Guest Guru: Jennifer of Three Pugs and a Baby – Planning is Great; Chasing Bubbles is Better
“Planning is great; chasing bubbles is better”
By: Jennifer of three pugs & a baby
I’m 100% Type A. Anal, precise, detail-oriented. It brings me a sense of comfort to have my days planned and my to-do lists in order. I would sleep with my MomAgenda under my pillow, if I thought my husband wouldn’t give me the side-eye forever after.
The thing is, when you become a parent, it’s not so easy anymore.
The best-laid plans get tossed out the window in the blink of an eye, and leave people like me reeling because we never learned to roll with the punches.
I knew it was going to happen, but I never really “got it.”
I was clued in, when our son chose to make his appearance three weeks early, on the very morning I was scheduled for maternity pictures. I should have known, right then, that my penchant for careful planning was already a thing of the past.
For me, it was sink or swim.
And I quickly learned to adapt. I had no choice.
The word “routine” replaced the word “schedule” in my vocabulary. I learned to plan things based on windows of time rather than the hands of the clock.
And I learned that spending time with this amazing little boy trumped cleaning, crafting, and organizing, any day of the week.
That’s not to say I still don’t retain my need for order. I may have adapted, but I’m still me.
How do I handle it?
Well, I plan by week, rather than by day. I break things down by things I need to do, things I really want to do, and things that would be cool but aren’t necessary.
For example, things I regularly need to do:
• Work out (daily during the week)
• Shower (daily)
• Cook meals (daily)
• Grocery shop (once a week)
• Laundry (2-3 times a week)
• Clean the house (broken down by activity, 1-2 times a week)
• Blog and do blog-related activities (daily)
Things I really want to do:
• Run errands
• Educational crafts with our son
• “Field trips” (to the park or zoo)
• Get Mommy time
Things that would be cool:
• Try some new baking techniques
• Catch up on scrapbooking
• Write my screenplay
• Edit photos
• Work on building my personal interests
You get the idea. There are variations on the themes, but for the sake of this post, I’m keeping it simple.
Then I use naptime and after bedtime to complete tasks, in order of priority. Some days, I get to cross off lots of things on those lists. Some days, I’m lucky to squeeze in the shower and grab a bite to eat. Some days, I have a little time left over.
We just make it work however we can.
In two years, I’ve learned that I can be more flexible and let go of my need for strict scheduling. After all, it’s great getting stuff done.
But it’s even better to toss the to-do list out the window and spend a lazy afternoon chasing bubbles with one of the loves of your life.
Jennifer, of three pugs & a baby, is a 30-something stay-at-home mom to one toddler and three pugs. She has been married to a wonderful guy for almost four years and enjoys cooking, baking, blogging and making detailed to-do lists in her sleep. For more info on Jennifer and her life, please visit her blog at www.threepugsandababy.com.