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Reality Check: Precious Cargo

Q. My aunt has offered to give me a break by taking my newborn for a few hours, but I don't want anyone but my husband or me driving our baby. How do I explain without offending her?

A. If Aunt Bernice has had more pileups than Billy Joel, very gently steer her to the stroller and the sidewalk, or to a comfy seat on your living room couch to feed and cuddle the baby while you take a quick shower or get dinner on the table. But if this is just about new-mom jitters and not bad driving records, then there's no nice way to say "I don't trust you" to people you know and love.

This is so not the message you want to send to someone who's come to help you out. Now's the time to lean on everyone who offers support, advice, and all the help they can stand to give  -- not to push them away.

This is a hard lesson for many new moms because, in our minds, who can possibly protect our babies as well as we do? After all, we've only just released the precious little things from our bodies, right?

Relax. Families have been helping with babies since the beginning of time. So get yourself a daybook, and pencil in some auntie time. Then don't walk  -- run to your bedroom to take a nap. Rest assured, your baby will be safe.