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How Can I Get Household Help After Birth of a Baby?

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Updated December 31, 2012

household chores

Many parents welcome household help after birth.

Getty Images, Design Pics/Don Hammond
Question: How Can I Get Household Help After Birth of a Baby?
My wife is about 36 weeks along, and I am starting to think about what life is going to be like once we bring our baby home. I know I am going to have to step up and help out a bit more around the house as we transition, but what other advice do you have for getting help after the birth of a baby?
Answer:

First, kudos to you for realizing ahead of time that your wife may need to lean on you to help with the housework, and that this baby is going to necessitate changes in your family life. In the weeks ahead, there are many things you can do to make that transition a little more smooth.

Take the Change As It Comes

During the first few months as everyone adjusts to your new family, it can be hard to juggle the care of a newborn and maintain the household. Rather than fighting this change, perhaps the best thing to do is to accept that it is going to happen. Fretting about keeping up the perfect home should not be your focus in these early months. Once you all feel that you have transitioned comfortably to life with a newborn, you can then find ways to balance housework with parenting.

Accept Help When It Is Offered

<>Until that happens, find ways to make household chores more manageable. To begin, do not turn away people who offer to help in any capacity. Ask them how they are interested in helping and provide them with some ideas. Tasks like providing you with a prepared meal, washing a load of laundry, running for groceries, or caring for a pet may be ways that their assistance would ease your burden. Jot their names and numbers on a list as they volunteer for help before the baby is born. Don't hesitate to follow up with them after the birth and communicate your specific needs.

Help With Groceries

Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a situation where you do not live near family or friends on whom you can rely. If that is the case, you may want to consider just a few paid services to help get you through those first few weeks of adjusting to life with baby.

One such service may be grocery delivery. Depending on your location, there may be several delivery services in your area. Additionally, many online grocery delivery services are available via the internet. Peapod, Netgrocer, Amazon, GroceryWorks, and many others offer this service to certain locations.

Help With Housekeeping After Birth

Another suggestion might be to utilize a cleaning service for a period of time (See also: Before You Hire a Housekeeper). More than likely you will find local cleaning services listed in a telephone directory. The other possibility would be to pursue a chain service, such as Merry Maids.

The final bit of advice about trying to find a balance between caring for a newborn and caring for a home is to always prioritize. Presumably, the needs of your newborns and the physical needs of you and the mother should always take precedence. Give both you and her permission that everything does not have to be done, and that everything does not have to be done perfectly. As you transition to this new family dynamic, you will find ways to manage your family and household. Just do not expect everything to be at a balance from day one.

Other Tips for Fathers

  1. About.com
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  3. Baby's First Year
  4. Parents' Needs
  5. Help After Birth - Keep on Top of Household Chores

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