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ADVICE FOR NEW PARENTS

HOME LIFE

a.k.a "Your Sanity!"

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You are not obligated to answer the door or phone.  You are also not obligated to have visitors over.  If the phone rings at 11 am and you are still asleep and so is your baby, just roll over and ignore it.  If your aunt wants to come visit but you aren't up for it just say so.  People too soon forget what the first few weeks are like with a new baby.

 

Get out and go for walks as often as you can, or roam around the mall.  It will help a lot to prevent the shut-in/isolated feeling esp. with 1st babies.  I found that just going out for an hour in the daytime in the sunshine or for lunch with a friend was a big boost for my mood.  Those hormones are crazy with a new baby!

 

Get lots of fresh air.

 

Look around your neighbourhood.  Go to baby yoga classes, the Early Years Centre, the local library for reading time, etc.

 

Cleaning - it will still be there when you get to it.  Enjoy the baby and take time to heal.  Take the help whenever it's offered - you just gave birth, you are not just being lazy.  This one was really hard for me because I pride myself in getting it all done.  It can't all be done.  Relax.

 

At least once a week insist mommy have a bath all by herself.

 

Remember there are 5 people living in your home now. Husband, wife, mom, dad, and baby. And they all have different needs.

 

Post a sign on your front door that reads something like “Mom and baby sleeping.  Please do not disturb.”  I was sleeping in our basement rec room one evening with our newborn when a friend dropped by unannounced.  She could see the light in the basement through the front window and kept ringing the doorbell over and over again until I finally answered it.  I was so angry!  All she said was, “Oh, I just thought you couldn’t hear the doorbell”.  I almost donkey punched her!

 

Don't be embarrassed if you are still in your pajamas at 2 in the afternoon.  Don't worry about having a spotless house.  Your whole life has been turned around including your nights and there are going to be days when you do nothing but deal with your baby.  This is why we have a maternity leave.

 

Enjoy the baby don’t be afraid to let the housework, laundry etc slip a bit they are only little once.

 

Take the time before the baby comes to put meals in the freezer and stock up on groceries.  I bought frozen meals at M & M meat shops and was so happy I did.  There are days when you are not going to want to cook even though you are home all day.

 

Unless you are the Martha Stewart of Moms or can afford to have a maid service, accept the fact that your home will no longer be spotless and organized.  Once I let that notion go I was much happier.  Besides, there’s something about the comforting site of a pile of baby laundry on the dining room table that makes you think, “Yeah, I’m a Mommy!”

 

Stop making excuses for why your house is disorganized or cluttered.  As long as there aren’t bugs and mold everywhere, who cares if your place is neat?!?!?!?!?!

 

Make your wishes clear to DH/SO about visitors in the early days.  Your recovery/rest is much more important than having oodles of visitors to see the baby.  The baby will be there still in a week or so once you're feeling more like yourself.  Personally I hate "drop in" visitors, and told DH to turn them away ('it's not a good time right now').


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Valuable tid-bits of information from experienced parents who have "been there" and learned it all the hard way!