Well, you can’t plan for everything. But you can get close! It’s a good thing that my email auto-responses were already set-up because my newest “To-Do” (joking, people, joking, I’m not a robot Mommy) arrived two weeks early. He just cleared the Valentine’s Day mark and arrived early the morning of February 15th in perfect, healthy, and chubby condition. Here is a cute photo of Baby Reed in his baby glory.
In this first two weeks of juggling two Littles (with help from our babysitter, my husband, my mom, and my father-in-law), our household herd of cats (you will never guess how many!), the never-ending pile of laundry, thank you notes to write, naps to take and more, my time has been more scarce than ever. This has led to a few revelations:
When Time is Scarce
- Shift your system to meet your current environment. While I’m usually a heavily electronic gal (there, I showed you my cards!), I moved to a paper-based system on my first maternity leave. It’s just easier to grab your planner when you have a baby over one shoulder and you’re shoving homemade cookies in your mouth with your other hand. I’ll resume electronic systems when I’m back at work full-time in June.
- Make every minute count. My current To-Do list is separated into what I can get done in 5 minutes, 15 minutes and 30 minutes (ummmm. . . naps are in the 30 minute category). Due to the unpredictability of newborns, I really never know how much time I’ll have. But by breaking things down this way, I can easily choose my To-Do and not feel frustrated when I don’t get it done. I’m even contemplating making an “office in a box” so I can have all of my materials with me and not have to trek upstairs to find stamps and thank-you notes.
- Live in the moment and keep blocking time. This helps me remain present and in-the-moment with my family. 5 – 8 PM is automatically family time, and in particular, quality time with my almost three year-old—check out her picture below. I’m not trying to “do” anything but read Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd for the tenth time!
- Prioritization is more important than EVER. While I REALLY want to re-arrange my kitchen cupboards so couscous doesn’t fall on my head every time I open them, I have to constantly remind myself what is most important and write it down. This helps me remember that completing my taxes on time is more important than re-organizing our overflow supply of dried beans. I’ve been “throwing To-Do’s” further down the conveyor belt to deal with in March, April, and May. It’s a tremendous relief.
- Have fun! It’s not getting any easier, so as my good friend Lindsay says, “Embrace the crazy.”
So, what’s up for the Together Teacher blog and resources while I’m on maternity leave? A few things:
- A five-part post about Making the Most of a Week (yes, I worked on these in advance for you!)
- Guest posts from Shelby and a few other awesome people
- How to host a Together Teacher book club at your school—complete with free resources
- Some cool app reviews
Together Teacher Discussion Question: Are my kids cute or WHAT?!