Picture this: You’ve successfully made it through nine months of pregnancy, a day’s worth of labor, an hour or so of pushing, and roughly 48 more hours in the hospital. Now you’re home, and you’re a full-fledged mom. Everything feels totally different, and that can be overwhelming. But don’t overthink it; check out these eight things you can do to simplify your postpartum life, before and after baby’s arrival.
1. Cook ahead. We know you have about a zillion things to do before baby gets here. You have to buy your soon-to-be new arrival a pint-sized wardrobe, wash said wardrobe, set up a nursery, put together a crib… the list goes on. But you also have to eat. Instead of just cooking for two, upsize the meal into a feast for four or more. Take at least half of what you don’t eat and freeze it for after the baby arrives. Your postpartum self will thank your pregnant self for planning ahead.
2. Skip the schedule. Are you a die-hard planner? We’ve got news for you. You’re about to learn that babies don’t care about your meticulous schedule. Don’t waste your precious time planning every feeding, sleep session, and diaper change — your baby will probably do what they want, when they want to. Make life easier for everyone: Let go, and go with the flow.
3. Get help. This seems like a complete no-brainer, but there are plenty of new mamas who are afraid to do it. Many women have a compulsion to try to do everything on their own, but you can’t do it all. At least, you can’t do it all and be happy (or relaxed). Talk to your S.O. about splitting some of the household duties, invite your MIL to come over and hang with the baby while you catch a much-needed nap, or ask your nanny to start a few weeks early.
4. Practice self-care. You know how the flight attendant tells adults traveling with small children to put their oxygen mask on before the kiddo’s in the event of an emergency? The same thing applies here. You can’t help your child if you’re suffering. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery aren’t easy on your body, and you need time and space to recover — while also taking care of your newborn. Be realistic and don’t try to take on too much right now. Those daily stroller walks to the park sound like something baby might enjoy, but your body may be shouting, “No!” Take care of yourself. The better you feel, the better job you’ll do as a new mother.
5. Go on a cell phone diet. You might be itching to post a ton of pics of your newborn on IG and FB. It’s also tempting to actually answer those work emails and group texts. But you really don’t have time for any of that. The research firm dscout found that, on average, people touch their smartphones 2,617 times a day. Imagine what you could be doing with all that extra time. So, stop sharing, put your phone on silent, and go without connecting for at least a few days.
6. Utilize delivery services. If only someone else could have delivered the baby for you. Okay, so you couldn’t outsource that delivery, but you can benefit from many other straight-to-your-doorstep services. Let’s say you’re not into cooking right now; there are plenty of meal delivery services that are just a quick scroll and click away. Maybe you don’t have time to drive to the store for diapers; hire a diaper delivery service. There are pretty much unlimited delivery options out there, so take advantage of them.
7. Go out. Packing up your newborn (and her crazy-big diaper bag) is kind of intense, but getting your house into guest-ready shape two weeks after you had a baby is even more of a challenge. Nix the notion of inviting people over to your home to check out the baby and ask a friend to host instead. Get the whole gang together at her house, bring the baby, hang out for as long as your little one will let you, and head back home — without having to wash even one dish!
8. Stop caring. Not about everything! Put your life into perspective and set those everyday little hassles aside for now. Yes, you’ve got a mountain of onesies to wash, but should you really put that menial task ahead of cuddling with your newborn? No way. Don’t worry if your house isn’t spotless or if you’ve worn the same pair of yoga pants for the last three days. The important thing right now is to spend as much mama-baby time together as possible.
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(Photo via Getty)