Going back to work after having a baby is one of the hardest things that new mothers have to endure. Not only is it emotionally draining, it brings so many new and challenging tasks to an already busy day—especially if baby is not sleeping through the night. The Mayo Clinic offers a great list of suggestions about how to prepare for returning to work, but there are not many resources available about how to manage a new baby while working full time. There are a lot of minor details that new parents overlook, and then they end up stressed out about things that really do not matter in the long run.
A few things that are easy to manage in order to free up time with baby are as follows:
MAKE CROCK-POT YOUR BEST FRIEND
A crock-pot is literally a blessing to new mothers. Having to prepare meals takes time, and with a crock-pot, they can be prepared at night after baby goes to bed. Simply prepare tomorrow’s dinner the evening before, and then turn it on low in the morning before work. This frees up the time after work to spend with baby instead of having to prepare a meal. It also drastically frees up clean up time. With only one preparation dish, simply pack the leftovers for lunch while cleaning up, soak and wash the crock-pot, and there is more time saved. There are some great, healthy crockpot recipes available online.
TAKE 10 MINUTES TO FLIP & FOLD LAUNDRY
Laundry can become overwhelming to new moms. With the abundance of baby clothes and accessories, on top of regular laundry, it can become burdensome and frustrating. Surrender. It will never be beaten. The second it is all done more will arrive. The easiest thing to do to manage it is just take 10 minutes and flip and fold right away. Folding can be done with baby, so it really does not take too much time away. Put the clothes away at night after baby goes to bed, and then no time is taken away from him.
DEVELOP A MORNING AND EVENING ROUTINE
The most important thing to do is to develop a routine for when baby is still asleep. Go to sleep at the same time every night—after making sure baby is bathed and tucked in. Do not sacrifice the baby’s evening routine. Getting a solid routine down for baby is the most important thing, and then any chores or things that need done can come afterwards. It’s a good idea to pack a bag for the sitter or daycare at night so that mornings are not hectic. Cleaning and sanitizing bottles first thing in the morning or at night using the UviCube, will make it easier to have them ready to go and clean for the day.
HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
Having a backup plan for when your baby is sick or caregiver is unavailable is important, so you don’t panic when it happens. Save up some personal days (coordinate with your spouse) for this purpose, and also have a list of backup babysitters, whether it be paid babysitters, friends or family.
Decide what is most important to get done so that its not haunting and daunting and make those tasks part of the morning and evening routines. This way, time with baby is not sacrificed, and the work that can become exasperating gets done. Just reframing the thought process can go a long way.