Sometimes when my clients come in to see me for prenatal massage I ask them if they will have some help once they bring their new baby home. Many of my prenatal clients will tell me they are working frantically trying to get everything ready so everything is “perfect” before the baby comes. This is when I try to remind my clients, especially my first-time mothers, that they should not feel like they have to be some sort of supermom when they get home with their new baby. After I talk to them, each and every time I can see a sense of relief come over them. The following are a few things I bring up with them:
Ask For Help From Relatives and Friends
Obviously, if you have a mother, sister, or mother-in-law who has offered to come help you with your baby for a period of time when you get home, please accept the help. If this is not an option, then reach out to a friend or co-worker for help. You would be surprised how many people in your circle of friends would be honored that you asked them to help with something so important. Now, I do realize that some people have no skills dealing with a baby, but they can learn and you could also ask them to take over things like grocery shopping, cleaning, errands, etc. to really allow you to just concentrate on yourself and your baby.
The Man in Your Life is More Capable Than You Think
Many of my prenatal clients over the years expressed concerns over having their baby’s father help out with the baby. I say; if the two of you have a great relationship, he is responsible, and he genuinely cares about you and the baby, give him a chance to learn and get involved.
I have two great examples of this: When I had my twins years ago, it was my husband who figured out a system to help us to know which of our girls ate when or who was changed last, etc. When I got home from the hospital I was literally in tears and felt very overwhelmed because I could not figure out how the heck I would manage dealing with two babies! My husband was all calm and simply got a pad of paper and drew a line down the middle. At the top of each side he put Rachael’s name on one side and Rebecca’s name on the other. Our babys’ clothing, socks, etc. were color-coded and each time we fed or changed either one, it got written down no matter what. Genius! I would have never thought of this and it worked like a charm. It really came in handy when other friends or family members came to help; all they had to do was look at the pad of paper to see what was done when and they could take it from there.
My son Nathanael also surprised me when his twin girls were born. He IMMEDIATELY took over their care. He had no clue how to take care of babies but he stepped right in and learned and he got very good at it. I would even see him walk around at times with one of his daughters in each arm (now that takes skill)! His girls, Mariah and Gabrielle, are now almost 4 years old and he continues to do an excellent job of caring for them.
So the point I am making is men are very capable. They bring different things to the table than us women and our children need them just as much as they need us so if you have a good man in your baby’s life, give him a chance to show you what he can do.
Nursery Being Finished/Perfect
I realize that most parents have a need to finish the nursery before the baby gets home but this may or may not be needed. Many new mothers end up having the baby sleep in the room with them for many weeks so they can reach them more easily for breastfeeding, so they can easily check on them during the night, or so they will easily hear the baby if baby wakes up. So many parents will simply put baby in a nice bassinet and keep it beside their bed. So, in reality, you have more time than you think to get that nursery set up the way you want. I would concentrate on getting major things like painting or any renovations to a room completed to avoid having paint or chemical smells around the baby, but the rest can be done over time.
Sleep When Baby Sleeps
I know a lot of women who will run around trying to clean and cook and do all kinds of things when their baby is sleep and then end up exhausted. Try to do all that stuff when your baby is awake. It is very easy to become overwhelmed if you have not gotten much sleep so this should be something you strive to do as much as possible. This brings me to my last point:
Get a Papoose Carrier
A papoose carrier allows you to carry your baby right close to your chest while you do housework, cleaning, cooking, etc. Once your baby is fed and changed all your baby wants is YOU. He or she wants to be close to you sort of like when baby was in your tummy. Believe me, they will be happier and cry less and you will be happy because you are able to get some stuff done.
I hope this helps some Moms to realize that you have nothing to prove to anyone. You already got through 9 months of pregnancy and went through childbirth. You already deserve a medal for all that! You, your home, nor everything around you has to be perfect for you and your new baby to be just fine.