Time Management Tips for New Mums
It can often come as a shock to new mothers just how exhausting looking after a tiny baby can be. Not only are you incredibly busy, but your body also has to recover from a very strenuous experience.
If a new baby is on the way, put your time management skills into practice long before baby arrives. Get your schedule into order and decide what is essential and important. Delegate as much as possible and share tasks with your partner. If you’re both prepared for changes before baby arrives then the transition in your lives will be less of a shock. Investigate options such as home banking and shopping; anything that can save you time.
- Prioritise. Accept that a new baby will take up the majority of your time.
- Focus. Decide what’s essential and don’t get distracted with less important tasks.
- Realistic expectations. Your house might not be immaculate but that’s ok. Accept that your standards might have to drop for a time. The world won’t end if there is some dust or dirty dishes.
- Keep ironing to a minimum. Try to use clothes that don’t need ironing and remember that a few creases are ok so long as the clothes are clean.
- Plan ahead, especially with meals. Rather than popping down to the shops every day try to plan with the week’s menu in mind. Try to cook two meals at once, so that you can freeze half for another time.
- Keep a to-do list. Perhaps it's just that they are very busy, but new mums do have a tendency to forget things!
- Let go of your expectations. It’s great to plan but don’t beat yourself up if don’t stick to it.
- Join a mums and babies group and spend time with others in a similar situation to yourself.
- Get a baby sling. You’re more mobile and can do many tasks with baby close-by and content.
ConsiderationsGet sleep when you can. If baby goes for a nap in the afternoon then take advantage of the opportunity to also get some rest. It might be tempting to get the housework done, but you’ll feel better and be able to cope with more, if you are well rested.
Allow yourself some me time. It’s important for mum to have some space and time to herself, even if only to have a relaxing bath or reading a magazine in quiet. These moments give you time to catch your breath and recharge.
Give baby the chance to spend time with others. There will be others keen to care for baby, especially dad, so give them space and time to bond together.
Accept help. Don’t feel that you have to do everything. Friends and family understand what it is like to have a new baby and hopefully genuinely want to help out.
Case Study“I was a project manager before my baby came along, so I didn’t think that time management would be an issue for me. How wrong could I have been! I didn’t take into consideration how tired I would be, or that my partner would think, now that I was home on a full-time basis, that I’d have a lot of time to do all the housework. We both came to the very quick realisation that I wasn’t on top of anything, and frankly I was happy tending to my baby's every whim and didn’t really care what was going on around me.
Eventually my partner and I sat down and prioritised what was essential that had to get done. We then realistically worked out how much time we each had, allowing each other some time to themselves. Putting it all down on paper really helped both of us understand what needed to get done and we both had to make a few sacrifices. But the good thing was that I now get to spend one afternoon a week with my girlfriend out shopping. And I feel so much better for it!” Melanie.