Like many new parents, I find myself at a loss to start any project when those precious few minutes arise. If you’re a new parent you know what I mean. Exhaustion is a way of life, and day sleeping seems almost impossible. You make the decision instead to be productive while the newborn sleeps for their morning and/or their afternoon nap.
But what do you do? Where do you start?
Cleaning the house? The dishes? The laundry? Maybe it’s emails and social media that need your attention. Maybe you have house repairs or other chores around the structure that need attention. Maybe you have a hobby that has been neglected and could use this valuable time. Maybe you still have to attend to your career.
I sit here typing on the computer with the baby monitor cooing at me. A quick glance shows me my little’s eyes are open. How much longer do I have?
So little has been done since I put him down – after he slept for an hour on my chest and I took care of a few computer items I could do with one hand. I managed to get another bottle of milk ready for his next feeding (and a little for storage thinking about my return to work), cleaned all the parts, and put the breakfast dishes away – yes almost two hours after I finished actually eating.
I’ve been wanting to write a few posts for a month now. Finally, as my fingers fly across the keyboard I wonder if I’ll even get this one done.
In truth, I’m proud of myself for getting this far. I have found myself from day-to-day fluttering between tasks. I did set up a semi-productive schedule or plan. Following it has been harder than I thought. I find that more urgent tasks arise that I must use the time to complete – and usually, it’s work related.
Today, however, I sit making a commitment to my list of tasks (to be fair I kind of committed for October). This means that I’m a little behind on my plan, but I’m not giving up hope and I’m not getting frustrated.
I know that I’m not alone in this reality, but I feel that with every small step I will get closer to completion. Looking at my plan, I am also satisfied with what I have been able to accomplish. Small tasks were completed on a variety of fronts. I did manage, in 10 days thus far, three days of writing my novel, querying a number of agents about a completed novel, reading for pleasure almost every day, my house is somewhat clean, and laundry is complete after hosting guests for the long weekend. I completed a few new tasks for the sub taking care of my students, which is always a fun task against the clock of needs.
As the cries begin, I know that I must continue to check off the small tasks from the list I created. Each check-mark means I’m one step closer to the larger goal. But all of those goals pale in comparison to the dream of being a parent and that job is needing my immediate attention again…