Saturday, August 13, 2011

Busy Mum Tips: 5 NEW ideas to help you cope with your brand new baby





Let's say you are about to have a baby. Or you have just had a baby. Or you know someone who has or will have a baby soon.

Here's some new advice that may help you out over the coming weeks and months of sleep deprived
busyness I call motherhood):

5 things to do to make life with a newborn easier:

1. When someone offers to help out, have a (small) To Do List ready: Sounds bossy, I know - but I've found that when someone offers to help, they really want to do something that makes your day a bit easier. So have a list ready with just the 3 main things you need to get done, and when someone offers, ask if they can help you with it (they can do it with you, for you, or hold the baby while you do it - whatever you are both comfortable with).

2. Schedule time to have a shower: Seriously. If you don't have a regular time put aside for you everyday, the time will fly, the day will be over and you'll be showering at 3am, or not at all. Work out a time with your partner or a friend / relative and let them have baby bonding time while you have a good long hot shower and feel like a person again :)

3. Cope with the workload by acknowledging motherhood is a job: Have a start time, finish time, and scheduled breaks each day. Write a standard list of things that need to be done every day, and prioritise it. Yes, you need to work it around the baby. Yes, some days it will all go pear shaped. That's ok. Having a basic structure helps you cope better in the long run, especially when you are sleep deprived and need to run on autopilot. That said, you still need time off so...

4. Book in occasional lazy days: With absolute minimum work. Just do enough to keep you all safe and happy. Stay home, in your pyjamas if you want. Watch TV. Nap. Have takeaway for dinner. And don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it - you work hard, you deserve some time off. But book it into your calendar, or you'll never do it.

5. Share the overnight workload with your partner: Overnight feeds are rough. And when you do them by yourself, they're lonely (even with a gorgeous, cuddly baby to keep you company). Regardless of who goes out to do paid work and who stays home, you both work hard all day. If you are both waking up at 6am and both going to bed at 11pm, you are both 'working' the same hours. So is it really that unreasonable to expect to share the workload overnight? Can you take turns waking to feed the baby? Or can you both get up and keep each other company? Or can one of you feed the baby while the other washes the dinner dishes that you were just too tired to do earlier?

That's my top 5 - I'd love to know what you think of them. What tips do you have for coping with a new baby?

5 comments:

  1. Hi Melissa

    I love your ideas and you sound like you have it down to a 't'.

    My little piece of advice is:
    Don't read any of the baby advice books.
    I think I had about 6 with my first one and I totally messed up my clear pattern of thinking and questioned myself too much..

    My obstetricians advice was wonderful and said "you WILL know what feels right" and he repeated this and repeated this and repeated this."

    My father's advice which blew me away was wonderful and said
    "you are writing your own book" forget the printed books and concentrate on "writing your own book in your mind and you will always have that 6th sense to know what to do".

    I had a very difficult first baby compared to my 2nd (and that wasn't 1st baby inexperience (he had some undiscovered health issues - it was a revolting time that went on for way too long)
    Also - When I took my super women's cape off (that took me 12 months to realise that) I relaxed, went with the flow, bonded and relaxed so much better too.

    Great post Miss Marissa

    x

    Loulou

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  2. Thanks Loulou!

    I have to admit I'm a book follower, but I always have been, money books, cook books, and now, parent books. I like step by step instructions but if I'm not careful I get too obsessed with it!

    I'm definitely more relaxed with my second baby though, especially seeing our 2 year old likes to run the show! It's been nice to let go a little bit this time around :)

    You are so right, it's not about being Superwoman, it's about having faith that you know what's best for your baby and enjoying your time together xoxo

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  3. Marissa - that is some of the best baby advice I've seen. Perfect and 100% on the mark. I WILL NOT have any more - but if I did I'd be following this :) Ps - she is very yummy!!

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  4. This list is awesome and I'm sending it to some of my friends.

    I agree with Loulou, chuck out the books, and also do not read online forums. When my first was little I spent an entire day on the internet trying to work out what was wrong with him. When my husband got home I'd worked out it was one of six things. My husband said "what does your gut tell you it is?" So I worked with that and never went online or to a book again. Trust your gut!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a brilliant list. Good on you for having things together enough to write this post! I feel like I am still in a fog!
    I wish I could have had #5, but my hubs was always dead against that.

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