Ever wonder what you did with your time before children? I don’t even have “children.” I have “a child” and sometimes I look back at my day and think, “What did I do today?” Moms with multiple children — you are my heroes. Moms with twins — you are superheroes!
My sister, Jenny, and I have babies together. My nephew, Tai, is just two months older than my six-month-old baby, Vivian. One day when I was talking about how exhausted I was in my family group chat, my mom said, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” We laughed so hard when Jenny responded “Yes, and do laundry when the baby does laundry.”
Let’s be honest. If you are sleeping every time your baby sleeps, you will get nothing done! But don’t worry, I’m here to help. As I went through the newborn phase, I learned there is a way to handle it all. After a few months I realized I can be a good mom and still get a lot accomplished!
Here is the most important thing you need to remember: Never do something during your baby’s nap that you could be doing when they are awake.
If your baby is napping and you are doing something that you could be doing when they are awake, stop doing it.
Do you realize how many mindless tasks can be done when your baby is awake? If I’m cooking, doing laundry or applying my makeup, Vivian is fine sitting in her gadgets and playing with her toys. Of course that’s if she is fed, rested, and mom or dad are in sight.
Do these tasks take a while? Yes! The laundry, cooking, cleaning — all of this takes much longer than usual since half my energy is focused on Vivian. I may stop in between laundry loads and play with her. Or I may have to put down the curling iron because Viv is spitting up. But you know what? That’s okay! I’m successfully being a mom to a newborn and still getting through my “to-do” list!
Okay, so that’s when your baby is awake. But what about when your baby is napping? Well, that’s when you focus on yourself.
Whether you’re a working mother, a stay-at-home mother, or a work-from-home mother like me — every mother is working around the clock! That’s why it’s important that any time your baby is sleeping, you use that time to energize yourself.
What invigorates you? For me, it’s writing. As soon as Viv falls asleep during the day, I head to my computer and write! Just like right now. I’m writing this with my coffee mug to my left and Vivian’s baby monitor to my right.
Some things you just can’t do when your baby is awake. If Viv was awake right now, there would probably be a lot of spelling errors in this. Have you tried catching up with an old friend on the phone when your baby is on your lap? Difficult, right?
Could I be folding laundry right now? Yes. Could I be cleaning the house? Yes. But I’m not. Instead I’m doing something for me.
Figure out what makes you feel good and do that when your baby is sleeping. For me, it’s writing, but for you it might be catching up with a friend, working out, napping or even cleaning!
Remember: do mindless tasks when your baby is awake. Focus on YOU when your baby is napping.
But don’t forget to enjoy the benefits of being a mom! There are plenty of times when you won’t get anything done during the day except cuddles and kisses and that is totally OK!
Also, make sure you have some family time at night to play! Figure out what works best for your family. For us, once 6 p.m. hits, my husband Mike and I both stop all work, all cleaning and cooking and focus on the three of us. Baby goes down around 8 p.m. and then Mike and I focus on our time with a good talk or TV series.
One thing is for sure: there really is no typical day when you have a newborn. So no matter what your day looks like, please know that you’re doing great, mama!