I made one huge mistake when I had my first daughter: I was so focused on being healthy during pregnancy and birth that I neglected the things that happen right after birth, like YOU GO HOME WITH A BABY.
Yes. A rookie mistake, I admit.
It seems obvious that one should organize themselves and their lives in preparation for a new family member. Somehow, I didn’t get this memo. That’s why I found myself wasting time on quite a few of the following 10 time wasters you need to stop as a new mom. Nearly all of them, in fact.
Moms-To-Be, and New Moms, please take use the following list as a guide for How to Survive the Newborn Days By Cutting These Things Out:
A new baby means loads of eager visitors in your home. Cheek pinching, toe-kissing, and new-baby-sniffing relatives will be banging on the door before you’ve left the birthing room. I’m not saying you should slap a “KEEP OUT” sign on your front lawn.
The support and excitement of family and friends makes the newborn days a very special time.
What I am saying is “Do not go to any length other than putting on a robe to receive your guests.” No baking scones, no seasonal napkins, and certainly nothing involving invitations. Do not waste your time by appearing to have your “post-baby shit-together.” Trust me, you won’t. So don’t waste your time pretending you do.
Do not waste your precious post-birth time by hand writing birth announcement.
I DO support having your newborn’s photos taken. This is a good use of your time.
I DO NOT support your addressing fifty envelopes. This is why the universe created email. Send those gorgeous new baby pics over the interwebs. Use your waking hours wisely in the days after baby’s birth.
When the relatives and friends come to visit in those early days they will ask “What can I bring you?” This is not the time to be too polite. Your answer, without fail, needs to be:
Bring. Me. Food.
Cooking and freezing before baby comes is a great idea. This is a time to make your sauces, casseroles, and quiches. When baby comes home, you should be spending time sitting down and eating this food. Do not waste your precious time with complex cooking right now.
Babies are pretty clean. They come that way. Don’t waste your time bathing your baby every night in an attempt to create routine. There are years to come when you’ll bathe this child every night. Take some of that precious evening time to do important things — like sleep.
When I had my daughter, I was extremely focused on creating lots of learning opportunities for her: mobiles, toys with contrast, songs that instilled “love of music.” In short: it was nuts. It was a time-waster. Not because I was being a bad mother, but because I was denying myself the joy of living in the moment and enjoying my little pink bundle. All she wanted was a skin-to-skin snuggle and a soft blanket.
There will be lots of time to create learning opportunities for your baby — the first few weeks are about loving, not learning.
Do not waste your time by putting on makeup during the newborn phase. You don’t need it. Why? Because all visitors will look at you with the awe and respect given to the Amazon Queen who just created and birthed a HUMAN BEING! All who come to be in your all-powerful presence will kneel before you.
And if they don’t, they’re total jerks and you don’t care what they think anyway.
Makeup + Newborn phase = Time-waster.
(see #6 for reference to how amazing you are for creating and birthing a human being)
We’re beat over the head by magazine headlines like “Gorgeous Celebrity X Wears Bikini Home from the Hospital” and “Frumpy Loser Celebrity Still Fat – Two Weeks After Birth OMG!” It’s a real challenge not to become obsessed with one’s weight immediately after birth.
Take it from a dietician like Sarah Remmer, and do not waste time by stressing yourself out about the weight. This is not your priority #1 in the newborn days.
I strongly believe in outsourcing when budget allows. Having someone come and scrub your bathtub and all the other unsightly corners in the first few weeks home is money VERY well spent. If it isn’t in budget, don’t waste time worrying about how clean your house is — it's not like you’re entertaining guests, right (see stern words above at #1)?
Do not waste your time dressing you and baby (and any other kiddies) and making the long and painful trip to the grocery store in the newborn days. Ask helpful visitors to pick up your essentials, and make use of awesome delivery services like Grocery Gateway and Mama Earth Organics to have your food delivered right to your door.
Pajamas and robes need not be replaced by cumbersome clothes in the newborn phase. Ever.
You should be focused on breathing, drinking water, and taking care of you and your little person. Everything else is detail. You should make a serious visit to your local Dollar Store before the baby comes, and stock up on items like batteries.
It’s easy to waste time in those first few weeks of a new baby’s life: doing the things we think we should be doing. If you cut out all these time wasters, you’ll find yourself with time for the most important thing of all: taking care of you, and your new little bundle.
Don’t forget to reject perfection in the newborn days, and make it a priority to share the load with your partner.