Balancing Work and Pregnancy

pregnant in autumn

I think pregnancy is an introduction to time management just before things get really crazy with a baby. Rather than fight the increased exhaustion coupled with added chores like getting a car seat, double checking health insurance, and reading about baby care, I’m going with the change. And it’s hard. I want to be out there finishing remodel projects with Martin. We both know that if I do that, though, I won’t have the energy to do anything else. I’m slowly learning.

These things have been the biggest steps in balancing work and pregnancy:

1. Using the crockpot as the weather gets cold. This cooking tool means I can prep meals at any time of day, and I don’t have to stay in the kitchen to keep an eye on things. We’re getting a lot of onions, garlic, and celery root from our local CSA, so I just chop them, sauté them, and use them as a base for whatever soup or chili I’m making. A full crockpot makes about enough food for two meals right away and two smaller frozen meals for after the baby is born.

2. Getting bookkeeping and paperwork under control. Paperwork and I are not friends until it’s neatly tucked in my overly-organized filing system. Something tells me that we’ll be absolute enemies in the first months of the baby’s life, which happen to be when a lot of taxes and year-end reports are due. I’m spending about an hour each day:

  • canceling junk mail
  • scanning documents and useful information
  • bookkeeping
  • shredding or filing
  • getting year-end paperwork organized and listing what needs to happen when

3. Writing thank you cards immediately. I have some very organized aunts who have already mailed sweet little care packages to our son. Writing thank you letters is a big deal for me, so I keep a pile of thank you notes on the bedroom desk.

4. Organizing Christmas gifts. This is a weird one for me. We got our first big snow storm last week, so I took it as a sign to start figuring out Christmas gifts now. With a Thanksgiving baby, I know it’s the only realistic way to get things wrapped and delivered.

5. Asking for help. I have a fabulous assistant who helps me build Gadanke journals, manage inventory, and package everything. This will be huge when the baby comes. In fact, with her help, I’ll be able to ship Gadanke orders faster than ever. The current turnover time is 2-4 business days. In a few weeks, it’ll be 1-3. How cool is that?

6. Taking baths. A warm bath is the perfect way to transition my mind from work or worry to relaxation. Sometimes I read or brainstorm baby names. Other times, I just stop and exhale.

7. Creating a schedule. In the coming weeks, you’ll notice that I’m posting three times a week: Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. Posts on Saturday will be little tidbits and bits of inspiration while the weekday posts will carry most of the meat. I like this balance.

8. Streamlining. On Monday, I told you how I had a very clear sense of how I want to shape this storycatching world. I got the press page up. I also streamlined all of my social media outlets. Everywhere you go, I’m all “Gadanke” now: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. I even joined Instagram. Late bloomer? I know. I’m still trying to figure out which avenues I most want to pursue, rather than feeling torn between them all. That’s too much even without a baby.

9. Journaling. Life is changing pretty fast around here. I want to capture more of what our life of two is like. I’m using this NEW blank journal, “Train of Thought.” I’ll show you some pages soon.

In another month, I know our story will be different. I’ll probably need to rest even more. But if all goes well, we’ll be a bit more prepared than ever!