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Sanity Savers

Know When to Say Yes and No

"I know some moms have a hard time passing their babies into someone else's arms," says Emily Greer, a lawyer who practices from her Boston home and the mother of 10-week-old Darcy. "But not me. When I'm at a gathering, and someone I know wants to hold Darcy, I pass her over immediately. It gives me both a physical and an emotional break. I'm able to focus on the adults in the room and have a 'grown-up' conversation for as long as Darcy is content."

Greer, who entertains frequently with her husband, Larry, an assistant basketball coach at Boston University, also encourages certain guests to stay for weekends. "We had one visitor recently, an old college pal, who was ready to be a mom  -- all she wanted to do was hold Darcy. My response? 'Be my guest!'"

But welcoming visitors takes discrimination and tact. We all know about the guests from hell who expect to be waited on. "I already have my hands full," agrees Greer. "I don't want another helpless baby in my house. If I think a visit is going to be a draining situation, I've learned how to say no. Nicely, of course."