A friend's comment has caused me to ponder the question "How will I stay organised once the baby comes along?" And I'm not sure that I can accurately answer that question other than to say to myself, "I probably won't". I have no idea how our lives will be turned upside down once "Peanut" (baby) has arrived, in the most unpredictable and joyful way.
Obviously I am going to remind myself that my priorities will change, and my standards (to do with the house) will considerably drop. The top priorities in mine and my husband's lives will be-
1. Feeding Peanut
2. Getting Peanut changed, happy and hopefully sleeping
3. Repeat 1 & 2 for many years to come.
Also of course, we will have to somehow feed ourselves and get ourselves to sleep now and then. Everything else in life will have to take a back seat.
Alot of mothers and fathers have told me it really helps to have alot of meals already cooked and stored in the freezer, ready to be microwaved for Mum and Dad on the odd occasion that we have time to quickly gobble down some food. I think this is a fantastic idea and we will definitely make the most of the last few days or weeks before Peanut comes along, to do as much cooking as possible. This will only work if I first de-frost and de-clutter the freezer and make adequate space in there to store the new meals. I will, of course, enlist my trusty labeller to make sure we know what is what and how long ago it was made.
Our home is certainly not always tidy and neat; I don't want to be under any false pretences!! But what I have striven to do, and what I help my clients to do, is to create a "home" for every object in the house. For example, when you need a new light bulb, you know exactly which cupboard or drawer to go to. When I am doing my "crafts", i.e. sewing, knitting, crocheting, gift-wrapping etc, I spread out all over the place and make a huge mess. Also there are times when the general house mess gets the better of me, and I just don't have the energy to do anything about it. And thats ok! But when the need to tidy comes along, like when visitors are coming or when I just need to clear the room so my mind is also cleared; I can quickly tidy up because I know exactly where to put things. This helps to prevent shoving everything under the bed or in a cupboard.
I think I will try to keep my already-set-in-place system working after Peanut comes along, at least to a certain degree. I may not be able to neatly fold the clean towels, but perhaps when Peanut is here I will try to quickly throw them unfolded, onto the right shelf so at least I know where to look for a clean towel the next time I need one in a hurry.
We will be using cloth-nappies as much as physically and mentally possible, thanks to a supply donated to us by my beautiful mother-in-law and Blogger-extraordinaire Rhonda Hetzel (Her blog, down---to---earth, has won Best Aus/NZ blog! And she is in the midst of having a book published by Penguin! Stay tuned, I will post more on the up-coming book another time). Rhonda did a very generous thing and swapped advertising on her blog (which has had about 4 million hits) for a huge pile of beautiful bamboo and cotton cloth nappies made by Booroi http://www.booroi.com.au/
and distributed by Bean Sprout Bubba http://www.beansproutbubba.com.au/
We will somehow need to stay on top of the washing, drying and putting away the cloth nappies. I'm not sure how we will go with this, but the good thing about modern cloth nappies is they no longer need to be soaked. I will be getting a bucket with a tight-fitting lid for what is called "dry-pailing", to put the dirty nappies in. The excess waste is washed off into the toilet with a high-powered hose that fits onto the toilet tap. My husband and I will have to have somewhat of a system, of dry-pailing, hosing, washing and drying (hopefully most of the time in the sun; on rainy days the dryer will have to be used). I think the way modern cloth nappies are made these days will make the whole process alot easier and time-efficient. Also, there is no need to disinfect the nappies unless the baby is sick with a stomach bug or something nasty. The nappies only require a half-dosage of normal enviro-friendly laundry liquid. We will have enough cloth nappies to make sure we will only have to wash every second day instead of every day.
Obviously to do this, you need double the amount of nappies used in a single day (one set being used; one set being washed/dried). Initially this could be expensive to purchase that many cloth nappies, but over the course of a nappy-wearing child, (about 3 yrs?) you will save approximately $2000 compared to using disposables!! That in itself is enough incentive for me to use the cloth system. And of course, my baby will have the lovely soft feeling of bamboo on his bottom :-D
I would love to hear any suggestions from you about systems you use in your home to help you stay organised, or at the very least, sane, with a new born and/or toddlers. Please do contribute; I think we will need all the advice we can get!