Lately, I’ve been nesting in my head (if there is such a thing!), trying to think through what life with four little girls under five years old is going to be like, remembering how having a newborn changes things and trying to come up with a plan to simplify and streamline our routines so that we can spend our days just enjoying her and each other rather than running around always one step behind.
I’m sure we’ll lower our standards and let things slide a bit more than usual, and I’m okay with that, but I also have some ideas to make our two most important routines – morning and evening – go a little smoother. The routine I’m most worried about is the morning routine since I will be by myself and likely have four hungry little girls to think about! Here are some of my ideas:
Wake Baby Girl up at the same time every day to nurse before her sisters get up and going. I’ll admit I’ve never been very good at this (my philosophy is usually “never wake a sleeping baby”!), but I think I’ll try it this time because I think it could make a huge difference in our whole day. Our girls play in their rooms until a set get-up time each morning, so my plan is to wake the baby about 30 minutes earlier than that so I have time to nurse her and change her diaper before they come down.
Put everyone to bed in clean clothes for the next day. Admittedly, we already do this sometimes now, but I think I may be more consistent about putting them to bed in something they can wear the next day so that picking out clothes and getting everyone dressed isn’t one more thing I have to do. Don’t worry, I don’t put them to bed in stiff, uncomfortable jeans or anything, but since we’ll still be in sundress season (and sweatpants and t-shirts are a comfy alternative for colder weather), I think it may just work!
Fill up water bottles the night before. My girls go through water like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve started filling up their cups as part of my evening routine already so that it’s one less thing to worry about in the morning with three thirsty girls staring up at me while I’m trying to get everybody moving. It’s something that literally only takes a few seconds, but it has a big impact on my routine, and I definitely want to continue that with a new baby added to the mix.
Have my husband make our bed and straighten our room and bathroom before he leaves for work each morning. I usually gather any dirty clothes, make the bed, wipe the sink and do a quick straighten each morning as part of our routine, but I’ve asked my hubby to take over this chore for the first few weeks since it is one of my pressure points but not something I want to have to worry about on a morning when things are not going according to plan!
Move dinner time up and get everyone ready for bed earlier. I’m not sure why, but we’ve gotten on this kind of crazy schedule where we eat dinner fairly late and then get the girls ready for bed right after we finish cleaning up from our meal. Nursing babies notoriously “cluster feed” in the evenings, and to make sure that we finish our evening routine before her cluster feeding starts, we’re going to try eating an earlier dinner and cuddling on the couch with books or a movie to unwind instead.
Like I said, it’s something I’m thinking about a lot lately, so I may add more ideas to the list as we get closer, but I feel like incorporating some of these ideas into our routines will have a pretty big impact even though most of them are pretty small things. Isn’t that the way it goes with organizing and time management most of the time anyway?
What is your best suggestion for simplifying life with a newborn? What do you think is the hardest part about having a newborn?