3 tips for new mums to make life easier
Being a mum for the first time, is a time of mixed emotions. There is absolute awe and wonder at the beautiful little human you have created. And there are nerves, worry, fear and exhaustion! So much of the first few months of a baby's life cannot be planned for or anticipated - they are all unique beings. There are however the known elements of daily life that continue on and which you can plan for.
Here are a few ways a planning can make your life easier with a new born:
1. Prepare to sleep when you can
The shock of broken sleep and greatly reduced sleep hours starts taking its toll once the euphoria of the newborn has passed. Everything seems much harder and takes longer to do when you are tired. While it may seem paradoxical, you will actually be more productive and get more done if you get more sleep.
It can be unpredictable how long a newborn will sleep, but while the baby is awake, do everything you can to get things ready for you to have a nap - put phones on silent, close blinds, stay off technology (this will reduce stimulation), put a note over the door bell etc, so once baby is asleep you can get off to sleep quickly as well. A 20- to 30-minute nap will give you a boost of energy without making you feel groggy when you wake up. A power nap will make it much easier to cope with the “witching hour” when it arrives.
2. Take a planned approach to cooking
By the time the end of the day comes around and you have baby off to bed, you can be so exhausted that even thinking about what to cook for dinner can be overwhelming. This can often lead to more take away food and less nutritious meals cooked at home. There certainly is a time and place for these options, but as a new mum you do need to make sure you are looking after yourself by eating well. Taking time out when you have help around, like on the weekend if you have a partner home, to plan out the meals for the week can make week days much easier. Once you have the meals planned you can create a shopping list and you can then delegate the shopping to someone else, so you can have some time to yourself or even have another nap!
When planning meals for the week, also try incorporating 1 - 2 meals that you will cook in bulk. Meals like curries, stews, soups etc are all super easy to cook in bulk. You can then put half in the freezer to pull out for dinner on those days when the baby cried all day and you couldn't get her to sleep no matter what you did!
3. Create cleaning caddies
A cleaning caddy is as simple as it sounds. A caddy/container that you put the essential cleaning products and tools in that you will use for a specific room or area. For example, we have a cleaning caddy in each of our bathrooms and one under the kitchen sink. No one expects new mums to have a pristine home, but often when you are home a lot, it can be important for your own sanity to have a base level of cleaning that you are happy with.
By having a cleaning caddy in key rooms, you can tackle the task of cleaning much easier and quicker, as you have everything you need in the one place. If we have to hunt around for the products and items we need to clean, we can be put off by the effort involved or time it takes. If however you pass the bathroom and you have five minutes, you can give the toilet a quick clean and wipe down the basins with minimal effort.
While these tips are all small, the cumulative effect does add up to give you more time with your baby and make the early days of motherhood a little easier - good luck!
Nicole Avery is a Melbourne mum to five beautiful kids aged 8 to 18. She is the master organiser behind the popular parenting blog Planning With Kids and the author of a book by the same name, where she shares tips and tricks for organising the chaos of family life.