A New Normal… how I changed my most productive time of day again!

posted by Andrea | 05/19/2014

pretend nap

Last May, I blogged about how I changed my most productive time of day to the evening hours after our sleepless Nora was FINALLY in bed for the night.

It was a long process to make the change, but ultimately, it has been working really well for the last year.

And then Simon was born :)

I fully expected to make some changes after he was born; and I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous how 2 kids with different schedules would affect my sleep and productivity.

Thankfully, Simon is a pretty good sleeper (so far) and has been going to bed really well. While he only takes 30-minute cat naps all day long, he sleeps like a rock when we put him to bed at night. He is often in bed by 7:30 or 8:00pm, and we rarely hear a peep from him until around 4-5:00am. Then he just needs to eat and have a fresh diaper and he’s sleeping again until about 9:00am. Glorious!

However, in the hours between when he wakes up to eat and wakes up for the day he’s really restless. He moves a lot, makes lots of noises (in his sleep) and usually needs someone to put his pacifier back in a couple of time. So his first 8/9 hours of sleep are very sound, the next 4 hours are not.

I’ll be the first to admit that a baby sleeping 8-9 hours in a row is AMAZING… the only “problem” is that I had gotten into the habit of working until 11:30pm or 12:00 — which meant I was really only getting a few hours of good sleep until Simon woke up to eat. After that I was continuously waking up by Simon’s noises, getting up to put his pacifier in, Dave’s alarm at 5:30, Dave leaving for school around 6:45, Nora waking up around 7:00, etc. etc.

Obviously not ideal.

The simple solution would be to go to bed when Simon went to bed so I could get a good 8 hours in. However, I have a 2-year old who is WIDE awake until 9:30 or 10:00 – and still wakes up once or twice every night needing Dave or I to go up there for a while.

Plus, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, those night-time hours are when I catch up for the day and get organized for tomorrow!

I knew I needed to figure out a way to get more sleep, but I also wasn’t thrilled about giving up my super productive super quiet late-night hours, especially since I had worked so hard to become more productive at night.

snuggling

My New Normal:

My compromise is that I’m going to bed a couple hours earlier (around 10:00) and then getting up for the day after I finish feeding Simon (around 4:30 or 5:00). Also, Dave totally took over Nora’s bed time AND her middle-of-the-night-wake-ups so that helps me a ton.

This way, I still have 2 hours after Simon goes to bed to catch up, pick up, scratch a few things off my to-do list, and get organized for the next day. I’m getting about 6-7 hours of fairly uninterrupted sleep (which is amazing for having a 2 month old), and I now have about 2 hours (sometimes more) of a relatively quiet house each morning.

I can eat breakfast, get dressed, and work on blogging stuff while I take mini breaks to put Simon’s pacifier in. His noises don’t wake me up, Dave doesn’t have to be extra quiet as to not wake me up while he’s getting ready, and I’m 100% ready for the day by the time Nora gets up.

Win, Win, Win, Win, Win! 

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This “new normal” is working great for now… but I know without a doubt I will continue to re-work, alter, tweak, and change my schedule as Simon’s schedule changes, as Dave’s schedule changes during summer break, and if Nora ever decides to start sleeping through the night.

Also, I should mention that I only follow this schedule Monday through Friday. I definitely sleep in a little more on the weekends!

As with setting up and organizing a home, setting up and organizing a schedule requires continual maintenance to stay current and useful.

I’m excited to have found my new “groove”, I’m ecstatic that Simon is sleeping so well, and I’m encouraged by the fact that as our schedules continue to change, I have been able to quickly adapt.

I realize this type of schedule will not work for everyone, but I also know that little bits and pieces of my schedule might work for some of you… and spark ideas for others. There is never a perfect solution for setting up a daily routine and schedule, but right now, this is what’s working really well for me! 

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10 comments

  1. Paulette Smith

    05/19/2014

    Dearest Andrea, do you realize the Mommies you help out there in blog land? You’re so practical and you keep things simple. How my life would have been changed years ago had I been able to access your blog then. Well, there is one thing I do have from that experience…I KNOW when someone is making a difference. You have a ministry (if you will allow me to use that term) and what you do matters!

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  2. Laurel

    05/19/2014

    Glad you found something that works. I guess I didn’t realize how well my four kids slept. I probably wouldn’t have gone on to have four if they weren’t sleeping through the night so early on. Hope it continues to work for you.

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  3. Charissa

    05/19/2014

    I love routines and schedules but knowing how and when to change them/tweak them is so important. Thank you for sharing what’s working for you now! I always enjoy your practical and insightful posts! I’m preparing for a new summer schedule in a month and a half.

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  4. Siobhan

    05/19/2014

    Thank you so much for this post! I am also working on adjusting my schedule & was up at 4:30 this morning after I fed my baby. It’s so helpful to hear someone else going through a similar situation. I also feel so much more at ease when I’m ready for the day when my 4 yr old & 2 yr old wake up :)

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  5. Janice

    05/19/2014

    I like to remind myself that change and adaptation are a couple of things that are permanent in life. The quicker we realize this fact the quicker we find a new peace and productivity. Thanks, Andrea, for your willingness to blog about how you handle the changes and adaptations in your world.

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  6. Candis

    05/19/2014

    Wow, it’s amazing how quickly adapt to change. I think most people get stuck when a routine that has worked for so long is no longer worked they fail to adapt. Congrats on more sleep and your new routine.

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  7. Melissa Q

    05/19/2014

    Good for you! Figuring out what wasn’t working and a way to “do what works”. I think that’s about 90% of parenting infants — you do what works and you change it when it’s not working anymore.

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  8. Melanie-in-Oz

    05/19/2014

    hi Andrea, I also have two kids and work and LOVE my sleep! I know you’ve tried different things with Nora, but have you considered slipping her night time routine a half-hour-earlier, and then eventually an hour earlier so she doesn’t realise it’s happening? My kids go to sleep by 7pm and it allows me so much time to do things in the evening. My hubby and I go to bed by 9-9.30pm, and get up about 5.30am (my kids wake up after 6am). One piece of advice I got was “start as you mean to go on”, so I worked really hard to get a handy routine going (mostly using Tizzie Hall’s book “Save Our Sleep”). Anyway – please, I don’t mean to tell you what to do!! I just wanted to share how easy our nights are – allowing us to get ready for the next day – because we have the kids tucked in early. Every little bit helps! Good luck!!

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  9. Tania

    05/19/2014

    Such sweet pictures, really lovely, and a great post.

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  10. Heart and Haven

    05/20/2014

    I love seeing the pics of Nora & Simon together…she looks like she makes the BEST big sister :-)
    I’m glad that transition has seemed to go so well for her

    [Reply]

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