Despite now being a parent of three, things with a newborn feel a bit different this time around. I don’t know if it is because I am older or because I’ve two other young kids in addition to my beautiful daughter but being a stay at home mom of a newborn is making me feel a lot more tired than it did the first two times around. Coping with disrupted sleep is seeming harder than ever. And breast feeding seems to be taking more energy than it did previously.
There’s no easy way to fix it, sadly. All I can do is try and save as much energy for the things that are really important.
One way of saving myself for the things that really need doing is of course doing less. Despite never being that big on housework in the first place I’m trying to do less than I ever have! The ironing has stopped almost completely. When I cook I try and make use of as much pre-prepared ingredients as I can while still trying to be as healthy as possible. And dishes don’t make it out of the dishwasher straight away any more. I’m encouraging the family to use them straight from there and only unpacking when we need to put another load on.
Sharing the Load
One of the big savers, though, has been getting help from my family. My sons, despite being young, have been keen to help where they can. It might be something as simple as carrying things for me (obviously not very big things) or putting plates and cups into the sink. And they know to put their toys and things away if they don’t want their ever so slightly mobile sister to get them!
The biggest energy saver for me, though, is my husband. He’s been amazing. Despite working longer hours at work he still does as much of the housework as he can. One area he has really tried to take over is cooking. It’s a good thing for him to do as he can do it after work when everyone else is in bed, freezing it or putting it in the refrigerator for heating up later. He’s been trying to cook in bulk, and had to buy some new kitchen equipment off the internet to help out. Its saving me a lot of time and, more importantly, energy.
He’s also been trying to take as much of the non-feeding night wakeup time as possible. I don’t know how he has energy for work, really. There’s no way I could do all this without him.
Other Sources of Assistance
We could get more people to help out. And our families have been really good in this regard. My mom is around all the time helping out – even when I don’t ask her to! But it is so nice not to have to get the vacuum out because she’s already done it.
My husband’s parents love taking out our kids, and their grandsons have received a lot of attention from them. This has had the added bonus of helping them cope with all the changes.
If we had more money, another option is hiring some sort of help, like a house keeper or nanny. Or even simple (cheaper) things like getting a cleaning service, like Homejoy or something similar to help. Or even getting the laundry done. It’d be worth the cost for the extra time it’d free up.