GUEST POST BY: Margaret Latham
Hi, I’m Margaret Latham, I’ve been blogging since 2013 on topics related to being a mother and running a family. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading.
New moms buy back extra time by being smart and organised. Where there aren’t enough house in your day, use some smart strategies to gain time.
It’s common for new moms to wish their days could be stretched to accommodate everything that they need to do. With a newborn in the house, there are added responsibilities that leave little time for sleep, time with their partner, or coveted moments alone. If you need a few extra hours, some time management tips will help.
Organisation can eliminate a lot of ‘new mom’ stress. Make it a priority to have a place where you log in appointments – from the pediatrician to work responsibilities and deadlines. Knowing what you have to do daily, over and above caring for the baby, will ease anxiety. And you’ll also be reminded ahead of time when you need to enlist the help of friends, family or a babysitter to make it to an appointment. Plan ahead with easy solutions such as keeping a back-up bag ready and loaded in your car, or choosing your work clothes the night before. Not leaving everything until the last minute will actually end up saving you time!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or assign manageable duties to those who offer. It’s simply impossible for one person to do it all, so discuss with your partner and helpers what responsibilities they can take on. Getting people to pitch in is easier than you think, especially if you breakdown household tasks into small bites. Your partner might volunteer to do the grocery shopping or start a load of laundry after dinner. Talk about what needs to be done daily and weekly basis, and decide who can help.
Some more ideas for delegating/minimising chores:
- Use disposable plates and cutlery for the first few weeks with your newborn (you’ll save tons of time from washing dirty dishes. Oh yes, this is a real tip from a mom to twins).
- Invest in a robot vacuum to clean the floor. If you are not comfortable asking people’s help to come over and clean, perhaps a robot vacuum fits your needs. Although this won’t guarantee your house free of clutter, it may help as it can be programmed to vacuum your floor daily. You can also read some tips on how to maintain your house.
- Rather than cooking every single day, make a big batch of meals and freeze some of them for later use.
- Buy groceries online. You can do it anytime (say, in the middle of the night when you are wide awake after changing diapers). Even now, Amazon has released AmazonFresh for selected locations, so that you no longer need to step out of your home to get your groceries.
Just Say No
Saying no often means you disappoint someone, but with a new baby, your time is limited. Time demands that aren’t necessary will stretch you too thin at this point in your life. Learn how to graciously and firmly say no to requests that you don’t have time and energy for. At some point in the future, you might have a chance to restart volunteering and doing charity work, lunching with the ladies or chairing a committee. If there’s no time to spare now, say no.
Work Out a Routine
From having a regular schedule for household chores to planning your evening menus in advance, having a schedule for ‘must dos’ can relieve stress and free up some extra time. There will always be hiccups in your schedule – sick spouses and spilled milk – but schedules keep your on track for getting your home and office responsibilities taken care of. By writing things down, you’ll be less likely to forget the important things.
Knowing Your Priority
Your newborn baby needs a lot of attention. You are her source of food and source of comfort.
She needs you right now.
You can delegate the chores to somebody else, but no one can replace your needed presence for your baby.
Attending to her needs would be your main priority right now.
Don’t worry though, Daddy can always chip in to help and bond with the baby. Who says only moms should change diapers?
When it comes to breastfeeding, please know that a newborn nurses a LOT. Don’t expect to always nurse on a schedule every 3 hours. From my experience, newborns can nurse as often as once every hour, and even go non-stop int he evening.
So, if your newborn has a very frequent feeding session right now, dont’ try to space the feeding too long. Your baby is telling your breast to make more milk for her so that you can relax later.
Attend to her now. The household chores can wait.
Lower Your Expectations
Don’t expect your house to be spotless and tidy all the time. It’s okay to have some clutter here and there. Later on you will have more time to tackle things like that. It’s ok to order a take-away when you don’t have any energy to cook your usual homemade meal. And it’s perfectly fine to have wrinkles on your hubbies clothes. No one will notice that. So, don’t spend a lot of time ironing every single garment that you have washed. That’s not a necessity.
I know you might be someone that aims for perfection in various aspects of housework. Some are clean-freaks, some are healthy food ambassadors, and others are ultra tidy.
And me? I will admit that I am an ironing freak. I ironed every single piece of clothing. Even socks, ha!
But when my daughter was born, I changed. I don’t have a lot of time to tackle the piling laundry, so I started to prioritise. Hubby’s work clothes first, then school uniform and if I still have time, baby clothes. The rest easily follows.