6 Chores List Ideas for First Time Parents
Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding adventures in life. But it also comes with immense challenges, one of which is managing the household. To keep up with tasks, use our tips on chores list ideas that work well for parents with newborns.
One look into your baby’s eyes will make all the hard work worth it. Because hard work it will be! If you’re a soon-to-be parent, you don’t know it yet but you’re about to be more tired than you’ve ever been in your life! And fatigue can cause other challenges you don’t always plan for.
But you can at least manage some of those challenges, such as getting house chores done, even starting before the birth. If you’re more prepared by using our chores list ideas, you can enjoy your little one more and worry a little less.
Here’s what the pregnancy books don’t tell you.
What are the Biggest Challenges for New Parents?
Part of avoiding unnecessary stress and anxiety is to be realistic about what’s coming. A prenatal class may show you how to put on a diaper and teach you about feeding times. However, nothing can prepare you for how much you’ll miss sleeping soundly in your bed for eight hours straight.
Lack of sleep is one of the biggest challenges first time parents mention. Unfortunately, being that tired can even cause mental health problems and conflict between partners. Along with this, learning to navigate the new roles you need to fill when you become parents can cause chaos you didn’t expect.
One way to minimize the tension in the house is to plan in advance for as much as you can. Using chores list ideas is a practical solution to avoid frustration relating to housework. So, keep reading to get valuable tips that many parents realize only months after their baby arrives.
Managing the House as a New Parent—Some Wise Words
Your life will never be the same again. For one thing, you’ll be a family instead of just a couple. But many couples also face changes such as:
- Different meal plans: At least for a while life is more manageable if you stay flexible and settle for meals that don’t require much time or effort. You can stock the fridge with frozen meals beforehand or prepare in bulk each weekend, for the days ahead. Our chore list ideas will also help you manage mealtimes’ logistics, like preparations and cleaning up.
- You’ll have a messier house: When a baby takes up most of your attention, you may not have enough time or energy to clean up as usual. Being flexible in this aspect will avoid unnecessary feelings of guilt for dirty cups and unwashed laundry. Your chore list ideas, such as a chore chart or chore wheel will help you regain some control. But accept that the house will be a bit different AND it may take a while before you get used to the new rhythm and schedule.
Now, how exactly can you manage what’s coming and not completely lose control?
Chores List Ideas that Actually Work
Be Prepared BEFORE the Baby Comes
Let’s be clear. Once your baby is born there won’t be time to plan and implement your chore lost ideas. Your time will be consumed by caring for the baby and keeping up with other aspects of your normal routine.
Also, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible enjoying your little one. So, creating a new chore system when you see dishes are piling up in the kitchen simply won’t work. Do it NOW, before the due date gets close.
List All Tasks—Old and New
To start, make a list of all possible tasks you’ll need to do once there’s a baby in the house. This includes:
- Both parents’ work responsibilities, according to your circumstances. Will mom take maternity leave, or do you still need to run your own business? Can dad work from home to be close to his new family or will you only have time for chores after hours?
- All existing household chores, both inside and outside the house.
- New chores relating to having a baby in the house. This ranges from washing bottles to having more laundry and even picking up toys once he or she is old enough to play with them.
- Responsibilities of taking care of the baby. Consider feeding times, changing diapers, burping them, putting them to bed and much more. Go online to find lists of parent’s daily tasks or talk to friends who already have kids. You need to have a realistic expectation of what’s coming if you want to plan efficiently.
- Me-time for both parents, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Yes, looking after yourself should be a priority task. Self-care is important because it enables parents to give more to each other and the baby.
- Grocery shopping to limit the chance of running out of diapers or baby formula.
Dividing the Tasks
Now comes an important discussion about who will take on which tasks. A fair division requires you to recognize that taking care of a baby is as challenging and taxing as a job outside the house. If mom takes care of the baby while dad works, both will be tired at the end of the day. So, who will take care of night-time feeds and preparing dinner?
There may not be a way to prevent you from feeling exhausted. But you can divide chores in such a way that both parties carry equal responsibilities. This prevents unnecessary squabbles about housework.
Also, taking turns at certain tasks can prevent feeling overwhelmed by a specific daily challenge. For example, if mom is breastfeeding, she may have to get up for all night feeds. But if she knows she doesn’t have to do any dinner preparations on certain days, it can bring a sense of relief.
Have a System
When baby arrives and you function with less sleep than ever before, your brain won’t remember much of how you divided up the tasks. You need an effective chore system to view and manage the tasks.
Smart chores list ideas usually include a visual chores calendar. You can have a schedule on the fridge but using technology is even more effective. With a chore tracker app like Enzo you can have your task list on hand. It will be accessible even if you’re stuck on the couch with a sleeping baby in your lap, too scared to move for fear of waking the infant.
Is Your System Easy to Manage?
A chore tracker app also makes it easy to adjust or add tasks on the go. You need the flexibility with a baby in the house. You never know when you may need to rush to the doctor and you want to ask your partner to pick up a script on the way home.
With a chore tracker app, changes to the schedule and adding tasks only require a few clicks. And other users can view changes immediately. No miscommunication! And everybody will stay up to date in real time.
Outsource to Friends and Family
It’s also smart to make your immediate support group part of your chore plan. Family and friends often want to help but some people don’t know HOW to help. Others may be intrusive by doing too much. Rather discuss your needs with them so they can assist without invading your privacy boundaries.
For example, you know which if your family members like to cook. So, ask them to make a few frozen dinners or organize in advance which days they can bring over food. On the other evenings you will be by yourselves, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by a constant stream of visitors.
Family members who enjoy organizing may love picking up your groceries or managing your dry cleaning.
Once again, managing tasks digitally is helpful here. You can ask them to join your task management system on the chore tracker app. Keep them updated of your needs and they can confirm when something is taken care of, so you feel in control of your household—even while you’re changing yet another dirty diaper.
The bonus of asking family to help: the only payment they’ll expect is a few cute photos of the baby every day.
Time to Get Organized
You’re probably loving the preparation time for the newborn, buying cute clothes and looking at baby room gadgets. Or perhaps your little one has already arrived and you can’t get enough of the cuddles?
But don’t forget to also implement some structure. When sleepless nights start taking their toll, you’ll be glad you have a system in place. And with the Enzo chore tracker app it’s super easy to manage—and adjust when needed as your priorities change.
Download now or talk to our team if you have a question about how to use Enzo as part of your chores list ideas for families. Once your baby turns into a toddler, continue using the system to teach him or her to also help with tasks. You’re all set for a very manageable household one day!