Bringing Baby Home: The Importance of Setting Realistic Expectations

Bringing a new baby home turned our world upside down. Jeremy and I had no idea how good we had it before Margaret came along. We were both working full time, free to utilize our resources however we wanted. We had plenty of time to complete housework and socialize with friends. We were free to put our needs first and do what we pleased. We could sleep as much as we wanted whenever we wanted. We were free.

Margaret newborn

Photo taken by Amy Oliver

Then Margaret came. All of a sudden we had to do some serious prioritization. Everyone says, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” Okay, if I’m nursing every two hours and then sleeping when Margaret sleeps, how in the world am I supposed to get anything else done? When do I shower? When do I eat? How do we keep the house clean and dishes washed?

We knew we couldn’t keep up with the house the way we were able to before baby. We had to make the decision to strip things down to the bare essentials. We had to set clear expectations for how much we could accomplish during the day while having a new baby. We had to realize we couldn’t still do it all.

When we try to “do it all” while caring for our little one, we miss out on enjoying that sweet yet fleeting newborn stage. Children change so much during the first days, weeks, and months of life. No freshly mopped kitchen floor will ever make you feel the way you do when we look into your baby’s eyes and hear those first coos.

If you’re a Mama preparing to welcome a little one, keep the following in mind:

  • Be sure to discuss with Dad how you two are going to handle things around the house. Decide together what will take priority and what will wait if needed.
  • Be flexible and don’t expect things to work out as planned.
  • Be open to change and willing to accept help (even if those helping don’t do things quite as you’d like them done).
  • Let go of control.
  • Focus on taking care of your baby and yourself.
  • Be attuned to Dad’s needs during the transition as well.

Know that nothing is more important than cherishing each and every moment. Every wonderful, frustrating, beautiful, desperate, blissful, exasperating, wild moment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *