Congratulations! You had your beautiful baby!
In the hospital you were waited on for the few days you were there. Nurses helped you to the bathroom, brought you pillows and blankets, a lovely lady would appear at meal time with a tray of nutritious food for you, and all you had to do was lay back, rest, and love your new baby!
But now you’re home. Your older kids are running crazy, your spouse went back to work, you have to feed everyone, care for the baby, and clean the house.
You feel overwhelmed and like your house is drowning. You’re excited for the visitors who are planning to come, but now more stressed because your house is looking more like “Lord of the Flies” by the minute.
Many times visitors want to help out but don’t know how, or you don’t want to impose on them of needing help. Here is your chance to take advantage of having visitors to see your new baby when you make it home!
1-Ask for a meal. Friends and neighbors love bringing meals to families with new babies. Don’t expect a gourmet, 7 course meal, but a casserole is always appreciated! Let them know how many people in the family, and any allergies. Even if you don’t use it the day they bring it, it’s a ready made meal in your freezer for tomorrow! Perhaps a friend or your doula can set up a mealtrain for you!
2- Ask for a chore. I’m not saying they should scrub your bathroom, however we all know how much better feel when the laundry is folded and the basket carried upstairs, the dishes washed, or even the kitchen floor swept. Many people won’t mind doing a small chore or two before holding the baby, so take advantage of it!
3- Ask for a play date. Sometimes older kids can get lost in the excitement of a new baby and feel left out. Call up a friend and ask if they could go over for a play date. It allows you to have some quiet at home so the baby can finally nap, and they get burn off energy having fun!
4- Hire the Postpartum Doula. When the visitors stop coming, and you find that you are still struggling, having a doula will make the difference! They will continue doing some of the light chores, while helping you care for baby and support you! It’ll help you get back into a routine and find your new normal.
You did the hard part of having a baby! Don’t be afraid to ask for some help around the house when people want to come visit you! You’ll find that they love to help out, and will appreciate it as much as you do!
Written by: Hampton Roads Lead Doula, Megan Harless