Getting Stuff Done With (Not Despite) Your Child

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I Didn’t Enter Into Motherhood Gracefully

It finally happened. 15 months. I had time. Not long. Just a few minutes where I could do whatever I wanted.

And you know what happened? I hadn’t a clue what to do with myself!

If I’ve learned anything since my son was brought into this world, it’s that I have to give myself a lot of grace. I’m not very good at that. I want to be SuperMom and somehow anything short of that makes me feel guilty.

I want to keep a perfectly neat and tidy home. (The true disillusion is thinking I really did this even BEFORE beginning my parenthood journey!)

I want to have energy to do the 272 projects on my list, including sewing, and crafting, and learning new skills.

I want to invest in all my family and friendships and have a freezer meal prepped for every occasion and be able to give my time. The saying, “It’s the thought that counts” has never meant more to me than it does in this phase of life.

The truth is, my house is a mess. The dogs don’t get the same attention they did before my son was born, granted now that he’s old enough, they get love from my son too. I am not the greatest or most present friend these days. I’m not as helpful at get-togethers as I used to be. I feel tired and unmotivated often, especially in the evenings after my baby boy is asleep.

It IS Getting Easier

All this to say, I can look back to this time last year or even six months ago and realize that it is getting easier. Putting it all in perspective, this is just a phase, and chances are I will be able to accomplish more this time next year than I can right now…just as I can do more now than I could with a three month old.

However, the fact remains, I can never go back, so trying to accomplish things in the same way I used to probably isn’t a realistic approach. How I get things accomplished is definitely morphing and, from what I can tell by observing my friends with multiple children, a skill to be learned and perfected over time.

My Little Helper

I’m trying to have the attitude of doing things with my son, rather than despite him being around.

Here is one example. Instead of waiting for him to go to sleep to switch out a load of laundry, I simply include him in the task. Sure it takes longer, but it’s actually made the task much more enjoyable, and the bonus is I get to teach my son life skills, which is as important to his development as learning his colors and shapes.

It’s actually really cute. I open the dryer and washer doors and hand him the clean, damp laundry a few at a time and he puts them in the dryer for me. Then he closes the doors to both and to the laundry room (sometimes not before pushing all the dinging buttons) as well.

Still Figuring it Out

Other tasks are more difficult, like doing dishes. I haven’t figured that one out yet, although now when I am prepping the food for dinner, I put him on a step-stool so he can watch. He also has taken on the role of taste-tester while doing this. I got this idea from a friend (who is such a graceful mother) and it has changed how soon I can get dinner on.

So, that’s where we’re at 15 months. As always, our ever-changing family is a beautiful work in progress.

What about you?

How has parenthood changed how you do things?

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