Archive for the ‘Straight from the boob’ Category
When we discussed my foregoing the traditional 9-5 in favor of becoming a work at home mom to be with our daughter, honestly, I thought there would be a bit more “work” in that equation. I had the realistic expectation that this first year would be more about baby, not counting on any income I would be able to generate, and that as she “got easier” with age I’d be able to put more energy into my work. So far, all my secret expectations to be super productive and instantly grow this amazing business overnight, have been squashed under the very real truth that babies are major time sucks. At this point I’m lucky to get bathroom breaks.
It’s astounding how the minutes turn into hours and our day melts away under a barrage of household tasks, errands and baby needs. I wake up with a list of work goals (without which I’d be even less productive) and by the time Daddy comes home and we start dinner I too often find that list to be mostly untouched.
Time management has always been my strength and now, as a SAHM I’ve never needed those skills more. Here are my top tips to help fellow moms be productive, be with baby and stay sane while staying home.
1. Set Realistic Goals – REALLY
I set goals for myself that are very reasonable. Year one is primarily for baby care and enrichment. I want to build my Internet presence, grow my stock of wares, get into a few retail stores and throw my first in home jewelry show. I unfortunately also have a huge insane list of secret goals like “instantly make as much doing freelance as I did at my day job.” The key to goal setting is to stay motivated and to do that you need to stay realistic. Have a few pipe dream goals, but be sure to stay objective and not fall into the trap of getting down on yourself if they aren’t materializing. Be honest about how much time you will be able to devote to your goals and what is possible to accomplish in that time frame. Avoid getting hung up on the unrealistic. Put even simple tasks on your list so you can feel accomplished as the little check marks add up. Remember, any progress is still progress!
2. To Do List – 1. Make List
The “To Do” list is a simple and vital part of my day. Instead of trying to keep a ton of “need to get dones” in my head and remembering them only after I could have done them I immediately add anything I think of to do to my lists. I use a very simple iPhone app called DoBot ToDos which has the ability to have multiple lists saved and to also assign priorities. This way I have work, personal, baby and miscellaneous lists separate so I can tackle what fits in my day. I also use sub-lists for my various creative outlets, graphics, glass and writing, to track ideas and then as I write an article or finish a project I can check them off and never lose a great creative spark even if I can’t get to it right away. This is a great way to always have something queued up for the times I can’t bring my creative juices up to full speed.
3. Prioritize Priorities
It’s too easy to burn up your spare minutes filling them with bonus tasks you see need doing and “will only take a minute.” I like to keep my to-dos sorted by importance so when a nap or other baby-free moment presents itself I don’t waste those precious times on things that I can do packing her around. When sorting priorities I use a three step rating system: When does it NEED to be done, How many arms do I need, How much time will it take? I tackle the “must be done today” items first depending on how many arms I have free. By this I mean, if a task requires both arms it’s higher priority because it requires baby nap or playtime, which is limited, to accomplish. Any “one arm” tasks can wait until the baby is back to “pick me up” phase. If a task will take a significant amount of time I start it first thing so I can have extra day left to come back to it after interuptions.
4. Formulate a Battle Strategy
Ok, more of a “if this, then that” plan. While I’m tied down nursing or doing any baby activities that don’t require my full attention I start working out my “next move” so to speak so that once we are ready to move to the next activity I waste no time on wondering what I should do. This is also where having multiple lists comes in handy because I can tackle the list best suited to her mood. If she wakes up happy, I can jump on the “two arms” list while she contentedly plays on the floor, but if not I have my back up list of “one arm” tasks in arms reach.
5. Make Time to NOT Manage
All these tips help me get things done, whithout which I’d lose my mind, but it’s equaly important to have time to NOT get things done. To just be with baby and not worry about your lists or the time left in the day. If your like me, this is just as hard to accomplish as the rest of your busy day. If so, add it to your list or schedule an “Event Horizon” a time of day when once reached there’s no going back, your done with the busy work. Kick back and play with baby, relishing in every check mark you did make, and let tomorrow be a new step forward.
