So much of your focus will be on feeding the baby (and feeding the baby and feeding the baby!) that it may often seem daunting to get some semblance of dinner on the table. This is where advance planning can be a lifesaver.
Double up on any meals you prepare during your last trimester. It does take a bit of extra effort to make two lasagnas rather than one, but you'll be grateful you did once your baby arrives. Have at least two week's worth of meals in the freezer before your due date. If you run out of freezer space, ask a neighbor for a short-term loan. And accept all offers of food from friends and family!
Take Out Your Dinners
Today's take-out meal options are not limited strictly to restaurants. Many grocery stores and food delivery services now offer high-quality prepared foods. While you may be opposed to paying the higher price, those few extra dollars are well worth the peace of mind of knowing that you and your family are eating nutritionally sound meals. Accept that such luxuries become necessities, at least in the short run, once Baby comes home.
Lose the White Gloves
A tidy house is a contradiction in terms for new parents. With all that needs tending in those early days home with a newborn, there's simply no sense worrying about the cobwebs accumulating underneath the beds and the mud tracks across your kitchen floor. If you know that a messy house will make you crazy once Baby arrives, plan to call for outside reinforcements. Hire a cleaning service or, better yet, ask your friends and family to pitch in and buy you cleaning help as a shower present. It sure beats another set of spit-up towels.
Don't Forget the Little Niceties
Scented candles, bubble bath, chocolate that's too expensive to share . . . Such luxuries will likely be far from your mind when you're stumbling through those first few weeks home with a baby, which is all the more reason to have them on hand. "An indulged mother is a happy mother," is not a common expression, but it should be.
These suggestions will free Mom's time to do what she most wants and needs those first few weeks at home: recuperate and get to know her precious new baby.