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Do you ever get anything done?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I'm a new mama and trying to adjust to not being so productive anymore....

How did you come to peace with this transition or how did you sneak things in here and there for yourself?

I wear her in a wrap, you'd think this would help, but she needs to suck alot and will only take my finger (not a pacifier). So this leaves me with only one hand.. She also doesnt like the wrap all the time so I end up carrying her alot which can be pretty tiring.
post #2 of 37
Somedays are somewhat productive, others not so much.

It does get better as they get older. It is very frustrating looking around at your house and seeing such a mess and not being able to do a whole lot about it.

My dh is very understanding and that takes pressure off of me to feel like everything has to be just right.

I am not a perfectionist at all and that probably helps too.

Do what you can, ask for help for the rest, and enjoy every minute bc pretty soon your lo will be too busy to be held all day.
post #3 of 37
What are you looking to get done? And why? I ask because if you think about it, there are various things we feel we *need* to do, but why we need to do them might be different for everyone.

For example, I *need* to have my house reasonably clean. Not because I feel I'm a terrible person if there are toys or laundry on the floor, but because it messes with my sense of comfort, always tripping on things. It stresses me out to come home to a dirty house. Other things we *need* to do for our own wellbeing or pleasure. Sometimes, we need to take a walk or work out. Sometimes, we *need* to knit that scarf for the neice or shop for a birthday present in order to center ourselves. Sometimes, we really DO need to do things- pay bills, make phone calls, etc.

So, first, find out what you really NEED to do and why. And remember, even if the need is something you can't fully explain but is very important to you (like, a clean bathroom or making dinner every night), make sure it has its rightful place on your list. The rest... put on the back burner.

So, now you know what you *need* to do. A sling is great (though you say you are one handed!). Also, enlist others to help. Hold baby or do things for you. You didn't mention how old the baby is, but a doorway bouncer, a high chair, and just sitting on a blanket with a bunch of toys can buy you a few minutes here and there which can let you get things done.

Also know that this will pass. Before you know it, that baby that would never sleep anywhere but a sling will be taking nice solid naps in a bed and you will have a few hours with both hands. And, in another blink, they will be in pre-school and you will not *quite* know what to do with all your free hands and time! In the scheme of things, this can be frustrating, but it will be relatively short lived .
post #4 of 37
This is exactly how I felt my first two weeks home with DS by myself. I would be crying each evening about how unproductive I felt, and every time DH would say "we should . . . clean the kitchen, do the laundry, straighten up the living room . . ." I would feel like such a failure because I was home all day and hadn't done those things. At the same time I was missing the sense of fulfillment I got from my work. I finally decided I had to come to peace with being less productive or I would get full blown PPD. I gave myself 3 priorities: 1) making sure DS and I were fed each day, 2) making sure that DS and I were clean and clothed each day, and 3) getting out of the house for something each day (a walk, a new mom's group, visiting a friend, running an errand, etc). Once I met all three of those priorities then I would try and do one chore a day (usually laundry or dishes since they seemed the most pressing). Doing these things made me feel more productive, even if I wasn't really getting that much done. In the past week or so I've just started trying to get DS to take one nap a day in the crib to give me some time to do bigger chores. Some days it works, some it doesn't. Some days he's so fussy that I still spend most of the day carrying him and rocking him and feeding him -- but I still feel productive because I am meeting my priorities. HTH
post #5 of 37
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

I repeat the last line multiple times a day & it immediately brings me into the present & reminds me what the most important things really are.
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
What are you looking to get done? And why? I ask because if you think about it, there are various things we feel we *need* to do, but why we need to do them might be different for everyone.

For example, I *need* to have my house reasonably clean. Not because I feel I'm a terrible person if there are toys or laundry on the floor, but because it messes with my sense of comfort, always tripping on things. It stresses me out to come home to a dirty house. Other things we *need* to do for our own wellbeing or pleasure. Sometimes, we need to take a walk or work out. Sometimes, we *need* to knit that scarf for the neice or shop for a birthday present in order to center ourselves. Sometimes, we really DO need to do things- pay bills, make phone calls, etc.

