I went to my support group for new moms today, and since these related and important ideas came up, I thought I’d post them here, too:
- Forget about the things that aren’t important – things like a squeaky clean house. Focus on your baby – he or she is your priority now.
- Make things as easy as you can for yourself (this does generally require money, but unless you’d have to go into debt, spend the money – it can help save your sanity).
Specific examples for the second suggestion are:
- If you’re having supply problems and are pumping all the time, buy extra sets of pumping supplies – extra valves, membranes, shields and bottles. The more sets you have, the less washing you have to do between feedings. You could even buy enough sets so that you can throw them into dishwasher baskets and run them through the dishwasher once a day. You can buy extra parts from certain retailers or check the pump manufacturer’s website for retail locations or to order online. (Ellen Steinberg, my lactation consultant, sells Medela parts if you’re in the San Fernando Valley in the Los Angeles area.)
- Do less laundry. At first, my husband and I did baby-related laundry every day – his clothes, burp cloths, receiving blankets, towels. Now it’s every other day or sometimes every three days. I must have close 100 cloth diapers now (we use them as burp cloths and to cover him while we’re changing his diaper), and 15 to 20 receiving blankets.
- Don’t cook every day, or even every other day. If you don’t have meals you can pull out of the freezer, get a salad from a fast food restaurant or the salad bar at your market. Get a sandwich from the deli counter or take-out sushi.
All of these ideas can help you feel less frantic and stressed about the changes that are happening in your life. Take it easy and don’t be too hard on yourself.