07 March 2007

"Chore board" helps postpartum visitors help you

During those first few weeks with a new baby, here's how Mieke helped her visitors help her:

Notice how everybody wants to come by and offers to help but you end up having to do *more* rather than *less* because of all the visits? Well, we put a "chores-list" up on the whiteboard. That way, whenever people said "Let me know if there's anything we can do," we could point to the board and say "Actually, there' s a list riiight there. Pick whichever you'd like to do..."

And yes, anything goes. Different people like to do different things to help, so you might as well list anything you can think of. Doing dishes, starting/folding laundry, running errands, putting together the new swing/toy/etc, grocery shopping, footrubs, cleaning toilet, mounting a curtain-rod, cooking a tasty meal, addressing thank-you notes, changing sheets... Almost everybody is happy to do just one small thing to help. And you'll feel better too!

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This is one of the very best ideas I have heard on the helping subject.

I would add that a food wish list might add value to the FOOD category. We had a wonderful neighbor who several weeks prior to give birth gave me a list of meals she would like to prepare for us and said - pick 5.

I love this idea; I'm definitely going to use it. Last time around, my MIL walked around with a video camera the entire time! NOT what I had in mind as helpful - or all that appealing as I learned how to nurse/bathe/diaper my first babe!

That is a great idea. Even though our kids are older now (4 and 6) I might steal this idea to help keep my husband and I on track w/ the chores.

Although it is my profound hope that no one ever needs this, over the last several weeks I've been following the sagas of several families whose children have had extended medical crises. Whenever a child is in the hospital (whether it's an infant in NICU, or an older child hospitalized for a major illness) at least one parent is usually at the hospital with them nearly full time.

On the list of chores, I would add, childcare (or special outings like a zoo trip or a movie) for siblings.

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