I commend you for your bravery opening this blog because if I saw a title with “chore” in it, I doubt I would stop and take a gander, but this post is not about chores mom has to do. It’s more about the list of chores you create for friends and family.
Aha, now I’ve gotten your attention.
For nine months you suffered through nausea, headaches, bleeding gums, hemorrhoids, crazy appetite, food aversons, swollen feet, gargantuan breasts, stretch marks, gas, bloating, dehydration, flatulance, exhaustion, itchy skin, weight gain, and skin discoloration.
Then, as if that wasn’t charming enough, you either pushed a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon, or you were sliced and diced to bring a new life (or 2-3 lives) into the world.
All you want to do now is take a fat nap for years and get your life back in order, but you’ve got this sweet, cooing, chubby chunk o’ love needing every ounce of energy you have. The ironic part is that friends and family (many of whom have children) seem to have forgotten what it’s like to be a new mom or have a newborn and they have this strange idea that they can just come on over and hang with you and the baby FOR FREE?
Nah nah nah, this ain’t happening. I think we need to address this issue and it’s up to the new mom to speak up and say what she needs and what’s expected from visitors.
1) Create a Chore List
How many people told you during your pregnancy, “If you ever need anything once the baby is here just let us know?” Well, where are they now? Sitting on the couch holding your new baby while you try to hold your head up and remember what it’s like to be social?
Instead, create a chore list. Make it cute, frame it, hang it, whatever fits your fancy, but holding the baby may require a friend to:
- Unload the dishwasher while you chat about the baby
- Hold baby while you shower & brush your teeth
- Fold towels while chatting
- Feed the dogs who now look like starved rats
- Change the sheets or throw them in the washer
2) Meal Requests
Utilize social media to remind people that it’s hard to get to the grocery store with a brand new baby in tow. Friends and family who’d like to come cuddle the new baby should not enter your door without a meal in some form or fashion. Perhaps they bring bread with PB & J, or maybe they just bring a bottle of wine. Major bonus points for the guest that brings pasta salads or a frozen dinner you can eat throughout the week.
3) Sleep Help
Newborns don’t sleep like normal humans yet; this shouldn’t be news to you. Plus, mom is nursing or pumping every 2-3 hours ’round the clock which means her sleep is WAY off too. So, tell your friends, “You wanna hold the baby/ies? Then you must be okay holding the baby while I take an hour nap OR, if you’re applying for sainthood, offer to stay over night so I can sleep in solid stretches!” If you have a friend that offers this, never let them go. They are a GEM.
Why is it that when there’s a death in the family or a job loss, people come out of the woodwork to offer meals, clean your house, and allow you to rest, but when there’s a new baby (or two new babies in my case), people just want to come over and hang out? Mama needs some help, people! Pitch in or move on!
Stay gold Ponyboy,