The Happy Baby Project

A happy baby needs a happy mum


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Time: An update

I once wrote about Time on this blog – my son was very young and the gist of the blog post (I know you don’t have much time either, ladies) was that I was finding I didn’t have very much of it.

But now Mr S is almost 11 months, and I’m going back to work, and something most surprising has happened.

I have found I now DO have more time. I’ve made my own time – wrung every last minute out of the washcloth of life. I am now the Master of Time – I control time, I plan time, I break it up into itty bitty pieces, I multi-task, I do things in 7 minutes I never dreamed I could fit into such a small window – like having a shower, sending 3 emails, 6 texts, making & eating breakfast and emptying the dishwasher.

If I find an unplanned 5 minutes of spare time while waiting on a platform, or while S naps – oh what a luxury! I will take that 5 minutes and do something useful – like sorting out the receipts in my wallet or re-organising a cupboard.

I can leave the house at 10.30am for a 10.50am music class that is 17 minutes away – I get there quickly because I now walk with a pram as fast as a cheetah on speed, and I can manage to pop into Boots for formula, Cargo for a cushion cover, and Tesco for milk, and STILL find time to chat to my NCT friend before class starts.

I live my life by to-do-lists and reminders and diary entries. If I lost my iPhone, I would be lost, full stop.

But that’s not to say I don’t use time as DOWN time. I need my down time to have energy for when S is awake and for all the housework that needs to be done before bedtime – these cupboards won’t re-organise themselves.

I am a watcher of The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills, I am a reader of historical fiction and Nora Ephron. I am an eBay queen and a social media lurker. I try to find time each week to call a good friend and to facetime my mother.

I suppose I am just a mum – this is what we do. This is what my mum did and her mum did, all the way down the line.

I can’t even imagine what I’m going to do with the 40 minute commute to work – such a wonderful amount of time. The possibilities are endless, or I might just spend the entire time googling the JoJo Maman Bebe website…

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On Time

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My baby boy – five weeks of fun

There is something ironic about writing about time when I am hurriedly typing before the baby wakes up. Yes, to summarise, time – I don’t have very much of it anymore. So, let’s cut to the chase:

Things I don’t have time for anymore:

  1. Taking off chipped nail polish
  2. Reading (all forms – books completely, Sunday papers, full articles in magazines)
  3. Lazy chats with friends (calls and texts are perfunctory – where are we meeting, when, Ok see you there)
  4. Wearing make up
  5. Watching a TV programme of more than 30  minutes
  6. Shopping / trying on clothes
  7. Showers or baths that last more than 7 minutes
  8. Chilling in a beer garden for a pint, maybe two, oh go on three
  9. Drying hair
  10. Putting away things I use often, leading to an increased (but quite homely) state of clutter throughout the house
  11. Shutting the door before using the bathroom
  12. Non-essential DIY and chores
  13. Extended kisses and cuddles with The Chef
  14. Pottering and general farting about
  15. Writing well thought-out blog posts

A typical day

7am – wake up to baby crying, go to nursery, marvel as ever at what a gorgeous little angel he is, marvel at how he can be crying that much already, pick up baby, smell baby’s bottom, panic at level that crying has risen to, stick boob in baby’s mouth. Relax.

7.02am – wish I’d actually had time to pee, get a glass of water and something to eat. Realise am starving.

7.04am – wish I could actually breastfeed hands free and therefore increase entertainment options. Sigh. Lift iPhone with available hand, craning neck painfully, scroll through Facebook and twitter and Mail Online. Pray Kim Kardashian will one day discover maternity leggings. Do online shopping – supermarket food, clothes that will actually fit me (maternity clothes looking ridiculous sans bump, pre-preggie clothes too tight), baby bundles on eBay for ever growing offspring.

7.45am – baby comatose. Chuffed. Have a cuddle and cover him in kisses. Wipe off milk sick from clothes / face. Put him on play matt to kick about.

8am – I’m freeee! I’m freeeeee! Ok I have like 15 minutes before he realizes I’m not there so:

– run to kitchen, make toast, and tea lots of tea, put on tray

– tidy living room from last night’s slump on sofa, wash baby clothes, marvel at how many clothes baby gets through, put on dishwasher, marvel at how many cups of tea and cake have been consumed since last time

– wash and sterilize breast pump and put on tray

– hear baby crying, bollocks, run back to nursery

8.15am – lovely playtime with cute baby boy

8.45am – not so lovely playtime with slightly grissly windy baby boy, trying desperately to wind him down. Give up and stick boob in again.

9am – swaddle baby boy, play sheep wave music, pray he drifts off, tiptoe out…

I’m freeeee! I’m freeee!!! Ok I have like 45 minutes before he realizes I’m not there so…

 

 

This routine repeats itself throughout the day. To be specific, and according to my new friend Gina Ford, it repeats itself 6 times a day at intervals of 3 – 4 hours. Every second, every minute of my day is accounted for. I constantly look at the clock. I am constantly rushing, constantly planning what I need to do, working back from the next feed. I often have to drop everything for a crying baby (and my son is incredibly chilled out, I’m really really lucky). I can’t sit still and relax, until I hit a wall around 8pm and then literally cannot move. My life revolves around feeds – if I’m not breastfeeding, I’m expressing so The Chef can feed him. I am jealous of people who can sit in beer gardens whiling away hours. I forget to have lunch, forget to call friends, forget birthday cards and replying to texts. It gets to 2pm and I’m still unshowered and in PJs. I understand why my mummy friends send such short succinct texts and feel bad for getting annoyed before. I only have 2 pairs of trousers which actually fit me (but that’s a different story).

And I have written this thing in approximately 17 minutes and my baby is waking up so I have to rush off now…

…But as I said, time – I don’t have very bloody much of it…