When I was pregnant, I had some hmm… let me say, unrealistic expectations. I thought my baby will sleep three times a day for 1-2 hours each time in her white beautiful crib and when awake, will eat and smile, and play, and well…will be a little perfect angel and a very comfortable baby.
The only one expectation became one hundred percent real: she was really a little perfect angel. And the rest were just expectations.
Many things drove me crazy; I was tired as if I had ten newborns instead of one. Though I had a lot of help and support from my family, I still could not get things done. No matter how hard I tried, I had no time at all. I did not cook because my mom did. I did not clean because my husband did. Then, when my daughter was four months old, we moved abroad. I was alone at home with a baby and I had to change my daily routine in order to have a normal life: to eat, to have clean house and clothes and to have some time for my husband and myself.
Before I share my tips, which helped me to manage my time, I have to say that the main idea is to keep the balance and remember what your real priorities are.
Clean house vs playing or reading or just having fun with a baby? Delicious dinner vs simple pizza and a favorite movie with your husband? In spite of the fact that I am a huuuge fan of cleaning and a good homemade food, I absolutely vote for the quality time with your family members, especially with a baby.
Still, there are some useful tips I want to share.
Cook in the oven.
I am an absolute oven fan; I cook almost every meal using my oven. It saves a lot of time, you just put the meal and then take it out, it saves many dirty dishes, and it is much healthier than frying and much tastier than boiling. Moreover, if you practice BLW with your children, you can share your meal with a baby. Almost every meal except maybe pasta (but, hey, lasagna is here) and salads can be cooked in the oven.
Clean with a robot vacuum.
Really, my robot vacuum is my best friend. I do not have time to clean but I have a baby who crawling and eating everything from the floor. In addition, I hate seeing hair on the floor, which, after giving birth, leaving my head with a huge speed. So vacuum robot is not only cleaning helper but it also relieves my panic since I do not see all these hair I have lost. I know that robot vacuum is a quite an investment, so if you can not afford it meanwhile, the regular vacuum cleaner can be an option as well. 10 minutes of cleaning every day, especially in the kitchen, living and playing room will help to maintain all house tidy and clean. Sometimes I even prefer to use the most regular, 50 euro vacuum cleaner because it is faster than the robot.
Break your chores.
This was difficult for me. If I had 1-2 hours, I would complete everything during this time. But I do not. Maximum my baby gives me is 10-15 minutes. Yes, it’s annoying that some simple things will take all day instead of one hour but at least it will be done.
High chair to learn new things.
They like to discover new things they do not see from the floor lever. So, while you are cooking or cleaning dishes put the chair so they will see what you are doing. It will give you another 10 minutes.
Use a baby carrier to free your hands.
I personally love the idea of a baby carrier, I like all sorts of wraps and the idea itself, it allows you to hold your baby as close as possible and to have free hands, especially if you use back wrap carry. However, my baby is not a big fan of wraps and she will give me maximum 20-30 additional minutes (which is, anyway, better than nothing).
Adjust sleeping schedule.
I think it is the most important one. However, I do not believe it is relevant for newborns, while for 7-8 months old babies it can be done easily. They say the best time for going to bed is between 6 to 8 PM when the sleeping hormone melatonin has the highest concentration. I try to put my baby asleep no later than 7 PM, so I have at least 3 hours of a quality time with your husband or other family members who need your attention and needs your warm hugs as well.
There are times when I can’t get things done, no matter how organized I am. My home is a mess, my refrigerator is empty and I am still tired. And I am getting sad and even frustrated, especially when I hear moms who have three children, work full time, run a blog and make hand-made lavender soap in the night. Yep. But then I am asking myself, will it leave me resources to laugh with my child?