For the first three months after I gave birth, I didn't do much besides sit on the couch. Well, if you consider that the reason my butt was glued there was due to cluster-feeding -- sustaining a brand-new human life -- I guess it's a bit more than nothing. There was a lot of bathing, diapering, and comforting Ada, too.
Still, the house was in absolute shambles.
Food was always basic and boring.
It was, as so many had told us it would be, s-u-r-v-i-v-a-l.
Somewhere around Ada's 3-month birthday, I got a second wind for the whole nesting thing. I couldn't stand living in heaps of laundry anymore. So, I decided to get organized and get stuff done. At first, the plan was easy: Get one thing (chore) done each day.
But it quickly evolved and developed momentum once I organized my approach.
#1: I took a lesson from the Pomodoro Technique. Granted, I didn't read much more than the basics. Set a timer to 25 minutes. Stay on task during that time. Take a 5-minute break. Repeat a few times.
My approach is modified (Image Source). I can't always devote and entire 25 minutes. More like 15 sometimes 20. So, I break my chores into smaller task-chunks. And that break can often last half an hour or more depending on where we are on Ada's schedule.
#2: I realized if I was going to make those 20 (or so) minute bursts of productivity count I'd need to make a schedule. It's very loose and I don't always stick right to it, but here's where I put my focus during the week:
Laundry, diaper laundry, and dishes are on the list every day. Otherwise, I don't try to tackle everything unless I'm feeling up to it. Nor do I usually have time to prance around the house with a dust-rag. You do also notice some days off. What can I say? I get burned out easily.
#3: I don't wait until naps to do what's on my list. Actually, it's much easier if I don't have to tip-toe around while I'm cleaning. I have toys strategically placed in different rooms. Like today, I folded clothes and stuffed diapers while Ada played in her crib.
My friend Sarah bought us this awesome doorway jumper for my shower. It's been especially helpful when I'm working upstairs. I strap her in to jump in the doorway of our bedroom -- and I can move my way through the entire upstairs and have her in my line of sight!
#4: I rest when she rests. I know the golden rule is to try and get everything done while the baby sleeps. But I'd rather use that quiet time to relax. This week, I'm trying to get Ada to take naps in the nursery again. She won't sleep unless I'm nearby. So, I've been playing games on my Nook, rocking in the rocking chair.
#5: I take advantage of daddy-daughter time. When Stephen gets home from work, there's an opportunity for me to quickly run around and cross at least another couple things off from my to-do list. Plus, it gives Stephen time alone with Ada when I'm not yammering away, which I tend to do without having much adult interaction all day.
How do you keep it together?
I'm definitely still learning and would love your tips & tricks. One of the most common words of advice I receive is to strap Ada in the Moby and do stuff. Now that she's bigger, it's much harder to do so without straining my back. Maybe I'll get better at it. I hope!
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