She casually says, “Juice”. In the next five seconds, you hear it 10 more times at an unreasonable pitch, only dog owners can relate. Replace "juice" with peaches, cheese, or chicken and you have my day. Here are a few things I adjusted in my schedule to ensure I am fully energized and patient enough to handle her demands:
1. Get ample rest - I use the entire 24 hours to complete my day. I sleep when tired, and work when awake. For instance, if I’m up at 3am, I work until sunrise and take a powernap until she wakes.
2. Rise & Shine - When I’m up, I’m focused. I set tasks and deadlines on my calendar, to ensure nothing is forgotten. I also use a computer with dual screens, a tablet, laptop, and cell phone to conduct business, seven days a week. Each device is dedicated to a certain business and social media application.
3. Take breaks - Once she is awake, we have a morning, afternoon and evening routine. I sync our “dance parties” to cleaning and laundry activities. We tackle art projects, bubbles, books and outdoor play during our time to connect.
4. Assign chores - She puts her dishes away, assists with unloading the dishwasher and loading the dryer. This offers her a sense of independence and a learning directive. To date, she knows the terms wet, dry, cold and hot very well.
5. Dial in - On days that she is especially cranky, I adjust my priorities and give her attention in the form of hands-on activities. We work through tantrums one subject at a time.
I felt patience was an overrated term in my Pre-Mama days. The past 24 months have proven the definition in its most authentic form-LOVE. The love of a mother softens the heart and encourages growth. I hope to use these tools while entering year three.
What tips do you have for years 3 & 4? We are all ears!