’ or to ‘look at the christmas tree lights again – she loves it!’ They’d exclaim. Ughhh. On one hand it’s lovely they clearly adore the new family member but on the other hand it’s a massive challenge – my responses of instructing that she doesn’t want to see the lights and actually needs to be left alone to rest resulted in questions such as ‘oh are you stressed?’ ARGH. I’m sure they didn’t intend it but it seemed as though our baby had turned into this year’s best present, almost like a new toy to play with.
By 6pm we were completely done and we left to go home (upon announcing we were leaving we were of course greeted by boos), luckily we were not staying over and could drive home easily. Thank the lord we have our dog, sometimes he really is the best excuse to escape situations.
If I could give advice to other new mums before Christmas or any similar family event…
1 – Don’t do anything as stupid as us and offer to cook or organise anything really, turn up and be a guest, you’ve got enough on your hands.
2 – You know your babies needs, naps are SO important so make sure you arrange for a quiet place for baby to rest when necessary. This place might also be a good place to breastfeed if you want a break.
3 – Try not to take any comments personally, relatives clearly don’t realise how hurtful it can be to a new mum to question their decisions on looking after their baby… it truly felt like my ability as a mother was being questioned. It wasn’t I’m sure, but it certainly felt like it.