Yesterday I spent a great amount of time rearranging my life to fit my new role as a mother of a full-blown toddler. Gone are the days of being able to work while he is around. If he does not have my full attention, he will quickly find a way to get it–and this is usually not a positive thing. In about 45 minutes, he’ll have me totally frazzled and I maybe get 15 minutes of work done. I knew that things, as they were, were not working for either of us and it had to change before both us did things that we’d regret later. Although, I’m not sure an 18 month-old has the ability to feel regret, so it might just be me on the regret thing. I haven’t been able to spend much time with Carter and I’ve felt SO guilty about that. But, I have commitments with my job that I can’t just NOT do, so all week I’ve been thinking that he’d be better off in daycare than at home with me. That was a very motivating thought for me because I quit a job that I loved dearly so that he would not have to go to a daycare and be raised by someone else.
What I came up with was a thing of beauty to my anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive mind. I open up my handy iCal application on my Mac and began creating little boxes of time. The blue boxes are things I do for my Family, the Red Boxes are things I do for The Edge and the Green boxes are things I do all for ME.
The first things I changed was starting my day at 7:00 getting showered and ready “to the shoes” (as the FLY Lady calls it). I used to do this before I started working out in the mornings. I always made sure that I was up and ready before Carter so that I didn’t rely on his nap to take a shower and leave the house. But once I started working out every AM, I felt like it was a waste to take a shower that early if I was just going to go get sweaty in an hour anyway.
The second thing I changed was having time to do something FUN with Carter every morning from 9:00 – 11:30. On Monday’s we go grocery shopping together (and that really is fun for Carter–riding in the rocket ship cart and getting samples from the ice cream lady at Publix). On Tuesday we do something fun outside. That may be going to a park, playing with a ball, going to the waterpark…I don’t know. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for great outdoor activities for kids. Any ideas? On Wednesday we always have our playgroup and lunch at the mall. On Thursday we’re going to start going to the Musical Jamboree class at the public library. It’s a class specifically designed for toddlers that combines music and literature. That is right down Carter’s lane. He loves both. On Friday we’re going to be social. I’ll either invite someone over here (now that we have an actual playroom for the kiddies) or I’ll hope that someone will eventually invite us over. The other days can be social as well. I’ll definitely invite people along on all the things we do, but on those days we’ll do them with or without others.
The third thing I changed is to group my work time into one big chunk. Instead of trying to do a little here and a little there all while keeping up with Carter, I’ll work while he sleeps. Now I will not be taking my shower during this time, so I’ll be freed up to get work done. And, I get paid for working 25 hours from home and at church. This way, I have 26.5 hours scheduled to work, so should he occasionally wake up early I should still be able to get it all done. I love it. I makes me smile and makes me want to break out in song (kidding…reallly).
The fourth thing I changed is my workout days and times. Before, I went on T, R, F and Sa from 10:00 – 11:00. Then, we’d go out to lunch with my parents — and I’d be looking all gym-y and smelling like God-knows-what and going out into PUBLIC on a regular basis with no makeup and raunchy hair. That’s not good for anyone. Now, I’ll be taking MY time on T, W, F and Sa. Saturday will still be in the morning with Jeff, but the other 3 days I’ll go from 4:30 – 5:30. This is supposed to be the best time of day to workout. The only thing that worries me is how HUNGRY I’ll be after I’m done, then I’ll have to come home and try to make dinner without snacking the whole time. I think I’m gonna need a BIG jug of water.
All the fun starts on Monday and I’m so psyched about all my fun time with Carter. I’m praying it makes a difference in his behavior since now he’ll have my full attention and should NEVER have to be second place to work. *Mandi sighs and feels the tension leave her.*