James Walker is officially six weeks old today. What on earth? I had my six week appointment yesterday and everything was good. My incision is healing nicely and I got the go-ahead to exercise again. I haven’t really missed exercise, but I’m ready.
I had goals to nurse for six weeks and then see how things were going, and so far so good. I have nursed James Walker for six weeks and will continue as long as I can. And now that I have a part-time, work from home job, I had a goal this month to establish a routine for myself that helps me figure out when I’ll have my work hours.
This is all new to me. All of it. Being a family of five. Having older kiddos and an infant. And working from home. I’m excited about all of it, I want to do it all well, but I also know that I can’t do all the things and do them all well. And no one expects me to.
I can do some of the things every day and do them well.
There is laundry to do and there are meals to prepare. And there’s a marriage to focus on and older children to raise. It’s life and mine is no different than so many other women. So I’m just trying to figure out day by day what works and what doesn’t. And how to make the most of my time while still soaking up the moments with my kids.
One thing I know for sure is that we all thrive with structure. James Walker sleeps great at night when his day is structured. So he knows when he’s going to eat and when he’s going to nap and when he’s going to get his bath. And the big boys know the same things about their schedule. And they know James Walker’s schedule. It just helps all of us.
And it helps me to know what’s next. I need my own schedule so I can manage my time, the household duties, and my work tasks.
James Walker eats at 6:00 a.m. every day, and right after that feeding, I swaddle him and put him back down to go to sleep where he sleeps until 9:00 a.m. So instead of going right back to sleep like I really really want to, I get on up and make myself some coffee. (My friend Jessica would call this one of my Fringe Hours.) I start a load of laundry and then I do my devotional for the day while I sip coffee.
The laundry thing is huge. I finally, finally have a laundry system! I do a little bit of laundry every day. That’s the system. And then I fold it immediately and put it away. Genius, right? How did it take me almost 15 years to figure out what so many of you have been doing all along? I’ve spent years letting laundry pile up before washing it. And then I’d let it pile up and procrastinate on folding it. Not anymore, sister!
Anyway. After I finish my devotional, I tackle some of my Influence Network emails. Oh, email. (In heaven there will be no email. Or laundry.)
The big boys make their way downstairs around 7:00, and Todd and I get them dressed, fed, and out the door for school by 7:45.
When they leave, I get dressed and get ready for James Walker to be back up at 9:00. I feed him, play with him until 10:00. “Play” for a six week old means ten minutes on the activity mat, ten minutes in the bouncy seat, and ten minutes sitting with me while I sing and read to him. And then he’s down again for another morning nap. I sit down to do more Influence work and tackle more of my to-do list until James Walker is up around noon and the boys come home from school. And the rest of the day is spent playing with my three boys and prepping dinner if I didn’t do something in the crock pot.
At night, to prepare for the next day, I set out all the things I need to get done in the morning… the boys’ clothes are laid out, their bags are packed for school, lunch boxes are set out to be packed, and my load of laundry is already sorted and in the washer ready to start. Hudson and Hayes are in bed by 7:00 and asleep by 7:30. Then Todd and I bathe James Walker, I feed him, and I go to bed as soon as James Walker is asleep between 8:30-9:00.
I love to read and keeping that hobby is important to me. I know people sometimes think they don’t have time to read, but even if I just read a chapter every night, it helps me fall asleep and sleep well. So I try to read as much as I can before I crash every night. And then I just wait to see what time James Walker wakes up for his middle of the night feeding. And the day starts all over again.
I know that some days the plan just won’t work. Babies have a mind of their own and don’t always stick to a schedule. Hudson and Hayes have their own things on the schedule like soccer and baseball. We have doctors appointments and sickness and emails go unanswered and work goes unfinished for a day. The plan doesn’t always work. And that’s where grace comes in and where I will have to remind myself to embrace the mess, embrace the chaos, and just enjoy the kiddos.
I’d love to know if any of you have any tips. How do you work from home when your baby is having an off day? How do you break up your work hours throughout the day? How did your household management routine change as you welcomed new babies?
I mentioned my daily devotional. Yesterday, I started the brand new Naptime Diary and, mamas, it is incredible. The devotionals are so sweet, not too long, and perfect for the mama heart. There is a place to journal your thoughts, to list out the fruit and the things you’re thankful for that day. It’s a true gift from the Naptime Diaries team.