Recently, I ran into an acquaintance who had a new baby. He was exhausted and exasperated and stated, “I just can’t wait for things to get back to normal.” I smiled and sympathetically nodded but inside I was thinking, “Oh Sweetie- didn’t anybody tell you? Things are never going back to normal!”

Although your life is about to change (for the better!) here are a few tips to ease the transition.

1. Plan ahead: A month or two before your due date, try to make double of every meal you make and freeze the second portion; It will be one less thing to worry about it.

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2. Let it go: The first couple of days, or even weeks, are so hard that sometimes you need to just accept that your house won’t be spotless and a shower will feel like a luxury. But you know what? That’s okay! The only person judging you is you.

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3. Accept help: With laundry, with meals, with burping the baby. This is especially true if you have a C-section or a difficult episiotomy.
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4. Reach out to friends: Post-partum blues are normal! In fact 70-80% of women experience them in some form. Your friends will be more than happy to make a coffee-run with you. It’s healthy and important to remind yourself that while your life might be different, you are still you!
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5. Lower your expectations: If your expectation is that you will watch a whole movie or even finish a meal without the baby waking up you will be sorely mistaken. Most babies sleep well in the hospital. Leaving the hospital with my own newborn, the nurse leaned to me and said, “We turn the babies on when we send them home.” She wasn’t joking.
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In a nutshell, the key to transitioning from a couple to a family is to remember the word today. Don’t worry yourself with the next 18 years, 18 months, or even 18 days. Just do your best today and today will be just fine! In fact, it might even be glorious.