So, first, find out what you really NEED to do and why. And remember, even if the need is something you can't fully explain but is very important to you (like, a clean bathroom or making dinner every night), make sure it has its rightful place on your list. The rest... put on the back burner.

So, now you know what you *need* to do. A sling is great (though you say you are one handed!). Also, enlist others to help. Hold baby or do things for you. You didn't mention how old the baby is, but a doorway bouncer, a high chair, and just sitting on a blanket with a bunch of toys can buy you a few minutes here and there which can let you get things done.

Also know that this will pass. Before you know it, that baby that would never sleep anywhere but a sling will be taking nice solid naps in a bed and you will have a few hours with both hands. And, in another blink, they will be in pre-school and you will not *quite* know what to do with all your free hands and time! In the scheme of things, this can be frustrating, but it will be relatively short lived .
:

And, you are being productive! You are caring for another human being. Try to relax and enjoy this special time with your little one.
post #7 of 37
1. You'll learn how to do things one handed. My fav. quote on the subject is "I can lift a car with my left arm while signing a check with my right hand."
1a. You'll also start being able to do side/back carries.

2. You will stop *needing* to nap with her. Right now, GET YOUR SLEEP.

3. Many babies, not all so don't rely on this, but many, go through periods of being happy playing apart from mama. For us, there was a one month period between sitting well and trying to learn how to crawl where I could sit her down for like 20 minutes with some toys and do a ton of stuff just being sure to be mostly in her line of sight. (And it was a TON of stuff, that whole 5 months of doing things one handed or during naps made me SUPER fast at getting stuff done.)

Then, after she showed me what needed childproofing I had about a week where this new crawling stage was actually really relaxing. Lately though, she's discovered cords, so I'm back to monitoring her play to protect our stuff (and her, to a lesser extent). I can at least fold laundry now though.

Again, GET SLEEP! Only exert yourself to get fed (and delivery is a valid dining option!)
post #8 of 37
So gald you posted this Q. My LO is 10mo.:

My answer is NO. I dont ever - I should say rarely - get anything done and it is driving DH crazy. He likes things neat & orderly. At least he doesnt give me a hard time - just a comment here & there.

Most days I am just able to get myself, my LO, the dogs & DH (dinner only) fed, the dishes done, garbadge out, and myself & my LO bathed. This is with 2 naps too. the naps are anywhere from 40min to 1.5hrs, but time flies. Sometimes I can only eat and shower & he is up again. I hate wishing he wouldnt wake up (yet). It makes me feel like a bad mom bec I would rather have more time without him - please just 5 more min I find myself saying often - to get stuff done.

I never realized how challenging being a SAHM can be. I often feel life would be easier if I just packed him a bag, sent him to day care & went to work myself. I love being home with him though - no mistaking that - its just hard. It is just hard.

BTW: PMSing today - sorry for the rant - and I actually dusted & did laundry today too
post #9 of 37
My LO is 11 months old.

I've resigned myself to the knowledge that what I expect to accomplish should be reduced twice or maybe even three fold.

It's not that bad though.

Honestly, it has helped me not sweat the small stuff.

I also try to schedule the must do stuff (usually 1 thing) right after naps or when I know my baby is up for it.

I recall the first few weeks (probably months lol), I felt like I'd never get anything done. I started lowering my expectations. If I could just get a shower in, it was a good day.

Then slowly I shifted my expectations and followed my baby's queues to find the best times to do those must dos (grocery shopping, etc) and things got better.

Hang in there. You won't be able to go back to the productivity you thought you had before but you'll learn to be productive and get things done (the important stuff anyway) in a short time.

Oh, what helped me alot was learning to nurse on the Ergo and my sling. This allowed me to do smaller tasks like go to the local shops for errands which helped me feel a bit more productive.

