There are so many things to do when the baby is asleep. I remember before being discharged from the hospital, the doctor telling me to eat and sleep when I had the opportunity. Eating was to come before anything else. And sleep was supposed to be the next best thing. We all know that doesn't happen. Eating is the last thing on your mind when taking care of your baby all day. And sleep? It sounds amazing until you look at your house.
It's the baby's first nap of the day. You're looking around, trying to figure out what to do next, and you see your husband's work clothes on the floor from when he came home late and changed the second he walked in the door. You see the little bit of dishes you left in the sink from last night, the piles of laundry (dirty and clean because you hate to fold), the baby toys scattered across the living room, the vacuum cleaner waiting to be used, and you get up. I know what the experts say. Eat and sleep. I agree that this is what you should do if you're a brand new mom. However, after the first week or two, it's time to be realistic. As much as you need rest, you're going to push yourself, overdo it, and be even more drained. If you attempt to organize your time, you can make the best of it and maybe work in a good nap. : )
My baby's naps are generally at similar times each day, but I'm lucky if they last 20 minutes. These are the goals I set for different times of the day, but I can fit in more activities if I feel ambitious enough.
- Throw in a load of laundry
- Straighten up the house
- Wash bottles and then any dishes that might be left in the sink (no dishwasher)
- Me time (whatever I want to do)
- Maybe a short nap for myself
- Start planning dinner?
Evening Nap (a few hours before bed time)
- Start dinner
- Dishes (again)
- Finish laundry
I know my schedule may not be for everyone, but I do believe that trying to organize your time will help you get through the day and feel that you've accomplished something. Don't try to take on too many tasks at once. I've done it. You're just exhausted the next day. Being a mom is a full time job. If you try to space out your chores, it's much easier to enjoy the time you have with your little one. Remember why you're staying at home. Don't stress yourself out about cleaning and trying to get everything taken care of right away. You don't want to be feeding the baby and wishing she would hurry and eat so you can finish whatever you were doing. She won't be this little much longer. : )