Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just Give In

As I think about soon becoming a mother of two, I find myself wondering what changes I'll make to keep things (and myself) running ok. Over the past year-and-a-half with one child, I feel I've learned quite a bit about the job and thought I'd share how I've given in/accommodated/found new solutions to things...

1. Set up windows of time. Whenever possible I try to give our family a window of our anticipated arrival time when making plans. I've noticed that I tend to get my bossiest/most frustrated when I feel the time crunch closing in, but if we give ourselves a bit more leeway with when we're suppose to be some place, things run much more smoothly.

2. Make meals in advance. I laugh to myself when I think of that post I did a few months ago on eating out because I know that's so not the best way to do things on a lot of levels 1- cost, 2- health 3- environment, and want to therefore note that really only went on for about a month or so during the I-can't-seem-to-ever-eat-enough-to-sustain-myself-and-this-growing-child stage of pregnancy. Since then, my husband and I have now teamed-up to take on grocery shopping and boy do we love having a stocked house full of food and ready-to-go healthy meals! I make sure to bring at least 1 recipe with us so that we've got one good home cooked meal per week and so far that's been working out really well. Please feel free to email me if you're looking for some good and easy recipes!

3. Refrain from being logged on the computer all day. This one just happened this month and is something I've been fighting for awhile. I've justified it in the past by how I'm not a big phone person, but still enjoy connecting with people. I would therefore log into my email and blog in the morning and check them both periodically constantly throughout the day (I don't have Internet on my phone, nor do I ever want to!). This bothered my son tremendously...probably from birth. Can you imagine anything more annoying than the sound of someone typing in your ear while you were trying to do something nice and relaxing, like eat? Yes, I used to be one of those moms who would breast feed and type at the same time! :O. I later discovered that this was also bothering me since I was just getting in 5 min. here and there instead of the full time I needed to just sit down and check out, or get things done. After many tries of setting up furniture/silly barriers to keep our son away from our computer area, I finally decided to just give in and buy a child latch lock for the doors to our computer armoire where it stays locked up for the large majority of the day. Outta sight-outta mind! I now only log in if I wake up before him in the morning, at his lunch time (btw- he now feeds himself!!!), and/or nap time, and at my laptop right before bed. This last time often gets skipped since by this time I'd much rather sleep or read, but it's nice for me to know that I've got some computer time already carved out for myself by myself. This new routine is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be, plus I'm finding I'm more productive and much more in-the-moment. Like they say, "less doing, more being."

4. Try taking satisfaction in cleaning. I sometimes think how much easier our lives could be if we had a maid. Then I quickly snap back to our reality of a one-income household, the size of our modest townhome, and how satisfying it can be to clean myself. I also took the time to make a list (in case you couldn't already tell, I'm big into lists) that breaks down what needs to get cleaned on a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly basis and realized when I look at that way, it's really not that much. I also make sure to play music, and use Mrs. Meyers cleaning products that leave everything smelling oh so good (love the lavender scent of her All Purpose Cleaner) and me prideful of a job that I can cross off my list!

5. Explore all the child proof options out there. Since having a child, we've adopted the motto of: a safe home = a happy home because we believe in allowing our children to safely explore and freely discover their surroundings while we as parents continue to live in a somewhat civilized, organized, and peaceful home. I've created a win-win environment for us all by finding clever child proofing gadgets, and creating convenient spaces (such as a couple of drawers dedicated to toys in our kitchen) and other storage solutions all around our home so that it doesn't always look like a crazy kid zone (I have A LOT of baskets!). Of course there are varying stages of child development, but chances are your child's not the only one getting into things, and there's probably already an easy solution out there to make it safer, or that you could create yourself. Most recently we came across this handy device that has been such a lifesaver for our curious little monkey who loves to climb! It was super easy to install, only $5, and is removable. We're also big fans of walk-thru child gates (thanks Annie & Justin for having one so that we knew they existed!). 

6. Get a quick get-ready routine down. I never knew I'd have to say goodbye to pretty much my entire collection of jewelry, but after seeing what my son could do to the toys he pulled on his activity mat, I knew that me wearing shiny/sparkly/loopy earrings and necklaces would be like dangling bait in front of a fish (not that I've ever actually gone fishing, nor do I often liken our child to a fish). SO, for the sake of my earlobes and fondness of my jewlery, I retired them (for now) and picked out a nice assortment of lobe earrings (meaning ones that don't dangle below the earlobe). To make up for the lack of variety/pattern/color around my face, I've since been wearing more headbands/scarves as headbands, and hair clips....although sometimes these sparkly clips spot his attention too!  I also have a rule not to spend longer than 10 min. with my make-up. I feel much more presentable when I wear just a touch, but hate feeling like a slave to putting it on, or running after my son as he rumbles through our bathroom as I try to get ready. Once I simplified my beauty routine, I feel more in control of getting us out the door. This quote from Clueless actually says it best: "Not a total Betty, but a vast improvement."

That's it for now. I'll be sure to do another post post-baby #2 on other parenting tips/life lessons I've learned. Until then, I'm going back to sleep before another busy day begins!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great list! The windows of time thing really resonates with me, because like you, I get all stressed and whacked out when we are supposed to be somewhere but we aren't even close.