As a new mom every one told me to just sleep when the baby sleeps. This sounds lovely in theory, like I would just be able to pass out for a 3 hour nap peacefully without interruption. I was told to not worry about housework, not worry about chores or things that had to get done.
Or if you have more than 1 kid you’re probably laughing at the idea to sleep when the baby sleeps (adjust this blog post as best as possible with multiple children).
When I was spending my first few months nursing and baby carrying all day, I wanted to do something for myself that felt productive.
Reality is, things have to get done. Or you at least feel better when they do.
I needed to set up her health insurance, I needed to feed myself, I needed a clean fork somewhere, sometime.
I unknowingly created a hierarchy for nap time productivity so I could find my balance between what I needed to do and what I wanted to do.
Let’s face it sometimes we have 20 minutes, sometimes we have 3 hours, and we just never know.
The beauty of a hierarchy is that it prioritizes your self care first and and then trickles down to important tasks, things you feel you need to do, and things you want to do.
Step 1: Self care.
Once nap time begins make self care your priority. This is highly dependent on what YOU need in the moment and harder with more than one kid so just do your best.
If you need sleep, rest or close your eyes for a few glorious moments. If you are even borderline hungry make yourself some food. Who knows when you will be able to eat again! If you feel well rested and fed and want to get a workout in or a shower, now is the time!
You may only have a few precious minutes so do something good for yourself.
Congratulations you still have more time! Move to step 2!
Step 2: Important Task
You now can tend to an important task, whatever this might be. A load of laundry because you or your child is running out of underwear. A bill you need to pay. A phone call you need to make. Maybe you napped as part of your self care step and now you want to shower. That works too!
Choose 1 thing and make some progress on that.
Congratulations you have more time!
Step 3: Housework, chores, or free time.
You can prioritize step 3 the way you want. For me personally keeping the housework at least half under control from what it use to be makes me feel good. So I take this time to finish that load of laundry, do the dishes, or tend to an area of the house that had been neglected.
OR, if housework is less important to you, use this for free time doing whatever you feel you need to, or want to do.
Maybe step one you chose sleep. And then for step 2 your important task was eating. You decided to skip the housework and watch some tv. You decide to do a project with your other kid. You decide that you want to get the house clean today or you could care less and you just want to zone out and check out pictures on Instagram. This is YOUR time to use it as you wish so don’t let anyone make you feel bad about how you choose to prioritize this time.
You may follow this exactly, you may rearrange the order, or you may do it backwards, but the point is to make it use for you in a time management sense. Some days you will get through step one, maybe some days you will get through step 3, regardless you got the most important task done first.
Hope this helps!
Side note: It is nap time. I am rested enough, fed, there are dirty dishes in the sink and I am writing this blog. 😉