Saturday, 14 April 2012

Surviving Newborns

We're just days away from the 6 week milestone and depending on who you ask the first 6 weeks are either the easiest or the hardest.

They are the easiest in the sense that all baby does is sleep, eat and poop. But they are challenging in that this routine repeats itself at such small intervals and baby needs a lot of your love and attention while they adapt to this new world.

Just before it aparently gets easier (after 6 weeks) they make sure you go out with a bang at about 5 weeks when you get to experience your first wonder week. I'll let you know just how wonderful this was in Little A's weekly update on Monday. But for now back to my topic...

In some cultures all the female family and friends take on the new mum's domestic duties and mum's only responsibility is to feed and bond with baby for the first six weeks. And while this is not practical for most of us this approach ensures you are realistic about what you are going to achive in the first few weeks of your babies life. Yeah, you still need to eat and wash clothes but as for the rest of the house work - who cares?!?

The last 6 weeks has taught me that anything goes in those first weeks. Letting your house go for a while doesn't mean you are going to live in chaos for the rest of your life. Each week Little A develops more and I see things getting less and less demanding on me physically and mentally. Now I am not saying this mum gig is ever going to be a walk in the park...but finding time to shower and eat might just get easier!!!

Afternoon Martini anyone?

Here are my top 5 tips for making those 6 weeks easier, keeping you feeling "human" and freeing you up to enjoy bonding time with your little one... but remember these worked for me and this guy. Every baby and every mother is different so there are no magic answers (see tip 5!!!)

Get dressed
When little A first stirs in the morning before I tend to him I throw on my clothes that I have laid out the night before. I have discovered that if I don't take this opportunity to get dressed I can often still be found in my dressing gown at lunchtime!

I give myself a head start but loading the machine and setting the delay start each night so when I wake up I already have one load done. Even if my day falls completely apart at least I have one load of washing to show for it.

Get your affairs in order
I paid all my bills in advance and scheduled anything and everything I could on internet banking. Lucky I did because I didn't step foot in the study till Little A was at least 3 weeks.

Online Shopping
Not just groceries but ANYTHING... photo printing and baby products etc. If I can get it online and delivered then thats one less time I have to juggle a trip out around feeding times. However I am not suggesting you never leave the house. I still pop out each week to the butcher and green grocer. Ventures into the real world are essential for your sanity...but if you have less things to do when you are out then getting out becomes a lot more manageable.

Listen to all the "Suburban Experts" and then do whatever the hell you want/need to in order to get through each day. Everyone will offer you advice and tell you what you should and shouldn't be doing. At the end of the day, do whatever you need to do. There is no right and wrong and no baby, mother or household is the same. Listen to advice, take it on board but then follow your instincts... MUMMIES KNOW BEST. Don't tire yourself out trying to adhere to other peoples advice.

Well its 8pm on a Saturday night and after a big Indian feast Big A and I are about ready to call it a night. Party animals aren't we?! Stay tuned to hear about our eventful week with Little A...


  1. Ok, where on earth is there a culture where new mums get to forget about the house for 6 weeks? I want to go there!!
    I'll be taking tips 1 & 2, especially while J is off visiting some very special people.
    Looking forward to the Little A update.

  2. "In India, new mothers are not supposed to even touch the ground for six weeks after birth! Other female members of the family will take turns helping with housework, caring for the newborn and other children as well as preparing special food for the new mother"

    Special food??? I'd be happy to sit down to baked beans with this kind of live in help! Apparently the female friends and family literally move in and take over the domestic roles.

    Curries aren't the only good thing happening in India!