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<p>Just as many of us are starting to think in detail about the birth, I'm also starting to wonder about how to make sure I have a good postpartum period.  Last time I found it brutally hard...  I pushed myself physically and ended up injured, I had a totally high-needs infant whom we couldn't put down, family visits were about entertaining them rather than them helping us, etc...  I ended up profoundly sleep deprived, stressed, ill, and with breastfeeding supply problems. </p>
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<p>I'm lucky in that I'll technically be on maternity leave starting in Jan BUT I will still have to keep up with several teaching and publishing projects so I won't actually be completely off at any point...   DH works from home and is contract.  He can take off as much time as he wants but we won't get any money.  My salary is not enough to live on!   But, DH is my partner and I can rely on him entirely.  DD is also a great helper.  We have a few good friends here but almost all have 1 or more kids and are pretty busy themselves.  I have one sister who lives in town.  The rest of our family is 4-8 hours away.  So when they come... it's not just for an hour!</p>
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<p>This time, it's going to be different but I'm not sure how to make it so. </p>
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<p>Here are a few ideas about things I am definitely going to do:</p>
<p>- Plan to have DD continue with school but let her skip if she wants and not get stressed about her being late (no one cares about that but me!) </p>
<p>- Pay for a housecleaner to come and clean the main part of the house every few weeks.</p>
<p>- Cook a ton of favorite meals in advance and store them in our deep freezer. </p>
<p>- Buy pads, meds, toiletries, etc... in advance.</p>
<p>- Buy some easy lunches for DD in advance to make prepping her lunch easier each evening (mac and cheese is ok, mac and cheese is ok, mac and cheese is ok...) </p>
<p>- Maybe get one more set of sheets so I can have clean sheets without doing laundry!</p>
<p>- Keep a shopping list on the fridge in case anyone actually does try to help-- they can just take the list and go shopping.</p>
<p>- Strictly control visits to include only people whose company I can enjoy and around whom I can relax.  With that, not allow anyone (except maybe my youngest sister whom DD adores) to stay as a houseguest. </p>
<p>-Stocking up on novels and setting up a few cozy nursing stations that have books, blankets and water bottle easily on hand.</p>
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<p>Things I'm considering:</p>
<p>- Asking my mother to stay at a suites/hotel/apartment for 2 weeks around my due date to take care of DD and help postpartum.  She's unemployed and can spare the time.  The place I'm thinking of has great discounts for people associated with my university so we can make it affordable.  Downside... my mother makes me crazy.  She's more likely to make a mess and nap on the couch than to help me out. </p>
<p>- Insisting that in-laws only come for a few hour visit rather than their customary weekend-long-every-minute-in-your-space visits.</p>
<p>- postpartum doula?</p>
<p>- some new quiet non-messy (ie not paint!) toys for DD to play in bed with me and babe or on couch with me and babe.  Anyone have ideas? </p>
<p>- buying a few pairs of hanging around clothes that can double as pjs so I can have clean clothes that I can also wear to pick up DD at school so I won't fuss about getting dressed or laundry quite so much.</p>
<p>- enrolling in a Babies Music Together class come Spring time (we already take music together with this instructor and I adore her!)</p>
<p>-finding a mommy and me yoga class during daytime hours.</p>
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<p>What are your plans or ideas?  What's worked for you in the past?  What hasn't worked?</p>
 

