Many people have been asking me how a typical day looks like for me, how I organize my day, how I find time for workouts etc. Well.. I was in the same boat few months ago. I started taking care of Dhanya all by myself when she was 14 months old and was constantly anxious how am I going to do it. My health was also not how it is today, I was still dealing with recovery and stuff. However, now I can say that I am able to take care of things much better. It has definitely been a great learning experience in terms of planning, time management and multi-tasking : much more than what I could learn in my MBA 😉
I will share my schedule at the end of the blog, but before that I will share what all I ensured to do:
- Baby proofing- We live in a 1 BR apartment and hence spend most of the time in the living room only. My kitchen and dining form a part of the extended living room too. Apart from baby proofing plug sockets and furniture corners, we installed a gate to the kitchen as Dhanya loooveeess being in the kitchen and even reaches out to the stove top at times. So I let her in only when I am not cooking. I also bought a Northstates playard in order to build on her independent play time. Both have worked as really good investments.
Initially she was okay playing in it as long as one of us sit inside with her. So at times when I watch TV, I used to just sit with her and she used to play on her own. Now at 22 months, she reads/plays on her own. At times I drag it just outside my kitchen and she just sees me and plays while I can finish my cooking/cleaning work.
- Kitchen investments – The major part of our work comes to cooking and vessel washing (I do not use dishwasher). I decided to invest in a few appliances that can help me get work done faster. One was a food
processor and another was my Instant Pot (IP). I know washing the food processor can be a task, but I mainly use it to meal prep (discussed in next part), so I just have to wash it in one go. Everyone was raving about the IP, hence I invested in one and also learnt OPOS method of cooking with it. It has indeed been interesting to learn and saves time for many dishes. I OPOS at least one dish a day. Lesser time to cook, no babysitting and also lesser vessels to wash. There are groups on FB to guide you with this technique for free.
- Meal plan and prep – I have discussed about this in much more detail in my diet post. It not only helps you in your fitness journey, but also with your little one for whom you can plan a variety. Take your partner’s help in prepping so that your weekdays are more easier. It also helps me plan out the days I have to vacuum or do any zone cleaning in the house. If you are looking for the template I am using, you can get it from Doitonadimeblog
- Scheduling – This is a very important point. Trust me, babies love schedules. Once you fix one, they themselves get used to it and also follow it. It also helps you organize your day. Being a Stay At Home Mom doesn’t mean you spend your entire day for your kid/cleaning the house only. Investing in yourself is of prime importance if you want to enjoy your motherhood journey. I will be sharing my schedule as a reference. You can alter it according to your activities and your little one’s schedule.
- Self-feeding – I knew that if I am going to be sitting and feeding Dhanya for long hours that itself will consume more time out of me. It is important to fuel myself too at the right time so that I can do other work when she naps. So I encouraged her to self-feed. It was a great learning experience and also very rewarding. We enjoy our meal times together. I will make a very detailed post on this in a few weeks 🙂
Once you’ve a schedule in place and are able to take time for yourself, your mental health would improve. Pair it with some good exercise, stroller walks in the sun, occasional relaxation times and you will see tremendous improvement. That would give you more energy and enthusiasm to enjoy and do things better and faster.
Here goes my weekday schedule. Most of the days I have been able to follow it without any hassles.
5:30 a.m. : Wake up. I have always been a morning person as I love that time before sunrise. After becoming a mom, it has become all the more important for me to start my day early and finish my priorities before the chaos begins 😉 Even if I had a bad sleep I just wake up and finish my work and later compensate sometime during the day for sleep. If not I feel the entire day to be messy.
5:45 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. : I finish cooking for the day and also cleaning vessels and the kitchen. Mostly I make a curry, rice and a vegetable. Rotis I make in the afternoon spending just 10 minutes.
7:15 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. : I completely focus on my health and finish my workout and take a quick shower.
8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. : Day starts for my hub and toddler by now. I pack his lunch, cook breakfast, send him off to work, talk to my parents, bath Dhanya and we both finish our breakfast.
10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. : We go for our stroller walks/library story times/park etc. in this time. I keep this as a good active time for her so that she gets tired and hungry to eat lunch and sleep well 😀
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. : We have lunch and then Dhanya goes to nap.
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. : She naps for around 1.5 to 2 hours. I use this time to do some focused work like reading or writing my blog. I very much ensure NOT to do any cooking/cleaning work which can be done when she is awake. If at all I had a really bad night and sleep deprived, then I take a very short power nap (<30 mins) in this time. It helps prevent headaches for me. Once she is up, we play on her bed for sometime.
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. : I give her a snack (usually a fruit) and we read or play for sometime. If it is a cleaning day for me, I clean the house playing with her alongside.
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: Some songs run in the background, she chooses to watch or not watch while I finish cooking dinner and also doing any prep work for next day morning. I cannot grind anything in the morning when she is asleep as it is easily audible, so I plan all that and finish in the evening. By this time, my hub also returns from work and they both play or do something together. She has a snack if she feels to.
7:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. : If I have any specific work to do, I do that for half an hour and then dinner time, some TV and bedtime take place.
So that is it mommas.. This has been my schedule. Weekends are almost similar with just a difference of me going grocery shopping and some family outings.
If you are feeling overwhelmed handling everything alone, it is okay, it is normal to be so. Just figure out a schedule and trust me, you will be good. I had no idea few months back that I would do this good that I can write it out for someone else 😉