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?