Manage Your Task List Like a Boss Even with a New Baby at Home
Last week, I showed you how to use my Postpartum Support Matrix worksheet to help you determine where you need extra help and support right now and over the long term.
This week, I’m showing you the next step: How to manage it all and make sure everything is getting done, even if it’s not you doing every single thing.
(And, in doing this, if you discover that it IS you doing every single thing, you’ll also discover how to pass those things off to someone else.)
One of the most common things I hear from new moms is that they suddenly feel like there are so many more things they have to do now. The chores seem to multiply literally overnight!
But you can totally handle it all like a boss. You just have to make a plan and make sure your partner and support people know where they can jump in to help. (Because the boss doesn’t do everything, they delegate out.)
That’s where my Home Life Management Hub spreadsheet comes in.
This tool is where you’ll keep track of all the tasks you do throughout the day--even the ones that you don’t even realize you’re doing or don’t even realize they’re tasks to be managed. You’ll make a comprehensive list, then determine who does each task, when, how, who is doing them, and which ones are a burden that could use some extra support.
I recommend you share this tool with your partner and (ideally) even work on filling it out together. I also recommend you share this tool with any support people you have in your life--your parents or in-laws, close friends, your nanny, the other moms at your child’s daycare… Anyone who might come to visit regularly and you trust to help.
Not sure if this tool is for you? I promise, you don’t need to be a new mom to see the value in this spreadsheet.
If your kids are juggling after school activities, this is also for you.
If you and your partner both have crazy work schedules, this is also for you.
If you are a human being trying to do it all in our complicated, modern world, this tool is for you.
I’ve already been getting such positive feedback from users of this spreadsheet, it’s amazing:
One mom told me she didn’t realize she was doing everything until she sat down and typed it all out.
Another told me that her partner had been wanting to help for a long time, but just didn’t know where to jump in--using this spreadsheet solved that problem (and put an end to their arguments over it!).
A couple shared with me that it helped them identify the areas that were most important to them, so they could prioritize the tasks they needed to do now, and ones they would work toward and plan a date on the calendar to get them accomplished ASAP (i.e. their trust and will, buying a new car, planning family vacation, etc.) This ended their arguments, since they felt they were working together instead of having separate ideas in their heads about what the priorities were.
So, check out the tutorial below, try out the spreadsheet yourself, and see how it helps you.
When you’re done, you can print it out, highlight the tasks you need help with, and post it on your refrigerator. That way, when visitors come over and ask how they can help you, you can just direct them to your list and let them find the tasks they’re willing and able to do.
(Also, I realize not everyone is a fan of spreadsheets. If you’d rather clean a million toilets than ever have to deal with spreadsheets, I get it. Still, I recommend you download it and have a closer look. You can easily modify the content for a Word doc or Evernote or even good old-fashioned pen and paper, if you want to.)
Now, let’s get started...
Get your FREE Support Matrix & Home Life Management Spreadsheet here:
Are you so overwhelmed that you don't even know what you need help with or what you want your role to be?
Are you ready to start delegating and making sure things get done, but need a place to manage it all?
Then, check out the Home Life Management Hub "How To" video here:
If you missed the matrix tutorial video, click here to watch.
One of the challenges I hear from couples when they bring home a baby is that they find themselves having way more chores to do and feeling like they are doing them all themselves.
Hi, I'm Catherine O'Brien at HappyWithBaby.com. And last week I shared a video where I walk you through my postpartum support matrix, and in that video it helps you to identify the areas that you need help with, especially when you are not even sure what to ask for. And today, so today I'm gonna go over my home life management hub, as I like to call it.
This is been developed over many years of teaching our workshop, "Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival Guide to Baby's First Year", where we discuss household management, and how to talk to your partner about it, and how divvy up the tasks, and where to ask for support in...plus many more conversations I've had with couples and in sessions through the years. So this is my little gift to you to use and you can edit and change it according to your own little family and what you guys need.
So let's take a look at that. Alright so when you download the link, so you will receive this Google spreadsheet and it will be in a read-only spreadsheet. So when you get that, all you have to do that you can then you know make any changes and edits for yourself is you will go in - so then you will go into file and you will make yourself a copy, so make a copy. Click on that and then you can do you can do your own, you can edit it for your own, so you could be like the "O'Brien Family Home Life Management Hub" or whatever you want to call it. So we'll just do that for the sake of it. And I can't spell my name. O'Brien family...check out my typing skills today. The O'Brien Family Life Management Hub. All right, so you change it to whatever you want it to be. Here it says "duplicate this file before using". Yes. OK, master copy. OK, save that. Alright. So then it's gonna be yours and you'll be able to edit it and make any changes you want to it for yourselves.
So let's go through--I want to walk you through just some ideas and things to think about. I have it broken down here into all the different, all the different chore types. So I have it broken down here to all the different chore types, so we got the household management chores here on the left and you can see like nail prep cooking meals washing dishes kitchen cleanup and then some errands, things that need to get done like grocery shopping, auto care, any pet vet appointments, dry cleaning drop-off, parenting stuff, like bath time routine, bedtime routine, doctor's appointments, arranging babysitters, childcare, whatever.
Finances as well, so budgeting, tax filing, financial advising, whatever and then other things I that you want to do. And so these are, these are--Other doesn't mean they're not important. These are other things that I didn't have a specific category for them, so if anyone has a tip on what would be a good category, that would be great too. But, planning date nights, very important. You probably have heard me say that many a time. Doing your weekly check-ins. Have you done your estate planning, travel bookings for any vacations you have coming up... just and then, you know, purges of unused stuff, mowing the lawn, birthday party planning, whatever the things are that are important that you know need to happen and get done.
And then of course you can add any other specific categories that are needed for your family, things that you need to do. And so then it will break it down to like details, so so it's kind of, let's go through that. Let's walk you through on how you might want to talk about that.
