Help with laundry.
Oh my god there is so much laundry. If the baby spits up a lot or leaks out of her diaper (an inevitability) you will have an amazing amount of laundry. If you can help out by getting some of this done, she can have a little more time to herself when the baby finally does go to sleep.
Every year someone comes out with a study that basically says that even in households where both parents are working, mom is still doing the majority of the housework. I don’t know this for sure, but I bet that if you asked those moms how they felt about that, they aren’t going to say, “It’s awesome!” So get in the mode of helping out now, maybe more than you ever have before. If she has a clean kitchen, she will be happier, more rested and more grateful to her spouse. It also means that when the baby is finally asleep she doesn’t have to turn her attention immediately to the messy house. She can read or watch some tv or have a bath.
Hunt and Gather
Go get dinner. Get the fridge stocked with food. Enlist a neighbor, a good friend, a relative to help out with meals. Order in, take out, whatever. After a particularly bad night of failed sleep training, go get her a Starbucks.
Get the baby out of there (or get mom out of there)
It is shocking how much time new parents, mothers especially spend at home. I talked to one new mom the other day who had a six week old baby. It was the first time they had left the house together because her baby had terrible colic and spent the entire car ride screaming her head off. Six weeks. While it’s great to offer to take the baby off her hands at home, encourage her to get out of the house without the baby. If she doesn’t want to leave the house – maybe she’s exhausted – take the baby out for a walk or to the mall or to visit a friend of yours.
Encourage venting so she doesn’t explode
After a long struggle with infertility I finally had what I had wanted for a very long time. That was the good news. The bad news that what I wanted turned out to be really really difficult. Even without infertility, most moms want very much to be mothers. Because of this, some of us feel as though we can’t legitimately complain about how grueling motherhood is. There are lots and lots of wonderful things about being a mom. And lots and lots of crappy things about being a mom. Let her talk about the crappy things and acknowledge that they are in fact crappy. She’ll feel better and like someone gets how tiring it all is.
Anyone have any more tips to take care of mom when a new baby comes along? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.
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