Shut up, I will be an organised mum if I want to, Amy Hennessey shouts
Everyone tells you when you have a baby you have to learn to go with the flow. You need to relax. That your life is about to become a disorganised mess of chaos circling around you like a hurricane and there's sweet FA you can do about it. Well some of us are just not wired that way.
I'm probably one of the most organised people you'll meet in your life. My work diary, with its colour coding and reminders for everything under the sun, is a scary sight for a lot of people. My personal life is the same - it's ridiculous. I have lists and charts galore and even alerts reminding me to breathe a certain way (I'm not even joking, it's at the behest of my chiropractor). Part of the reason for this is also that my memory is shocking, but obviously a huge part is my need for control. I also often expect a similar level of organisation from other people, which no doubt makes my colleagues hate me and my friends avoid me when they are planning their wedding or other big life event. So having a baby and seeing that ‘they’ were right, and my whole weird way of life just got turned upside down, was hard to take.
Now most posts you read on this subject will confirm this need to go with the flow, to ride the wave, to sit down in the meadow of love with a packet of malteasers and a twiglet or other such nonsense. But that's not for me. It's just not. I'd love to be that person but you can take the spreadsheets away from the girl but... well you know the rest.
The way I've coped is to try and create some kind of organisation among the madness of babyville. My biggest help is Google Keep. It may sound obvious and patronising, as it's just a set of simple checklists, but they massively help me out when my brain is like fudge from a night of 2-hourly feeds and late night poonamis. I've got one for stuff I need for the bedtime routine, a changing bag checklist, a 'what I need to do to get out of the house quick in the morning' list, a general to do list, as well as your regular joe bloggs of lists, the shopping list. Those lovely little tick boxes restore a sense of calm in my brain by taking away some of my mental load.
I've also slowly developed more efficient systems (stop me before I stop dropping douchebag terms like ROI and KPIs). It may sound stupid but simple things are really helpful, like always reloading the steriliser with new bottles ready to just be switched on when needed rather than when the cherub is shouting "drink, drink, drink!' at you like Father Jack. And getting the changing bag restocked before going to bed rather than in the morning when you're in a rush to get out.
I'm sounding smug aren't I? This really isn't meant to be a lecture about being organised. If you like living free and easy you should totally carry on with that, sister, and man is it hard to be altogether with a little one in your life. But my point is if you, like me, find it difficult going from order to chaos, you can totally seep a little bit of structure back in if you're built that way.
I definitely still have days when I don't get dressed*, don't bother with any of the above and just wing it, and that's okay. But on days when I'm drowning in the madness I feel an element of success when I've got myself organised. It just helps me feel more me.
*FYI this blog is bought to you today while in my PJs nursing 5-month old Freddie who is full of cold and won't be put down. It's all gone out the window today and that's A-OK.
Getting out of the house with Freddie is much easier with a lovely little list... and a prayer