Mar 13, 2018

5 Things

"No one has time for 5 things!"

This was said to me by a mom friend after explaining to me that her pediatrician (or maybe it was a friend? advice article? something) had told her that to build a bedtime routine, you need to pick 5 things and then do those same things every day at the same time.

I agreed.

No one has time for 5 things EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! I can't even manage to cook every day, or pick up my dirty clothes, or get 8 hours of sleep. I started brushing Orion's teeth regularly with this little rubber thingy you can slip on your finger and it worked great for 2 weeks. Then he got tired of it and wouldn't let me put it in his mouth. Now we don't do teeth brushing anymore.

Don't freak out. We'll figure it out. At some point. Hey, it's just baby teeth!

My pediatrician has been getting on my case because I cracked and admitted that I don't read to Orion twice a day. "It's important," he says. "Kids need to learn that books are fun, so they enjoy schoolwork, and go on to do well academically."

I know, I know.

So I'm trying. Tonight I put Orion to bed and as I wormed him into his pjs, I remembered something I had seen on Instagram earlier. I got my phone out, figuring I'd take a peek while he finished his bottle. After opening the app I caught myself, put the phone away, and picked up my baby to hold him while he finished off his bottle.

This was bedtime, not phone time.

Then it hit me.

We DO have a bedtime routine!!!

It doesn't feel like it because it's not big things that seem like a routine. I don't bathe him every night because when I did that he got a rash. But I do make a point to just enjoy being with my baby and not get distracted by life and phones and everything else. Not for these 20-30 minutes.

Every night we:
  1. Change into PJs
  2. Go into his bedroom, close the curtains, and turn on the white noise machine
  3. Chug a bottle while rocking in the glider
  4. Play with a book (I couldn't properly call it reading, but he at least chews on it and plays with the pages and sometimes I even read them all in sequential order!)
  5. I give him a kiss on the cheek and say, "Goodnight baby. Mommy loves you." Sometimes 2 or 3 times because it's hard to say goodbye, even for just one night.
Boom! 5 things.

It's not so hard when you let go of your expectations of what those 5 things "should" be.

Mar 8, 2018

What Would You Do If You Weren't...

Afraid?

  • Take a business loan
  • Hire a marketing strategist
  • Quit my part time job


For me, overcoming fear is less difficult than other obstacles. I'd spent almost a year thinking about what my biggest fears were and specifically doing things to trigger them. Still, fear is pervasive and as often as you're alive and making decisions, you'll find new things you're afraid of. I'm super excited that, as of today, I've checked off all three of these!

Tired?

  • Exercise
  • Cook dinner
  • Smile


These are harder because they're ongoing, rather than things I can easily check off of a list. However, I know I can make solid commitments to my schedule because Ryan and I have done that with Friday night date night. It's our time to be a couple, resolve issues, and remember why we married each other. So if I just apply that resolve to my workout schedule, I'll be able to make that happen. And I know from experience that working out regularly decreases my stress, gives me more energy, and generally makes me a happier and more fun person to be around. Not to mention that the consistent element in the routines of busy, successful people is exercise. No matter what other weird stuff (affirmations, journaling, email, snorting Kombucha) top CEOs and innovators do, they almost always have some sort of workout in their morning routine.

Short on Time?

  • Pursue new friendships
  • Start a Meetup
  • Learn new skills


Time is by far the trickiest obstacle to overcome. At some point you just have to admit something is not a priority and stop whining about it. I'm trying very hard to prune back and just keep the basic priorities I need to be happy so that I can do a better job at them (family, business, health) BUT I also think some of these can be squeezed in with a little bit of creative engineering. For example, learning skills by myself through classes wasn't working. But I can hire an expert to teach me one-on-one and I'll learn faster, without having to skip through fluff that doesn't apply to me. New friendships are harder, but my ongoing friends have begun scheduling our next hangout before leaving the current one and that helps immensely. I might try to implement this among all my social groups. And starting a Meetup might remain a wishlist item for now. I love the idea of it, but it really is time consuming and I know it's not a priority.

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