The transition from full-time student to full-time mom was interesting. I had the idea that I’d spend all my time sleeping or taking care of the baby, but the reality was really different. I ended up having a lot of time, but it was split up into small chunks. Managing time with a new baby is doable! I have accomplished this by splitting all my regular household chores into smaller, more reasonable tasks. I still use this system today to get everything done that I need to.
Since I consider cleaning to be the “worst” chore, I tackle it in the morning when I a) have more energy and b) before I’ve showered. I don’t like to shower and then clean toilets. It just feels wrong. Some things just have to get cleaned every day, but I divided the weekly “big” cleaning into Monday – Friday chores. That means my house isn’t ever sparkling clean all over, but at least one area is! If you want to know my weekly chores, I split them up like this:
Monday: Clean the toilets and bathroom sinks.
Tuesday: Clean the microwave, the top of the stove, and appliances that need wiping down. Do 1-2 loads of laundry.
Wednesday: Mop all the floors.
Thursday: Take out all the trashes and clean the tub or shower.
Friday: Do 2-3 loads of laundry.
Every day: Prep for dinner (chopping, marinating, gathering ingredients, etc.) It makes for a much easier evening when the older kids need attention or the baby is cranky.
Shower! (For me, this is a pretty quick process. I don’t wear makeup or “do” my hair.)
My non-cleaning tasks, I focus on in the afternoon.
Monday: Organizing project.
Tuesday: Pay the bills/other paperwork.
Wednesday: Scrapbooking. I take all the photos off our camera and phones, sort through them, and keep the good ones. When Shutterfly gives me a free book, I make one!
Thursday: Write in my blogs.
Friday: Sewing. Sometimes it’s just repairs; sometimes it’s an actual project.
We all clean up together after dinner and I vacuum. Having a clean house doesn’t last, but at least it’s clean from 7:30 until I go to bed! It does so much for my mental state to go to bed to a clean house.
Babies take up lots of time, so it seems like there isn’t any time for mom left. If you don’t make time for yourself, it probably won’t magically happen. I made a few hard and fast rules to help take care of myself after I took care of my baby’s basic needs.
- I don’t worry about the baby when I’m showering. If the baby happens to wake up while I’m in there, I don’t feel guilty. After I finish getting ready, I take care of the baby.
- I never put off using the bathroom or let any kids come in with me.
- I go to bed when I’m tired (assuming the baby is asleep.) Sometimes it’s at 9:30, but that’s okay.
- I don’t overplan my days. In the first 6 weeks, I don’t take winter babies anywhere but the doctor’s office. (Summer babies went out at 1 month.) It made me feel a little crazy, but it was good to have time at home to heal. Now that my kids are a little older, my general rule is to make sure we’re home for at least 1 of 2 naps. Planning around naps can be really annoying, but happy kids are worth the sacrifice.
- I take a little break when I really need it. Sometimes it’s for 20 minutes, sometimes longer when I can. Of course it is easier to leave older babies for longer periods of time.
Though my method of time management had to change once I had my first baby, it’s become second nature. I like to always have a project to work on. As long as I split up that project into chunks that I can get done in 1 hour or less, I get the satisfaction of completing each step without the stress of not being finished with the whole thing. This blog is the perfect example! It’s a “project” I’ve been working on for nearly 9 years now! 🙂
If you feel overwhelmed at first, remember that managing time with a new baby takes practice. I’m still working on it, and my baby isn’t a baby anymore. Find more posts about babies here.