With a 3-year-old and a 2-month-old in the house, it is challenging to get much of anything done. My biggest challenge is that Mark, the baby, naps for only an hour at a time during the day. Here is a typical scenario – one that I’m certain many parents can relate to:
2:45 p.m. Mark starts to get fussy. A nap is in his near future. 3 o’clock, perhaps? He won’t settle for anything less than being held.
2:55 p.m. I settle down with Mark for a feeding. Perhaps this will be the magic potion to conk him out.
3:10 p.m. The feeding is done, but Mark isn’t nap-ready. Ever the optimist, I swaddle him anyway.
3:15 p.m. Mark seems to be no closer to falling asleep, but I know he is due for a nap soon. I take off my shoes and lie in bed for a few minutes, listening to him fuss.
3:22 p.m. I decide Mark has fussed enough. I try feeding him again. He complies, and is asleep by 3:30 p.m.
Note that for the last 45 minutes, I have been able to accomplish nothing besides waiting for Mark to fall asleep for his nap. I make my way downstairs, use the bathroom, grab a quick snack, and take my breastpump stuff out of the fridge.
3:45 p.m. Time to pump breastmilk.
4:10 p.m. Pumping completed, I measure the milk and store it in the fridge. Pumping is time-intensive, but it is the way that my baby gets breastmilk, so it’s worth it.
At this point, Adam is awake from his nap and I prepare a quick snack for him. I look at the clock; it’s almost 4:20 p.m. David will be awake in about 1o minutes. How depressing! I haven’t been able to “get anything done” (besides the bare necessities, like using the bathroom or taking care of my other child) since around 2:45 p.m.
I now have to decide what to do with the next ten minutes. I am reminded of FlyLady’s saying, “Don’t tell yourself that you don’t have time. Tell yourself that you have five minutes!” and proceed to zip around the house, doing things like wiping down the counter, washing a few dishes, and so on. True to form, Mark is awake by 4:32 p.m.
I believe that every stage of life has its productivity challenges. The “mommy of a baby and preschooler” stage is no exception. My main task is to keep a positive attitude and to tell myself that I do have five minutes to do something, even if it’s just a quick trip to the basement to “re-boot the laundry,” as FlyLady puts it. Other times, that five minutes has to be spent using the bathroom (as a parent, even finding time to complete bodily functions can be a challenge) or finding something to eat so my blood sugar doesn’t end up in no-man’s-land.