Hey there, for anyone who followed my pregnancy week-by-week posts knows that baby Sawyer joined us in December and life has been crazy ever since. What used to feel so easy can now feel like a jumbled messy disaster, what didn’t require a reminder now hits my weekly to-do list no matter how trivial, and what didn’t require taking stock of my small humans every time we leave the house now requires a frequent one two three check!…okay, they are all accounted for! You could say it’s a result of having three kids, but I really don’t think that’s it. Lots of people have more or less kids (or no kids!) and still feel this way at times. What it boils down to is feeling out of control because my routines and habits are in flux from a major life change. What used to be streamlined is now broken because someone wants to eat or sleep or wake-up or play and this someone happens to be super cute and dependent on me for survival.
We are almost four months into our major life change (otherwise known as Sawyer), and we have found our way to a new normal. We are nowhere close to where we used to be and we have had to make a lot of adjustments along the way. With this, I wanted to share some things that are saving me right now as we continue to work through our adjustment and lean into the chaos.
1.) Coffee ….yes, I am starting with coffee. It is nothing profound, but it is everything to me. If you really think about the experience of drinking coffee it is often one of our most treasured daily rituals. Every morning before anyone else gets up, I get some hot water going and bust out our French press. I try to enjoy one warm cup all to myself knowing that the remaining cups may be room temperature at best or need to be reheated because you know…kids. Savoring these small moments in the morning or whenever you choose to drink coffee (or maybe tea if that’s how you choose to live your life), can make you feel like a human again if only for those 15 minutes.
2.) Along these lines, find one hour for yourself every day. For me, this is when I work out during my lunch hour. This hour is my treasured time. It is literally the only hour in my day (aside from sleeping) that I am not doing something for someone else. Giving so much of yourself can be draining and it is so important to take that hour and do whatever it is you want: exercise, read, cook, whatever! Maybe it’s not every day and maybe it’s not even an hour, but everyone deserves to call the shots for themselves at least one time each day.
3.) Audio books for the win. I love to read but I choose to use my down time in other ways. With an audio book, I am able to “read” a book on my commute to and from work essentially getting an hour of “reading” in each work day. I use Audible, but I am sure there are other services (or your local library!). Recent “reads” include Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Go check them both out…they are great.
4.) Outsource and ask for help where you can. For my family, this means groceries are delivered to our door once a week. If this is within your means, do it. Think about the time you will save NOT wandering around a grocery store (potentially with children in tow who want every crappy grocery store toy they see). Or, trying to find raisins in the snack aisle only to find they are on the other side of the store with produce. You may also save a little money if you are an impulse buyer because if it’s not in your order it’s not getting delivered to your house! We use Instacart (this is not sponsored…nothing I write is ever sponsored) and have for the last 5 months. Once you place your order you can select replacement options for every single item in case the store is out of an item. This prevents the shopper from getting honey mustard pretzels when you wanted regular pretzels (but seriously…why didn’t they just get another brand of regular pretzels?!?).
I don’t like admitting that I need help, but it’s becoming necessary and that help can come in all forms. Maybe you drop those kids off at your gym’s child watch center and walk on the treadmill for an hour. Maybe you swap date nights with a friend and they watch your kids one weekend night in exchange for watching their kids another night. Or, maybe you go big and hire someone to clean your house or mow your lawn. Whatever it may be, don’t keep it all to yourself, you may go crazy, you may stress yourself out and you likely wont be the best version of you.
5.) Finally, SAY NO! Don’t take on more than you should because of guilt. Saying yes to one thing can mean saying no to something else that you really value like sanity or free time or sleep. If you insist on bringing something for the school bake sale….buy that shit! don’t kill yourself trying to make Paw Patrol themed cupcakes. If you were looking forward to an evening at home with your partner literally doing nothing but folding laundry after the kids go to bed, turn down that invite to go out for drinks with friends. They will still be your friends and putting on real pants after 8pm is a terrible idea. Guard your time and be deliberate in how you spend it, it is your most valuable resource!
So there it is and I’m going to leave it at that while I go reheat my coffee for the second time and make sure I still have all of my small humans.