We never know when the day starts. It all depends on how the night was. However once it does, I finally found a rhythm that we can follow, that allows me to spend lots of time with little boy and at the same time gives me space to work on Zerus & Ona.
It took me a while to get here, so writing a story about it might help other moms.
→ Shower. I was always an evening shower person, during 33 years. It was a way to relax, unwind, getting ready for bed. But now, I do it in the morning, first thing of the day, while Little Boy still sleeps. It helps me to set the tone of the day, getting things done from the start. And also I need to be ready to get out of the house whenever he asks for a walk (and I never know how much time I’ll have!).
→ Breastfeeding. Little Boy is the first one to have breakfast around the house. And I just transformed this moment into what used to be my morning meditation.
→ Playtime. These days he’s all into crawling and trying to stand. All The Time. I let him practice by himself while I set up my bullet journal, have breakfast and do the first round in the kitchen. I’ve divided all my recipes into two separate steps, which I can do in two different moments. Sometimes there’s just not enough time for a full recipe. Before finding this out, I would feel anxious all the time of leaving food halfway. I also use this time to do a couple of things around the house, like laundry or cleaning. I have divided the whole household into small parts so I only need to do a bit every day. And it’s also a way for us of having free weekends!
→ Reading. I sit down with him and play together while I tell him the things that we’ll be doing along that day. We then read a book or two, depending on his energy levels! I think he got used to a book just before each of his naps and since then he falls asleep more peacefully. No scientific proof that this is actually true, though.
→ Nap. I promised myself that I’d get out of the house every single day. It’s good for my brain, for my body, as well as Little Boy’s. And I set a minimum number of kilometres that I must do per week so I can (once and for all!) recover from the postpartum! During his nap I also read and write, like I am doing now.
→ Café. I always liked to work at cafés. Something about the atmosphere gets me inspired, let it be the smell, the people or the light. Lucky me there’s a nice café in the neighbourhood that I can visit daily.
I met so many people there during these last months. People that became an important part of my life now. There’s a woman that owns her own company about top art guiding tours, a retired theatre director who used to travel a lot for work and now he drinks his coffee in front of me. The barista’s, who are becoming the best playing mates of little boy. And then there’s another mom like me, writing her PhD working in 3-hour shifts because it’s the time that she has until the next feed. With her I can share the ups and downs of mom life. And these are just some to mention a few.
I normally draw, set up the sketch of the day and do some research about it. I never know how long I’ll be having. Little Boy’s nap times vary from 30, 40, 60 to 90 minutes. Which actually makes this moment very exciting, and I had to learn how to divide my work in very, very tiny pieces so that I can stop any time.
→ Shopping. On our way home, we do the groceries. We’re busy learning all veggies, just in case he decides to become a chef!
→ Lunch. Second round in the kitchen, getting things ready for lunch. We introduced solid foods some weeks ago, so Little Boy is still learning about colours, textures and flavours. Lots of patience required here.
→ Playtime. I think this is one of Little Boy’s favourite moments of the day. He plays the most when his belly is full, laughing and talking all the time. It’s great to see him struggle with some poses and finally get over them after some days. Every day there is a new challenge to face! While he explores every corner in our living-room, I do a bit more around the house.
→ Reading. Second book of the day before he falls asleep.
→ Nap. The second nap of the day we do it at home, where I enjoy some silence. This is also the moment when I check social media, finish some work-in-progress sketches and do some computer work, like drawing in Photoshop.
→ Yoga. For some months I looked for a way to practice at home as I used to: alone, quietly, maybe with some journaling. But I discovered that the best way to do it now is actually together with Little Boy. He laughs and moves like crazy, while I move from one sun salutation to another. Also I close my eyes, become silent, focus on my breathing… and it’s very interesting to see his reaction, like he knows that this moment is different from anything else in the day. I cannot wait for the day that he decides to join me!
Most of the days, Dad comes back during our yoga session, he sits down with us and spend some time together around the mat. One of the best moments of the day!
Evenings are easier to handle because Dad is there and he takes care of him. He helps out with dinner, prepares the bath and does the last reading. But, the last breastfeeding of the day is still on me!
Frequently Asked Questions
→ Are you working? Oh yes, definitely! Taking care of Little Boy is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done. It requires lots of new learning, organisational skills and, on top of that, the greatest soft skills!
Taking care of my baby is actually the most interesting project I’ve ever managed.
→ Are those the only moments that you breastfeed? Not at all. Those are just the moments when I sit down with him and relax. But he likes to drink a bit here and there during the whole day.
→ Do you feel lonely? Sometimes, especially during those rainy, windy, gray days.
→ Do you ever fall? Yes, sometimes. Mostly when I had a few bad nights in a row. Hormones take over. And afterwards I need to bring myself together again. Discovering the tools to do that as fast as possible is part of the process.
→ Do you see yourself following this rhythm for a long time? Not at all! Babies really change all the time. They can even feel when you are getting comfortable with the situation, so don’t get used to it because your routines will change before you know it!
I like saying that taking care of my baby is teaching me some of the best practices of continuous integration.