from time to time one of you ask me how I’m able to keep pace with all the things I do while having a baby. I’ll tell you.
Usually a day has 24 hours and a week 7 days. It’s the same for every human being who measure time this way. A baby, let’s face it, needs a lot of attention and that means, time. I don’t know who tells young parents that babies were sleeping most of the time. This may be only true for the first few weeks… Feeding, cuddling, playing and changing nappies are just a few of the baby things that add up to the majority of my time spent during a day.
I’m a huge fan of healthy meals, so I spend time to prepare food and cook regularly, too. This is time I want to spend because it’s important to me. You would not believe what you can do with only one hand having the baby sitting on your arm or lap. Anyway. (Stay away from the stove while carrying your kiddo though, it’s dangerous and your child could get hurt.)
Our gorgeous little man is also quite able to keep himself busy for a while during the day, so I use those tiny time frames as well to work on my stuff. And the kiddo has a fantastic dad who loves to spend some time with his son when he’s home.
I try to use every spare minute to work on things that need my uninterrupted attention, mainly creating new works. For now I’m lucky: the Little One usually sleeps for two or three hours straight around lunch-time. I have no guarantee on this, but for most of the time he does. This is my time. And so are the early hours of a day. Around five or six in the morning, I feed the baby who then sleeps again for an hour or so, and I use this time to write blog posts and emails, and sometimes to draw.
The question shouldn’t be, “how are you able to do all those things with a baby?”. You should ask which things don’t get done. Our place for example is never ever going to be featured in a lifestyle magazine. Life is messy, and I am not a perfect housewife. Let’s say our place is great to prevent kids from having allergies. Our garden is a jungle. There’s still a lot of refurbishing to do in the house. I wasn’t good at answering emails before and now it’s even worse.
It really is about priorities.
I don’t really think about getting started any more though. If I want a certain thing getting done, I have to do it during the available time frames. If I think about the “should I?”s for too long, I’ll miss another possibility to work on my stuff. It’s like having a tight deadline, each day, every few hours. Deadlines (as in, ‘not negotiable time frame’) help me to focus on what’s important. On what I really want. Then I do it. Each day. For a few minutes or sometimes hours. Eventually this adds up to some really nice new stuff. Sometimes it leads to a clean space or a refurbished room, but if I have to choose, art often wins.
I am not able to keep this pace for several weeks straight. Every few days, brain and body don’t want to work anymore and I need to take a break. This is part of the deal, too. Then I pause, and then I start again. Mister K is a great support who is able to care for the baby and to clean up the kitchen or do the laundry on such a day.
When I’ll lay on my deathbed one day, I don’t want to remember how clean my house was and how perfectly decorated our garden. I want to remember how much fun I had with the people and the work I love, how much impact my work had and how much I enjoyed the time spent on those activities.This is my guideline when I think about what to do next.
Much internet love!