This pandemic has been hard on everybody. Our schedules and routines have gone for a toss and method has been replaced by madness. It is especially hard for parents because juggling work and babies together just don’t go well without someone else to help with.
We live in a nuclear set up and it’s just my husband and I taking care of home and baby. My husband has a full-time job which is highly demanding. Somedays, he works on the weekends as well. I am a blogger so I don’t have the pressures of a professional set up, only self-created deadlines and discipline to create content that’s important.
We have been without a house help for five months now. I am a Type A married to a Type B ( thank God, can you imagine same personality types being married). So I am someone who schedules things, multi-tasks, makes lists, circles dates on calendars, has post-it notes on refrigerators, you get the drift. I am a perpetual planner which is sometimes a pain in my husband’s back-side, because he likes to go with the flow.
But when you are parenting during a pandemic, the flow can change everyday.
This article is a short description of how we plan and manage things between the two of us. Trust me to add method to madness. I am a sucker for routines and I like to know what next all the time. Boring, I know. But so helpful in scenarios like these.
I decided to write this so more families like ours could get help. Of course this won’t fit your situation to the tee, but I am sure few pointers will help:
1. We wake up by 7am on weekdays, I make breakfast and lunch, and prep for dinner. My Husband takes care of baby while I cook. I take a break and we eat our breakfast together. Then he gives baby a bath and gets her ready while I wash all the utensils. I take her after that and he cleans and mops. He leaves for work around 9.15 or has to log in at 9.30 so we need to be done with all the main chores by 9ish.
2. I meal prep on the weekends. Set the week’s menu on our calendar. I make onion tomato garlic ginger paste that is ready so I don’t have to spend time in chopping. Marinated meats go in the freezer. We eat only grilled food for dinner on days my husband is exceptionally tied at work so I don’t have to spend time in the kitchen in the evenings because I can’t do that with a toddler in tow.
3. I try to wash utensils as soon as we use them. I engage our kid in the kitchen with some utensils to play with till then. The utensils after dinner and cleaning the kitchen slab is done by my husband.
4. I time myself. Which means, I don’t spend more than 10 minutes at a job. For example, when I am filling water bottles, I play a song and say I’ll stop after two songs. Doing the whole thing together can throw my schedule off otherwise. Also, I multi-task. Filling water bottles will always be done with something cooking on the gas.
5. We keep extra cleaning for the weekends and don’t do anything extra on the weekdays. Washing bedsheets, vacuuming the sofa , cleaning bathrooms, etc all happen on the weekend.
6. After we are done with all our main chores in the morning, the house is clean for the baby to run around. When she takes her first nap, I use that time to blog.
7. On weekends, we take turns on sleeping in. My husband sleeps in on Saturdays and I on Sundays. I meal prep for both the days’ lunch one night in advance. Since it’s weekend, I don’t have to rush with cooking but I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.
8. We divide her bedtime routine between us so it doesn’t tire only one person out. My husband is in charge of brushing her teeth and changing her clothes, and I take over after that and she nurses and goes to sleep.
9. We clean and mop the living room in the night so it’s clean for her in the morning to play in. After that we have our dinner and watch something together. It takes us three days to complete one movie but it’s better than no movie at all.
Once all major work of cooking and cleaning is complete, it leaves me free to engage our daughter throughout the day and focus on her and her needs.
On the days My Husband is working from Home, it’s slightly easier, but not a lot because he is on calls most days.
I know this is harder for working Moms because even you are running on deadlines. But if there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s that we are our own heroes and we have all the strength within us to tide through these times.
Praying for a better world, which is softer on parents because all of us everywhere are exhausted right now!
Until then,let’s rejoice in the little things. Like laundry. Ah, joking. I hate laundry.