Once you are home with your new baby, make a list of the priorities in your family’s life. At this early stage, it is natural that the baby should come first, but you must come next. You owe it to your family to keep well and happy so that their time with you and your new baby can be a positive experience and not one on which they could look back with negative feelings because everyone is stressed, disorganized and irritable. Do not try to do too much – set yourself just one main household task each day, such as putting washing in the machine or going to the laundrette, or ironing, or cooking to stock up the freezer, or shopping.
baby carrier
If you find it difficult to do a full weekly shop at the supermarket, walk to your local shops each day and buy only the few things you need for that day. Equip yourself with baby travel gear while you are out with your baby. This will have the extra advantages of making you get out in the fresh air with your baby, getting some exercise and meeting people, even if it is only strangers in the shops or the park. Some more suggestions for making time for yourself by organizing housework chores follow.

  • – Use baskets or boxes for different items, e.g. one for toys, one for socks, etc. – throw things in and sort them out later.
  • – Put a basket at the foot of the staircase to collect anything that needs taking upstairs.
  • – Keep a wipe-clean board in the kitchen to note down things you need to do or buy.
  • – Put all your household bills in one file or tray; mark payment dates on the kitchen calendar.
  • – Use commercial ‘ready wipes’ for housework – they are slightly more expensive but easier and quicker.
  • – Save all your supermarket carrier bags for kitchen rubbish and make one trip daily to the rubbish bin.
  • – Tidy up as you go along each day – this is easier than one big weekly clear-up.
  • – Get some Melissa & Doug toys for your baby to occupy themselves and relief yourself temporary.
  • – Involve older children in picking up their own toys, clearing the table, etc. with rewards for good work; make a game of it for them.
  • – Keep a bag ready packed – and restocked – with all the things you need for your baby when you go out.
  • – Keep two laundry baskets in the bathroom for light and dark laundry to save having to separate them later.
  • – Put a load of washing in the machine to wash overnight, then dry in the morning.
  • – Put socks and small items in a mesh bag to avoid having to sort them out.
  • – Separate out forks, knives, spoons, etc. into separate sections in the dishwasher.
  • – Keep a bowl of water ready to soak very heavily caked-on cooking utensils before washing.
  • – Invest in a slow cooker, vegetable steamer or learn how to cook one-pot meals to reduce washing up.
  • – When you leave work, ask friends to give you a gift of ‘housework tokens’ so they can do small chores for you when you need them.
  • – Cook double amounts of food and freeze half.
  • – Plan weekly menus and keep the list in the kitchen – this avoids the need to think about what to cook and reduces shopping.
  • – Keep some supermarket ‘ready-prepared’ meals in the freezer for emergencies
  • – Shop online for groceries.