It's been 3 months since I've had the Muffin Baby, and everyday I'm learning more and more about being a full time mom... nothing teaches quite like hands-on experience! Or sometimes pooped-on-hands experience! =P What have I learned this last quarter of the year?
One of the things I've learned was to not stick to a schedule. I still, of course, want to achieve that goal of proper time and home management, but for NOW here are 5 things that keep me in good shape while having a 3-month-old and no helper during the week:
• Getting a good night's rest
It's amazing what a big difference it makes once your baby starts sleeping through the night, even if it's just 5 or 6 hours at a time. We're so thankful that the Muffin Baby goes into his deep sleep at night (sometimes up to 7 or 8 hours!), allowing us much-needed recharging. No matter how much sleep you try to sneak in during the day, mom was right when she said night sleep is different from day sleep. This is also thanks to the book On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, M.D.
• Budgeting my time for the day's activities and doing them "as time allows it".
Sounds redundant but I've learned this the hard way, naively planning my day with calendar entries like "2:30pm fold laundry, 20 minutes" only to be interrupted by Muffin Baby's fussiness because of nap interruptions like neighbors' bad karaoke singing. =\
It's about doing what needs to be done without being strict with time frames -- it doesn't matter to me whether I fold 3 shirts at a time within every minute I can spare... for now what matters is getting what's on my day's to-do list done. Someday I'll try to get into a more proper day-to-day schedule as MB grows older.
• Eating and drinking well
The first few weeks of baby being home were a blur to me. I was adjusting, healing and mothering all at the same time that often at the end of the day I would realize I had skipped lunch or didn't drink enough water, leaving me even more exhausted. Thank God for the Muffin Man who did all the cooking and cleaning plus taking turns with me in taking care of MB. Now that I've adjusted I make sure that besides breakfast and dinner with MM, I try to fuel up during the day with a somewhat well-rounded meal... even if it's just 2 hard boiled eggs, cheese and a glass of Anmum. =P
• Family time
Needs no explanation. A few extra minutes of snuggle time with my Muffin boys in the morning, reading or singing to MB, uninterrupted mealtimes (no TV), or even late-night watching of shows like Top Chef over a pack of Oreos ...
and last but definitely most importantly,
• (Morning) Time with God
There are many days wherein my mornings of quiet time become afternoons or late-evenings of quiet time, or even none at all... and although I value my devotions regardless of when I do it, there's something about doing it in the morning that gives you the positivity and strength to tackle what the day might bring. This is something I hope to achieve as a daily habit. I read this quote and I agree wholeheartedly,
“Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without His counsel. He loves to be consulted. Consider no circumstance too clear to need his direction. In all thy ways, small as well as great; in all thy concerns, personal or relative; temporal or eternal, let Him be supreme. Who of us has not found the unspeakable ‘peace’ of bringing God matters too minute or individual to be entrusted to the most confidential ear?” - Charles Bridges
I will always be in the process of learning, succeeding and failing in my way of doing things as I go through the day to day grind. There are a lot of good advice and helpful hints that I pick up from my family, and friends or blogs online (see Mommies' Corner on Sites I Love)... some work for me while some need a little tweaking here and there. All the while I keep in mind that every woman has a different way of doing things and each family has its own unique structure.
If you have any advice for a first-time mom, I would love to hear what YOU do to keep yourself, your family and your home in great shape!