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10 Tips to Help Moms Stay on Top Of Things

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Modify your concept of a “clean house.”

Here are the things a newborn cares about: Warm milk. Cozy crib. Grown-ups to walk him up and down, up and down, all night long. Here are the things a newborn doesn’t care about: A freshly mopped floor. Sparkling windows. An organized fridge. We’re not saying you need to live with filth; we’re just saying that if you relax your tidiness standards for a couple of months, Martha Stewart won’t show up to scold you. And by the way, begging someone else to do housework - and laundry and cooking - is completely okay.

a mom getting stressed about a mess in the house

Set yourself up for comfort

 You'll be spending plenty of time feeding your baby. So, while in the long run it's great to be able to do it anywhere, for now it makes sense to create a nursing "comfort station" where you can pamper yourself (okay, maybe not "pamper" the way you used to think of it). Put all of the following within reach of your designated feeding chair or couch: pillows, a blanket, burp cloths, breast shields, a glass of water, a favorite mag or book, an iPod dock, lip balm - anything you need to be comfortable for a good long breastfeeding session. It's a go-to area for feeding your baby, and it is always ready for you.

Don’t cook. Ever

This may seem radical - weeks of takeout? But cooking means grocery shopping, food prep and clean-up, which adds up to way more time than you’re going to have. Not cooking, meanwhile, doesn’t have to mean endlessly unhealthy and/or expensive meals. The phone will be ringing off the hook with family and friends who want to know when they can visit the baby. Don’t be shy about asking them to bring along casserole! While you’re at it, see if they’ll pick up some healthy microwave dinners on the way (don’t worry, there are plenty of tasty options). Oh, and no matter what your sweetheart says, cereal for dinner won’t kill you. Even for three days in a row.

Laundry? No way

If there was ever a time when shelling out for a to-your-door laundry service was justified, this is it. That’s why so many pick-up/drop-off Laundromats market themselves to new moms. (Did we mention that you’re going to have more dirty clothes than before? Besides piles of onesies with unpleasant spots on them, you’ll have loads of your own spit-up stained T-shirts to contend with.) If you can’t swing a professional service, do whatever it takes to get your partner, a friend, your mom, or anyone who’s willing to do the wash and fold for you. FYI, clean clothes don’t really have to be put away. Leave them on top of the washer or wherever else is convenient.

Let someone else pay your bills

Well, not exactly - though of course if you can find a benefactor, go for it! We’re talking about setting up automatic payment for all of your monthly expenses. Spending a few minutes online now will prevent middle-of-the-night feeding sessions punctuated by panicked realizations that the first of the month has come and gone.

Let your mouse do the shopping

Soon enough you'll relish the idea of getting out of the house with your baby - even if it's just to the supermarket. But for the next few weeks, don't even think about running out to buy toilet paper and diapers. Several online stores (Alice.com, Diapers.com or Drugstore.com) offer free shipping, speedy delivery and discount prices on basic (and not so basic) supplies - and they remember your shopping list, too.

Toss traditional birth announcements - at least for now

The last thing you need to be doing during the baby’s nap is licking envelopes, no matter how lovely or carefully chosen the stationery. Guess what? The important people in your life will hear about your new arrival through the Grandma and BFF grapevines, no doubt about it. For backup, try this as a Facebook status update: “We had a baby!” (If you can upload a picture of the newbie, too, all the better.

Don’t return every message

 Your phone’s ringing off the hook? Check cCaller ID. If it’s not some kind soul who’s going to bring you food or scrub your bathroom, don’t answer it. The same goes for e-mails. This isn’t rude, it’s self-preservation. Take it from a mom who wasted way too much time trying to type while balancing an infant and a nursing pillow on her lap. If you can't bring yourself to do the disappearing act, set up your e-mail’s "vacation response." Your friends will forgive the lapse in communication. You could even use your auto-response to announce your baby's birth.

Go low maintenance

 Your body just produced a miracle, meaning it’s beautiful no matter how unruly your eyebrows get. Try to stay in the habit of brushing your teeth, but don’t worry about going beyond basic hygiene (that is, you don’t need a blow-out and your toenails are fine). The truth is, nobody’s going to be looking at you anyway: They’ll be too busy cooing over the cutie in your arms!

Sleep, sleep, sleep

 You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: Sleep when the baby sleeps. Leave your bed unmade - it'll be a reminder not only that it's time to snooze, but also that messy is good right now. If you deprive yourself of the rest your exhausted body desperately needs, you might well find that you have a harder time establishing a good milk supply and keeping your baby happily fed. Which just leads to more unhappiness all around - as the old saying goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”

 
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