Recently my friend Bethany blogged about her typical day, and she and I discussed how much we both LOVE blog posts that are “a day in the life of _________.” I have a deep fascination with knowing the details of people’s daily schedules. This sets me up well for parent talk, as I have always wanted to hear about peoples’ sleeping and eating habits, and there is nothing that new parents want to talk about more than that. I especially love when moms write posts about how they fill their days, and I hope that someday our schedule will finally become regular enough that I could detail it.
But for now, we are still treading water in the land of routine, but far from the safe shores of a predictable schedule where things happen at the same time every day. They might happen in the same order, there might be similarities, but life looks less regular for us than it ever has before. And to be honest, that is really hard for me. I love endless repetition, thrive on schedules, and love for my days to fall into identical order. Just when I think we are on the verge of sliding into a schedule, things change again. This is normal – it’s reality with babies.
Yet it has me thinking. My semester started this week, Henry turned three months, and I went back to work. These things have me thinking that ok, we are out of that foggy newborn stage, that hazy “fourth trimester.” It’s time to find a rhythm that we can dance to daily even if it can’t be an ironclad schedule. I might not be able to always control our days, but I’m trying to look over our weeks and find repetitive gestures, moments, and activities that I can structure our lives around. Henry has a set wake time and bed time that never changes. I have two set days with the nanny when I go to work. The other days I work from home while he naps (or doesn’t nap – still working on that). I feel really blessed to get to have flexibility that allows me to be home with Henry, but the downside is that I have constant pressure to be making work happen when I am home with him. A week of crap naps also means a week when I am behind in work, and that is hard. In the absence (hopefully temporary) of completely predictable naps, I just mentally divide my day into “tasks I can do during wake-time” and “tasks that require full attention.” As soon as Henry goes down, I drop everything and try to work intently. Because when he is awake, I get some stuff done, but I also try to just be present in loving on my boy.
There’s a lot that I want to be happening in my days that isn’t happening right now. I’m running a half-marathon in November, and I need to start training. I want a set time each day for prayer and scripture, instead of the scattered minutes I found this summer. These things are abstract priorities, but I just need to find the concrete time in the day to make them happen. I have a sneaky suspicion that they might involve… gulp… getting up before Henry. Good thing I started drinking coffee this summer.
September feels like a good time to work on finding our rhythm, full of newness and responsibility and fresh starts. It feels like a good time to stop treading water and start swimming. A good time to embrace the unpredictability in our days while still finding my footing. A good time to balance productivity and play. September is always my fresh start and this year it feels especially necessary.
(But for real- if you have recently blogged the tiny minutia of your daily habits, by all means, post a link below – I love that stuff.)