Hugs and Congrats! and don't push yourself. Enjoy this time with your LO. :
post #10 of 37
I have a 10 month old and while I feel like I don't get much done I'm often told by friends that I need to "stop making us look bad!" with all the things I mange to get done. I guess the definition of "getting things done" depends on the person.

I think it also depends on the baby. My son is pretty content watching me cook/bake or clean while I talk to him. He does his thing and I do mine. Recently, he has discovered playing with the dog which keeps him occupied and happy. When he does want to be held he's happy being side carried in a ring sling and watching.

For the first three months of his life my son was happy in the moby while I did things. Then he wanted to lay on the floor and stare at things or forward face in the moby. Once he started crawling he was off and now that he's walking he rarely wants to be held while at home.

Another thing that helps is that I'm a night owl and my husband is a early sleeper/riser. Jack and dad go to sleep pretty early while I stay up mopping the floor (I have to do it every day with two cats and a dog that go in and out) or sewing. They wake up at 5AM and hang out while I sleep until it's time for my husband to get ready for work. It's good dad time which my husband craves.
post #11 of 37
I'm another one who's lo needs constant interaction. She will play by herself as long as I am in the room with her. But the second I step away, she screams bloody murder and needs to be held (and not in a sling/carrier).

For a long time, tho, I would just look around and get upset over the mess. And worry about what wasn't getting done. So I finally made up a list of everything that needs to be done around the house, and I made sure to be very specific (ie: instead of putting "laundry", I put "sort & wash" "dry & fold" "put away"). Now I as I get things done, I check them off. At the end of the day, I am able to look over my list and see exactly what I accomplished, even if it was *only* brushing my teeth and bathing my dd.

And now that she's older, she goes to sleep much easier, roughly around the same each night, so I get most of the housework done then and just enjoy her during the day.
post #12 of 37
DS is 10.5 weeks, and I'm just now learning how/becoming able to get things done when we're alone during the day. It's just been over the last 2 weeks or so that he will kick happily on the floor or in his Jumperoo (yes, he's big enough already) for 10-20 minutes while I fold some laundry or do the dishes. I'm hoping that the older he gets, the longer his happy solo time will be.
He also sleeps a bit more soundly now, so when he's good and asleep around 8-9, I can get up and finish whatever I didn't get to during the day.

Before this sudden turn, nearly everything had to wait until DH was home on Sundays and it drove. me. CRAZY.
post #13 of 37
I don't get much done! Wait, that's not true, I obviously care for my baby, and I work, but the house is a complete and total MESS!!!! I finally decided I can't live like this anymore (my baby is 14 months old) so tomorrow a woman is coming over to clean. : I've spent today getting ready for her! I'd actually like her to clean the counters and the floors, but unearthing them took some time! I've been sleep-deprived most of the time, and in something of a fog and too tired to care some of the time. Just enjoy your baby! I love that poem that lifeguard posted! True true true!
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
Thank you, lifeguard!!! I had never heard the whole poem before; my grandma :did a needlepoint wallhanging for my mom when I was an infant (of just the last stanza) and it's been hanging in my bedroom for years! I too think of it on a daily basis!

It is hard to feel that I've accomplished stuff on a regular day. I am blessed to have help a couple mornings a week (3-5 hours depending) from DP's mom (baby's grandma) but I try to use that time exclusively for work (DP and I work from home)... though sometimes it bleeds over into getting personal paperwork done too.

Mostly during the day I do what other PPs have said - I only expect to get done what seemed so basic before I had my baby!:
*Shower & get dressed
*Get out of the house even if it's only to take a short walk or to do an errand
*Prepare or re-heat lunch for myself, DP, sometimes my baby's grandma or the lady who helps me with the housekeeping (I know I'm lucky to have both to help me!)
*Fix something for dinner for DP and I (love what a PP said about take-out being a perfectly valid option!)

