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Feeling overwhelmed

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Anyone else feel overwhelmed about preparation?

I feel like it shouldn't be like this. The process should feel more relaxed and less rushed. That's one of the benefits of having a homebirth! But I also know my own limits and I know that I'm somebody who, especially when pregnant, really becomes anxious and stressed.

I feel like there's so much to do! I feel like I have to gather all these supplies and make sure my house is clean and be prepared with food for everyone. None of these things would be on my mind when going into the hospital (but other things would be, of course.) I'm not even in my 3rd tri yet. All the things to do just crowd my mind and make me feel overwhelmed. I especially worry about my house. I think I have unrealistic expectations about how clean and tidy my house should be. I have 3 kids and we have clutter but it's definitely very much like how other people's homes are, no worse. But I feel like I have to make it show-room ready or I'll be embarrassed and won't be able to relax.

Ugh! Anyone else have issues with this, with feeling overwhelmed about preparing? Any tips?
post #2 of 14
Umm, yeah!!!! I feel like it would take just a little work to get everything clean and presentable, but it feels like an insurmountable mountain of work at the moment. Maybe this weekend. But then, it won't stay that way. *sigh*
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Terrilyn, that's how I feel too. I suppose I could start getting supplies ready but the cleaning of the house and the being prepared with food can't be *really* done and ready until birth. If I decluttered all our little clutter pockets today, I'd have to redo it 50 times before birth! LOL
post #4 of 14
I'm thinking about asking my friends to do a house-cleaning-baby-shower. I don't need much for this baby, and I'm single, so the extra hands to help me prepare would be much more beneficial than "stuff".

I'm the only person in my circle of local friends (it's a really small circle, ha!) who has kids, so they are all excited to do another baby shower for me (they did a surprise one for DD). I'm going to ask my best friend, who is most excited, about doing the party with prepared frozen dinners that I can pop in the oven for the first few weeks, and cleaning the house as my gifts.

My theory is that people don't really know what you need unless you let them know.
post #5 of 14
I sure felt overwhelmed, too.

What I did is I appointed my sister responsible for getting food. I bought a gift card to a 24 hour grocery store so that when labor started, I had food ready for us and the midwives. This was just incase I was broke the week of delivery.

As for the cleaning, there is no easing a mother's mind on this issue..we will just clean, organize...start all over.

Have fun with it!
post #6 of 14
DirtRoadMamma - that's a very sensible and inspired idea!
post #7 of 14
I am on the insurmountable mountain of work, too!

My list is way too long. And now we're moving. I'm due in like 12 weeks.

I have run the idea of frozen food shower by a few people, and they were all non-plussed. It sucks, but I am on my own here!

I am trying not to freak out. I'm also having surgery the first of June. And maybe teaching an art class in the eight weeks before my due date . . . *shaking head in disbelief*
post #8 of 14
Yeah, a frozen food/cleaning party in lieu of a baby shower is just not an option here. I'm on my own until the baby arrives. Then DP's mom has says she'll help out with meals and light cleaning, but I'm not sure how. She doesn't live in our city, nor does she own a car. Well, maybe she's got a good train connection. We'll see.
post #9 of 14
DirtRoadMamm- awesome idea!

I feel overwhelmed at times too. We are also trying to finish the addition to our house, in time for the arrival of our baby. So that is stressful for us and hinders my increasing need to "feather my nest". The other day, my DH asked what I did that day. Me: "I cleaned under our bed." (I store a lot of stuff there). DH: "Again?"

Some ideas to help alleviate some of the stress:

I was researching recipes that work well for freezing and I discovered that the meals can be frozen for 2-6 months- depending on the type of food. This chart lists recommended storage times for popular precooked foods to ensure high-quality results:

Tomato/vegetable sauces: 6 months
Meatloaf (any type of meat): 6 months
Soups and stews: 2-3 months
Poultry and Meat Casseroles: 6 months
Poultry (cooked, no gravy): 3 months
Poultry (with gravy/sauce): 5-6 months
Meatballs in sauce: 6 months
Pizza dough (raw, homemade): 3-4 weeks
Muffins/quick breads (baked): 2-3 months

So, I am now doubling our favorite meals and freezing the other half, instead of waiting.

I also hope my dear friend will set-up a Meal/Food Tree with my family and friends.

I agree its hard to not feel the need to have the house spic-n-span before our babies arrive. I've been honored to attend several HB's and it was nice if the kitchen was mostly clean so that it was user-friendly and a small space was available to set-up MW's supplies. That's all. I think a lived-in home (clutter) is more comfortable then a home that has everything put away. But that's just me.
post #10 of 14
I hear ya! This is my first HB (August) and I'm mostly concerned about getting the house 'clean enough'. I purchased a large plastic tubbie from Walmart that I've been collecting supplies in (my mom has been helping) so I'm not too stressed out about that. But the house! We have 8 retired rescued greyhounds that are constantly pulling stuffing out of a toy or tracking mud and water in. I guess my plan of attack is to have all the food in the house I need, and then as soon as I get the first feeling of labor come home and vaccum and mop the floors!?!?
post #11 of 14
The food thing, I'm not stressed about at all. My midwives essentially said "you have kids, which means you have snacks." Which is true. They were fine with that. I don't expect a marathon labor, but if I end up with one I have a lasagna in the fridge that they can warm up, but really we have so many delivery places nearby I'm sure that wouldn't be an issue.

