Finding time: Time management tips for new moms
New moms buy back extra time by being smart and organized. When there aren't enough hours in your day, use some smart strategies to gain time.
It's common for new moms to wish their days could be stretched to accomodate everything that they need to do. With a newborn in the house, there are added responsibilities that leave little time for sleep, time with their partner, or coveted moments alone. If you need a few extra hours, some time management tips will help.
Organization can help eliminate a lot of "new mom" stress. Make it a priority to have a place where you log in appointments - from the pediatrician to work responsibilities and deadlines. Knowing what you have to do daily, over and above caring for the baby, will ease anxiety. And you'll also be reminded ahead of time when you need to enlist the help of friends, family or a babysitter to make it to an appointment. Plan ahead, with easy solutions such as keeping a back-up diaper bag ready and loaded in your car, or choosing your work clothes the night before. Not leaving everything until the last minute will actually end up saving you time!
Don't be afraid to ask for help or assign managable duties to those who offer. It's simply impossible for one person to do it all, so discuss with your partner and helpers what responsibilities they can take on. Getting people to pitch in is easier than you think, especially if you break down household tasks into small bites. Your partner might volunteer to do the grocery shopping or start a load of laundry after dinner. Talk about what needs to be done on a daily and weekly basis, and decide who can help.
Just say no
Saying no often means you disappoint someone, but with a new baby your time is limited. Time demands that aren't necessary will stretch you too thin at this point in your life. Learn how to graciously and firmly say no to requests that you don't have time and energy for. At some point in the future you might have time to restart volunteering and doing charity work, lunching with the ladies or chairing a committee. If there's no time to spare now, say no.
Work out a routine
From having a regular schedule for household chores to planning your evening menus in advance, having a schedule for "must dos" can relieve stress and free up some extra time. There will always be hiccups in your schedule - sick spouses and spilled milk - but schedules keep you on track for getting your home and office responsibilities taken care of. By writing things down, you'll be less likely to forget the important things.