5 Things You’ll Want Help with after Baby
Hey supermom, here's a pro tip: You don't have to do it all.
Learning to care for your new baby, even if it's not your first, is a wonderful, exhausting and time-consuming job. In the first few weeks after you give birth, you'll no doubt be tempted to keep up with your normal routine, which may include cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping, but trying to manage your household on your own will leave you tapped out and tired.
Keep in mind that even the bravest superheroes have a little help. Here are five things you can suggest when your friends and family ask, “what can I do to help you?”
Getting to the store with a newborn baby is tricky, and could also be dangerous (especially during cold and flu season.) Let technology be the assistant for this weekly task. Try a shared grocery app like OurGroceries (available on iPhone and Android devices) that allows multiple users to add and remove items and get instantly updated lists. Additionally, some grocery stores, like Harris Teeter and Amazon Fresh, deliver to your home or have your groceries ready for pickup so you don't' have to leave your home or car! Local delivery services are available in many cities, too. Or, send your best friend out when she offers to help!
When my daughter was born, my mother-in-law visited and washed about 8 loads of laundry. It was the best thing she could have done for me! With a new baby, laundry will pile up, so getting some help sorting, washing, and folding can make a huge difference. Before your baby arrives, stock up on your favorite types of detergent and fabric softener and have several hampers empty and ready to go. Sort your laundry as you go so your family and friends can help with small bits at a time. If you live in San Francisco, Oakland, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago or Los Angeles, you can take advantage of Washio, a laundry washing service that picks up the dirty laundry and delivers your clean clothes right to your door!
Food will most likely be the last thing on your mind – well, at least food for you. Keep lots of snacks on hand to curb your munchies, and when you need a full meal, call on your friends! To help coordinate, start a “meal train” on MealTrain.com to coordinate lunches and dinners and let your friends and family know when you'll need prepared meals. The website lets you add food preferences, any food allergies and the best time to deliver meals, so you can mark one more thing off your “to do” list.
Have you heard the poem that finishes, “so settle down cobwebsdust go to sleep I'm rocking my babyand babies don't keep”? I think of this often when I'm worried about how clean my house is. Unfortunately, dust bunnies and dirty dishes stack up quickly.
Asking a friend to help put away dishes or vacuum the floor once a week can help keep your house manageable so that when you and your significant other are feeling a little more well rested, there won't be nearly as much to clean. Another option is to contract with a professional cleaning service, like Merry Maids, to clean your home biweekly or once a month.
Mama, it may seem like you're the only one who can soothe your precious newborn when he doesn't want to sleep, but guess what? You're not. Your health and well-being are important too. When someone offers to watch the baby while you eat or shower, let him or her take the reins! A little downtime will make you feel like a new woman. Before your baby arrives, talk to a close friend or family member about giving you some “tough love”; Give them permission to insist you hand over your little one for an hour or two while you relax.
Who was, or will be, a great helper once baby arrives?