Everyone you know will want to share in your joy & meet your little one. But the first week should be about you & your partner spending time together, enjoying your new little family & bonding with you baby. You will never get that time back.
By all means let close family & friends visit but limit stays to half an hour & don't feel like you have to be the hostess. Let people fuss over you & baby, and let them make tea!
Trust your instincts
You may have read every book going during your pregnancy & be suffering from information overload. You may have read nothing & panic that you didn't do your homework & know nothing. Either way the most important thing is to trust your instincts. Deep down, if you listen to your instincts, you know exactly what to do & what is best for you & your baby.
Take other people's advice & comments with a pinch of salt (unless asked for).
Don't worry about the housework
A bit of dust doesn't matter. You have much more important things to do with your time & energy! Don't fall into the trap of feeling like you need to spend every moment your baby is sleeping doing something productive. Use this time for yourself...have a (hot) cup of tea, read a magazine, brush your hair, catch up on some sleep.
Put your make up on
To begin with, somedays you might reach the afternoon & realise that you're still in your PJs & haven't even brushed your hair. Make time to get dressed & put your make up on. It will help you feel on top of everything & ready to face the world. Have a few outfits that make you feel good about yourself & rotate them (if you don't fit into your pre-baby clothes and are sick of your maternity clothes, treat yourself to a few key pieces that will see you through until you're back in your old wardrobe). Refine your make-up routine (I have mine down to 5 mins tops) or get a baby sling so that you can keep your little one happy whilst having both hands free.
You can't underestimate how important it is to feel good about yourself now.
Don't compare your baby to others.
Some babies cry lots. Some babies don't. Some babies sleep through the night at 8 weeks. Some babies are up hourly during the night. You aren't a failing parent if other children reach milestones before your little one does. They will all do everything in their own time frame. Enjoy your child for the individual that they are.
Don't compete with other mums
Support each other. You will always secretly think that your baby is special above all others. Every mum will think the same of her child. It's not a competition to see whose child hits each milestone first. All children develop at their own pace. Don't brag. Don't be smug. Don't judge. Remember every new mum has doubts about their parenting skills at some point. Share advice & your experiences.
Don't stress about baby weight
We all secretly hope that we'll be one of the few lucky women who seem to gain no weight except for the bump & miraculously ping back into their pre-baby shape in a matter of weeks. You might not be so lucky. I wasn't. I gained 3 stone & had a hard time dealing with it, and losing it. Your body has changed, but it has also done an amazing thing. Be proud of that & any marks you have to prove it. You will eventually lose the weight.
Don't lose track of who you are
You've gained weight. You're sleep deprived. You're in charge of a new little person who seems to need your attention 24/7. It might seem like your old life is a distant memory & that you & your needs now come bottom of a very long list of priorities. It's really important to make time for yourself. Paint your toe nails. Read a magazine. Listen to your favourite album. See friends whenever & wherever possible. Embrace your new role as a mum but don't forget who you are as an individual.