1. Communicate. Talk to your family about the help you need, especially if you are the sole parent taking care of night-time feedings. Ask everyone to take on something extra so that you will have time to get plenty of sleep. Be specific, too. I have known many a new Mom go crazy because new Dad didn't do that-thing-that-Mom-never-
actually-asked-him-to-do. (Including me, oops!).
2. Say yes. Every single time someone offers you help, accept it! Have a list of chores that need doing around the house that you or your spouse can present to anyone who asks. This will require a generous spirit on your part - someone else may not vacuum the way you do, make the bed the way you do or do laundry the way you do, but it's okay! It's getting done, enjoy that it is done.
3. Tiny goals. Set yourself the absolute tiniest goal that you personally would like to achieve daily, one that will give you a sense of accomplishment. When my son was born, this was putting away mess from just one room every day. My husband would scoop up anything out of place and put it in one high spot, so that if I had the little guy in a baby carrier I wouldn't have to bend over. Hanging out in my tidy room at the end of the day helped me to feel great.
Of course, more than all of this, remember to go easy on yourself. There will be days when baby gets no sleep, wants to be fed every 30 minutes, and cries a whole lot and the house will be a mess. That's okay! No one is expecting you to have a perfect home right now, no one is even looking at your house right now, all they care about is that precious little smile, those tiny fingers, those chubby little legs. Awwwwww.
(Image: Alison Gerber)