The trend of crowdsourcing help after you have a new baby is so bizarre. I’m sure we’ve seen all the lists our there, wherein people tell you exactly what you can and can not do when you visit their new baby. Whenever I see one of these, my eyes roll so far back into my head I take an involuntary nap.
The only real rules that apply to visiting new parents have everything to do with how close you are to these people. Nobody wants to see peripheral acquaintances when they are recovering from labor. It’s just not the time. So here is a list of questions that will help you suss out whether you should bother trying to visit a new family before they are ready to emerge from their home with their new infant.
1. Are you close enough to these people, that if you arrive without food they can say, “What the fuck? Where’s the food?” without upsetting you?
2. Do you know this new mom well enough that if her boob accidentally flops out of her nursing bra, you’ll both be nonplussed?
3. Are you good enough friends that you can say, “I don’t want to hold that baby. I hate babies. I’m just here for you.”
4. Do you like these people enough to sit in silence for a few minutes staring at each other because they are so shellshocked and tired that they have nothing interesting to say?
5. Can you look at someone with breast milk on her shirt, no make-up on, and dark circles under her eyes and say “You look incredible!” in a believable tone?
6. Can you refrain from mentioning the great sex or nap you’ve had today?
7. Are you close enough to this couple that you would want them visiting you if you were ever laid up in a hospital?
8. Do you actually really like these people?
9. Will you be okay if these new parents douse you in antibacterial lotion and look at your hands as if they’ve been dipped in cyanide?
10. Are you content with the knowledge that all these parents really want from you are snacks?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions… go see your friends and their new baby.