The life of a new mother offers changes that are often unforeseen. Your body will undergo changes that are not easily identified beforehand and your family life will encounter dynamics that are not easily forecast. Part of the adjustment period that gives most new mothers cause for stress is the schedule that will have to be met to take care of the new baby and the needs of the entire family. While no guide can offer a solution that fits every situation, here are a few tips to ensure that you are meeting the challenges to your schedule in a way that will ensure a happy and healthy growing family.
First and foremost, parents should understand that the main tenets of your new schedule will be determined by the baby. You can meticulously plan your schedule for the entire 40 weeks leading up to the birth of your child and still not have a clue as to what your daily life will look like once you arrive at home with your new bundle of joy.
Instead of attempting to apply a rigid schedule once you are home, plan for variables. Perhaps your baby prefers to do most of her sleeping during the day. In that case, a new mother should treat the time baby is sleeping as a chance for her to get some rest too. All too often, a new mother or father sees the time the baby is sleeping as a chance to get other things accomplished – it makes sense; but during the time of day when the baby is awake is when you must be most attentive.
Consider this scenario: The new baby sleeps during the day and so mommy decides she can use the time to do laundry or clean the house. Maybe she can run errands to the bank of grocery store while she’s home from work. After running around all day she decides she’d like a nap but the baby thinks it’s time to get up and she needs fed.
When your baby is awake, not all of your time will be spent attending to her needs but you will be responsible to remain vigilant. Sleep when baby sleeps. When baby is awake, tend to her and as long as she is pacified, you can complete some of the tasks you need to get accomplished for the day. You might not be as productive as you’d otherwise be, but you will be rested and in the best shape to take care of your baby and maintain your physical and mental well-being.