I was talking with the women in my prenatal group the other day about how to handle all the visitors after giving birth.
I remember this struggle when M was born. People came at all times of the day, staying for hours as she slept. I sat politely with them and got them a cup of coffee since I felt it would have been rude to nap, shower, clean or otherwise when they were there. After all, they were there to visit with us.
Now, when we are pregnant we are told “Sleep when the baby sleeps” or “Don’t worry about household chores the first little while”. Unfortunately, it still needs to be done at some time. We can’t be wandering around in our own filth for weeks, without clean dishes, clothes or showering. What’s a new mom to do when there are so many visitors, so little sleep and a ton to do?
This time, I created a Mom’s Helper Basket. (A jar works perfectly too.) I have added slips with tasks that people can do when they come for a visit. The idea is that when someone visits, they take a task for the jar as a way of helping out. This avoids the awkward “What can I help you with?” and you blank out of sheer exhaustion or politeness.
Couple of helpful tips I have for you:
- If you are a uncomfortable with asking for help with some of the tasks, maybe have a jar for close friends and family and one jar for a less intimate guests.
- A fun sign on the jar may strike a conversation about it in a fun manner, so you can avoid most of the awkwardness all together.
- Let people do these tasks the way they do them. One of the hardest things I have learned is to let some things go. My husband may not do the laundry the way I like it, but hey, he is doing the laundry and I’m not!
Some things you can put on the list are:
- Switching laundry loads
- Cleaning leftovers out of the fridge
- Cleaning up toys of older siblings
- Letting mom have a long hot shower
For more ideas or a free printable list, check out the Mommy Connections West Edmonton site.