168 Hours and an Infant

Life is a bit busier in my household these days as we welcomed little Samuel Dwight Conway on September 24. He was surprisingly big — discharged at 8lbs 8oz, which means he was likely born weighing a little more than that — and continues to expand rapidly. He was 8lbs 12oz at his one week pediatrician appointment. His big brother Jasper weighed 7lbs 4oz at the same time, and he has not turned out to be a small kid!

So clearly, Sam is eating a lot, which I am personally quite aware of, being his sole source of nutrition. While he’s a reasonably good sleeper for a 2-week-old baby, he is, in fact, 2 weeks old, and so I am still on a round-the-clock nursing schedule and will be for at least the next few weeks.

The interesting thing about this schedule, though, is that it has made me far more aware of my 168 hours — even more so than during the weeks I was keeping a strict log for the book. Frankly, I’m aware of the minutes! I am aware of the minutes that Sam is eating, as I’m trying to make sure he’s getting a full meal. I’m aware of how long he goes between feedings. I am aware of what I can do during those 2-4 hour spurts when he is napping. Sleep? Blog? Play with Jasper? Exercise? Shower? Since I know I’m on a short leash, I am far more conscious of the decisions I make about these blocks of time. I’m trying to be focused, particularly when it comes to spending time with Jasper, who really needs a little TLC. If I’m playing with him, and I find myself looking at dirty dishes on the counter that need to be put away, I consciously tell myself to deal with them later and focus solely on my 2-year-old when I have the chance.

I’ve also started thinking of things I can do during feedings — i.e., activities that can be done seated, and which require only one hand. Suffice to say I’m reading more headlines online than I normally do!

Anyway, as they say with small children, the minutes are long but the years go by quickly. I maintain a very limited list of things that I need to do in any given day. When time is very limited, you have to focus on your core competencies. However, so far I’ve been encouraged that when I don’t try to put too much on the list, my little family of four has been doing all right.

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