46. How to plan your life around your baby's routines - a new mom's guide to time blocking, how to be productive with a newborn baby
Do you ever wonder how some moms just seem to be able to do it all, even with a baby on their hip?
Listen in to today’s episode to learn how you can plan your days around your baby’s schedule so you can get more done in less time.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey there friends. Welcome to the better postpartum podcast. I’m your host Angel Swan, crunchy mom, coffee addict and postpartum doula turned new mom, coach. This podcast is your audio guide to not just surviving but thriving during those early and newborn days. If you want to care for yourself, your household and your baby with confidence, grab your earbuds because this is the only podcast that you need. So what do you say? Should we get started with today’s episode? Let’s do this. Hey, friends, thank you for tuning in today. Before we get started, I just wanted to read this really sweet review submitted by M A WASC. You she says angel has helped me so much through this podcast. I feel so much more confident in my parenting and ability to take care of my baby. Thanks to these great episodes. I’ve even started cloth diapering with ease after listening to her episode on it. Thanks for helping this new mom was such great info. Thank you so much for that review. I love it. If you have been loving this podcast and learning from it, please head over to Apple podcast to subscribe, leave me a five star rating interview. If you feel like you can do that it really only takes a minute. These little love notes that you leave really, really make my day. And it helps other new moms find this podcast so that they can learn from it too. So thanks again to Mr. skew. Now, let’s get into today’s episode, which is how to plan your life around your baby’s routines. So first off, if you want to get anything out of today’s episode, you need to get your baby on a routine before you do anything else that I’m about to tell you. Because if your baby isn’t on a routine, this lesson is going to be hard for you to do because your schedule is going to be way too unpredictable to even be able to practice time blocking, which is how we manage our time when we have little ones and even when they’re grown up. It’s just a great way to manage your time. So if your baby is currently under two months, just give yourself a break, maybe come back to this episode later. The first two months with your baby is pretty much a constant cycle of feeding, changing and getting them to sleep. And that’s totally okay. It’s normal. It’s what’s to be expected. All of that is perfect. And I actually encourage you, if that’s you the stage that you’re in. So just focus on your baby and getting as much rest as you can while your baby is sleeping. Because the first two months of their life, that is not the time to be trying to get your life together, you’ve got plenty of time to get yourself organized after your baby’s a little bit older. Now, if your baby is two months or older, they really should be at the point where they’re kind of finding their own natural rhythm. And you can use that to guide them into regular daily routine. And I’m not going to go into the details of how to get your baby on a routine because I did that in another episode already. So if you need help getting your baby on a routine, go back and listen to episode 25, which goes over in great detail of how to get your baby on a consistent routine without doing things like forcing them to cry it out or making them wait to eat because you’re watching the clock and following the clock. It’s a very gentle method that I use for guiding babies onto a regular routine. It’s called the Eat place next sleep routine is very good. So if you go to that episode number 25. It’s really good. So go and listen. Now, if your baby is on a routine, and you have a better feel for what you can expect from them at certain times of the day, then congratulations, you’re ready to start getting organized and actually making plans for your day. So you can stop running around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to remember all the things that you need to do. And it’s just yeah, you’re ready. So it’s very exciting. Now, it is really amazing how being in tune with your baby’s needs and their routines is going to give you so much more flexibility and freedom in your day. So the way that I always teach my clients to manage their days is with time blocking. Time blocking is a simple and effective system for helping you get more done in less time. Because you have a solid plan for what needs to happen and when and using those time blocks as hyperfocused time is what allows you to really breeze through your to do list more quickly. I do want to say that having a baby means you’re gonna have interruptions in your plans, no matter what basically.
So you might set up a time block for like cleaning the bathroom, but your baby is having a meltdown and they just need you to hold them up. that’s totally normal, we expect it, it’s okay. So, when we talk about planning your day, I want you to remember that with a baby, you really need to keep things pretty simple. You cannot expect for everything to go according to plan. And because of that, you need to allow some flexibility with your schedule, and you need to be mentally okay with the fact that things are probably going to change. And that’s okay, you can adapt, you’ve got it. So when we start time blocking, you’re going to pull out a weekly calendar, this can be digital or paper, whatever you prefer. So I flip flop back and forth between paper and digital, I usually end up just sticking with my digital planner, because I just need it to be with me at all times. And it’s too much to carry around like a paper planner, you kind of always have your phone with you. So for me, the digital planner is usually the way to go. Now, where was I in my notes, okay, find my place. So on here, weekly calendar, you’re gonna put your baby’s like general naps and their feeding times in there. And that’ll be those are, those are kind of like time blocks there. So then we’re going to take a look at when your baby’s napping. That’s the time when you want to try and get things done that might be either more difficult for you to do if your baby wearing or if you need to be creative, and you can’t let that creative energy flow and your baby’s awake. Or what I would prefer that you do is just to kind of rest. But let’s let’s just look at an example. So like the only time for me that I’m really able to get work done with like, being creative. So like when I’m working on creating new episodes for this podcast, I can only do that when my daughter is sleeping, I really have a hard time focusing and putting the right words together when she’s awake and bouncing off the walls. It’s it’s just not possible. She’s wild, we actually recently discovered that she has some sensory processing issues. So we’re going to be exploring that. So that’s just like another challenge. When she’s awake, it’s very hard for me to be creative, because I have to be constantly aware of what she’s doing. But anyways, it might be a little bit counterintuitive for you to be doing chores while your baby’s awake. But they really learn a lot by watching you do chores, especially if you like narrate to them, they really love it, just tell them what you’re what you’re doing. Talk to them about it, ask them questions, they not gonna answer you back. But, you know, by doing chores in front of them while they’re awake, especially starting at a younger age, you’re teaching them the importance of taking care of your home, yourself and your belongings. So this is especially important as they get older, because it will teach them to be responsible. And it’ll also teach them that sometimes Mommy needs to take care of the house instead of playing with them. And that’s actually okay, the world is not going to end right. So for me, I do all of my chores while my daughter is awake, and all my creative time happens when she’s sleeping. Now, if you are going back to the sleep for you, if you’re still feeling the exhaustion that comes with having a baby, I really think that this rule applies to you. So if your baby’s awake, go ahead and do chores while they’re awake and use their nap time as your time to rest. Okay, you can take a nap. Or you can do something you really enjoy that like lights you up and makes you feel good about yourself. Maybe you don’t need to sleep, but just be in like a horizontal position. That’s super restorative feels really good. Yeah, like maybe you can’t sleep, you just want to listen to like a podcast or something and lay down, that’s totally fine. It is very important that you have balance in your life. And like, you need to know when to do chores and when to take care of yourself. So time blocking allows you to do that, because you’re able to actually plan out when you’re going to do chores or other things on your to do list and when you’re going to be resting and taking care of yourself. So when you look at your weekly planner and you see your baby’s nap times consider those to be your resting blocks or your creative blocks depending on what stage of life you’re in. And just as use that as time to do something that’s restorative for yourself, whatever that looks like whether it’s napping or being creative. You get what I’m saying. And then when you look at the blocks that are empty, so where we don’t have the nap or the feeding, that is going to be when you want to put in your chores.