House cleaning - I teach piano lessons in my spare time so my house is generally "visitor prepared" for that. My early labor list of things to do is a quick cleaning of the bathrooms and straightening up of our bedroom. I do want the kitchen clean enough that they can do things in it afterwards (placenta smoothie, anyone?) and find anything they need easily if they are getting food or something. But, I keep my kitchen pretty clean this time of year anyway because otherwise we get ants.
Toys and stuff like that, I just don't care about, and I'm pretty certain they don't either.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ladies, thank you so much. So many wonderful ideas! I don't know why I didn't consider the frozen food idea. I may not get meals from anyone else but there's no reason I can't have one or two dishes frozen and ready to pop in the oven for the midwives! Also, I've planned to have lunch meat, cheese, veggies, fruit, and bread. That's easy enough, right? Does it *have* to be a hot meal?

Also, another thing that totally made me feel better (even if it's not-so-nice) is to watch homebirth videos online and see that my house, even when it's at it's most cluttered, is less cluttered than most of the houses I see on there! So it helped me to realize I'm being to hard on myself.

I looked over our list of "must haves" from our midwife and alot of it is the kit I can order. The rest is not so daunting.

I'm getting more and more excited. It really does help to keep yourself surrounded by like minded people and watching births online. Thanks again!
post #13 of 14
it will all work out!

as far as food, keep it simple! throw a selection of lunch meats and sandwich breads and cheeses in your freezer. put them in the fridge when your labor begins. stock up on granola bars, snack size chocolate bars, nuts, gatorade, juice. protein is important for energy, but don't buy anything strong-smelling. you don't want anyone's hot dog breath in your face while you are pushing! the things i mentioned can all be purchased well in advance and checked off your to-do list. and no one will be sitting down for a meal while you are in labor. quick energy boosters like a sandwich that can be made and eaten quickly are appreciated but both the mama and her support.

if you want to make freezer meals: lasagna, enchiladas, marinated meat for grilling, bbq chicken, chicken strips, soups. all easy, cheap, and freeze well. you can also freeze cookie dough. i used a melon baller and froze individual scoops of dough, then packaged a dozen per freezer bag. perfect quick treat when you have company after the baby. (although they should be bringing YOU treats, sometimes we still feel obligated to "hostess.")

if you are stressed out about your house, there are a few solutions depending on your time and budget.

if you can swing it, pay someone to come and clean your house when you are about 38 weeks. then all you need to do is maintain it. wipe things down once a week and pick up clutter. not too bad.

if not, about a month before your due date, print out a blank calendar from the internet. dedicate each week to a certain area of the house. and one day every week to doing a few little chores that make a big difference in your houses appearance.

example: every monday i wipe down my bathroom, clean the toilets, vacuum the floors, and wipe down visible dust. i spot clean my wood floors and wash mirrors and low windows with dirty fingerprints/ dog breath prints. i also change sheets on this day. it takes me about 20-25 minutes. maybe a half hour. really!

for the other stuff: dedicate week one to your kitchen. one day, clean out your fridge and microwave. another day, wash the floors and walls. another day, clean out your pantry. another day wipe down your cupboards and trash can. by the end of the week, your kitchen is spic and span and most of that will remain presentable until the baby comes.

the next week do you your living room. the next, your dining room. the next the bedrooms.

do your dishes everyday. you feel less overwhelmed if they do not pile up. if you handwash, keep some warm dishwater in your sink and wash as you go. if the water is already there, you won't feel that it is such a chore to wash them. if you have a dishwasher, keep it unloaded so that you can keep those dirty dishes out of sight.

if you have a w/d, do a load of laundry every day. don't let it become a mountain.

this really makes your cleaning list manageable. and when you are heavily pregnant, you don't have the energy to a big one-day clean. and at the end, you need to save that energy for your birth.

if you have kids, take them to the park. the less time inside, the less time they are trashing the place!

i hope this helps. i got into these habit when i was expecting my homebirth and have stuck with them. it's just so much less intimidating to do a little every day.

oh, and it none of this happens and your house is trashed and your pantry is a wreck, don't sweat it! you'll have a baby and you won't give a hoot!
post #14 of 14
My midwives assured me, the house does not need to be spotless. I had planned to clean the house a few days before my due date, but was tired and didn't feel like doing it. I laid around watching movies instead. I was glad I'd just rested, because I went into labor and wasn't exhausted despite a long, difficult birth. The midwives had no problem working around the dirty dishes in the sink. Also they insisted I not prepare any food for them, as my employees they preferred to bring their own food- they even brought their own drinking water.
Your midwife needs you to be in top form. A messy house and empty fridge isn't going to bother a midwife nearly as much as a frantic, stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted mama.
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