I realized I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, “What’s the most important thing?” And I don’t mean in a “let’s ponder the meaning of life” kind of way. Of course, our health, spiritual walk, relationships and children all top the list of those most important things in our lives. What I’m talking about is more practical: What’s the most important thing that needs to get done today? Because that one thing is all I might have time for now that we have a two-month old in the house.
All moms (and especially new moms) understand the struggle to try to accomplish anything when you have a baby (or more) at home. Just getting yourself showered and ready for the day can be a major challenge and accomplishment! I’m lucky to have my mom help for a good 4 hours a day during the week, so that frees up a good chunk of time to get things done, but last week she couldn’t make it due to all the flooding in our area. And even when she’s here, I still don’t have time for everything I’d like to do.
I typically have a list a mile long of things I need and want to get done in a day. There are daily chores, laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, keeping up with our son’s school commitments, homework, sports, and always blogging, photographing, currently trying to pull everything together for the One Room Challenge, and not to mention getting in a few workouts each week and trying to stay organized. It’s a lot to juggle. I’m sure I’m no different from you, who feel like, when one area is thriving, we might be dropping the ball in another. Baby is all good!! Rest of the house needs work! . . . Son is doing great at school!! I could stand to lose 10 pounds. . . . Laundry’s all done!! I haven’t slept 8 hours straight in over 8 weeks!
Recently, I felt like I was getting so stressed out and frustrated with never being able to get the things done that I’m used to doing. I had to take a step back and gently remind myself, we have a new baby now! Things are different. Life is different. This may be our new normal for a while and in order to not go crazy, I have to adjust and stop struggling to have things be the way they were before. Basically, surrender to life’s ebbs and flows.
I certainly don’t want to resent the baby we are so very blessed to have. I’m in love with her hard and she is as darling and precious and sweet as they come. Everyday, I can physically feel my love for her growing. I just needed to adjust my expectations for each day to fit within the realm of what’s really possible to accomplish. It’s so easy to say, “Enjoy this time with your baby. It goes so fast. You’ll never get this time back.” I agree with all of that, but our family still needs to eat. We have to go to the grocery store and prepare food. Laundry needs to get done. Bills have to be paid.
So, now, I’ve been asking myself, “what’s the most important thing that needs to be done today? and just focusing on that one thing. If I can get that one thing done, I call it good. It’s been saving my sanity and helping me relax. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not all that uptight all the time. 😉 I can relax with the best of them and definitely DO enjoy my kids. We have lots of fun together!
Sunday Night “ONE THING” Planning
On Sunday night, I’ve been looking at our schedule for the week and plotting out the one thing I plan to accomplish for each day. For example, this week looks like:
Monday – work on One Room Challenge / follow up on orders/start styling bookshelves
Tuesday – blog / write Wednesday & Thursday blog posts
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Wednesday – grocery store / meal prep (usually Sundays and Wednesdays)
Thursday – write Friday’s blog post
Friday – (no school) / take kids to the park for a picnicPlanning just one thing to accomplish each day doesn’t mean I can’t do more if time and energy allow (it could happen!), it’s just that I’m working on prioritizing so that nothing falls through the cracks. I still use my Master List for a major brain dump of ALL the things I want to do, and refer to it often.
I’d love to hear . . . .
How do you get things done in your busy day?
keep in touch!
I've been thinking about this topic recently as well! I've got a 4 yr old & 6 month old. After the baby was born, it took about 3 months to feel like I could do the whole 2 kid thing. Than it took until she was 6 months old to be fully adjusted to our life as a family of 4. There are still some days that I don't get things done but it's so much better now that she's a bit older! Hang in there mama, it gets easier! Most times I plan each night for the next day but thinking of the entire week & having it planned out is a great idea! I'll have to try it for this week!
I know you're right! It gets easier as they get a little bit older. Even at 2 months old, we're starting to get into a rhythm for our days. I'm sure 6 months will be even more so. Those baby smiles and coos make it all worth it!
I so needed to read this now. With 2 girls in school, 2nd and Kinder, and a 3 (almost 4) year old boy at home, I am so lucky if I can get ONE thing done. But only if I let myself get overwhelmed. I am reminded that I really need to get a good start sewing my oldest's First Communion dress for this weekend. Everything else eventually falls into place if I can just get a good start with something.
