You know those easy babies you can just lay on their play mats and they seem content to hang for hours?! Yeah, that has never been my baby… not even for a season. Hi, I’m Corrie new mom trying to figure out how to mother … and still be a good wife, friend, goal getter. Motherhood feels a lot like sink-or-swim… there is no adequate preparation for the change between autonomous and needed 100% of the time!
Here are just a few things that have helped me along the past 4 – months, some are physical steps you can take, some are mindset shifts. But regardless of if they help or not, just know that at the end of the day, if your babies are alive, and fed, and thriving at becoming the little people they are meant to be…that day was successful. If you are a mama, you were created to be that little one’s mama and all the “tips” in the world are only accessories to what you are already fully capable of being!
Okay. So here we go!
Tip 1 – Make a top three!
I used to write super detailed to-do lists…ordering every hour of the day an assignment. But that was an independent way of life and no longer applicable.
Now I write down “top 3”. I know my son Freeland has to nap (how well and how long and if it happens in his crib is usually tbd). Once the first nap is underway, I tackle the first thing. If we make it to number two and three it’s been an uncommonly productive day but usually the number one thing does get done… be it workout or laundry or groceries etc…and we count it as a success!
Tip 2 – Prep what you can!
I prep for the big things (work out, cleaning the house, making dinner) with small things I can do with him / while he is awake. If my plan is to work out during his first nap, I bring him into the bedroom to “help” me make the bed and I put on workout clothes. If the number one thing is getting food prepped or made for later, I pull out ingredients while he hangs out on my hip. If my number one thing is to nap myself, I literally close the blinds and turn on the fan pre-nap time routine! Those small moments add up! If my workout clothes are on, I’m less likely to stall. If the ingredients are out, it’s a quicker toss together! What things can you do with the kids / while the kids are awake that help make the transition to nap time / bedtime work that much easier for you?
Tip 3 – Be ok with what works for you even if it’s different than what works for someone else!
I also know what small or big things make the biggest impact on MY day. For me, working out does more for my energy level than half an hour of sleep. Making the bed takes less than 3 minutes but helps our bedroom still feel put together. For me, taking a shower before noon helps me be more productive and less lazy the rest of the day (and yes, that standard “time” has definitely changed since being a mom). For you, it might be working out after kid bedtime. Don’t let the early risers make you feel bad about it if that’s what works for you!
Tip 4 – Take advantage!
Yes, take advantage of free Walmart grocery pick – up, Amazon delivery (Prime if you can), gym childcare, and when dad offers to stay home so you can get out…do it!
- I used to love grocery shopping but I know in this season it is not worth the stress. Walmart pick up is free (not to mention it keeps me from buying things not on my list which has saved me time and $$$). Amazon has delivered diapers more times than I have bought them in store…thank you 2-day shipping! And although dropping Freeland off at childcare was hard (harder on me then him by far) the hour or two I spend a week at the gym solo, is not just for my benefit, but his. Mom’s need mom time and if you have a reasonably affordable childcare option, take advantage of it! Here are a few things you can look for:
- YMCA programs or gym child care
- Mom’s Day Out programs, typically at large churches in town (the Methodist and Baptist seem to be good at this). You do pay for it but it is a great way to once a week have a morning / afternoon to yourself!
- If you are military, the Child Youth Services offer hourly childcare for $4-$5 an hour. It can be scheduled at any time and used up to 20 hours a week!
- Kid swap with a friend. I have also taken advantage of this. Do you know someone with kids of similar ages as yours? Swap a 2-hour kid watching session! It’s the cheapest way to get a babysitter!
- And lastly, don’t forget about dad! He probably needs an opportunity to figure things out without you stepping in to help (because let’s be real, how hard is it to NOT STEP IN!). If he says, “go get your nails done” or “go get coffee with a friend,” or in my case, “Go work out at the actual gym on Saturday morning,” DO IT!
So, there you have it, a very new mom’s take on time getting more done. And here is my little secrete, the BIGGEST thing for me has been the mental shift from success looking like checked boxes on a to-do list to making my son laugh-out-loud, or helping him conquer a new skill, or at the end of the day saying, “today I was just a wife and mother, and that is ENOUGH.” (If that doesn’t say type-3 growth point I don’t know what does.”