So with a baby you might be lucky and you have when he was content to sit near you play on their own and watch you as you work. Or you might have a clinger like my daughter who prefers to be held while they’re awake. Now if your baby needs to be held You and you need to get things done. You need to wear them. I’ve said it so many times but you will truly be way more productive and happy if you’re babywearing I used to kind of I would get like mopey. And I think this had to do with my postpartum depression too is like, I would just be like, Oh my gosh, all she wants is for me to hold her. How am I supposed to get anything done. And for some reason, I would just forget the fact that I had like five babywearing carriers at my disposal. And I would just forget to use them. So I’m telling you right now you got to use them. If you haven’t tried one yet, you have to try it and get comfortable with it. Because bear baby wear will make you happy and it’ll make your baby happy. It is so good for them emotionally and physically. And it’s good for you too, because it triggers your body to release oxytocin. Excuse me, oxytocin, I always want to say oxytocin. It’s so weird word oxytocin, and that boosts your mood, and also allows you to maintain a healthy milk supply. So not to mention, babywearing also allows you to be hands free, I think that’s like the main benefit. So you can still do things like vacuum, clean the house, tidy up, do the dishes, cook, whatever, while you’re wearing your baby. So now that you have an idea of what to do, and when you can go ahead and add one task that you want to get done during each of your baby’s wake windows. So you just start out with the one. And if your baby tolerates it well, and you have time to do more, and you want to do more, then go ahead and add another small thing to that time block that you want to do. I don’t want you to try time blocking by like filling up your schedule with chores and to dues and get overwhelmed because you have stretched yourself too thin by really just like filling up your schedule. So you need to start out small, realistically give yourself two to three main things for you to do in a day. And then as long as you’re comfortable with that you’re comfortable with your routines, your time blocking, then you can build on that and add more things to your day. But just don’t start out, like really going full force into it. You have to ease into it. And with all of those tasks, just remember to allow yourself that time to rest while your baby is napping. When you’re you’re still feeling that exhaustion or you just need a break whatever that is. I mean sleep when the baby sleeps. It’s real advice. And people always like kind of scoff at that, like how am I supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps, I have so many things to do. I just told you how it’s time blocking the people who say that they don’t know how to manage their time. And if you have the tools to manage your time, you can get more rest. You can sleep when your baby is sleeping. And let me tell you, if you don’t sleep in your baby sleeps, if you don’t get enough, rest yourself, you’re not going to function well as a mom, like period. And I think that’s not really the summary something that I need to spell out for you. I think you know that. But I also think that sometimes it’s really helpful to have someone give you permission to just rest and take a minute to breathe, to sleep, whatever rest looks like for you. So consider this me giving you permission to take a break. So this was kind of like surface level of how to do this. And if you want to learn more about time blocking, about how to prioritize with which tasks you’re going to get done and when finding that good balance, getting your baby on a consistent routine so you can plan your days better. I’m actually creating a step by step system called the back to you blueprint. And it’s going to cover these topics in great depth along with create how to create other supports, and simple systems in your life. That will help burn out moms with babies and toddlers get 30 minutes of me time every day. So you can feel like yourself again. Now if that is something that you’re interested in, you can actually get early access to the back to you program at a discounted price from now through January 1 By going to Angel swan.com/back to you. That’s a NGELSW o n.com/backto y o u and register for the back to you program. Again, I’m
only running this discount from now through January 1. So if you want to get early bird access and get that discount, now is the time alright friends, as always, don’t forget you can hang out with me on Instagram at Angel dot Swan grab my free postpartum planner on my website. That’s Angel Swan calm. And of course don’t forget to go on Apple podcasts and rate review and subscribe. Thank you so much for listening. I will talk to you soon. Buh bye. Thank you so much for listening to the better postpartum podcast. Here’s what I want you to do next. If you loved what you heard today, would you do me a giant favor and leave me a written five star review? Those little love notes that you leave are the perfect way to thank me for putting out these episodes just for you. Seriously, it would mean the world to me. Next, take a screenshot of the episode you’re listening to right now and share it on your Instagram stories and make sure you tag me at Angel dot swan. That’s SW o n so that more moms can find this podcast and hopefully get the advice and encouragement they need to truly thrive with their babies. And don’t forget to come back every single week for more nuggets of wisdom and truth bombs about the early motherhood journey. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye bye