Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Preparing for a New Baby

As I approach the birth of our third child I find myself quite a bit more prepared for the first few months with a newborn  than I was the first time. Having a baby changes life. You wait for it to go back to normal but it doesn't. Instead your family finds a completely new normal. It can be a tough process, especially if you don't do any preparation. Since we are 13 weeks away from my due date I have been spending a little time praying and thinking about the upcoming adjustment. 

1. Pray for the adjustment period. I know that my family will adjust better if I handle the transition well. I always claim Pro. 16:1 here. That verses says, "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord."  The God can guide me in what I need to do. I pray for my husband and the boys. I pray for wisdom in the practicalities and wisdom for the emotional stresses. 

2. Know it's a season. You hit a rhythm in just a few months. Just wait. Don't freak out if you don't feel like yourself or nothing feels right. It's a feeling; it's not truth. 

3. Give yourself grace. Prepare to do less. This starts with some practical stuff and the moves to mental stuff. I'm prewriting blog posts. I'm reviewing some old favorites for offertories. I'll put food in the freezer. We'll take a holiday from homeschooling for a few weeks. Then after the baby is here, don't worry about the dust or your normal schedule for a few weeks. Do what is most important for the people and let the rest slide (just not permanently). 

4. Don't over contemplate delivery. It's really one of those things we have very little control over, regardless of how we like to think otherwise. What happens, happens. I can't change it. I know that God is with me and is in control. I have a doctor I trust. Pray and move on. 

5. Buy some pick-me-ups.  I always give myself at least 2 months before I expect to start feeling like myself. Before that I simply remind myself that I just had a baby and let it go. (If this lingered significantly beyond the 2 months, I would seek assistance. My doctor would be third on the list. I know what is normal for me; use wisdom.) But I find some new books to read starting while we're at the hospital.  Have someone bring in fresh flowers for the kitchen table. Play your favorite music. Make a list of what cheers you and prepare for that. 

6. Form new habits beforehand. Think of things that irritated you after you had your other babies. (Or if this is your first baby what you think will challenge you.) Change what you can. For me, I am changing the time I make Micah's formula. I have made it while the boys ate their bedtime snack for at least a year. But soon I'm going to have an infant to feed then. I will not enjoy needing to make formula once I finally get the big boys in bed and I'm trying to teach a baby when to go to sleep. So I'm moving formula making time back to dinner prep or cleanup. That way it will already be a habit once Caleb arrives. 
-I'm also changing around my Bible reading. I end up doing most of my Bible reading at night while I'm up feeding the baby which means I read on my iPad. That is not my favorite way to read and so I am already reading on my iPad more just to get adjusted to it before I'm also super tired.  

It's a transition; it passes. And you get a beautiful new member of the family. But do help yourself out with the process. I'm expecting to see God show up in crazy big ways in my personal life in the those weeks just as He has been in the past few weeks. He is a personal God always at work in even the little things.

How do you ease the transition of a new baby? 

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