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Katy England Katy England
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edge staff writer


Where is my mind?

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Sometimes you just need to be reminded that you don't have it all together. It keeps me humble. Embarrassed and humble.

So with the ever-revolving whirlwind that is life with three 1.5-year-olds and a husband and a job, you can imagine things can be a little crazy. Well, we added to the crazy by altering the kids' nap schedule. And when I say we, what I really mean is, they altered it and I'm still adjusting. 

For the past several months, they've had two naps. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. They range from 1 to 2 hours each. It was awesome. Kids nap, I wash bottles, dishes, laundry or get phone interviews or writing done.

But that started to change. You'd put them down and instead of a bit of chatter and then blessed silence there was fussing. And if the term fussing makes you think of cute, slightly sad noises, let me relieve you of that notion. They would yell and whine and cry. Sometimes intermittently, sometimes constantly.

After talking with fellow parents and reading up on sleep in younglings, we realized that they were transitioning into a single nap. I did not want to believe, but an entire day of fussy crying babies can convince just about anyone. 

So we renegotiated the nap contract. Instead of two naps, we went for a mid- to late-morning nap followed by no afternoon nap and an earlier bedtime. This means that the afternoons are rather rugged. Because not only are my little beans starting to act fried around 4 p.m., so is momma.

Under such strain you may think it odd that I try to do anything outside the norm. But when I'm scheduling my work, I'm usually at the office and baby-free for the time being. In other words, my brain is working at as close to full-capacity as it can (which is around 75-80 percent, depending on how close to deadline I am). But my office brain is vastly different than my working-from-home brain. 

I do my best to outsmart myself. I put things in Google Calendar with multiple reminders. I have lists and post-its. I review said lists and post-its regularly. But sometimes it just isn't enough - especially if you schedule something in an evening after spending a whole day doing amateur toddler juggling. But I did.

A rundown of a typical Monday is thus: Get up around 6 a.m. to beat the kids to the punch (which is luxurious compared to the early days). Suck down a coffee, get their juice cups ready (milk has been prepped the night before), check emails or write until they're all talking or it's 6:45 a.m., whichever comes first.  Get them downstairs for changing, dressing and feeding. They end up eating breakfast around 7ish. Then it's playtime until 9:30 or so. More diapers, then a snack. I aim to have them in their nap around 10:30 or so. This is now my time where I do phone interviews and write under duress. They sleep until 12:30 or 1 and it's lunchtime. Play, play, play. Snack at 3:30. Play starts getting frenetic and wonky around 4. There may be biting. I do try to check emails and set up interviews while the kids are up, but the success of this varies. Hubby gets home at 5, I run upstairs and finish any writing I can while I have backup. Finish my work and suck down dinner. 

When my phone starts buzzing I stare at it blankly wondering why that person is calling me, when out of the murky depths of my muddy brain I have sudden and total recall of the meeting I set up for 6:30 p.m. tonight, which when I was sitting in my office without a kid in sight seemed like great planning after all, my husband would be home and the kids would be going to bed. But in reality, it's 6:30 now and all my clothes, which came from the sweatpants aisle, have stains on them and I haven't showered. I've had anxiety dreams that were more relaxing than this.

So, after briefly contemplating hiding under the bed for the duration, I called, explained I was going to be late and then had a good meeting.


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