Having a baby is such an exciting time for expectant parents, but there is no doubt it can also be a little daunting. Life is about to change, and you want to be ready for it. The following five steps are things you can do when you’re pregnant that will help make life easier with a newborn.
Step one: prepare a to-do list
One of the biggest stressors during pregnancy is figuring out how you’re going to have the time to do everything you need to do before the baby comes. Start preparing early in the journey, say the first trimester, by writing a list of all the things you need to get done before giving birth.
This can include things like filling out paperwork for government agencies and completing your applications for parental leave with employers. Also, buying prams or furniture for the nursery and stocking up on baby clothes, arranging maternity photoshoots, writing out your birthing plan, and even organizing and enjoying a babymoon (holiday with your partner before baby).
Step two: pre-prep your meals
When your baby makes an entrance, life at home is going to be a little crazy for a while. Whether you have other children as well, or this is your first, you’ll find that any “spare” time you might have had previously is now gone. There’s no more relaxing on the couch with a big plate of home-cooked lasagne and a glass of wine at the end of the day — rather, welcome to the witching hour.
For some reason, dinner time is when your beautiful little newborn turns into the devil. And before you know it, it’s 8 pm, you haven’t eaten and you’re exhausted and hungry. You can change this though. When you’re pregnant, start stockpiling home-cooked meals. That lasagne mentioned earlier — perfect food for freezing. A few minutes in the microwave and you can still eat while the baby does.
Step three: hire a cleaner
If you don’t have time to cook yourself some delicious meals, you certainly don’t have time or energy to rush around the house with a vacuum cleaner. If you can, hire a cleaner to come in once a week or fortnight to help you keep on top of things.
If you can’t afford a cleaner, ask your family and friends to rally around — and rather than buying the baby more clothes, perhaps they can chip in for a cleaner instead. If that’s an unattainable dream, consider what’s really important when it comes to keeping the house maintained. And don’t be afraid to ask your partner, other kids, and family members who visit to chip in.
Step four: letting go
This will probably come as a surprise to you, but the fact is – you can’t do everything. At least, not when you have a baby taking up every ounce of space in your tummy or a newborn in your arms. If you’ve taken leave from work, make sure you keep it that way and ignore emails you shouldn’t be answering.
If you have other kids with non-stop after-school sports and other commitments, the parenting experts at PlaySkillsToys advise for prioritization on must-need children's activities — and to let go of the rest for the first few months. If you’re usually a social butterfly who can’t say no to people, it’s time to learn how. Don’t be afraid to tell the girls you simply can’t go to lunch today because you’re too tired and need to nap. Let go and take care of yourself first.
Step five: ask for help
If you’re used to doing everything on your own, that’s amazing — but here’s a tip. It’s time to stop. You need to be looking after yourself and your baby, number one and number two, so if other things aren’t getting done, you need to ask for help. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness like many of us are led to believe.
In fact, it makes us stronger, according to studies. You don’t need to be a super mum, and you have nothing to prove, so the next time someone says, “let me know if I can do anything to help”, take them up on the offer. And if no one is offering, just ask anyway.
Bonus tip: Look at what you eat and when you sleep
Having a baby is not easy, especially when you are too busy to take care of yourself. However, a healthy nutritious body can help you in many ways as well as your baby. This is why, it is always a good idea to seek medical advice, especially when it is related to pregnancy and a post-pregnancy diet.
Eating healthy food isn’t enough, you have to get perfect sleep and follow the biological clocks instead of sleeping late at night and eating whatever you crave. A managed diet during pregnancy and post-pregnancy period will give you power and energy and make you feel strong from the inside.
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