Plus caring for and raising a new human!
*Nursing
*ECing/diaper changing
*Playing and reading to him

I love the list idea - I usually keep a very short to do list handy and try to keep the extra items I want to get done that day reasonably.

My LO sleeps pretty consistently at night so... when I'm not too exhausted I try to spend the time (from 8-midnight or so):
*cooking meals to freeze (beef & bean burritos, lentil stew, lasagne, etc.)
*uploading photos so my LO's grandparents can see more of him (we live in another country!)
*and of course - unwinding with my DP - watching TV episodes

So yes, I do try to count the accomplishments and have a "to do" list I can check a few things off of each day!
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 

feeling better

I've been feeling much better these last couple of days...thanks to all your suggestions.

I figured out my priorities and what I *need* to do and am realizing I have more time than I thought. Its just spread out 10 minuted here and there..not what Im used to, but Im appreciative for it none the less. Just worrying about it less gives me more energy. I was feeling somewhat bored at home so Ive been getting out more plus its easy not to think about what needs to get done when your at the beach or with a friend.

Im still learning how to adapt to all these changes (many more than I expected) but Im finding the less I resist the easier it becomes.....Thank goodness for all you mothers!
post #16 of 37
No. DS is 8 months and it is still next impossible to get anything done. I have figured out how to do many things with him on my hip. Let stuff go, prioritize, make the most of any spare 5 minutes you have. My best advice is STREAMLINE! Cut out as many tasks as possible...for example keep paper towels or rags and cleaner right in the bathroom for quick wipe downs...same for kitchen...etc. For food...as much as budget allows..go for convenience ( I was so opposed to this in my old life preferring homemade) sliced fruit, minced garlic, prewashed lettuce, Trader Joe's, rotisserie chicken, etc. I am generally able to keep a house "decent" enough for company and uncluttered enough for my sanity and eat 3 healthy meals a day (including a nice dinner for DH) and I spend 95% of my existence with my little guy on me.
post #17 of 37
my LOs both play well independently and i still manage to get so little done. this house overwhelms me a bit b/c it needs renovating to be our taste and i have no motivation to clean it b/c it just doesn't reflect all my hard work!! argh. anyway, my main goals of the day while DH is at work are usually: dishes/keeping rooms tidy/sometimes sweeping/often laundry/a shower if i'm lucky/everyone eating. other than that, it's all bonus. we clean on weekends if we need to; makes life easier. my goodness, do i get behind in putting laundry away though. i need to purge all of our clothes or something!!
by the way, hubby cooks all suppers and lunches when he's home. that helps big time.
post #18 of 37
Look at it this way -when they get bigger even if you are productive they areright behind you to undo it, so lack of productivity is just preparing you for the future

I also have to add - enjoy this stage, don't be thinking of all the other things youneed to do. It wasn't till DD3 was born that I actually realized how much I missed from the last two because of needing to clean this up, go get this, going back to work, etc. All the other junk can wait enjoy your baby
post #19 of 37
I do, actually, but my three month old sleeps a few hours mid day and I go to town cleaning.

I HAVE to do stuff. I have fourteen snakes, a dog, a fish tank... I am responsible for laundry, dishes, and basic house cleaning. The snakes take at least a few hours one or two days per week, and the dishes and laundry is daily. I give the house a good cleaning at least one day a week, and I allow one day to just do everything else during his nap. I'd say I am more productive now than I was in late pregnancy. I was depressed and fearful then (I have a severe pobia of medical anything- fear of birth crippled me, though it turned out fine, I loved my birth). The relief of having birth behind me set me on a natural high that has not yet faded.

I worry how I will cope when he naps less or is "into" everything. I fear it!!!
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

I repeat the last line multiple times a day & it immediately brings me into the present & reminds me what the most important things really are.
That's lovely, and a great reminder. I've also been struggling with this question--I totally feel the OP on that!--and occasionally need a gentle reminder of the privilege (and lessons) of motherhood.
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