Multi-Tasking Momma

Thane (the hubby), will take one glance at this post, and that glance will be followed with laughter. Could I possibly be referencing myself with this title, he'll wonder? According to him, I'm not only the worst multi-tasker on the face of the earth, but also the slowest. And for the most part I'd have to agree with him.

As if my natural propensities weren't bad enough, Mommyhood has introduced a whole new set of tasks to the daily to-do list (and that's an understatement). Moms, you know exactly what I mean. So, being the slowest/least efficient person in the galaxy AND a new mom has necessitated change. And I've got to say, I'm getting better! As I've adapted to this new lifestyle with our wonderful little boy, I've had to get resourceful with my time and hands. So, I thought I'd share a few of my own tips for better multi-tasking.  Note: If you're not interested (or don't have the time) for the play-by-play of our daily grind, there are quick tips at the bottom of the post.

But first lets take a look at a normal weekday day in Casa (or should I say Motel?) K. This is the usual To-Do list (not necessarily in this order):
  • Feed, change, and play with Asher (x8+). This one's ongoing! :)
  • Make breakfast and brew coffee.
  • Make the bed.
  • Wash the dishes (by hand, we don't have a dishwasher in our hotel-apartment).
  • Tidy the living room.
  • Read my bible.
  • Exercise
  • Spray & launder Asher's cloth diapers every other day (in a shared laundry room that's in the basement of our building, not exactly convenient).
  • The usual laundry washing-drying-folding.
  • Check and respond to e-mails, take care of ranch house business, FRG duties (Family Readiness Group- it's an army thing), bills, etc.
  • Make lunch for Thane (if I'm not in the middle of my workout when he gets home).
  • Errands, like weekly commissary runs, post office runs (we don't have a personal mailbox here, also not convenient), and once in a while, a little shopping off post- oh boy!
  • Surf the internet, write on the blog, scroll down the good old Facebook wall, etc.
  • Catch a little Fox News and HGTV if time permits.
  • Make dinner, spend time as a family, watch a movie, go on walk, take Asher to the playground, etc.
So how in the world have I managed to fit all of this into a single day with an infant? Thane would say it's easy. And maybe you guys would too, remember, I'm the slowest person on the planet. But just in case there's another mom out there that struggles to check off the daily task list, I hope this helps!

Now that you've gotten an idea of what my daily task list looks like, let me walk through a usual day and show you how I make it work.

Task 1: Wake Up- Get up about 6:30-7:30am with Asher, change him and feed him. Asher has his breakfast while I sit at the computer desk and check e-mail, blog, etc. Yes, I can type while he nurses! How? Using my oh-so-helpful My Breast Friend nursing pillow (thanks Ashley Leach!) As a matter of fact, Asher's having his lunch as I type this very sentence.

Moms MUST Own This!: My Brest Friend Deluxe Pillow, Light Green
Task 2: Breakfast & Chores- Make breakfast while Asher watches from his bouncer. If he's having a happy morning (which he usually is), I can quickly get the dishes washed- all by hand- no dishwasher here!

Task 3: Eat, Chores & Playtime- Bounce Asher on my lap while I eat my breakfast, sip on my coffee, and catch the morning news. Then, walk him around, play with him, tidy up the living room and office/nursery, make the bed, etc, all while holding him until it's time for his morning nap. I give him a little narrative of everything I do. It's boring stuff, but he seems to enjoy it!

Task 4: Nap & Bible time- Once Asher's asleep, I read my bible. This is an important one. I'm always tempted to be running around getting other things done during his naps. But with a little self-enacted discipline, I sit down with my last bit of coffee for some quality quiet-time with Jesus and it's wonderful.

