Thursday, January 22, 2015

Changing the System

I hardly touched my phone at all today. After birthday festivities that I hyper documented to share with family and friends who weren't with us to celebrate, I needed a technology break.

Just because a post without any photos at all can be kind of boring...
As a result, I didn't take a single photo today and that's okay!  The kids were just as adorable as they were yesterday and they'll still be as cute tomorrow. We had another stay home PJ day. I got caught up on laundry (I did 5 loads and even got 3 of those put away!) and just spent time with my boys.

Speaking of laundry, I typically do one load a day from wash to put away and sometimes two on diaper washing day. Over the holidays I got WAAAY behind. Once I dug myself back out I knew I needed to tweak my system a little bit. I just could not seem to stay on top of it and once I got stressed about it, I remembered how the systems I have in place in our home need to work for me. It's not the other way around. Once you find a system that truly works it easily becomes part of your daily routine and you automatically stay on top of it. If something is stressing you out, that's a good indicator that it's not working for you. When I was 20 and first moved out and began to run my own home (I'm not counting college dorm dwelling here), I started out by implementing all of my mother's systems because that is all I really knew. Well, my mom and I are different people and I learned really quickly that many of her systems, while they work for her, did not work for me. The same type of transition happened once Ayden came along. It took me a good 2 years to really nail down  a routine that really worked. Then Logan came along and so on and so forth. 

The same goals need to be met but after every life change, things need to be tweaked before you find balance again. The answer for me this time was to add Ayden's laundry in with David's and mine. For Logan's first few months I had our laundry which we sort as we take it off into 3 loads: reds, colors and whites. We have a 3 compartment hamper and it is a MAJOR time saver for a one-load-a-day household. Then we had towels and sheets, diapers (which needed to be washed every other day), David's building clothes, a small load of super dirty towels, rugs and rags that I did not want to wash with other stuff, Logan's laundry (which ended up being washed twice a week in the early days) and then Ayden's load. It was just too much. Keeping up with the boy's laundry, household laundry and diapers meant that our clothes didn't get washed until neither of us had anything at all to wear. Then they'd get washed but never put away. The simple decision to merge Ayden's laundry with ours solved every problem. One less load a week and our clothes are now getting washed regularly. It also helps that Logan rarely spits up anymore and thus makes it through most of his days wearing only one outfit.

Another interesting routine shift that happened recently was bed times. Since he was just a month or so old, Logan was ready to go to bed for the night between 7:30 and 8 just like Ayden. We'd each take a child and get them ready at the same time then I'd stay in and nurse Logan while Ayden fell asleep. Now, Logan is reay for bed around 6:30 which makes things interesting on the nights that David builds and I do bedtime alone. When David is home it's no big deal because he plays with Ayden while I tend to Logan.  When he's not here, I needed to find a way to keep Ayden quietly contained and occupied so he doesn't wake Logan.  I've started doing "quiet book time" for Ayden where he sits with a basket of books on the couch in the living room and quietly looks through them while I nurse Logan down and somehow, it's working! I talked to him about it ahead of time telling him why he couldn't be in the room and such and he understood. It must be a big 3 year old skill to master. It's nice to be able to give Logan what he needs without having his big bro come in and wake him up. 

I guess the point is that with each family member you have, more needs arise and all of those needs seem to constantly evolve and change. As a result, our routines and systems that keep or households running need to evolve and change as well. We do not work for our household or systems, they need to work for us to make life more simple for everyone.

Have you had to tweak any of your systems lately?  What was the problem and how did you fix it?  Please share in the comments below!


Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Nurse Day"
Two years ago today: "SOLD!"
And three years ago today: "So In Love"

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  1. Sarah, how do you do bedtimes with baby Logan? How do you know he's ready for bedtime in the evening and not just a nap? My baby is 7 weeks old and has no waking/sleeping pattern yet. He is bf and feeds regularly through the night and day. At night he will only sleep in my arms, but by the sound of it you must put Logan down by himself. Would appreciate any tips you have as you have such a respectful parenting approach.

    1. By the way, when you say you nurse Logan down how long does it take? Feeds take about an hour for us so it is hard to keep my older child entertained.

  2. We got SUPER lucky with Logan. From his very first night he has had a distinct night sleeping pattern. He is our Mr. Predictable. He gives me the same cues for bedtime as he does for naps during the day. He is less smiley, sucks his fists/thumb, nuzzles into me (or anyone who is holding him) with an open mouth, and if I wait too long he gets fussy. I don't put Logan down by himself. I nurse him to sleep in our bed in the side lying nursing position. When he starts showing the cues he's READY so he's typically asleep within 15 minutes if not sooner. I know this doesn't help and believe me when I say I know how you feel. Ayden wasn't a predictable sleeper until he was 2. I just had to take it a day at a time and somehow I made it through. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    1. Thanks for your reply. I will try nursing lying down and see if I can sneak away then. At the moment I nurse him to sleep, but he wakes up if he leaves my arms. So frustrating! Do you have to keep the room quite warm to bedshare, as I guess you don't use a duvet with baby in the bed?


  3. David uses it but Logan and I have our own warm light weight blanket. When we close the doors to our bedroom at night it does get pretty warm but I also dress him warm (either fleece PJs or a fleece sleep sack over lighter weight PJs.) I wear a warm long sleeve shirt over a nursing tank and pull the top shirt up for night nursing access. That way my arms stay warm and I can keep the blanket down at waist level.