When you’re in the last few weeks of pregnancy, the thought of getting off the sofa for a cup of tea can seem as remote and challenging as a mission to the moon. It’s important to start getting organized for your first year of motherhood as soon as possible, while you still have the flexibility and the inclination to wield a paintbrush, make checklists and fribble over nursery color schemes and the price of maternity underwear.
Think practical. While you might cherish the thought of having beautifully coordinated decor, it will no longer seem in the slightest bit important at 4am when you’re feeding a little one, your back aches and all you want is a nursing pillow and to crawl back to bed as soon as possible. Consider all the stages of caring for your baby, and what might streamline the process. Designate stations: one for feeding, one for changing, one for bathing and one for sleeping. Your baby’s cot should be safe and accessible, while the feeding area should be comfortable and the changing area well-stocked.
It’s a good time to assess your home’s fire safety. Have all your smoke detectors and electronic equipment tested, and know your escape routes. As soon as your baby begins to crawl, he or she will grab, chew and bash into anything and everything. Make the time to buy some safety gates for rooms like the kitchen that are just too dangerous to leave open to little explorers. Cover unused sockets and eradicate all tiny, chewable objects early. Have a well-stocked medicine cabinet for both mother and baby, and emergency numbers by the phone.
If you have any spare time in the first few months of motherhood, you’ll spend it sleeping, so try to blitz the housework before your due date. De-clutter rooms, stow away anything that isn’t immediately practical or necessary, and work with your partner and close family to hand over some chores.
As a new mother, your life will, inevitably, switch from proactive to reactive as you dedicate all your time to your baby. Prepare to relinquish control of the housework, allow standards to slip a little, and when you meet your newborn, you’ll understand why everything else can fade into the background, if only for a little while.