I’m quickly becoming, not only a breastfeeding mommy myself, but also a huge breastfeeding advocate to others. The more I learn from my endless reading and Google-ing, the more I feel I need to get the message out there —
There is no question that breast milk is infinitely better for your baby than formula. I’m truly not trying to make formula users feel bad. I completely understand that circumstances for each mommy are different and each of us needs to feel confident in our own choices for our children. However, the facts are the facts. And the truth is, breast milk is especially designed by nature to be the perfect food. No pharmaceutical company can recreate the lasting benefits of sharing your immune system and love with your infant. On top of that, really people, do babies need High Fructose Corn Syrup? Why is that even in there, and often the second ingredient! You might as well fill bottles with soda pop…
Besides all the great benefits to baby — Immune system boost, reduced illness, enhanced cognitive development etc. — A new study shows there are significant health benefits to Mom. In fact, this article from Diabetes Health details a recent study that found breastfeeding reduced the occurrence of metabolic syndrome, a precursor to type 2 diabetes. In the study, they found that women who breast fed one to five months reduced the likelyhood of developing the disease 39%. If that’s not good enough, breastfeeding more than nine months jumps that to 56%! That’s more than half, just for doing something that your body naturally does, how great is that?
As a professional Graphic Designer and new breastfeeding mommy, I must say, THIS is a striking example of effective design. Use that white space like you mean it! Oh Yeah Babe!
It’s day three of baby in daycare and having spent the last three months successfully breastfeeding I’m sore and beat down on this whole pump at work thing. I’m tired, miserable and missing the crap out of my munchkin. All that wonderful, peaceful boob time and the bonding we shared over her meals seems a bittersweet memory now that I’m at work for eight extremely long hours attaching myself regularly to a lifeless plastic milk sucker. Literally, this SUCKS!
What a nice moment to smile over a well designed ad supporting breastfeeding, which I found while reading one of my new favorite blogs over on PHD in Parenting, and reminding me why I chose to subject my tender and sore breasts to this awful pumping routine. My number one parenting resolution, after achieving my 100% natural birth, was to continue with 100% natural feeding and avoid any and all formulas. Especially after learning the #2 ingredient in many commercial formulas is High Fructose Corn Syrup, there was no way my bundle was getting anything but mommy’s best boob for dinner. FYI, they have pretty much proved what the corn industry has been denying, HFCS is ruining our bodies and our kids health, so if you do use formula PLEASE read the labels and opt for the HFCS free brands.
I just realized the “e” is also a nipple in the ad… BRILLIANT!
Until our government gets off it’s A@@ and fixes our ridiculous lack of maternity and paternity support (we are one of the ONLY industrialized nations with no federally mandated family leave coverage) many new parents may be in the same penny pinching mode we are at the moment:
Just in time for the holidays, the most expensive time of year, we are living on the tightest budget we ever have. So how do you make the best holiday joyous on little to no money?
1. Remember the old days when people just enjoyed each others company? Embrace the spirit of Christmas past and agree to get together… Without presents.
2. If “no presents” is too cold turkey for you consider organizing a present exchange so everyone only needs to get one gift for someone. Secret Santa, or even a White Elephant Exchange, can be just as fun and easier on everyone’s wallet!
3. Make gifts! Even if your not super crafty, a thoughtful gift that took your time and hands to create is always more meaningful than a commercially bought knick-knack. Bake cookies, make cards, write a poem and frame it, the possibilities are endless. Who wouldn’t love a made up gift certificate for a foot rub or “Get out of chores” day!
4. Find cheap thrills. There are plenty of spendy Nutcrackers and Christmas Carols to see, but there are just as many freebies out there if you take the time to look. Try searching your local paper or parent groups. They are sure to be listing some free attractions. For those in the Portland area, here are a few:
Peacock Lane Lights
Holiday Ships & Bonfire
I could go on, but you get the idea. The moral of the post is, remember WHY the holidays are special and resist the urge to be sucked into debt keeping up with the holiday “Joneses”. Get a smaller tree, make your own cocoa and snuggle up with those you love in front of a toasty fire.
On initiation to the new parents club, everyone makes sure to tell you how fast time flies with a newborn and to treasure every moment. I’m starting to feel that precious time slipping away as the grains of sand count down to my inevitable return to the workforce. My 5 week old baby is so far advanced from the little smoosh she started out as, that her birth seems farther and farther away.
Now over 10lbs and growing like a tree, Kahlan is learning new things faster than I can keep track of them. Yesterday, she was madly flailing her arms trying to suck her hands, now this morning the thumb flew straight into her mouth like an old pro. Where once she peered around in no particular direction and minimal focus, today she is bright eyed, sharply tracking objects and making eye contact when spoken to.
Most surprising to me, she is developing language skills already. Obviously, she’s not talking with words, but her little grunts and gurgles are starting to be mixed with little voice sounds. Her first cooings are daily starting to reveal the sweet timber of her voice. Even more astounding is the realization she is beginning to recognize words, or at least responding to the tone they are said in. At 5:30, when daddy pulls in the driveway, Kahlan lights up with the biggest smile when I exclaim “Daddy! Daddy’s home!”.
