by Pregnancy.org Staff
"After the baby comes..." How many times have you used that phrase?
Doing anything during the last weeks of your pregnancy seems like a daunting task, especially when you can't see -- much less reach your feet, chairs and couches eat you, and thinking of moving uses up all your energy. We've all imagined that once baby arrives we'll have more energy, move easier, and get everything done. Well, maybe...
A baby, weighing less than ten pounds, with a vocabulary of squeaks, grunts, and cries, rules the household and overturns your carefully planned schedule. Odds are you won't accomplish that pie-in-the-sky list. You consider yourself lucky if the "small boss" allows a shower twice a week.
Remember cramming for that senior exam? You prepped, you stocked up on munchies, you studied a little at a time and then went for acing? In preparation for "baby launch," pre-planning moments can go a long way toward establishing peace in your home -- at least long enough to find that bar of soap!
Clean your house thoroughly. While the rest of your household might question the timing, there's something to be said for that "nesting" gene. It's okay to be a wee bit militant in enlisting help to accomplish your goals. The more you're able to get done now, the more snuggles, kisses, and toe-counting you'll be able to enjoy later.
Cook and freeze meals ahead-of-time. Make a double batch and put half in the freezer. Since some moms tend to be forgetful, label the item and include reheating instructions. This is where your good friends and family can help too!
Shop. Shop. Shop. Stock up on food, household stuff and baby supplies. Consider creating a shopping list of favorites, compiling coupons, and strategically figure out where to buy everything. This is really useful if you nab a personal shopper later on.
Set your personal comfort zone. Let friends and family know about your visiting preferences to minimize inconvenient drop-ins when the big day arrives.
Pictures: Don't go crazy trying to upload all your pics and videos. They can wait a week or two! To pacify all the anxious grandmas, aunts, cousins, and friends toss up a phone pic on Facebook and call it "good for now."
Delegate. Don't host a huge party to introduce family and friends to your new baby. Instead, invite a relative to sponsor a potluck or casual gathering.
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
Dedicate a room for your new addition. Let the baby take over one space in the house for the first few weeks. Stash "all things baby" close at hand so you aren't jogging from room to room trying to locate the item. You'll be frazzled enough to be bothered going on a treasure hunt.
Entertain the siblings. Make an "activity" basket for younger sibs, or move their toys into the common area so they're not off alone in another room. Set up gates ahead of time if possible.
Accept help! An army of willing family and friends would love an excuse to drop by, say, "Hi" and pay homage to the tiniest family member. Take them up on their offers to help out. Have your list of chores ready. What goes on that list is up to you. We suggest: laundry, cleaning, preparing meals, shopping...
Thank your partner. Remember to thank your primary "volunteer" by rewarding good behavior, which can also serve as a fun and natural means of inducing labor. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
While we're certain we've seen perfect parents who have a fantastic grip on everything from labor, meals, shopping, and baby before and after birth, they probably only exist on TV. For the rest of us, planning ahead and opting to cut yourself and your baby some slack will make everyone happier.
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