Asking for help can be very difficult for moms. We have consistently been able to keep up with everything before having kids, so why would we not be able to do that after kids? This thought is very easy to have, but it is just not correct. The workload increases significantly once you have kids, and what seemed possible before may not be possible anymore.
This can also be a tricky topic of conversation with your partner. It can be easy to point your finger at your partner (or vice versa) and blame them for not helping out enough. And that may be true - some partners don’t help out enough. But they also may, and there is still too much work to accomplish and get done. I encourage you to sit down with your partner and discuss, without blame for either person, how things can get done. I encourage you to be open to the fact that perhaps your partner can not pick up the slack. If that is the case, then discuss bringing in outside help. Try not to blame the other person for things not getting done but remain teammates and think of solutions that will work for both of you.
Here are some suggestions on help to consider after your child arrives. You may find that these may be helpful for a season (3-6 months after the baby arrives), or they may become more permanent solutions for your family. These types of services can be so helpful to clear your mind (from work or even your environment) and help you be a better parent and partner to your family. That is often worth the investment.
Grocery shopping can be so time-consuming! To sit down, make a list, drive to the store, shop for food, drive home and unload all the items. Navigating this task around nap times can add to the stress of getting it done. Grocery delivery can take some of the stress away by allowing you to combine the job of meal planning and making a list and the time it takes to go to the store. With grocery delivery, you don’t have to navigate nap times and can even finish up after the kids go to bed and have them arrive the next day. Some grocery delivery services include Amazon (Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods), Thrive Market, Instacart, or your local grocery store.
Meal Prep Services
Meal prep services include Homechef, Everyplate or Hello Fresh, and many more. These services can be helpful if you or your partner struggle to get the cooking done. Cooking every night for your family is a big task, and you may lack energy, motivation, or time once you have kids. If you want the food items all prepped for you and to be able to cook a meal quickly, this may be an excellent option for you.
I found a meal prep service helpful during postpartum after guests left (who helped with cooking) but before I could routinely meal prep and cook again. Cooking is outside of my husband’s comfort zone and so having everything prepped and an easy recipe to follow allowed him to be more helpful in the kitchen as I continued to heal. This was a temporary need in our family, and once I recovered more and increased my energy, we stopped this service, and I began cooking again.
Keeping up with house cleaning can be difficult. Adding more people to the family also does not make it easier. House cleaning can feel like a luxury that you should not indulge in, but it can be a massive asset to your family. Some weeks we can’t get it done! That is okay, but we often become so burdened by the task of house cleaning, and it can often feel like such a burden. You can schedule this service weekly, bi-weekly, or even once a month. Small local cleaning companies often offer excellent house cleaning for a lower cost than the larger companies. This can also be a service that can be helpful more temporarily as mom heals, regains energy, and gets more of a routine in place. If you find that you can handle more housecleaning or your partner has more capacity to help, you can always cancel.
Babysitter for Errands
When I suggest seeking help from a babysitter to run errands, some moms are shocked by this. This can be so helpful, though! Imagine scheduling a babysitter to come for 4 hours one to two times a month for you to schedule appointments, run errands, or have a lunch date with a friend. This is an act of self-care that moms feel guilty about too often. The assumption is that you should be taking your kids with you because you can take your kids with you. I want to give you permission that just because you can take your kids with you does not mean that you have to. Allow yourself to prioritize your needs and your mental wellness. Sometimes this means scheduling this time for yourself.