Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scheduling!



I am not sure if I am insane, or if the years I spent in teaching are to blame (or both - perhaps they are related!) but BB and I now have a weekly timetable.

At the end of last week I had worked over 40 hours, many of them after BB was in bed, but several of them also while he was awake. The end result, I didn't get much sleep, BB didn't get the attention he deserves, and neither of us were as happy as we could be.

I am a mum because I want to be. Because I want to do mum stuff, like create art with my child, read, bake, play, explore. That last week I was being a mum between work tasks, and trying to encourage him to amuse himself for longer. He watched more TV than usual. I felt awful for him, and awful for me.

I sat down with a very well earned glass of wine of Saturday night and tried to come up with a plan. Initially I thought the answer would be to put him nursery for an extra morning a week. I then wrote little schedule of when I would work etc. It seemed ok.  It reduced the number of hours I needed to do in the evenings which was good, and I just needed to be disciplined and not do stuff when he is awake. But when I woke up on Sunday (without wine glow) things looked different.

At the moment we have just one weekday when there isn't something scheduled. If he has an extra morning at nursery that will be down to zero! Add to that the fact that DD visits at least every other weekend and it doesn't leave us much free time. In fact often on those weekends its good to just relax.

Currently, that one free day usually gets filled with something different and fun. Today we went to the beach with some friends visiting from down south, in a couple of weeks we are off to a soft play centre with all the mums and babes from our antenatal class. Sometimes if the weather is good we go to large reserve or a recreational park. We have been to stately homes, National Trust properties, the children's farm, and shopping for shoes.

I realised that losing that day would actually make things worse.

I needed a further rethink.

I also need to change my ways. I have always been a person to work until things are done, so when a client sends me all his paperwork for the last quarter in one huge unorganised heap the urge in me to get that all processed and organised is huge. I need to do it yesterday. I don't rest until its done. When someone emails me I feel I should respond straight away, while I think of it, even if we are at the park!

To cut a long story short, we now have a timetable. I am working every morning for an hour, straight after breakfast, checking emails, scheduling and prioritising tasks, maybe doing one or two little things if there is time. BB is happy to play for a bit by himself at this time. His toys are all 'new' in the morning. Immediately after my hour we are doing an art/craft/at the table kind of task together, though if BB is fed up being by himself he can come and join me at the table early (as he did this morning with his crayons) while I finish off... he is quite happy to do that. I am doing my second hour when he naps in the afternoon, and a further one in the evenings. I've cut the afternoon slot for our Adventure Tuesdays, and dedicated Friday's afternoon slot to activity planning for the next week. I have only scheduled an hour each day at the weekend - just to keep on top of mails and stuff. As emails arrive on my phone I am sending them to folders to deal with next time I am working, instead of feeling the need to respond right now.

We are only 2 days in, but its good so far... If I can be disciplined enough to stick to it I really think this could work and give us the best of both worlds.



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