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<p>I just started my post partum plan that I'm writing out so that people know what to expect and how to run the house. That will be mostly for my husband and my mother, who, like your's is likely to nap on the couch. I'm lucky to live in a wonderful community. Dinners will be brought to me for a little while, they arranged housecleaning which will be great, my ds will have playdates if he needs it, and there will be a list on the fridge of easy but helpful things they can do to help. The list will include things like fold a load of laundry, vacuum the living room and hallway and read ds a story. I'm going to be a bit of a diva. The last time, I wasn't and it wasn't good. I ended up depressed and with low milk supply. This time, like you, it's going to be different. Here's a copy of my rough draft which I revise all of the time. Yes, it's pretty detailed, but with a mother and husband like mine, it needs to be. </p>
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<p style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:22pt;">Postpartum Plan</span></p>
<p>The following is a list of things you can do to support the baby and me as we recover, bond and begin breastfeeding. My plan is to rest and nurse for as long as I can to recover fully and prepare myself for the new role of mother of two.</p>
<p><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Please wash dishes as they are used. This will prevent dirty dishes in the sink and will save time as no one will need to stand at the sink washing an entire day’s dishes.</p>
<p><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> At least two loads of laundry washed, folded and put away daily.</p>
<p><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Please encourage Hunter to keep toys put away.</p>
<p><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> I will need breakfast, lunch and snacks prepared daily. Dinners will be taken care of by the wonderful Mamas of Ojai.</p>
<p><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Please keep visitors to a minimum for the first week. I will need privacy. I would like to know when anyone is coming in advance and would like for any visitors to know to keep visits brief.</p>
<p><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Heather will be coming in to clean. Please have things ready for her.</p>
<p><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> The chickens will need to be let out of their coop in the morning and put in their coop at night with a blanket covering. I give them one scoop of chicken food in the morning, check their water and give them compost (under the tree) during the day or whenever the compost bowl needs to be emptied. They eat whatever we eat.</p>
<p><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Cats are fed on the washing machine. I give them one scoop in the morning and one scoop at night as well as water.</p>
<p style="margin-left:.25in;"> </p>
<p style="margin-left:.25in;">Hunter will need to be supported during this transition. I plan on allowing him to bond with his little brother at his comfort level while also allowing us to sleep. The following is a list of things he’ll need.</p>
<p style="margin-left:.75in;"><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Teeth brushed. He flosses every night before bed. He might need help getting to all of his teeth.</p>
<p style="margin-left:.75in;"><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Daily bath or shower. His hair will need to be washed every few days.</p>
<p style="margin-left:.75in;"><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Tuesday and Thursday are school days. He’ll need to be dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed and have his lunch made before taking him to school at 9.</p>
<p style="margin-left:.75in;"><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks made every day. He likely won’t eat whatever is brought over to us. Try to get him to eat as much fruit as possible.</p>
<p style="margin-left:.75in;"><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> No TV except on Saturdays.</p>
<p style="margin-left:.75in;"><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Ready for bed before 7. He should be in bed before 7. I can get him to sleep.</p>
<p style="margin-left:.75in;"><span style="font-family:symbol;">·     </span> Try to keep track of his daily activities. He has a form that needs to be emailed to the school weekly. Sean knows where this is on the computer and there are plenty of samples to look at if you need help. Lots of birth and baby care can be included in the work record as well as learning games, books read, field trips and whatever he’s done at school. </p>
 

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<p>I'm mostly just going to wing it.  I feel pretty lucky, because DP is going to take a week off  of work when the baby is born, and my mom has offered to come over and cook/clean whenever we need it.  My mom is retired and really looking forward to helping as much as she can, which I am really thankful for.  We get along well so I feel like I have a good support system.  The extended visits from DP's family in March, on the other hand, I am really stressing about...</p>
 

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<p>This thread has some great ideas.  I am also thinking about postpartum plans as I am starting to get nervous about managing my 3 year old while also taking care of the baby.  DH has a crazy work schedule and works night shifts so he won't be much help.</p>
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<p> - My daughter goes to a babysitter 3 mornings a week because I work part time.  I am planning to continue this.  If she resists, I'll hire a mother's helper to come to the house and play with her.  She is in a separation anxiety phase and does better when someone comes to the house, especially if I am there.</p>
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<p> - Have a "cooking party" with my sister over the holidays and freeze tons of meals/breads/cut up raw chicken pieces that will be easy to thaw and stir fry with veggies, etc</p>
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<p> - Load up on nonperishable healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruits, etc</p>
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<p> - Either hire a housecleaner or ask for a gift certificate to a cleaning service.  I don't need a lot of baby stuff so if any friends or coworkers asks what I need I am planning to suggest this.</p>
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<p> - I REALLY don't like my dd watching TV but I am planning to buy one or two one hour videos so if I am exhausted I can let her watch a video while the baby naps and I sleep on the couch.</p>
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<p> - DD's birthday is next week and then Christmas so I'm getting her (and asking family to get her) some quiet/crafty things to do - I bought her washable watercolors and a paint book and a stamp set.  I'm also asking for things like playdoh or any other craft things - I figure I can nurse the baby in a sling while I help her with these things.</p>
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<p> - Since this will be a winter baby, I'm planning to take advantage of all the free activities in my town - things like story time at the library, international story time at my local international restaurant, the children's museum (my mom has already bought a family pass as a Christmas present for us) - they also have a preschool program once a week.  These things are good because they can engage/entertain DD and get her energy out and I can veg out with the baby in the back of the room. </p>
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<p> - My mom will be coming for at least a week - she recently retired and is really good at helping out/cooking/cleaning/shopping/playing with DD.  She lives 2 hours away but my sister is due 6 weeks after me with her third so my mom will be in high demand :)  DH's family isn't close by.</p>
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<p> - Try not to worry about how messy the house is or how much the laundry is piling up - as long as I have clean diapers for the baby and clean underwear for the rest of us we'll be ok!</p>
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