8 Tasks New Parents Can Delegate
There is so much great advice out there to help new parents get through the first few weeks of parenting…from feeding tips to sleep schedules to self-care ideas. And there’s one piece of wisdom that comes up over and over again: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Though it’s true—parents need help, and they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it—when you’re in the haze of new parenthood, coming up with concrete tasks to dole out can feel like a job in itself.
That’s where this list comes in! The next time a neighbor or family member offers to lend a hand, delegate one of these eight useful tasks. (And psst! If you’re reading this not as a new mom, but as a partner, friend, or family member…feel free to pick up one of these jobs without waiting for her to ask!).
From loading the dishwasher to running a vacuum across the floor, there are so many helpful things that friends or family can do around your home during the first few weeks while you’re still healing and recovering from delivery. A few ideas to assign a trusted friend include:
Loading/unloading the dishwasher
Changing/taking out the trash
Dusting/wiping down surfaces
General pick up
Light yard work (think: mowing the lawn or shoveling a driveway)
Grocery shopping is getting easier thanks to pick-up and delivery services but since those types of services don’t exist in all communities yet, having a friend help out is huge. Create a list of groceries you need and hand off the list and money to a trusted friend or relative.
But since even coming up with a list takes precious mental labor, here are a few items to consider stocking up on:
Fresh fruit, nuts, pretzels, yogurt, and other ready-to-eat healthy snacks…these are great to have on hand (and literally within arm’s reach)…especially if you are breastfeeding
Coffee, tea, creamer (hello, caffeine is a must)
Easy to prepare meals that require little prep
Tylenol and ibuprofen (childbirth is no joke!)
When you come home from the hospital with a new little member of your family, the very last thing you’ll want to do is cook for everyone. Before your sweet bundle arrives, take up your friends and family members’ many offers to help out by creating a dinner chain. Ask each person to cook a dish to be delivered on a certain day, that way you don’t have to cook for the first week or two.
Running Small Errands
Once you are home from the hospital, life will suddenly feel very busy. Even a 20-minute drugstore run may be out of the question. Ask someone to help you with small errands, like hitting up Target for basic household items, stopping by the post office to pick up or drop off mail, or even something like taking your car in for an oil change. The tasks that will feel cumbersome with a baby on board are perfect for delegating out to friends and family who genuinely want to help.
Organizing and Assembling the Nursery
If you put off things like putting together that cute dresser or finding a way to organize your new mountain of onesies, then enlist a friend to help. You could even make an afternoon of it and order a pizza, invite over some friends, and work together to get all of the baby furniture and gear sorted.
Walking the Dog
Our furry friends need love and attention too! For the first week or two postpartum, ask someone you trust—and who your pet trusts— to help out with walking, grooming, or vet appointments.
They say that only two things in life are certain—death and taxes—but any mom can tell you that laundry deserves a place in that age-old truism. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family to help out by tossing in a load of laundry when they pop over for a visit. And if they’re a really good friend, they’ll even help you fold and put your clean clothes away (the dream!).
Babysitting (So You Can Nap or Shower!)
When the grandparents come over to coo over your adorable new baby don’t be afraid to take advantage of the visit and ask them to help out for a while so that you can take a well-earned nap or a shower. It might sound crazy, but a nap or a shower might start to feel like luxuries in the first few weeks home with a new baby.
The best part about taking up people on their offers to help when a baby arrives is that it gives you the chance to check in with yourself, to get some rest, and to settle into your new life with a little bit of ease. Create your own lists of things that you think you’ll need help with and don’t be afraid to take your loved ones up on their offer to lend a hand.
Another way to have an extra pair of hands at home? Check out SNOO Smart Sleeper. SNOO mimics the movements of a caregiver to calm crying, so you can have a safe place to put your baby while you run to the bathroom, take a quick shower, catch a nap, or fix a snack.
- Mental Health Resources for New Moms
- Healing and Recovery After Birth
- Postpartum Resources for New Moms
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.