What Kind of Help Will I Need After Baby is Born?

Ask for and Accept Help

father loading dishes with newborn baby in arms
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During the first few months of having a new baby in the house, it can be hard to juggle the care of a newborn and maintain the household. Rather than fighting this change, perhaps the best thing to do is to accept that it is going to happen. Fretting about keeping up the perfect home should not be your focus in these early months. Once you all feel that you have transitioned comfortably to life with a newborn, you can then find ways to balance housework with parenting.

Until that happens, find ways to make household chores more manageable. To begin, do not turn away people who offer to help in any capacity, but don't feel obligated to accommodate people who will come over and disrupt your already hectic home life. It's a good idea to try to line up people to bring food or stop at the grocery store for you, or to look after your pet. Get specific about what you'll need, and don't hesitate to reach out. 

If you don't live near family or friends on whom you can rely for grocery shopping or other assistance, it's wise to investigate before baby is born what services you might be able to outsource, if your budget permits.

One such service may be grocery delivery. Depending on your location, there may be several delivery services in your area, and there are several online grocery delivery services. Better to know whether such services are available in your area before you're desperate and out of bread or cat food.

IF you don't see options where you live, consider joining a wholesale club, like Costco or Sam's Club, where you can stock up on large portion sizes in advance. Such stores also are great sources of diaper and formula supplies.

Another suggestion might be to utilize a cleaning service for a period of time.

More than likely you will find local cleaning services listed in a telephone directory. The other possibility would be to pursue a chain service, such as Merry Maids. Overall, no one is going to judge you for having a less-than-sparkling-clean house after the birth of a new baby, but if it gives you peace of mind to have someone come in and tidy up, by all means, check out the options available. 

The final bit of advice about trying to find a balance between caring for a newborn and caring for a home is to always prioritize. Presumably, the needs of your newborns and the physical needs of parents, particularly mom, should always be uppermost. New parents need to give themselves permission to leave minor things until everyone is feeling up to par and getting enough sleep.

As you transition to this new family dynamic, you will find ways to manage your family and household. Try to be flexible, and realize that this early stage of feeling like everything is in chaos won't last forever. Just don't expect everything to be perfectly balanced from day one.

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