Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is There Housework After a New Baby?

Congratulations on your new little bundle! This is a precious and wonderful season in your life. But if you find yourself knee deep in laundry and scared to walk around the house without your shoes on, read on for some tips on keeping up with the housework with a new baby.

First things first

You must take good care of yourself so you can care for your baby. Experts say it takes an entire year for your body to return to normal after having a baby. Even though you've recuperated from childbirth, you're probably not getting as much sleep as you did before and you're working new sets of muscles as you lift and carry baby around.

Housework is simply is not urgent in the grand scheme of things. Many midwives have the following advice for new Moms: spend the first few days in bed even if you feel great. If you feel good enough to putz around a little after the first week, go ahead and try some light housework, but don’t do anything strenuous or anything that involves a lot of twisting or that might injure your back. Remember that your muscles are still stretched out (especially your tummy muscles) and your joints loose, and your hormones are still making you a little accident prone, just as when you were pregnant. You don’t need to risk hurting your back so forget cleaning the shower or mopping floors for several more weeks.

Practical tips

If you didn't do so before, do a thorough de-cluttering now. Enlist the help of your husband or a friend. It's more fun and your friend will help you let go of your attachment to things. Cleaning experts say that around 50% of the total time spent in housework involves dealing with too much stuff: moving it around, picking it up off the floor, rearranging it, dusting it. You simply can't organize clutter!

You may find that a baby sling or other baby carrier is absolutely essential if you want to get things done around the house. Using a baby sling means that your hands can be free to take care of tasks but baby is safe and happy next to his favorite person in the world. Vacuuming is especially easy while wearing a baby. If the dishes pile up at least you can have really clean floors.

Some Moms even learn the knack of breastfeeding hands free in the sling. Talk about multitasking!

While your baby is a very young she will be sleeping a lot, so take advantage of this to finish a quick chore or two. Just don’t use all of baby’s sleep time to get work done. It’s very important for you to nap with baby if you can manage it. At the very least, spend some time resting on the couch with a refreshing drink and maybe a book. Or call a friend and have an adult conversation. You need to recharge your batteries as much as you need a clean home… maybe more.

This too shall pass…

Remember these oft repeated words because you’ll need to say them a lot during your mothering years! The newborn period is so precious. And to be perfectly honest, when it comes to housework, you ain’t seen nothing yet. A new baby may generate a lot of laundry, but she is hardly responsible for dirtying up the house. Wait until she’s toddling around with peanut butter-y hands. The housework can take a backseat while you ooh and aah over your baby’s tiny toes and fingers. Enjoy your babymoon!

Carrie Lauth is the host of www.NaturalMomsTalkRadio.com/blog, a free Internet talk radio show and podcast for families doing things the natural way.

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Is There Housework After a New Baby?

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