So, going back to work full time after having E meant I had to be super organised - even more than usual - just to keep on top of the basics. Lucky for me, I love lists and planning ... and trust me, both are vital to having any sense of order among the chaos.
It can be really hard and draining juggling the roles of wife, mother/mother to be and employee along with all the other responsibilities we have so this is where organisation is key to helping you keep the majority of balls in the air the majority of time while keeping your sanity.
For starters, I use a weekly planner on our fridge to track all appointments etc for the 3 of us including swimming lessons for Ethan, Scott's weekly soccer games, work events, social occasions, dr & dentist check-ups and Ethan's movements (which grandmother he is with & what their plans are). The Kikki K weekly planner is a simple inexpensive option that I use.
Menu planning is a big part of keeping it altogether too and while I don't necessarily like to be locked into one thing - if it says chicken, I guarantee I want beef - I have a running list on my ipad 'notes' with meals on rotation. From that list, I choose 12 dinners each fortnight and grocery shop for those. I then choose one each morning for that night and delete it from the list - it’s a bit more flex and easier to stick to than forward planning each night. It minimises waste and it means that after a long day at work followed by E's dinner, bath, bed routine, we aren't left at 8pm at night trying to figure out what to cook and either having toast or not eating till 9pm.
My ipad 'notes' is a life saver as my mini is always with me (prior, I just used my iPhone 'notes)' and I keep a 'to do' list in there for the week and under each day, I keep record of what I have on, calls I need to make, reminders to get/bring and I write one or two chores - ie. washing, strip the bed, vacuum etc so that if all else fails, I get one main piece of housework done and it’s not so overwhelming as trying to get it all done on the weekend or a day when E doesn't sleep or cooperate ... it also makes me feel good to delete off the list once something is done, makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere and less overwhelmed.
I also keep running lists in 'notes' of present ideas for family and friends etc, groceries, ideas for social occasions (E's first birthday for example), what I need to sell on ebay, what I need to buy for home or our wardrobes, movies I want to see/download, songs to download, my wish list, restaurants I like or want to try, makeup info - what shade in what brand for foundations... you get the idea, yes I love lists.
Prep both bub's and your outfit the night before and even think about what you are all going to have for breakfast! I cannot stress this enough! There is nothing worse than the alarm not going, bub sleeping in for a change or the power going off (yes, this has all happened to me) and you are standing around in your wardrobe dithering over what to wear then doing the same again in bub's wardrobe. It either makes you late or eats up valuable time you could be using to unpack the dishwasher, eat breakfast and read a story to bub.
Going back to work after baby is going to be a wrench at 6 months or even 24 months but time doesn't make it easier. I cried my first day back but I now accept it as a necessary evil (disposable income, skills, exercising my brain and stimulation, adult company) and actually enjoy the freedom that comes with work - bathroom breaks at will, hot food/drinks etc.
I have found also that Ethan is such a social baby, who actually plays/responds really well with other children and I think its because he spends time with others regularly in different environments. He gets the best of my time, Scott's and his grandmothers' time and our undivided attention when we are with him which he thrives on. I also love that my going back to work has emphasised quality time with him and I really do make the most of every minute more so than when I was with him every day and took it for granted a little if I'm honest.
I'm still yet to squeeze in any time for exercise but we are getting there and hopefully as the weather warms up, I will be able to get in some early morning walking other than just my power stroll and morning tea with E, my sister and niece on Saturdays.