I am currently trying to accumulate good habits. Not all at once, but a few at a time. I think of them as my spinning plates.
First, after having Kai, I had to incorporate New Baby into my routine. If you’ve ever had a new baby, you know that everything from eating to bathing to using the restroom is challenging. Especially if you have a brand-new abdominal incision to contend with. Incorporating New Kai was far easier than incorporating New Anya, mostly because with New Kai I got plenty of sleep. But it was still a process.
Once I had regular meals, showers, and bathroom breaks under my belt, I worked on keeping normal hours. With Anya, I was tossed unceremoniously back into the land of the living when my maternity leave ended. I was adrift in a sea of dirty laundry and dirty bottles, sleep deprived and overcaffeinated, armed with nothing but an empty fridge and an expression of exhausted bewilderment. With Kai, I wanted to do better. So I worked at getting up at the same time each day, eliminating naps, and then pushing back my wake time until it was where I needed it to be for work.
Then I started work. It was a bit of a challenge at first, mostly because Kai didn’t understand what was going on. Working from home made it infinitely easier, because I was right down the hall. I tried, and pretty much failed, to pump milk and bottle feed him during the day. (He is not a fan of the bottle, and thinks the pump is stealing his food.) So I learned to work while breastfeeding.
After I got that down, I worked in eating. Then cooking. Then cooking regularly. Menu planning (which I am still working on). House cleaning (ditto). R got a job, and we worked around his schedule (which, happily, balances mine so that we don’t need much in the way of daycare). I’m even working in a little freelancing.
Regular exercise is next on the list. I’ve made working out on the weekends a habit. Now I’d like to add daily yoga and meditation. To accomplish this, I am getting up an hour and a half early Monday through Friday. I’ve only been at it three days, but so far it’s working out well. One or both kids usually wakes up before I complete the meditation — sometimes before I even complete the yoga. But that’s okay. It’s a work in progress.
I’m willing to take the time to fiddle with the routine to make it stick. I feel so much better about life, the universe, and everything when I have the basics down. And next year, I’d like to start tackling new goals, instead of circling the same maintenance goals all the time.