The other day I had the most vivid epiphany about enjoying life as it is happening. I was thinking about how just a few years ago, I was living life as a forensic accountant, travelling all around the country working on investigations. There were many days where I was sleeping in fancy hotels, drinking wine in airport lounges between flights, having dinner in hotel restaurants, or working from my room with an order of room service. In hindsight, there was something enjoyable and somewhat glamorous about a life like that but in the moment, I was just feeling overworked, stressed and lonely. And just last summer when I was pregnant, I would sometimes go for walks to a local coffee shop and spend hours reading or blogging there. In hindsight, I wish I would have done it more often since I don’t have that type of freedom with my time now.
So, as I’m sitting here on the couch and typing this as my baby naps, I am reminding myself not to feel restless and to enjoy this idyllic time, as in just a few months I’ll be back at work and I’ll be looking back on this time wishing that I could re-live it again.
My baby is five and a half months old now and we’ve settled into a very predictable and enjoyable routine. My husband has been working night shifts for the past 5 days and so I feel like I’ve been ‘single mom-ming’ it for the past 5 days. However, whenever he’s at work, my days with the baby are very routine and relaxing. Here’s a snapshot of our day yesterday:
7:15AM – I’ve set the coffee machine on autostart and I can faintly hear the grinder going from our bedroom. The husband got home at 4AM, so he’s sound asleep. I slip out of bed and head downstairs. This is my morning “me” time and I savour this hour where I peacefully enjoy my coffee and a book.
8:30AM – Baby E is up. I head upstairs to change and feed her and have our morning cuddles. Then we head downstairs where I have my breakfast (avocado toast with a fried egg) while she plays in her Bumbo chair. Sometimes she’ll play nicely long enough for me to unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher from the night before. I love starting the day with an empty dishwasher so I can load dirty dishes into it as the day progresses. I start a load of laundry, then we head back upstairs to the bonus room where we play, either on her playmat, jolly jumper, activity centre or on the floor. Side note: HGTV is always on the TV when we are in the bonus room, and I’m chomping at the bit to renovate our house or to build a new house!
10AM – Baby E will inevitably start fussing after an hour and a half of waking up, wanting her morning nap. I change her diaper, and we settle down to read a couple books before nap time. Then I zip her into her Zipadee-zip and nurse her. I put her into her crib and she talks to herself for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep. The Zipadee-zip is a swaddle transition blanket and Baby E just loves it. Her hands are covered so I don’t have to worry about her scratching herself, it is incredibly soft and warm, and every time I tell her “Zipadee-zip, it’s sleep time!” she smiles and coos because she knows that she’s going to get fed before she has to sleep.
These morning naps are the long ones, usually 2 hours, so I get a lot done during these two hours. This day in particular, I finish cleaning the kitchen, put the laundry into the dryer, and then head down to the basement. Remember, when I was doing the home organization challenge? Well, we had a bout of sickness in our household and then we went to Mexico, so I fell behind on the challenge. However, I’m still chipping away at it. I’ve cleaned out and decluttered my closet, resulting in one huge bag of clothes that went to donations and one huge bag going to a consignment store. Now I’m working on our basement – our basement isn’t developed yet so it’s literally where we store EVERYTHING. There’s a lot of junk down there and it’s overwhelming to think about cleaning and organizing it before we start developing it. So, I made a plan that every day during morning nap, I will head down to the basement for half an hour. I have a big garbage bag started where I throw things that we will toss, and I have a box started where I put things that I will sell on VarageSale. I spend half an hour down there, and then head back upstairs to read and relax until baby wakes up.
12PM – Baby E wakes up and I head upstairs to change her and feed her. We then wake my husband up (he has to head to work at 3PM). I leave Baby E with him to play and I head downstairs to make lunch. Today’s lunch is this Italian Sausage Tortellini. We all eat lunch together and the husband continues to play with the baby while I clean up the kitchen.
2PM – Baby E starts fussing so after changing her and feeding her, she’s back down for her afternoon nap. This nap is usually only 1-1.5 hours long, so I just read or watch TV.
3:30PM – Baby E is up. Another round of changing diapers, feeding and playing. While she plays independently, I fold and put away laundry. If we have anywhere to go, this is usually when we go out. But today is a lazy day where I know we’re not going anywhere, so I haven’t even put on any makeup or anything.
5:30PM – She starts fussing. Another diaper change and feed, and she’s down for her evening nap. This one is only an hour. I make a sandwich for myself for dinner and relax with my book on the couch. (I’ve been reading a lot lately now that her naps are so good. I average a book a day!).
6:30PM – She’s up. Another round of changing diapers, feeding and playing.
8PM – Start of nighttime routine. I bathe her, give her a baby massage with Aveeno Baby Nighttime Balm, read her two bedtime stories, feed her and put her down for bed. She chats with herself for a few minutes and then quickly falls asleep.
At this time, I do a quick tidy of the entire house, set up the coffee machine for tomorrow morning, start the dishwasher and then head to my bedroom. I have a nice hot bath with a book and a glass of wine, and I’m in bed by 11PM.
5AM – Baby E wakes around 5AM for her nighttime feed, so I feed her and put her back into her crib where she sleeps until 8:30AM.
The next day starts again with the sound of the coffee machine at 7:15AM!
Isn’t that the most idyllic day ever? When the weather is nice we usually go out during her awake times, but we’ve been staying in the past couple of days. The days where my husband is off work are a little more activity-filled. On his days off, I go to the gym, I go to a coffee shop to blog, and we have random outings to go shopping, out to eat, various appointments, or various social visits.
I’m not going to lie, there are days where the monotony of this routine really makes me restless. However, I am reminding myself to enjoy the quiet moments and to make the most out of this phase as it will inevitably pass. I used to feel restless when I used to nap with Baby E and I was laying there on the couch with her for two hours. But now that we’ve sleep trained her and she’s napping on her own, I really miss those cuddles! So my resolution for the last half of my maternity leave is to soak in and enjoy every single moment because I won’t be able to relive these moments again!