Can I just tell you that finding a way to juggle holding a baby and preparing dinner is one of the toughest things I have done. It takes special talent to figure out how to get dinner prepared and then balance that the eating schedule of a newborn. Of course, the baby wants to be held during the time when dinner needs to be prepared. I have been working on acquiring my skills of balancing this act of motherhood and the need to make food to feed myself and Chas.
Things I have learned and skills I am cultivating:
- Do what you can while they are sleeping. As soon as William falls asleep I take advantage of that time to figure out what I need to get done. I have also learned that I need to prioritize my to do list. For example, being able to eat something for lunch should always trump working on the computer or some times even showering. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is in full affect. If I am not trying to feed myself I am normally trying to prepare food for the next meal.
- I am learning to operate within a 2-3 hour time window. So if I have to run errands I know that if I feed William I have a solid 2 hours and possibly 3 hours before he is hungry again and needs to be fed. This means that I am left prioritize where I need to go and what I need to do so I can get home before his next feeding. This is a total change of pace for me, but I am learning and getting better at it each day. Often that means only 1-2 stops while I am out at a time. Gone are the days and being out to ALL the errands done at one time.
- I have learned that crock pots, bread makers, etc are amazing devices ... use them! I have fell in love with my crock pot again. Being able to chop up ingredients or get the meal prepared ahead of time and tossing it into the crock pot = the best thing ever. That way it is done and can be ready to be eaten whenever.
- I have embraced the fact that as soon as I think I can get something done, like chopping the veggies to go with the roast, the baby starts to wake up and crying. I have walked away from all the veggies that I have pulled out and gotten them ready to cut up, to feed the baby. I have just left this mess to come back to it when I have a moment to finish that task at hand.
- Master the one arm hold. I have been practicing and I have become much better at being able to carry William around in one arm and then do things with that other arm. I have been able to make some coffee, toast bread or stir soup. I have been proud of myself and I know that this skill will continue to improve with increased practice.
- Cook with the baby. I have brought William into the kitchen and put him in his Bumbo seat and let him watch me cook. It is normally content for a little bit to hear all the noises and stare at the lights. This way I can be reassured that he is fine and I can work on actually doing some productive things, like get a meal prepared. If having in next me to isn't making him happy enough the next thing I have learned to try to to attach him to me. He likes to be carried around in a wrap and that allows him to feel comforted and me to use both of my hands to get things done.
- I have discovered online grocery store ordering via Kroger. This is quite exciting that I can place my order online and then drive to store and pick up the things that I need. How neat is that! I am excited to use this and I think this will be become something that I do quite frequently in the months ahead!