In an effort to further my marketable skills in the workplace, I am about to start an on-line course from a local college. The course starts this Wednesday, with assignments given every Wednesday and Friday for eight weeks. So I'm about to get even busier than usual and I'm going to have to prioritize my schedule. I have work to go to, work I do from home, and a house and family to take care of - and now this class to fit in somewhere as well. It's going to be an interesting two months.
Before having my daughter I never really thought of myself as a busy person. I think our long commute to work, now lengthened further by having to drop off and pick up our daughter from daycare (ie. - Nana's house. Thanks mom!) has made both my husband and I feel busier at home. Our workday evenings at home start late, so getting much more than dinner made is just not very realistic. So when the weekend comes that's when I'm able to get the laundry done, the carpet vacuumed, and the kitchened cleaned up a bit more thoroughly than during the week. And those are just the bare minimums in housework. Tidying the rooms or dusting are extra chores in my book, only truly necessary if guests are coming over. As far as my husband's weekend activities are concerned, he's got his hands full too. Our old house needs a lot of TLC, there are dump runs to be made, and yardwork to take care of.
And, of course, their's our Sweetie. She needs and deserve our attention as well. She alone keeps us very busy. Thankfully, she also keeps us very entertained - from the activities she wants to do to her new ideas and discoveries she shares with us everyday.
For the better part of her first year, I had a hard time figuring out how to prioritize her needs, the house's needs, and the things I needed and wanted to do for myself. My legs are weak, so I was not able to carry her around in a pouch with me as I took care of my household responsibilites. Nor could I leave a curious, newly mobile baby alone for extended lengths of time to take care of these things. Luckily, she is and always has been a happy, calm and self-satisfying baby so I did feel comfortable leaving her momentarily to switch the wash or put a few more things in the dishwasher. But for the most part, when she was awake I was with her. This was necessary for my care of her but also, being a new mother, I was simply enamored with my little baby girl and loved spending every moment I could with her. I loved the weekends when I could spend so much more time playing with her, watching her learn about the world around her. But soon the stresses and frustrations set in about tending to the rest of my chores.
I found myself wishing she would settle down for a good, long nap so I could take care of the house. However, when and if she did nap, I was so happy to finally have some time for myself to have a cup of tea, read a magazine or even nap myself. Then, after my rest I'd set upon finally getting the chores done, only to be called to her attention again by her post-napping cries. I just could not get a handle on how to prioritize my life.
What has ended up working well for me is to take care of the house as soon as I put her down for a nap. Then, after those responsibilities have been addresssed, I can take the remaining time to do something for myself. This way, when she wakes up I am relaxed and ready to draw, play blocks or whatever other activity she has planned for us. This routine has worked out very well - it just took me a long, frustrating time to discover it.
Now, with my class ahead of me, I'm going to have to devise a new routine to organize my responsibilites. At least it's the end of the TV season so I might not get hooked into yet another forensic drama or reality show.