Task 5Exercise- Put on my workout clothes, feed Asher & simultaneously check e-mail, blog, etc. Then put him on his changing pad, remove the dirty diaper, and let him air out for a while as I start my video workout on the computer in the same room (the INSANITY program- it's a smoker). Asher loves laying on his changing pad sans diaper for a while, and I can continue to talk and interact with him as I exercise. Once he's tired of that, I pause my video, put a fresh diaper on him, and set him in his Bumbo (thanks Lindsay & Steve!). If he gets tired of that, I put him in his bouncer. All the while, he can watch me bounce around the room like a clown doing my aerobics. He's quite entertained by it. By the end of the forty minute video, he's usually nodding off for his second nap, so I take a quick shower.

Snag it Here: Bumbo Baby Sitter Lime Green
 Task 6: Lunch & Chores/Errands- Whip up some lunch for Thane and I, and enjoy a little time together while Asher naps. Then feed him as soon as he's up, which means free hands for the computer again. Change him, play with him, and either get him into his car seat if we have errands to run, or put him in my Moby Wrap or Jeep Front Carrier so he can walk around with me as I tackle laundry or other chores.
Get it Here: Moby Wrap Baby Carrier - Pacific
Task 7: Make Dinner- Time for Asher to eat again = more time for e-mail, web surfing, catching a little HGTV, etc. Another diaper change and some play time, and then it's back into a carrier while I get dinner going.

Task 8: Daddy's Home! Eat & Relax- Thane and I try to eat as we take turns holding/playing with/juggling Asher, since this is usually his fussy time. If it's a laundry day, I have to run down to the basement, grab our load, and then work on folding it while relaxing with Thane in front of the TV.

Task 9: Take a Walk- Thane and I are in the habit of taking walks together. It helps get our eyes off of the TV and computer and gives us guaranteed quality conversation time. Asher goes into the front carrier, and we take him to the playground near us. He loves to swing!

Want it?: Jeep 2 in 1 Sport Baby Carrier, Amazon
Task 10: Bath & Bedtime- Give Asher a bath (every other night or so), then get him into his overnight diaper, jammies, and wearable blanket. Feed him and sit with Thane in front of the tube. Put him down for bed, then it's night-night for all of us!

Whew! It sounds pretty exhausting when it's all laid out in writing. But I love my days with Thane and the baby. I could always use a few more hours in the day, but it's a stimulating, busy lifestyle and I really enjoy it.

So, after that overly detailed step-by-step look at a normal day, let me just throw out a few tips that make it work for us:

Quick Tips
  • I keep Asher on a pretty consistent nursing and napping schedule. I actually just started with the consistent nap times, and it's great! This way, I can "block out" my time and tasks accordingly. (In case you're wondering, I feed him on an every-three-hour schedule, and he generally naps for about 30-60 minutes before eating.) 
  • The Breast Friend nursing pillow is a MUST HAVE! This is what allows me to have hands-free time on the computer while Asher nurses.
  • Since Asher likes to lay on his changing table and sit in his Bumbo and bouncer, I take advantage of these hands-free activities for exercise. He enjoys some of his favorite things while I do a workout video, all in the same room together. (Just for the record, I MUCH prefer running over the gym or workout videos, but with the baby on board I've had to make some necessary adjustments to my exercise routine.)
  • A carrier is a huge help- Asher likes constant stimulation when he's awake, so being able to wear him around as I do chores is enjoyable for him and convenient for me. And I've even gotten used to washing dishes and cooking while wearing him.
- - -P.S. Quick tip for moms that don't have a dishwasher: I've found that by only keeping a portion of our plates and cups in the cabinet, we use less and therefore wash less. The sink doesn't get as full, and I'm forced to wash a few things in order to use them, rather than use a ton and put off washing them, which leads to much more work in the long run.

- - -P.S.S. As always, please share your tips, moms! I'm a newbie at this. There's bound to be tons of other great ideas out there, and I'd love to hear them!


The LeVan family said...

I think you just summed up my average day in this post! Except for the no dishwasher bit. You are a champ, it's a new normal but definitely worth it! :)

Sarah said...

Haha, it's crazy isn't it Sarah? But yes, definitely worth it :) I can't imagine what it'll be like to have two some day!

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