Bringing home a new baby means I'm spending more time than ever at home. If you haven't already noticed this about me, let me tell you, I enjoy being busy. Whether at home or on the go, I'm not one to lounge about too often. Over the last 2 weeks or so though, I've worked hard to slow down and take it easy. Many of you haven't thought so on social media, but I promise, I've slowed down quite a bit.
So how to manage 'it all?' First of all, I don't manage it all. I have however become a master at saying, 'no,' asking for help when I need it & then letting it go after that. I've been fortunate to have this army around me that has literally helped carry my family the last 2 weeks. For that I am so grateful, but even if you don't have an army, start with saying no more often & you'll find yourself feeling more in control and less stressed out. It's amazing how many things don't need to get done.
Why say no? Because you can't possibly do it all, so don't put that pressure on yourself. When I put that kind of pressure on myself I wind up grouchy, over-tired & stressed out. Chasing a goal that can't possibly be managed right now. So I stopped doing that to myself. It's okay to take a minute & enjoy the quiet of a new baby. It's okay to let a few things go for something that is bigger and better.
So what do you say no to? First, pick your top 3 things that are most important. These things can shift and evolve over time, but with a new baby, it really is top 3. Mine are family, work & sleep right now. Pretty basic. Some days I manage more than just those 3 things, but those 3 come first. My family is most important to me, so we are doing the best we can to cover those needs. My clients come in a close second, their needs are incredibly important, as such, I'll take those phone calls from my hospital bed. I laugh every time, because this isn't the first time I've done that. I once answered a phone call less than 30 minutes after having my 2nd baby. I knew my client didn't realize where I was & we had a close enough relationship, that I knew he'd laugh really hard at me answering the phone & say, 'call me in 2 days when you're home.' Finally sleep. It's crucial right now, so I prioritize it. Most nights I'm in bed by 9 pm & I schedule my days in such a way, that I can work in a 30 minute nap if I need to.
So what's still important but not happening right now? Friends, don't see them much right now. Church, taking a break for a minute to keep the baby as healthy as I can. Date night, not sure what that is. Cleaning, keeping it to a minimum & asking for help here. Dinner, again, keeping it real simple. School Volunteer, not touching that right now either.
Once you've mastered saying no, get help where you need it. For me, I'm asking for help in a couple of different areas. My niece comes over once a week for a couple hours -- she helps with homework, dinner, dishes, laundry, babysitting, and even work stuff, filing & organizing -- whatever I need that week. It's nice to have an extra set of hands that can do almost all the same things I can do. My husband picks up a lot too. While he doesn't wake up with the baby at all, he does the dinner dishes, puts the other 3 to bed, keeps laundry moving and all the other million things that need to stay in motion. When all else fails, my mom & dad show up. Often my dad will take my older boys for a Saturday afternoon, washing cars & teaching them how to work hard. My mom, well she'll show up with lunch and/or dinner, then hold the baby all day if I let her. When she's not holding him, she's doing the dishes. I'm a pretty lucky girl.
So while I might have you fooled on social media, thinking I'm doing 'it all,' please, don't be fooled. It takes an army, and over the last 2 weeks my army has been so good to me -- even when I have an over-tired cry, because every baby comes with a handful of those.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.