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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default Life with a newborn -- how to find balance?

    Or is this even possible? The one bit of advice I've found to be consistent is to sleep when the baby sleeps but I'm totally freaking out because in doing that - everything else at home is falling apart! Including me. But if I try to stay awake during the day- I'm totally crashing by the time DH gets home from work...and he deserves a break too!

    So, what do you do throughout the day to create balance with your newborn?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    Honestly, I just let the house go a bit, but I'm naturally not a neatie, nor is my husband so a little clutter doesn't bother us too much. Eventually the baby will start sleeping more at night and you can catch up on things. I found also that if I took a nap the first time baby napped I felt much better the rest of the day and had more energy to do chores. So maybe you could nap once a day with baby and use the other times to get stuff done?
    Happy & Blessed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005


    I was the same way when our first DS was born. If I slept during the day, the house would never get picked up, dinner wouldn't get cooked, ect.... So, I didn't sleep. Yea, the house was picked up and dinner got cooked but I was so tired. That was the worst thing that I could have done. You need your rest. It took me a while to realize this but, my house didn't fall apart becuase the dishes didn't get done or the house was messy.

    How many naps does your newborn take? Maybe you can take a nap during one of his/her naps and during one of his/her other naps you can pick up your house or do what ever you need to do? You do need to rest though. Yes, your DH needs a break too, but since you have been home all day and he has been at work, maybe he can take over for a little while so you can do some things around the house and he can have some bonding time with your DC.
    Len, Jen, Lenny, Frankie, and Gary

  4. #4
    LexyLou Guest


    Honestly, the first couple of months there wasn't any balance. I never cooked dinner because she was still up and was a demanding baby...I didn't clean at all either (thank god for our housekeeper) and DH didn't really get much us time...

    What I do think is important in the beginning is to have a family member or friend you trust watch your DC 1 or 2 nights a month so you can DH can go out together on a date. We have gone out alone 2-3 times a month and it's been a god send.

    Everything does even out. At 4 months my DD just chills (most of the time) when I prepare dinner and I can clean and she and I get out at least once a day to run errands and be out in the sun, etc..

    It's hard in the beginning but it gets easier. Just don't expect too much of yourself. Focus on you and baby and the house stuff will get down eventually.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Boston suburb


    I agree that you need to try and let go a bit on the home front. If you DH was starting a new demanding job that he recieved no training from and had him on call 24/7 you would cut him some slack for a few months on his home chores wouldn't you? Well it is the same for you, your new job just happens to occur in the house.

    Thing you can do to make it easier:
    1- Use paper plates.
    2- Get take out or make very very simple meals - pasta and sauce, sandwhichs, canned soup, bagged salad, learn to use a crock pot.
    3- ask for and accept help when offered, don't be proud. And tell people exactly what you need done. - throw in the laundy, vacume, cook me some meal I can freeze and eat later.
    4- Don't nap every nap with baby but do nap most of them.
    5- expect/require DH to help out.
    6- Buy and wear easy to care for clothes.
    7- hire help if necessary. During those first two weeks I had my Mom visit and/or MIL thre to help me. My mom came back a week or two later for a weekend DH was out of town. I had a post partum dulah come in a few times after the grandparents left and that was heaven, but it was also expensive. Then I hired a college girl to come in as a mothers helper a few hours a week for something like $10 an hour. She could fold laundry, clean the kitchen, cook simple meals or watch the baby for an hour or so while I slept or late did a little grocery shopping.
    8 - find a new moms group so that you can get out of the house and talk with other moms going through the same thing. It helps sooooo much to talk to a mom with a baby a week or two older than yours who can tell you that she went through the same thing you are and that and that it passed. It is also great when you realize you are suddenly an expert on the weeks you already made it through and can give advice.
    9- It is ok to let the baby cry for a little while in a safe place if you need to take a few minutes to regroup. Sit and drink a cup of tea, perferable someplace you can not hear the baby crying. You will be a better mom when you return from your little break.
    10- If you are breastfeeding remember how many calories you are burning. It takes more calories than are in that drink to make that drink and it is all coming out of you. You are tired for a reason. You are not just resting when you are sitting there with a baby at your breast. And on top of that you body is feeding you horomones to relax you and make you tired. Give yourself permission to be tired.
    11- see if you can do anywork with baby in a sling. I didn't but I have heard some moms do this with success.

    And remember, there are only a few months out of your life when you get to focus all your attention on your child. It will pass quickly. It will never come again. Even if you have another it will not be the same because number 1 will be demanding your attention as well. The housework will always be there, your newborn will become an infant and than a toddler before you know it. Try to allow yourself to be present in the moment and enjoy DC.
    Last edited by Renrel; 02-16-2006 at 10:47 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Central California


    I agree in that the first month or so, there really is no balance. It's doing whatever you can to just get by. Forget about the house, it'll still be there once you establish a routine. After a few weeks, things just miraculously become easier and little by little you work yourself into a little routine and before you know it, you're just in a groove. It does take some getting used to, but it'll happen. Dh's do take the backseat at first, until you figure out how to manage your new family. It WILL become easier. Hang in there!

    and congrats!
    Landon Joseph.......born 06/04/05!
    Reece Carter....born 02/26/07!
    Hayden Kate.....born 10/15/08!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    I don't think you should be striving for balance with a newborn. Take your baby and cuddle up, read a book while he sleeps in your arms. Wear yoga pants all day! Be a slacker! Seriously this time is so temporary and fleeting. It's ok to let the other things go. Before you know it you and the babe will find your grove and that housework will get done again.
    Mom to 3 boys
    9/05, and twins 1/09

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Default nak

    I agre with what renrel said, especially for meals. Dh is the cook in the family so I didn't have to wory about that part to much, but the baby was all his after we ate. It gave himtime to bond with the baby, I ceaned up the kitchen which actually felt like a break to be able to do something without worrying about rthe baby. Also a housekeeper is a great help if your budget allows.
    DD8 DD7 DS2.5 DD 10.26.13

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Boston suburb


    Definately let DH spend some time on his own with the baby, even if the baby crys the whole time. Other than bfing he is just as capable as you but he and you and the baby will not believe this until he is allowed to pay his dues figuring out what works for him. He does not have to do it your way or perfectly, he just has to find something that works for him without endangering the baby. The soon and better DH bond the easier the later months and years will be for everyone.

  10. #10
    Sebski Guest


    You know how you find balance w/ a newborn? You stop looking for it that's how. It's just not there in the beginning. My DS is 14w old now and we're only just now starting to find a true balance. I remember it being so hard in the beginning... hormones are all over the place and you just don't feel like yourself. You have a new baby in your lives and you have to adjust to it not being just you and DH anymore... that new baby really rids you of any routine that you had. It's hard to handle and accept at first. Take it from someone who strived to achieve a balance early on and only ended up feeling like a failure for not reaching that goal... don't look for it. Accept that things are different and that you will, in time, find a new balance to things. Relish these first couple of months and just enjoy your baby... after all, it's gone in the blink of an eye (and honestly, it's the only time that you will be able to get away with an unkept house ). Nap in bed with your newborn, have DH do the housework and get the #'s for a bunch of great take-out places. I didn't do this and truly regret it. My mother was forever telling me to slow down and I didn't listen. I didn't want to seem like the new mom who couldn't do it all.
    Last edited by Sebski; 02-16-2006 at 12:52 PM.

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