When you finally arrive back home after your hospital stay with your newborn in tow, it won’t take you very long to realize that life truly has changed for your new little family. While getting home can be the best morale boost postpartum, you might feel compelled to jump back into your old routines once you hit the front door.
So much of motherhood, I am learning, is asking for help. Get your practice in early, by asking for help with these things during the first few weeks that you are home from the hospital. Don’t feel guilty or incompetent for asking for help. Instead, check your ego and let people love on you and your new family by giving them tangible things to help you with. Family and friends love to help and you need to spend more time napping than cleaning – everyone wins!
I had a c-section and while my recovery was quick and easy, the last thing I wanted to do was cook. But, I was nursing and also hungry all the time. Thankfully, my mom stayed with us for a week once we got home and she found her way around my kitchen, cooking big pots of homemade vegetable soup and comfort foods like lasagna. When she left, our freezer was stocked for the next few weeks when my exhausted mom-brain could only handle putting something in the oven.
When your friends and family inquire about what you need, don’t be afraid to ask them to bring a meal over when they come to visit. You will love trying out new things, and your family and friends will love cooking for you (or grabbing takeout).
One of my favorite things to do when I visit a friend with a newborn is to bring dinner, drop it off in the fridge, and then ask them if I can take out the trash or even fold some laundry. Granted, you aren’t going to ask your acquaintance from work to throw in a load of whites while she visits, but your best girl friend wouldn’t mind sweeping your kitchen for you.
When I had my son, my husband went back to work a week later. I was nervous, and found that my son wanted to be held all the time. All I wanted to do was sleep. I invited my sister-in-law over to hold the baby after I nursed him so that I could go back in the bedroom and sleep for an hour or so. I love that my sister-in-law didn’t expect me to entertain her when she came over, and that she didn’t care that as soon as she walked in, I passed the baby over to her, grunted a hello, and went back to sleep. She was happy to help, and I was happy to snooze.
If you are bringing home a second or third child to add to your growing family, take full advantage of family and friends to assist with your older kiddos. Whether you need some help getting your older kids to school or extracurricular activities, or you just need someone to take them to the park to burn off some energy, ask for specific help from family and friends.
Don’t try to fall back into your “normal” life once Baby comes home. Your normal is about to look entirely different. Until you figure out what that new normal is, ask for specific help from your family and friends. It takes a village to raise a baby, and a new mom.
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