So meal prep, if you haven't checked it out already, I did a "one of my favorite things" video on easy meal prep thing that I have found that's been working really well for our family. It's called eMeals, and it will like give you different recipes and you can choose the recipes you want and then it will help you create your grocery list. So that's a time-saver and then you can also, so then you just have your grocery list, you can go to the grocery store or you can order through Instacart, and then it also gives you the recipes and like how to go about prepping them and stuff like that.
So it's such a huge time saver for us, but maybe you, you're like for additional information, like okay so like this app comes out every Wednesday with the new recipes for the week and so maybe that's when I would go through it. Or typically I don't go through it til like Friday or Saturday, so maybe I say Friday, you know, pick meals cause then on Saturday, I go cooking, I go shopping and then Sunday is like any like things that I'll prep for the week like I know I'm gonna have to cut up vegetables so maybe I know that's going to be a time--it's gonna be a huge time saver for me because during the week things get hectic and when I get home from work, I don't have a whole lot of extra time between when I get home and when the kids are hungry. And so, or we get home from practice or whatever. So, I know I just want to be able to like throw things together and get it done as quickly as I can. So maybe I'll do the meal prep then, but or the some prep on Sunday.
But yeah so maybe that's--so you can put whatever details you want, like checkout eMeals app. Maybe I would say that. Or you could say, you know, go through recipe books or maybe you put together, you know, some cards with your your favorite recipes on it and it's, you know, it's--you pick those meals out that week. So then you're gonna say who's going to do it. So I just put "me" on this because that's I'm typically the one that does the meal prep stuff, but maybe you do alternate, like for cooking meals. It could be you and your partner, so you guys both cook meals alternating nights except for Friday is take-out or maybe Friday is pizza night or whatever. You decide to do or, you know, every Saturday is date night. So you don't have to cook meals, then but kind of have it like laid out.
And do you need help with cooking meals? No, you don't. Or yes we do, you know. Maybe you do one of those programs where there's delivery service, like I know here in town--actually I don't know because I haven't checked that out in a while, but where it would deliver prepared meals to you and then you can just like heat them up or whatever and so then that's great. So something like that.
So you're deciding, you know, what works for you and your partner, like is it something you want to do? Do you not want to do it? And so you kind of go through it and and I have this divided up even further, like so January through March, like this is our plan during this time, you know. And then maybe you're gonna re-evaluate. Is that working for you guys in April and June? Maybe depending on your jobs, like it's you know yeah this works now, but you know April and June, that's like a busy season for me, so I don't--I know I'm not gonna have as much time, so maybe I need to rely on my partner a little bit more for that. Or you know, this time of year we definitely need to get help because this is a busy season or something like that. So I mean those are things you can consider as well, OK. So yeah, so check that out.
Or yeah maybe you have extra support, like you have a nanny and they can help with washing dishes, or your mother-in-law comes over every Tuesday and so maybe you always say like, "Hey, can you do a couple meal preps for us?" And maybe you get the ingredients and then they prep the meals and then you store them in the freezer or whatever like that. So things like that.
Think about what is helpful, like pick up toys, yeah, the kids can pick up the toys. Cleaning floors, like we started doing where our kids use the Swiffer and when one kid sweeps and the other kids does the Swiffer and they alternate on that. So, granted, my kids are older now, so we're able to get them to do some of those other things, but if you have a baby they're not going to be sweeping your floor. But so right now, you need help, but it's not always going to be help.
So this is something you can go back and continue to update and change as you need it, as you need to, OK. So, this is hopefully something that can continue to be helpful for you and just give you ideas and things to think about that will make your life easier. Because we we all need help. We can't do all these things by ourselves or with our partner all the time.
And then I think it can also be helpful because a concern that I hear from many clients is that they feel like they're doing all the tasks, right. They're feeling like they do all the grocery shopping, they do all the cleaning, and then they're doing the nighttime routine, and all those things. And so I think it can really help you look at like, OK, who's doing the tasks and where do we where do we need help?
And maybe your partner is more than willing to do these things, but you're so efficient with the way that you do them that they're not even sure where they they come in on this. And so they need, they need a little help. So you could do, you can write the details of how you do it. Like OK, this is, you know, this is the grocery store I go to, you know, these are the the items, these are the brands I like to buy, you know, things like that. Or this is the dry cleaning, you know, so who's gonna pick it up, who's gonna drop off? This this is the store I want it to be done at, you know, those kind of things.
And then, bath time routine. When is it and how does it, you know, how does it normally happen? Like bedtime routine, do you, you know, read a story, give a bottle, and then go to bed? Or how does that work? And kind of give like the details, so if somebody else were to come in and do it they are not going to do it exactly like you, but they would have an idea of like how it goes, what time it starts, what time it finishes. And then those things can be easy because then if you, when you--I was gonna say if you do, but no, when you do go on a date night, it would be easy to just, you know, have that already written for whoever's filling in for you, a babysitter or a family member. They all know exactly kind of the way that it goes and you don't have to recreate that.
So these are some things that will help that you don't have to always keep reproducing and rewriting and that sort of thing. And you can always update this because you can, you know, you can have this Google spreadsheet, you know, on your phone so you can, you know, update it at any time.
So hopefully you find this helpful. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, you know, what's working for you guys, you know, maybe what's not working, and how we can adjust that. So let me know how it goes.
And if you like this and you also want, you know, more tips or more tricks on things that you can do when you bring baby home, you know, check out our schedule for our "Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survive Guide to Baby's First Year". We have some new dates coming up here soon and in the new year, and we're also expanding to some other areas. So if it's something you think that your community could use, you know, send us an email and let us know.
And until next time, you guys, take care and have a great day.
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