Handling unhelpful friends and family after the birth of a baby: develop a strategy with your partner about ways to handle unhelpful friends and family. Then, while interfacing with the outside world, support each other.

When interacting with friends and family, be open with them. Use explicit language to tell them what your needs are. Friends and family, while emotionally close to you, are not mind readers. What they consider to be helpful may not be what you want or need. Come up with practical ways that they can help, thus avoiding the uncomfortable situation of them having done things ‘wrong’ in an effort to ‘help’. People like to be helpful. Consider asking unhelpful friends and family members to do errands for you. Such as picking up groceries or specific baby related products. Ask them to cook a meal. Tell them on the telephone exactly how long they can visit for. In addition screen your phone calls so that you are only talking with people when it is convenient for you. In addition, minimize contact with people who will lecture you.

This tip is designed for new mothers and fathers living in Center City, Philadelphia PA. Hopefully, if you live in the greater Philadelphia area, or somewhere else in the world, you will also find this tip useful.