I was really excited when I saw that Modern Mrs Darcy would be hosting another Things That Save Me Link Up this year. It was fun to go back and read last year’s post, and also refreshing to think through the things in my life that are really WORKING right now. It’s easy to concentrate on the negative, things that are going wrong or stressing us out, but identifying the positive and life-giving makes me very thankful! It is also nice to have this list so that I can resort to some of these things on those bad/hard days, which seem to be plentiful in this dreary winter season.
So without further ado, I give you, the 10 things that are saving me right now…
Quiet Time— I am so happy I made this a priority for the new year. Last year when I got out of the daily routine, it seemed like it would be such a struggle to get back into it, but I actually look forward to it each morning. I’ve even started using it as an incentive to get the not so fun things off my list—because I know nap time is only so long, and if I don’t do the other things quickly, my quiet time will be cut short. It’s pretty simple and consists of reading about 5 chapters of the Bible followed by journaling.
Boppy Pregnancy Wedge— I had no idea a little foam pillow that looks like a wedge of cheese could make such a difference. I have had total pregnancy insomnia so one of my friends let me borrow her pregnancy pillow. I have tried body pillows, different combinations of regular pillows, and even sleeping in different beds—little did I know that all I needed was a little bit of support under my growing belly. Not to say that my insomnia is cured, but I have definitely been getting a little more sleep as I don’t have to rotate positions as frequently.
Naptime and Weekends— Third trimester exhaustion has definitely set in, and I find myself getting tired after simple things like walking up the stairs or wrestling little man through a diaper change. I am finding myself “napping when the baby naps” again, much like in the first trimester of this pregnancy. I’ve also been taking full advantage of weekends when my husband is home—time to nap and time to get out of the house on my own, because I know in a couple short months that time will be hard to come by. It is refreshing to feel like I actually get some “time off”…and also great to see the father-son bond growing.
On Guard Sanitizing Mist— This stuff is the coolest. Especially since we’re in the midst of cold and flu season and we have a thumb sucker (and a shopping cart handle sucker….yuck!) A few spritzes and we’re good to go—without the toxic chemicals found in hand sanitizers.
3am Friends— Seriously have had to call on my friends for help so many times lately.
Monday Cleaning Night- This fall we realized that our cleaning routine (or lack thereof) was not working for us. Even though we had sort of gravitated towards dividing the chores a certain way during the three years of our marriage, we’d never really sat down and talked about it, which meant certain things weren’t getting done. So my husband made a comprehensive list of all the household tasks—from daily things like loading the dishwasher to the annual maintenance such as winterizing the sprinklers. We sat down together with the list and assigned the tasks and how often they should occur. And then we decided that every Monday would be cleaning night, and the weekly (or bi-weekly) chores would be done during that hour and a half period. This has seriously been the best thing to happen. Previously I would put things like “clean the bathrooms” on my to-do list, but they would never get done—because I don’t enjoy doing them, and for some reason it seems like I have always JUST cleaned them. Now I know that it has been exactly a week, and once I am done, I am done until the next week. Also, little man rides on his daddy’s back in the Ergo while he vacuums and it is the cutest thing ever. I think it’s the highlight of his week, and he’s now started getting the vacuum attachments out throughout the week and pretending to clean the floors himself.
Ok, so I’ve actually only done this for two days, but man, having to write down how I am spending my time makes me SO much more productive. I definitely need accountability, and this provides a kick in the pants for me to get off social media and accomplish something on my to-do list.
Pregnancy brain is in full swing (probably has something to do with that lack of sleep, too), so if I don’t write things down, I completely forget about them. At my 30 week prenatal appointment we talked about adding more supplements to my routine (because nursing a toddler while growing a tiny human can really suck everything out of you)— and since I was already having trouble remembering to take the basic supplements, I knew I needed help. I posted a picture on Instagram of the laminated check-list I made at 4 o’clock in the morning (hello, pregnancy insomnia!), which now hangs on our fridge. Even with the checklist it is hard to get everything in, so there is NO way I would be succeeding if I had to rely on my own current mental capacity. I also have daily, weekly, and “whenever-ish” checklists in my planner to make sure I don’t forget anything.
Going on Walks
After a long season of snow and cold, we have finally had some nice sunny days! We’ve been trying to take advantage of the nicer weather with walks around the neighborhood and to the park. I usually don’t want to go, and always consider telling my husband to go ahead and take our son without me…but then once we get out there I am thankful I went. The little bit of exercise seems to help my restless legs and pregnancy insomnia, too.
What’s helping you to thrive (or maybe just survive) in this season?