These are some of the few things I have learned along the way — you can (almost) get it all done in due time.
PREPARING YOUR HOME
1. Hire someone to clean your home a week or two beforehand. I mean spotless. Because you won’t be doing that for a while. And it would be nice to at least have a head start on the dirt and grime.
2. Two words — AUTO MATE .Just kidding! It’s one word but how much more dramatic did that make it? All those pesky bills that keep your lights and heat on? Automate them. Automate everything you can so you don’t have to spend precious free time searching for that password to login to pay a bill.
3. Freeze Meals — For me, this meant a huge pot of gumbo and a huge pot of red beans and rice, and a huge pot of taco soup. I was able to freeze a few meals from each one. It has been so nice to pull one out and have a hot delicious meal with little effort.
PREPARING YOUR MARRIAGE
1. Go on dates. Laugh. Talk about things other than pregnancy symptoms or how much money is hemorrhaging from your bank account these days. Talk about what you are excited to do with your new baby. Or even the things you are going to miss. The important thing to remember is not to panic if you can’t make this happen. I had a MAJOR freakout about two weeks before Vivi was born and just kind of panicked thinking me and Tyler’s heyday was over. We’ve had a lot of fun together and I had heard enough depressing stories about how kids change your marriage. Guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way. Leading me to #2.
2. Plan future dates. This is big. It’s going to be hard to do. You may not want to leave your new bundle alone with ANYONE. But do it. (Someone trusted of course.) Our dates are that much more important now that we have Vivi. It’s such a special time of laughs and fun conversation. I hear husbands enjoy seeing their wives the way they did when they were dating: carefree, adventurous and their best friend. Get all dolled up and let your husband treat you like the special lady you are. New moms might be feeling all sorts of insecure for so many reasons. These nights are the perfect way to put a pep in your step.
3. Fight for it — Your marriage has always been worth fighting for, but pre-kid, it was probably fairly easy. You just have to fight a little harder for it now. Fight for QUALITY time together. Fight for finding the best qualities in each other. Fight to selflessly love them even when your tired. It will pay off ten fold. Ten fold, people!
PREPARING YOUR MIND AND BODY
1. Repeat after me, “I am laidback. I will go with the flow.” The saying “bend so you don’t break” has never been more true. Going into this whole parenthood thing knowing you will be ok no matter what comes your way, is liberating. I had a lot of plans of how things would go. I normally do. I’m a planner. I’ve ruined a good many things by being disappointed when my expectations are not met. This time, I wised up and I laid my schedules and rules at the feet of God and just kind of said “This is what I have in mind, but I’m trusting what you have in mind more. Do what you need to do.”
2. I’m going to say it. (Don’t hate me, older moms!) Don’t catch up on sleep. Sleep like a normal person. Or sleep how your used to. Enjoy some late nights out. Just whatever you do, enjoy it. I honestly never understood why moms always said to sleep in preparation for having a newborn. You can’t store up sleep. Sleeping 15 hours a few weeks before baby comes isn’t going to help you when your one month old will not stop crying at midnight. I WISH it worked like that. I would have slept from January through October if it did. On the other hand, I know getting 3 hours of sleep a night is not a good idea either. You don’t want to be sleep deprived before you even begin. But, you didn’t have that in mind, did you? And let’s be honest, you won’t be able to avoid sleep deprivation. I think the best thing I heard was from a friend who said that she, like me, LOVED her sleep. I’m an 8-hour-a-night kind of gal and have pretty much feared having kids for the sheer reason that they’d put a dent in my sweet dreams. We’re talking since high school I’ve been dreading this. Well my friend’s wise words were simple. You just get used to it. Y’all this was LIFECHANGING for me. This was my altar call moment. Instead of fighting it and getting mad at Vivi for not sleeping all night as soon as possible I just got used to it. It’s like I didn’t even think that was an option knowing my love for a long sleep. Even at 10 weeks, Vivi is still waking up once a night many nights and I’m fine with it and not clawing my eyes out to get a solid 8 hours.
Best of luck to all those new moms to be out there — I have faith in you.
Date night with Tyler two weeks after Vivi was born.