Whether you are welcoming your first child or adding a new addition to your family, the intense pressure to “do it all” is sinking in. Here we offer a stay at home, work from home, working parent tested, and child endorsed plan to get it all done.
From laundry to cooking to feeding to play time, the following simple steps will help you get through nap times, cleaning, self-care, exercise, and even private moments alone with your partner.
You have made it through pregnancy for the first, second, third or fourth time. You have hung newborn clothes on tiny hangers or sorted tubs lining your basement with a miscellaneous collection of hand-me-downs. You have gotten through labor and delivery. You may have shit yourself or watched your partner in ways you would like to forget, for a second, third or fourth time. Now you are on your way to beginning a new life with your little wee one.
Step 1 Rest.
Be sure to sleep when the baby sleeps. This is so important when you have just. one. child. Whomever gives you this advice as a parent of multiples, unfriend them now.
Fall asleep when you can, even if your armpits could kill a freshly bloomed rose. Go to sleep and do not sleep with your baby, that is how sleepless years begin. Just go to sleep, even for a minute. Put the baby down, turn the tv on for the toddler, hold them in a head lock and close your eyes. Try to remember what life was like before the gentle beeps of your alarm clock became the screech of a child in dismay.
Step 2 Keep a tidy home.
Keep your home clean and organized even if it means denying yourself or others attention. The cleanliness of your home reflects who you are. Dust free, stocked with essentials and floors you can eat off of. The cleaner the better. Focusing on the importance of appearances will help eliminate your anxiety and stress.
Be sure to recycle and remember to take out the trash. The musk of old soiled diapers could be confused with the hottest new perfume or essential oil. Let plastic pile up on the counter until it falls over covering the dust bunnies that are making new families in the corners of your home.
Sticky fingers are the best for windows and walls, so let them smear.
Ditch the broom and dustpan and invest in a cordless vacuum you can carry on your back. You will need it that often. Remember, appearance is everything.
Step 3 Cook all your meals from scratch.
You are dicing, you are slicing, you are making fondue. The kids are crying monstrous tears tugging at your ankles and the dog is shitting on the living room floor. That’s ok because dinner will be served hot, fresh, and at the same time every evening.
Scroll for hours on the search for the next most challenging recipe you can make to prove your sanity. Or read review after review on the food delivery box that is just right for you and yours. Which ever you chose, be sure to incorporate a side of blood, sweat and tears. Put your everything into every meal so the madness of only 50% of your dinner guests eating it drives you to the drive thru. You have par boiled your way to madness anyway.
Step 4 Then again, eating is overrated.
Getting a baby out of your body is hard work. If you think you have experienced hunger like no other following delivery just wait until you have forgotten to eat for 24 hours because your sole focus in life is to stop peeing yourself every time you move.
Giving your baby the best is not easy. So only focus on the baby at this time if you have more than one child. Grab a bag of Doritos and turn on the tv for your other kids because when every nipple, God given or man-made, just stops working for your baby you will need some Doritos too.
Hide sweets under the bedroom pillow and between couch cushions to fend off the hangry because exhausting mornings and sleepless nights will not be a thing of the past for a long while.
Lastly, find one thing to master in the kitchen the whole family can enjoy over and over. Peeling back cellophane, over boiling potatoes, or burning the meat. Hunger is where memories are made.
Step 5 Take care of the laundry.
Have a mountain of dirty clothes? You can wash, dry AND put away the laundry. The best way to do this is set reminders on your phone. Remember to remember to remember them and not to swipe. Take the kids with you and put them to work sorting the lights from darks or matching socks. Then once the clothes are washed and dry, carry the baby in the basket and throw everything on the bed or couch. Sleep on them for a couple days until you wonder where all your clean underwear and baby have gone.
Step 6 Stay in shape.
Need to exercise? Go for a walk or do some yoga. Strap the babies on or in and get out of the house. Fight them the entire way to stay in the stroller, stop crying, stop hitting each other or hold in their poop. Argue about the color of grass and the sound the squirrels make. Get two blocks and return home more exhausted and less refreshed.
Better yet, surrender child duty to your significant other with hopes of getting to the gym. Then fall asleep pulling your exercise pants on.
Step 7 Do not put your career on hold.
Running away from diaper changes is essential parenting. Rock paper scissors on who gets to go to work, or leave the house all together. Fall asleep in meetings and miss deadlines, it’s the only way your boss will know you’re alive. Sign up for extracurricular work and your share of unpaid overtime. Your coworkers have done enough in your 3 week absence, plus this is a sure way to get ahead.
Step 8 Have sexy time.
Making time for intimacy is a must. Stay sexy, your partner is looking past the seven days of breakfast smeared on the pajamas you’ve worn for eight days in a row. The hottest new bedroom trend is to see who can stay awake the longest, or binge watch Netflix trying to avoid the end of the day so a new one doesn’t begin. Play these games in the bedroom for a good time with your significant other.
Step 9 Sign your kids up for everything.
Having more things to do and places to go will only keep you going. So do it all. Soccer, karate, trips to the zoo, goat yoga, rock hunting, swim class. Leave no hour unscheduled. The more you schedule your kids, the less disappointment you’ll feel for the other sacrifices and broken promises you will make in the future.
Since you have all the time in the world, we will keep the rest short.
- Spend time with friends in your dreams.
- Start drinking. The earlier the better, you still have to get up in the middle of the night to tend to your responsibilities.
- Go grocery shopping every other day because the weekly list you try to make that hangs right in front of you on the refrigerator door is never complete and you have run out of diapers again.
- Say yes to everything. Travel across town with the babies to sit in a hot room celebrating something you do not even remember RSVP-ing to.
- Drive while sleep deprived to get to the office early or meet with friends for play date tantrum parties.
- Most importantly, agree to host a holiday in your home with a new baby. Torturing yourself with all of your family is better than leaving anyone out of the experience.
If you can follow these steps you are guaranteed to be a SUPER PARENT. Cheers to you and doing it all!
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