Today I thought I would share some ways that I deal with raising a little one while working.
1. Get up at least an hour before the baby wakes up. That hour is my time. I shower, do my hair, and put on my make-up while wearing a gown. Do not put on your clothes until right before you leave. Also have everything ready to go before the baby wakes up. His bottle is made, the diaper is near, and his clothes are laid out. When he wakes up I snuggle, change him, feed him, and then we dress.
2. Have meaningful conversations on the way to work. We have a 25 minute drive and Jack and I talk on the way. Of course, he mostly babbles but it is fun.
3. Prepare baby's stuff monthly. I asked the daycare if I can bring things monthly instead of daily and they were happy with that. Instead of packing a bag each day I gather up all the stuff he will need for a month and bring it in.
4. Let the house work go. It's hard for me when I get home because I want to clean because now that I'm home I can actually see what needs to be done. In the past I would put Jack in the pack and play and go clean. I had missed him all day and he had missed me so now I put the cleaning on the back burner and we play for at least an hour once we get home.
5. Assign at least one night a week as pizza night. For us this is Thursday night. J has school and doesn't get home until around 8. It is one less meal I have to deal with which makes me happy.
6. Get a bedtime routine and stick to it. We do this and it is hard because sometimes I want to do something that would cause us to be out later than his 7:00 bedtime. I've learned that if I can't do it before say 6:30 then we just can't do it. There will be time for those extras later.
7. Go to bed early. Before baby I went to bed between 10-11 now no later than 9 and usually around 8. Jack goes to sleep at 7 and if I go to bed at 8 that gives me an hour. I usually give myself 30 minutes of that time for tv or blogging (usually both at the same time) and then 30 minutes of cleaning.
8. Have glass empty mindset. Yes, be negative. Don't put off something until the morning. Do not tell yourself "I'll do that in the morning". Mornings are crazy. If you can do it the night before then do it. I hate packing my lunch but I know that if I don't do it the night before then it will not get done. Writing out a bill-forget about it. Running to Wal-Mart in the morning-not going to happen.
9. Schedule everything that you can. I have a work calendar, a personal calendar, and a family calendar. Write down everything you can, even those things you wouldn't think you would need to remind yourself about like Jack turns 10 months old, Grandparents Day, pay day, trash day, car payment, and even your period.
10. Make your weekends count. I'm home on the weekends so I do as much at home as humanly possible during this time. Most of my cleaning, laundry, and shopping is done on the weekends.
11. Have an exit strategy. Babies get sick and moms have to leave work. Daycare called Friday afternoon to tell me Jack was sick. I had a plan in place so I could leave right then. I told the people I needed to, signed out, and headed to get him. Because I had an exit strategy I wasn't freaking out running around like a crazy person when I had to suddenly leave. Jack has his first ear infection :(
Does anyone have any tricks that they have learned from being a mom?