It’s holiday time and you’re juggling everything that you’d normally do — scrubbing down your entire house, folding those guest towels into hotel-style swans, preparing a seven course meal and making sure that everyone has a ride from the airport (hello, hasn’t anyone in your family ever heard of Uber?) — plus now you’re adding a newborn to the mix. That’s okay if you just let out an audible gasp; it all sounds seriously stressful. But you can manage your merriment and still rock being a mama. Check out how!
1. Delegate, delegate, delegate. You’re not a one-woman show. Let go and hand out mini jobs to everyone around you. Can’t beautify the guest room and nurse at the same time? Let your baby-daddy take care of the bed making, vacuuming and dusting. Maybe prepping for dinner and setting the table is too much? Stop stressing. Your mom, sister, cousin or whoever is visiting for the holiday and will be more than happy to help out.
2. Ask away. Technically, before you can delegate, you need to ask. This is the tough part — it’s not always easy to admit that you need help. That said, right now you have enough on your hands (with all the diaper changes, feedings, bathings and other baby-led activities). So get over the hurdle and go ahead and ask a willing friend or family member.
3. Hire a sitter. Yeah, yeah — easier said than done, especially on a holiday. Who’s going to give up their Thanksgiving or Christmas to watch your kiddo? Maybe someone who’s already there. Your cousin’s teenage or college-age daughter is probably very willing to make a buck or two and watch your newborn while you get some holiday prep done.
4. Carry on. Unpack that Snugli you got for your shower, and strap on your baby. Using an over-the-shoulder carrier keeps baby close by (that is, super-close by) and leaves your hands free. You can mix and mingle with your guests, collect used dishes, put food out or do almost anything else that you need to. You’ll certainly have more freedom than if you were carrying your baby in your arms or toting that awkward infant car seat carrier thingy around.
5. Set a schedule. Your baby just started napping regularly — a few times a day! With guests in the house and holiday activities to attend, you’re worrying that the newbie’s delicate schedule will come to a crashing halt. Well, don’t let it. Create your own schedule around your baby’s. Meshing what you want to do, what you need to do and what your baby needs may mean the difference between a cranky kid and a kind of calm baby.
6. Relax (your expectations). No one’s expecting you to throw a Pinterest-worthy holiday party or make a meal that looks like you stole it from Martha Stewart’s kitchen. You just had a baby and your friends and family will cut you some slack. With that in mind, take your expectations down a notch. Let’s say you typically craft your own awesomely intricate place cards and centerpieces for the holiday table. Go with ready-made versions this year instead.
7. Keep a bag packed. Holidays don’t always equal the entire family heading over to your house. Sometimes you have a friend’s family-friendly party or a meal at a relative’s house to deal with. With everything else that’s taking up brain space now that you’re a new mommy, put the packing in its place. Get a baby bag ready, stashing diapers, wipes, an extra change of clothes, a sleeper (for those later-night events), bottles and whatever else your little one needs inside. Put it by the door. Now you’re ready to grab and go!
How do you think your holidays will change now that you have a newborn? Share your answers and tweet us @BritandCo !
(Photos via Getty)