It can be very difficult to know when to accept help as a new parent, I definitely struggled with the concept of anyone helping me in any way and almost felt like I should just be getting on with things.
The initial offers of help were from my husband’s side of the family as they live locally, and while I could have accepted and put them to work around the house doing chores, I didn’t. I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of someone else ‘rummaging’ through my things. This probably stems from when we lived with them and I would feel like any personal space I had was invaded, but as I would have been home myself I was realistically being totally unreasonable. What I should have done was suggested they brought some meals over or just gave the living room a quick vacuum once a week so I could relax with the baby.
When my own parents came to meet Baby B they stayed at a local B&B and spent the day over with me. Again, I almost felt like I had to put on a front of being able to do absolutely everything just fine 3 weeks post birth, and refused any offers of help. It wasn’t until I went up for a nap one day and came down to find my kitchen had been cleaned to perfection for me that I realised just how grateful I was that they were there. That week was particularly hard for me as my husband had just gone back to work and so I was technically on my own with Baby B for the first time.
Don’t think you have to be perfect those first few weeks. You can look a mess, you can let the housework slide, you can binge on takeout and freezer meals if you want. But if you look closely at yourself and actually think to yourself ‘I could really do with a hand with XYZ’, then ask someone rather than try to struggle on by yourself.