Let's be honest...
...becoming a new mom is hard.
The lack of sleep, the leaky boobs, the wondering if you’ll ever leave the house not accessorised with baby vomit...is hard.
But what if we could make motherhood just a bit easier?
(Obviously, I’m talking about getting organized.)
Making just a few simple organizing tweaks can make life much easier as a new mom.
And to prove it, I’m sharing 7 organizing mistakes I personally made as a new mom - and what you can learn from them.
7 Easy Organizing Tips for New Moms
1 | Automate Shopping for Essentials
Diapers, wipes, baby food...you’re going to need that stuff for a while, mama.
For some unfathomable reason I did not automate this and I paid the price..... in cash AND in convenience.
I should have headed to Amazon and hit ‘subscribe and save’ on the Pampers, wipes, baby food and mommy vitamins.
If you don’t love the idea of using Amazon like this, one alternative is to create a master shopping list with your baby essentials pencilled in each week or month so you don’t even need to think about adding them to your shopping list.
2 | Create a Packing List
When our baby was born, my husband was in the Army and we lived far away from family and friends.
So at least once a month, we packed up and travelled the country to go visiting.
After a couple of months, I finally got sick of starting the packing from scratch each time.
So I created a master packing list.
I wrote down the items we always need to pack.
And I laminated them.
(I so should have done this sooner!)
And again, I’m focusing on taking things out of your head and creating a system so you don’t have to remember them.
3 | Set up a Photo Organization System
How many photos do you think you’re going to take of your newborn?
Whatever number you just thought of, double it. Then triple it. Then add a few zeros to the end.
So, why not set up a simple system for dealing with all your photos?
And I was soon overwhelmed.
But it doesn’t have to be a complicated system:
Create folders somewhere safe - One for each month should be enough.
(Please not on a laptop hard drive where you’re one decaff latte accident from a photo-loss nightmare).
Schedule an appointment with yourself each month to sort out your photos. Set a reminder so you don’t forget.
Send off the photos you do want printing to the trusted company of your choice. (Don’t forget to order a few extra copies for any relatives who might not be tech-savvy - great grandma, I’m looking at you.)
Choose a printed photo storage system. I love the Container Store’s Iris 12 Case Storage Container (*NOT an affiliate link - I just love it)
Bask in the glory of your organizing system - smug-mode 'Engaged'.
Or you can use a service like chatbooks.com to take all your Instagram or Facebook photos and make them into pretty photo books. Easy!
4 | Recycle Your Meal Plans
If you love eating, but hate mealplanning, let’s be friends!
Mealplanning is one chore I hate.
But with a little initial work you can *kinda* automate it.
In the first few months of motherhood, each week as baby slept - because ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ is dreadful advice - I’d slump on the couch to write a mealplan.
And at the end of the week, I’d throw that mealplan away.
And then start again.
Like a masochist.
What I should have done, is write a bunch of mealplans and then just recycle them.
Yes, that would have meant eating the same meals every couple of weeks.
But if you’re going through a life-altering period, like bringing home a newborn, the last thing you’re going to think about is ‘hey, didn’t we eat mac & cheese 3 weeks ago?’
5 | Prepare Snacks (Lots of Snacks)
Ah, the hunger of a breastfeeding mama!
When you have a tiny human milking you countless times a day, you need to keep stocking that fire.
And those snacks ideally need to be prepared in advance and edible using only one hand.
I totally dropped the ball on this one in the first few weeks of baby’s life. But my husband quickly realised that a hungry mama, is a grumpy/homocidal mama and stocked the fridge. Thanks, sweetie!
There are so many ‘snack ideas for nursing moms’ on Pinterest to choose from.
So treat snacks like meals and add them to your meal plan.
6 | Stick to a Self-care routine
New moms are not famous for looking after themselves.
But - as the saying goes - you can’t pour from an empty cup.
At my most sleep-deprived, I remember being too tired to even clean my teeth before going to bed. Gross, I know.
Looking back, I should have been stricter on self-care.
I don't like to get bossy, but...
You should keep those dentist appointments.
You should order that take-out occasionally.
You should leave the laundry piled up on the kitchen table when you're too tired to deal with it.
You should say, ‘hey, he’s your baby too!’
And you should take 5 minutes to do something for yourself (ugly crying in the shower does NOT count as self-care).
7 | Create A Weekly Schedule
Going from career girl to stay at home mama was a massive shock for me. Each day was suddenly a carbon copy of the last one.
Is it Monday? Is it Thursday? It doesn’t matter - they’re all the same now!
And it took me a hideously long time, but I eventually set up new routines for my maternity leave.
For example, on Mondays I’d clean the kitchen and take baby to a mother-toddler group. No matter what else we did, these two things were part of our daily theme that made Monday different. (Glamorous, I know.)
It worked for me, so I made little themes for each day of the week.
I know it looks rigid but it really isn’t.
The weekly schedule can go straight to hell if you’ve had a bad night or are too tired to brush your teeth.
Motherhood is Tough
And I’m definitely not saying you can organize your way out of the worst of it.
Motherhood is a control freak's nightmare. But a few tweaks here and there might make the road easier.
Just remember, it’s not a case of ‘if’ you screw up.
But ‘when’ you’ll screw up.
And we’ll all be there, right by your side, screwing it up too.
You got this, mama.