H is officially past the 6 month mark, and I have been back at work for 4 months. I have only had one work-related-mommy-breakdown, so I think I am doing pretty good. Over the weekend I visited a friend in Dallas who is due next month, and she will also be a working Mommy. We are both pretty type-A, and I was sharing some of my tips and systems with her on how to stay organized and on top of it all.
Not that I think I have it all figured out, but these things really help me stay organized, which decreases my stress level:
1. Get Up Early!
This part sucks, I will admit, but I get up every morning at 5:15 am. I shower, eat breakfast and get H's bottles all ready by 6, which is when I wake her up. I used to be that person that hits the snooze button like 4 times, but I know now that my morning would be chaos if I didn't get out of bed on time, so I just do it.
2. Skip A Hair Wash
Luckily, I have hair that doesn't need to be washed everyday. I only wash it every other day, which saves me time in the morning. If you can't get away with this, I suggest you try dry shampoo and see if it helps you cut down on washes.
3. Prepack Lunches
On Sunday I prepare my lunches for the entire week. This week it is spicy lean lemon turkey, asparagus and sweet potatoes. Sometimes I just bring everything to work on Monday to make wraps (turkey, hummus, red peppers, cucumbers). Either way, it helps me save $ and time in the morning. I don't mind eating the same thing everyday for a week if it keeps me sane!
4. Wash Bottles!
Every night I wash H's bottles and set them out to dry so they are ready in the morning. I make her bottles for school at the same time I am making her morning bottle. I line up all 4, pour in the water, then the formula. Sometimes I just want to go to bed, but I know they have to be clean for the morning so I make sure to get it done.
5. Always Have the Diaper Bag Prepared
Whenever we return from school or another outing, I take the time to refill the diaper bag with whatever was used that day. Diapers, wipes, extra clothes, whatever. That way we can always leave the house prepared, even if it is on short notice.
6. Clean Up
I don't know about you, but I feel stressed when there is stuff all over my house. So a couple times a week I take the time to put away any toys or devices H is not currently using. We have a drawer in a side table in the living room where her toys can be stored so they are out of the way. When we are getting ready for bed, I take 2 minutes to clean up her room and put away books, toss burp cloths in the laundry and straighten everything up. It helps me feel more in control of my surroundings.
7. Buy Multiples
If you find yourself having to do laundry b/c you are out of changing pads, or wash a certain baby food container everyday, I suggest buying more. If you can afford it, the extra time is probably worth it. H has plenty of sheets, changing pads and basic clothes, so I only have to do her laundry once a week. And I have enough bottles to last a day an a half, so I don't HAVE to wash them everyday. Even though I do (I sometimes skip Friday nights).
8. Sacrifice TV
I used to watch a ton of TV, but after I get home, help make dinner, feed the babe, clean up and prepare for the next day, I don't really have time. I typically get in bed around 9:30, watch a half hour of TV, and go to sleep.
9. Don't Forget About Mommy Time
At least once a month, you need to have a girls night or even just a Mommy night. Take a few hours to meet some friends for lunch, drinks, or get a pedicure. Don't feel bad about the time spent away from the baby or your hubby, I promise you will return recharged and more ready for quality time!