Thursday, July 14, 2005

Reclaiming Your Time

One thing that new parents, and new stay-at-home moms or dads in particular, quickly discover is that having a baby often means that you suddenly don't have time to do all the things you once were able to do. For example, we all know that when there's a new baby in the house, we can kiss a full night's sleep goodbye. We have to wake up to soothe baby's cries or for the cliched 3am feeding. That's something that we expect to happen, so we are somewhat prepared for it. While I can't help you get back your lost sleep, here are some suggestions for accomplishing other tasks even when you are taking care of baby at the same time.

One chore that I never had time for when I first brought home my newborn was cleaning my house. I admit that I sometimes used the baby as an excuse to take time off from housework, and I often let the cleaning slide. But if you let things get too far out of hand, you will soon feel overwhelmed. It's hard to dust or vacuum when your baby is crying and wants to be held. If you keep letting yourself get interrupted by your baby's cries, you will never get anything done. Instead, why don't you try doing your housework while wearing your baby in a sling or a suitable carrier? It's easier to use a sling or carrier than to simply hold your baby and try to get the housework done one-handed. And more likely than not, your baby will be soothed both by being close to you and by the constant motion as you vacuum, sweep, etc. This is a great way for the two of you to bond.

I have always been an avid reader, but once I had a baby, I just never had time to sit down with a book and make some serious progress. Reading was a way for me to unwind and relax, so I really missed not being able to do it. Then, one of my friends suggested that I get an iPod or similar MP3 player and listen to my books instead. It sounded intriguing, so I decided to give it a try. It took a little while for me to get used to concentrating on listening to someone read a book, but now I am addicted to these audio books. I play them in the car when I am running errands, or listen to them when I am cooking or doing housework. There are thousands of audio books available, both as MP3 downloads and as traditional CDs.

If you find that you don't have time to exercise anymore, why not buy one of those special strollers designed for joggers? They are a bit expensive, but you will be able to get a bit of exercise and will feel and look much better because of it. Your baby will love going for a ride, too!

Having a baby means making lots of sacrifices. Nevertheless, there are ways to reclaim at least some of your time. Try these tips today!

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