Right! Next week it's look at summer programs for my son. He wants to try an acting camp!
Thanks for sharing! With 2 kids under the age of 4, I feel like my mind is constantly spinning with all the to-do's. And naturally, when they don't get done, I become totally overwhelmed. I like the idea of jotting down the one thing that you can accomplish each day. Totally do-able! I need to try this!
I'm glad we have each other to relate to! Makes me feel not alone!
So funny you wrote this, I literally was just explaining to my husband that I only have time to do one thing per day – that is one thing above the usual groceries, laundry, picking up, keeping kids happy and active, etc. I have about an hour of free time in the afternoon, so I try to knock out insurance paperwork, schedule house maintenance, finally email back my mother in law….I have three kids (5.5, 3 and just turned 1). Life is busy! I'm impressed you keep your blog so current and look adorable with a newborn! Love reading about your life 🙂
Yes, on TOP of those usual things it's hard to fit more in. And sometimes kids can only handle one outing a day too. Gotta pick and choose!
As some have mentioned, it does get easier. Our girls were 4 years apart and for awhile it felt we were living in two different worlds. LOL I am sure you can relate. I found assigning certain tasks to certain days of the week helped. The fact that cell phones were not super common and social media non-existent helped as well. Only distractions were the landline and the tv!! You learn to prioritize, that's for sure. I know your mom is a huge help, but more importantly she is bonding with her sweet grandbaby. I had a very close relationship with my Granny and Pop as they watched us while mom and dad worked. Wouldn't trade it for the world!! So many don't get to experience that these days as families are so spread out.
You know our lives have changed so much in the last year, having Mom able to be with us is the biggest blessing.
It's definitely a lot of work to keep things up with a newborn; my adult son is totally disabled and an invalid so I do understand how hard it can be. You have a ton of help so that is a real blessing.
The way I manage to keep things really organized is to try not to get behind in my chores. That is key for me because I find I get really stressed if I get behind. There are a couple things that I do to keep everything together. It is order, organization and lots of lists. The first key is a daily routine. I keep a sheet with the entire day's routine printed out on the front and my to do list on the back. Pending items and deliveries are on the front of the sheet. I aim to do the top three to-do items by noon every day. Routines keep me organized and keep my house neat and clean. Once I get up in the morning and do my quick clean-up; I make my bed and tidy up my bathroom. I don't keep any clutter in my bedroom or bathroom so it's easy. Less is definitely more. Errand day is once a week so I buy anything that I need on that day. I do not go out the rest of the week to buy anything. In terms of meal prep, we eat a different protein source every day and I've done a quickie meal plan on paper when I make out my grocery list. For exercise, I put my son in a wheelchair and take him for a walk since I don't have a babysitter at all. If I've been up all night with my son I'll take a little nap before dinner since I am up until 2 a.m. every night because I give him meds every 6 hours due to his medical issues. In terms of cleaning, I'm a huge fan of cleaning the kitchen as I go and any other part of the house. I will do my final kitchen clean up at around 9:30 in the evening so I always wake up to a clean house and clean kitchen. I write my cooking tasks for the next day on the kitchen chalkboard so that I know what I need to do. I'll knock out my prep and my cooking in the morning so that we can eat later and I'm not having to spend a lot of time starting a big meal late in the day. I can cook nearly anything and reheat it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes so it's hot and done quickly at mealtime. For bill payment, I do a zero-based budget so I know exactly what bills I'll pay on payday. I have hair appointments scheduled for a year at a time so I know what those fees will be for the budget. I plan out my budget two months in advance. Any paperwork, and we do have a lot of medical paperwork in terms of ordering supplies, explanation of benefits, etc are almost always done at night. I keep lists of nearly everything so I don't have to think twice if we want to go do things or if I need to order supplies. I also keep an emergency backpack on his wheelchair so we can go anywhere if we need to; that would probably be helpful with a newborn as well. And evening routine is critical to start the day off right. And finally, I try not to take on too much. If I jam pack every day with stuff to do, I only get stressed and then the house will fall apart. It's really not to my benefit at all. So I prefer to be more selective in what I choose to do. Hope that helps.
