Firstly, as the inspiration for this blog post, I would like to congratulate Chloe Green (daughter of Philip Green and so-called “Top Shop heiress”) and Jeremy Meeks (“the hot felon”) who have welcomed their first child together, a boy, Jayden Meeks-Green. We hope you have a wonderful first few weeks and months together and that is what I want to talk about...
According to news reports, Chloe was keen to give birth on her yacht (with her doctor in attendance) and plans to spend the first few months adjusting to motherhood at sea because that is where she feels safe, relaxed and at home. Now this got me thinking - whilst Chloe’s choices would be out of the reach of the rest of us mere mortals, there is much to be said and indeed celebrated about Chloe’s approach. Isn’t it the wish of all new mothers (or parents in fact) to give birth and to spend the first few weeks (if not months) in a place where they feel relaxed and safe?
So what is the answer? We can’t all sail off into the Med like the Meeks-Green trio, but I believe that there are a couple of simple steps to consider.
What you can do as new parents
2. Don’t be afraid to, dare I say it, indulge in a “babymoon”... with no visitors until those essential early days/weeks have elapsed. Don’t feel ashamed to tell people that whilst, of course their love/interest/desire to meet the new baby is very much appreciated, they need to understand that those first few days and weeks are essential for the new parents and baby to bond, to establish feeding and to simply introduce baby to its new world and new surroundings. Babies experience a much more sensory world than we do and everything is new - everything! Just two new people is a lot to deal with for them. This time cannot be had again and those first few days and weeks can have a profound impact on baby, but also on parents, particularly when it comes to mental health (but more about that in another blog) and on their relationship as parents as well as a couple.
3. One other option is to consider, which can be separate or at the culmination of the babymoon, is to invite people at a stipulated time and date to meet the baby all together. A concept (not unlike a baby shower but post-natally) which is seen often in the US is called a “sip and see’. This involves sending invitations and arranging a small party whereby guests come for a sip (of whatever you are offering) and to see the new baby. It can work beautifully - everyone is happy, they know exactly when they were going to meet the new arrival and it is contained in terms of one afternoon or evening rather than a steady stream of unknown visitors at any given time which, let’s be honest, is the last thing a new family wants when the baby is feeding every few hours and all mum really wants is to be bra-less and comfy in yoga pants and a vest top.
You can even get your friends to organise and do all the work so you don't have to.
And what if we are called out as selfish?
I’d rather be thought of as selfish for protecting the needs of my new baby than overly worrying about upsetting Great Aunt Gertie. We ought not need to jump on a yacht to be able to prevent people from knocking at the door but if they do, don’t answer it...unless of course you are ready to receive visitors. And that, I believe, is at the crux of this - control. Allowing new mums to feel in control, after experiencing a process (from pregnancy to birth) which was likely filled with aspects outside of their control, this is the time with a huge opportunity for parents to feel empowered and start making decisions in the best interests of their new family unit.
As the new parents, the advocate of your baby, you are in control. You get to choose, whatever that looks like and you don't have to conform to others' expectations.
So congratulations again Chloe and Jeremy and welcome to the world Jayden. Thank you for showing the rest of us that a babymoon (albeit on a luxury yacht) is your normal and for having the strength of conviction to do what is right for you and your new baby. I wish you every happiness.