articles / Family life

It’s been 3 weeks, give me my routine back

Samuel will be 3 weeks old in exactly 12 hours from now. It really doesn’t seem like three weeks has already gone by. Surely he can’t be almost a month old?!

Just a recap:

Week #1 — The first week of Samuel’s life he was in the hospital. I was obviously still recovering from the c-section while staying in the hospital to be closer to Samuel.

Week #2 — Samuel was finally home so I spent the week *still* recovering from the c-section and adjusting to having an infant again. I was also adjusting to no sleep and having a 4 1/2 year old and infant by myself while Jimmi was at work.

Week #3 — I finally started to go crazy. By Tuesday I finally decided I was healed enough to drive. Don’t worry, I hadn’t taken meds in a week and I could walk and sneeze without feeling like my insides were falling out. I also slowly started back into school work with Josiah. We were only doing one subject a day and only about 15 minutes worth of sit down school work. I also slowly started to try and get housework done again. Between the week in the hospital and the week of recovery the house was slowly starting to fall apart. I started with making sure all the dishes were done as soon as the dishwasher got full and trying to make the dining room and living room presentable.

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First Sunday at church…two days shy of 3 weeks old.

Today, despite the fact that technically week #4 with Samuel doesn’t start until tomorrow, I worked really hard to get back to our normal routine.

After breakfast and morning cartoons, Josiah played outside in the sleet and ice (not kidding…) while I worked on cleaning the kitchen, dining room and den while my lasagna baked in the oven. Thankfully Samuel napped in his bouncer for about 50% of that and the other 50% of the time he napped in my creatively thought of sling (my jacket zipped up).

Once lunch was done Josiah took a 1 1/2-2 1/2 hour “break” (we do breaks instead of naps since he’s a little older and doesn’t nap). The break consists of laying down and watching a movie. The rule is he has to lay down for the entire thing. My dream would be that he would fall asleep and nap, but I’m satisfied with him resting for a while. During this time I take a break too. Sometimes I read, but most of the time I lay down and watch TV…and YES there are many times that I fall asleep and nap during the break. I only get to nap because Samuel sleeps during that time and I’m not worried about Josiah burning the house down because he’s a little bit older.

After that is school work. Depending on the weather or what’s going on that day we sometimes do schoolwork in the morning and play in the afternoon. Sometimes we do both. I like to have a schedule, but it is more of a guideline and not a rule. I don’t do things by time or the minute and hour. When we wake up, our day starts. Some days things take longer or don’t take as long. I don’t want to be bound by time constraints. If I wanted that I would have stayed at work!

Once we have dinner (whenever that is), it’s pretty much free time for us. We may play a game, we may watch TV or Josiah may play with toys while I do laundry.

The point of all this is not to bore you with a play-by-play of my day, but to say that week #3 was less stressful than week #2 because I was slowly trying to establish normalcy. Today has been the easiest day of them all.

People, especially children, thrive on consistency. Having a schedule, no matter how loose or rigid, really helps to get things accomplished and see those accomplishments. One day last week I’d spent almost the entire day on my feet, but honestly didn’t see any results. I had washed one or two loads of laundry and I started picking up in a few rooms, but I didn’t see a difference so I felt like I’d done nothing but waste my time. My thoughts were so scattered I don’t really remember what I tried doing that day.

Today was different. I was able to cook breakfast and lunch, clean four rooms in my house, do some laundry, do quite a bit of school work with Josiah and work on school prep work. I know what I did today and I saw results. I also know that Josiah seemed much more relaxed when he knows what to expect.

With a schedule I can make sure that I don’t recap the day before bed and realize that Josiah and I spent the entire day in different rooms watching TV. I don’t want to be the stay-at-home mom that watches Soaps all day and is productive during the commercials (we don’t have cable and I don’t watch Soaps so this couldn’t happen anyway, but still…).

Like I said before, I’m not all about scheduling out my day by the hour, but I also don’t want to just wake up and do things on a whim. I want a loosely thought out plan of how my day is going to go. For parents that stay home I think having some type of to-do list or schedule is essential. That way you never have to go to bed and feel like the entire day or part of the day was wasted.

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