Thanks so much for posting your routine, Dream Mom. I too am a mother of a handicapped child. I also have two other children. All three of my children are between 5-10 years old. I often feel overwhelmed when it comes to staying on top of my housework. Also, thank you Meghan, for posting this. Knowing that other mothers struggle sometimes with schedules and chores and just the busyness of life, DOES make me feel less alone in my role as mommy!!☺️
DreamMom, I remember that about your son and think of you often. You are such a good mom to him and have given so much of yourself. I LOVE the "top 3 by noon" idea. Reminds me of "eat that frog" book, I bet doing that would make me feel so accomplished. I do use a backpack with Jordan and keep everything necessary in it so we can grab and go and also so I can use other bags if she's not with me.
Sunday for me is all about laundry, meal prep, work-out and setting everything out that I need for Monday — my outfit, my lunch that I've made, my work-out clothes and work clothes. I feel so much better when I get all of this done!!
And if it doesn't happen on Sunday, it feels like starting the week out behind! Better to be ahead of the game!
We have a one month old, our first baby and we care for my 86 year old grandmother so it gets tough finding time for anything! But the last two weekends we made a very short list for each of us to complete before Monday and it feels so good to check one or even two things off the list! Definitely gives you a piece of mind instead of overwhelming ourselves with all the other things we can't complete or find time to do.
Oh wow Stormie, I didn't realize that. I bet your Grandmother just adores your baby. I'm a total list maker, even with all the apps, I still use old fashioned lists to keep me sane.
I have finally gave in to the same thing! I live in Chicago so we have just started to get nice weather. So if I can get out with the baby walk/run and get one thing accomplished it's been successful. Not to mention cooking dinner/picking up/cleaning bottles/showering. I too have a 2 month old and have felt the same as you. You've helped so much with the maternity clothes selections or lack there of and just buying a size bigger just different clothing. It's been fun to see someone go through the same changes at the same time to not feel crazy. And I sure can look to lose 10 pounds but of course in due time! Lol. Your daughter is precious and thank you for making me feel a little more sane! I love the master list and might steal that thought too!
So glad you stopped by and said hi! Our babes are the same age! 🙂
Yes to choosing ONE thing! When my 2nd was born that is exactly how I started easing back into being productive beyond keeping the kiddos alive. 😉
First priority : keep baby alive! 🙂
I feel like I'm always playing catch-up. I so need to prioritize and give myself a break, loved reading this. Also love the idea of a Master List, I just printed your example. I SO need this, it will get rid of all my floating separate lists (which drives me nuts). Thanks!
That's how I felt too- like tying to fight against everything on the to do list. Let me know how the Master List goes for you- I update mine on the computer every so often.
I hear ya! Jordan is SO cute, Megan! Oh my word, what a doll-face :).
I am totally OCD about order which can drive me nuts sometimes… Especially with a teenager, 12 & 7 year old, school, college, running 2 businesses, and all of my kids' sports/dance/extracurricular activities! It gets a bit crazy around here. My best time to get myself & home together, organized & clean is at night. I spend my daytime hours running errands, exercising, and taking care of kiddos. At night, I can turn on some podcasts (Model Health show is my FAV), and get to work. Yes, I sacrifice sleep some nights, but to me it's worth it to feel more on top of my schedule the next day. Life with kids is so unpredictable the older they get so it's nice to know at night I don't have anywhere to go, no phones to answer, no appointments to get to. I remember when my 3rd baby was born, I used to do all of my chores & 'to do's' for my other little ones while holding my baby & nursing her at the same time! Oh, the things we do for our littles :). You are amazing and are doing such a beautiful job with James & Jordan! Great job & good luck, Mama! Xo
Ooh, what's Model Health show? Never heard of it, but I'll have to check it out. I'm a total night owl, maybe all those years bartending, 😉 I have no idea how you got anything done while nursing! Thank you so much for the compliment. Sometimes you just need to hear you're doing a good job. YOU are too mama!
I ordered groceries from Lowes Foods To Go program, order your groceries online, they do the shopping and loaded them in my car at the time I chose to pick them up. It easily save me 2 hours! I don't know if they have Lowes or Harris Teeter where you live, but you may want to try it. I remember those days that you are experiencing now. I have an 18 month old and a newborn with no family close by to help out. Life was brutal! I wish I had thought to order groceries online a year ago. Just a thought! I hope it helps!
I've heard of that but never tried it. We don't have those stores, but there may be other stores in our area that do that. Luckily, my hubby is great at going to the store, even if I get 5 phone calls from him asking questions while he's there! 😉