We never know when the day starts. It all depends on how the night was. However once it does, I finally found a rhythm that we can follow, that allows me to spend lots of time with little boy and at the same time gives me space to work on Zerus & Ona.
It took me a while to get here, so I thought writing a story about it might help other people in a similar situation.
Note: You can also skip the story and go directly to the end where I answer some of the questions you might have.
Shower. I was always an evening shower person, during 33 years. It was a way to relax, unwind, getting ready for bed. Now I do it in the mornings, first thing of the day, while little boy still sleeps. It helps me to set the tone of the day, getting things done from the start. And also I’m already prepared to get out of the house whenever little boy asks for a walk (I never know how much time I will have).
Breastfeeding. Little boy is the first one to have breakfast around the house. I transformed this moment into what used to be my morning meditation.
Playtime. He is all into crawling and trying to stand up all the time. I let him practice by himself while I set up my bullet journal, have breakfast and do the first round in the kitchen. I have divided all my recipes into two steps that I can do in different moments. Sometimes there is just not enough time for a full recipe. Before finding this out, I would feel anxious all the time of leaving food halfway. I also use this time to do a couple of things around the house, like laundry or cleaning. I have divided the whole household into small parts so I only need to do a bit every day. And it’s also a way of having free weekends!
Reading. I sit down with him and we play together for a bit while we talk about the things that we are going to do along the day. After that we always read a book or two, depending on his energy levels. I think he got used to a book just before each of his naps and since then he falls asleep more peacefully.
Nap. I promised myself to go out of the house every day. It’s good for my brain, for my body, as well as little boy’s brain and body. Also I set the number of kilometres that I must do per week so I can finally recover from the postpartum! During this time little boy does his first nap of the day. And sometimes I also read and write (like I am doing now).
Café. This is something I always liked, working at the café. There is something about the atmosphere that gets me inspired, let it be the smell, the people or the lights. Lucky us there is a nice café in the neighbourhood that we visit daily.
Also I met lots of people there during these months, who actually became an important part of my life. There is a woman that owns her own company about exclusive guiding tours, a retired theatre director who used to travel a lot for work and now he drinks his coffee in front of me. The baristas, who are becoming the best playing mates of little boy. And then there is another mom like me, writing her PhD working in 3 hours long shifts because it’s the time that she has until the next feed. With her I can share the ups and downs of mom life. And these are just to mention a few.
I normally use the time there to draw, set up the sketch of the day and do some research about it. I never know how long I will have. Little boy’s naps vary from 30, 40, 60 to 90 minutes. Which actually makes this moment very exciting, since I learned how to divide my work in very very tiny pieces that I can stop at any time.
Shopping. On our way home, we do the groceries. Little boy is already learning all veggies words in case he decides to become a chef.
Lunch. Second round in the kitchen, getting things ready for lunch. We introduced solid foods some weeks ago, so little boy is still learning about colours, textures and flavours. Lots of patience required here.
Playtime. I think this is one of little boy’s favourite moments of the day. He plays the most when his belly is full, laughing and talking all the time. It’s great to see him struggle with some poses and finally get over them after some days. Every day there is a new challenge to face! While he explores our living-room I do a bit more around the house.
Reading. Second book of the day before he falls asleep.
Nap. The second nap of the day we do it at home, where I can enjoy some silence. This is also the moment when I check social media, finish some work-in-progress sketches and do some computer work, like drawing in Photoshop.
Yoga. For some months I looked for a way to practice at home as I used to: alone, quietly, with some journaling and chanting. But I discovered that the best way to do it now is actually together with little boy. He laughs and moves like crazy while I move from one sun salutation to another. Also I close my eyes, become silent, focus on my breathing… and it’s very interesting to see his reaction, like he knows that this moment is different from anything else in the day. I cannot wait for the day that he decides to join me!
Most of the times Daddy comes back during our yoga session, he sits down with us and we spend some time together around the mat. One of the best moments of the day.
Evenings are easier for me to handle because Daddy is there and he mostly takes care of him. He helps out with dinner, prepares the bath and does the last reading. So the evening unfolds like this: breastfeeding, dinner, bath, reading and the last breastfeeding of the day.
Answering some of the questions you might have
Are you working?
Oh yes, definitely! Taking care of little one is one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. It requires lots of new learning, organisational skills and, on top of that, the greatest soft skills! It’s actually the most interesting project I have ever managed. And it’s by far not paid… But I guess that would give us enough content for another story.
This is by far the most interesting project I have ever managed.
Are those the only moments that you breastfeed?
Not at all. Those are just the moments when I sit down with him and relax. But he likes to drink a bit here and there during the whole day.
Do you feel lonely?
Sometimes, especially during rainy and gray days.
Do you ever fall?
Yes, sometimes. Mostly when I had a few bad nights in a row. Hormones take over. And afterwards I need to bring myself together again. Discovering the tools to do that as quick as possible is part of the process.
Do you see yourself following this rhythm for a long time?
Not at all! Really… babies change all the time, and especially when they feel you are getting comfortable with the situation, so don’t get too much attached to it because it will change before you know it. That’s why I like to say that taking care of my baby is teaching me some of the best practices of continuous integration.
Taking care of my baby is teaching me the best continuous integration practices.
Did you also stay at home with your baby? For how long? Any special tips and tricks that you would like to share?