When she wakes up fussing and hungry, I talk to her to let her know I hear her and am nearby, not until I say “Boob time!” does she quiet down and patiently wait for a change and to be fed.
It feels like magic watching her grow and learn, even at this tiny and fundamental stage. It will be all to soon when her first calls for “Daddy!” fill the halls with her bell like voice. I only hope she figures out “Mommy” before resorting to calling me “Boob”…
No, realy. They SUCK. All day, all night. Suck, suck, suck. The first week breastfeeding was tough. There is definitly a learning curve on both sides. Mommy learning when and how to offer the goods, and baby how to take hold without ripping off an apendage. Once we made it through the rough spot everything seemed easy. Of course, I still only slept an hour or two at a time, but we had a system, and it worked.
Welcome week 3. Oh, did the baby book mention a teeny tiny growth spurt this week? Yes? Hello 24/7 boob duty. All that time I was using to blog, read and do chores from my phone… Gone. Sorry blogaudience but this week I’ve barely gotten enough shut eye to feed myself let alone surf the blogosphere. The updates are now few and far between.
The books fail to explain exactly what they mean by “growth spurt”. Allow me to explain. We were nursing steady every 2-3 hours for about 30 min including burp time. Then mommy could put her down, grab a potty break, snack and a good 1-2 hour nap. Then one day this week, like a switch had gone off, we are feeding every hour on the hour, getting upset tummies and needing to be extra burped, gas gas gas, mommy runs to the bathroom only to barely get back in time to start all over again.
It was a lot easier when daddy was home to make food, it took me 3 hours in between all the feeding to put together a lunch consisting of more than snack cups of applesuace (my breakfast since I can grab it and nurse).
Since she’s eating so much her little tummy gets upset too. So now on top of the constant boob duty, poor little girl is so uncomfy she’s barely sleeping for long in between either. And the sucking is the only thing that settles her. The boob, her hand or my finger, if there isnt something in her suck range she’s fussy. Im loath to break my steadfast no pacifier stand, but too much more of this we may have to compromise. Luckily, the pediatrition recomended Mylicon drops. What a life saver! These little baby gas drops let me get a full hour nap today, without which I was on the verge of collapse.
Pediatritions are excellent! They are on call for all of your questions no matter how ridicoulouse and if they can’t give an answer over the phone will squeeze you in with a days notice. If only all doctors operated like this, less people would probably wait too long for treatment when things are realy serious.
I work for a large company so “had” to go the hospital route or pay out of pocket. Additionally, some minor risk factors made my husband (and I’ll admit myself) a bit leery of going 100% natural in home, which, based on statistics and great books/films such as “Birthing from Within” and “The Business of Being Born” is the ONLY way to avoid an intervention. Even many home births still involve at least an IV. I’m here to tell you, I did it. I fought the system and won an entirely 100% natural birth in a hospital environment, with nothing more than the support of my husband and wonderful Doula Kath Axline! My beautiful daughter was born 09/30/09 and is asleep in my arms as I write this now, in the wee hours, from my phone. I’ve had so many people already ask me how I managed it, that I’ve decided to try writing my story and getting it out to the world. If my story inspires or empowers just one mother to succeed in the same way I have, it will be worth it. I started this blog and am slowly getting pieces up, the complete story to come soon. Know that it can be difficult to achieve in this country, but that it’s worth it, it CAN be done. Believe in your strength and ability as a woman to birth!
So #1 – Do not have a baby… Without also having an iPhone! It’s 4 am and we are sitting in the dark burping between boobs while mommy flexes her writing skills on the blog from her phone… WOW
So I’m 100% an advocate for all natural birth now, but you gotta love technology and it’s many uses too
Being up for 1-2 hours every 1-2 hours to feed a voracious newborn affords some interesting time to ponder life, the universe, and everything (yes, I love Douglas Adams) I expect this blog will get much more interesting in the days ahead, shoot I may just take this blog writing business pro!
By the way… I didn’t know September was officially “pirate month” when I packed the hospital bag with the little jolly Roger hat, nor that my due date of Oct 5th would wash away in a burst of amniotic fluid on the last official date not to have a 1 in it for the next 10 years (thanks for that factoid Grampa Graham!)… But isn’t it ospiciously cute anyway!
Tags: breast feeding