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A Thanksgiving Plan for New Parents

November 10, 2015
By Betsy Bethel - OV Parent Editor , OVParent

New parents might think they can enjoy the first Thanksgiving after Baby arrives the same way they always have. After all, it might be the little one's debut to extended family members, and you want to look like you've got it all under control, thank you very much.

But to avoid triggering meltdowns (yours, not the baby's) and keep undue stress from ruining your holiday, consider these suggestions:

1. If at all possible, do not agree to host! If you do host, don't fret if the house isn't spotless - no one will think you are bad parents if the windows are dirty or the porch hasn't been swept. For the menu, pick up a few grocery items at a time during the weeks leading up. Prepare one or two items and ask everyone to bring a dish. Let a bakery take care of the pies. Finally, make guests aware of the timetable, and keep the visiting window brief - three to four hours at the most.

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2. If you're at a relative's house, bring a portable play yard, bouncy seat or other corralling device that will keep the baby occupied, safe and out of the way of rough-housing cousins and curious dogs. Even if you plan to wear your baby, you may need a break (assuming you don't have 15 relatives clamoring to hold the bundle of joy).

3. Relax. Do you usually help with the dishes, mash the potatoes, set the table? Take this year off. It may be the only time you have an excuse.

4. Don't fret if the baby naps during the feast. You might want the symbolism of the little tyke at the Thanksgiving table, but she will never remember it, and everyone else will definitely remember if she hurls peas into Aunt Linda's hair.

5. Don't be ensnared in the muck of the "When I raised my kids ..." argument. Return criticism with a smile. Let the offenders know you appreciate their input. And if you don't know what else to say, blame everything on your doctor.

6. Make an early exit. Get back home and into your familiar routine as quickly as possible. Then congratulate yourself on making it a priority to take care of yourself and your new little family!



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