The sooner you can get your new life with your baby into some semblance of order, the easier it will be. You will feel more in control and have more time and energy to enjoy your baby. This is truly a case of prioritizing, although in the early days it can seem almost impossible to get organized. You may be conscious that you are still in your dressing gown in the middle of the afternoon, have not put on any make-up for four days, and are surrounded by piles of washing-up, ironing or clothes to be laundered.
Do not panic! This is normal and it does not matter. Man midwives and health visitors would be wary of entering the house of a newborn baby to find it spotlessly tidy. This may mean either that the family was focusing on housework rather than getting to know their baby, or that the mother was becoming exhausted and at risk of postnatal depression with all the effort of not only caring for the baby but also doing all the housework. However, there are ways in which you can make things a little easier so that you can concentrate on organizing your new life in order that you can once again feel in control of things.
Get as organized as you can in advance, i.e. during pregnancy. Make a range of meals to put in the freezer, do as many of the larger household chores as you can manage, such as washing curtains or decorating, sort out any repairs, and stock up on things you may forget, like washing powder and light bulbs.
Ensure that you have completed those tasks that crop up annually, for example, the car’s MOT, your pet’s immunizations, children’s dental examinations, or renewing household insurances (and if your partner usually takes responsibility for some of these jobs, get him to check them out before your baby is born, as he may also forget later).
Prepare a list of all the people you will want to notify about the birth and either make an email group list or write the envelopes if you intend to send birth notification cards by post. If you have the energy in the last few weeks before the birth, ‘spring clean’ your house from top to bottom, one room at a time, so that you will not have to think about this for some time afterward.
Sort out your cloth-for when you have had your baby (but do not expect to be able to get back into your jeans straight away!) and make sure everything is washed, ironed, repaired, and put away. Arrange rotas of friends and neighbors to take your other children to school for the first few weeks after the birth, perhaps to have them home after school one afternoon a week, or to walk your dog each morning and evening.