My last week has been filled with feedings every two hours, diapers, tiny cries, lots of snuggles, diapers, tantrums from the 3 year old, diapers and more diapers. It can be hard work, but it’s easily manageable largely because I’ve got great help.
As I’ve said before, my mother-in-law is in town from Norway to help us with life after baby. She’s here for a glorious three weeks, then my parents come for a week and my sister says she’ll stay for a few days after that. That means for at least the first month, I’ve got extra hands around the house.
When Logan was born, we also had help. My mom was there for his birth and stayed for a couple weeks, my dad also came for a few days and then my mother-in-law was here for a couple weeks.
Before Logan, everyone told me to make sure that when someone came over after the baby, take advantage and put them to work. I was advised to set up clear expectations before my guests arrived that people were not to be catered to, they were to help me. After having a baby, the last thing you feel like is being a hostess with the mostess.
For me that help meant doing our laundry, planning and preparing dinner, general pickup around the house and looking after the newborn so I could catch up on sleep lost the night before. The hard part was setting up those boundaries because it can be an uncomfortable conversation, but I figured I owed it to myself and my newly growing family to look out for what’s best for us.
That being said, I knew I couldn’t be my usual picky and particular self. I no longer care what’s for dinner as long as I didn’t have to think about it. I also don’t care how the laundry is done or where it’s put away, as long as I don’t have to think about it.
The first time around, I was grateful for all of the assistance I received and this time is no different. However, this time Hubby and I are really trying to milk this for all that it’s worth. We’re not used to having family around, so now that she’s here we’re getting all kinds of things done. And she understands. On her first day here, she stated in her charming Norwegian accent: “I am not here for a vacation, I am here to work.”
Three days after Ethan was born, I snuck away for an hour to get a manicure. It felt so gooood to treat myself. When he was a week old, Hubby and I made a fast break for the movies one afternoon. We saw Tron in IMAX 3D. (Not usually my first choice when it comes to movies, but I wanted an escape, nothing too heavy and Hubby has been dying to see it. It was very entertaining.)
Right now Hubby’s out of town on business, but again, it’s totally manageable because I’ve got someone here who is helping me meet my family’s needs. Feedings, diapers, snuggles and all.