The biggest change for me when becoming a mother is that everything takes so long! You need a 2 hour build up to leave the house, your house takes a week to be put back to its clean state and doing your makeup often takes 3 sittings! Your day becomes compartmentalised into 3 hour slots. These slots are determined by when baby feeds. If you are lucky between these slots you might get one nappy change and an hour or two when the baby is sleeping. It is during the sleeping time where the new mother has a choice: do they sleep also? Do they get on with the housework, do exercise or maybe even try and do the odd piece of work?
Over the last two weeks I have been asked to submit a daily report for the bookings of a conference. This is a five-minute job (pre-baby) and requires little knowledge or brain power but yet with a baby all of sudden becomes a very difficult task.
Why is it difficult? My baby is 3 months old now and during the day it can be hit or miss as to whether she wants to sleep or not. If I do get her off to sleep sometimes (because she doesn't want to miss out on anything) she will wake if I put her down because her sleep isn't quite as deep as in the evenings. So right now as I do my five minutes of work a day my daughter is slumped on me sleeping. This again makes everything take that little bit longer because as I type her bottom is restricting my view of the keyboard. I tend to touch type (thank goodness) but sometimes you just want a clear view of where your fingers should be.
It then makes you question about how you structure your day. Perhaps I shouldn't try to do work first thing in the morning but try at night when she is sound asleep? This however would mean that it would eat into my quality time with my husband as well as keep the report (which again is just a five-minute job) looming over me for the whole day. So I am willing to for go the longer completion time for my evening to be free.
However as a mother even a 5 minute job can be heartbreaking, if you are trying to crack on and baby is crying you feel like you are doing a disservice. So is the five minute job really that worth it?
Over the last few weeks I have come to the conclusion that work has to work for both baby and mum. Both deserve full attention and excellence. Whilst a baby is not able to occupy themselves for a short amount of time, doing work just isn't always a priority. However if work does need to be prioritised then I will make arrangements for baby to be looked after for that period of time. This way baby is happy and mummy is happy; the job gets done in a shorter period of time and the mother can return to her baby and decide how best to use their time before the next feed.