This post about my dream career was sponsored by AT-A-GLANCE as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
When I ‘spilled the beans’ and told my girlfriends I was pregnant and due in April, they all assumed I had everything figured out. I heard lots of “oh I bet you’re so organized with everything”, “I’m sure you’ve already heard about x, y or z”, or “you’ve probably already done x a while ago”. Well, NO for the record I haven’t done any of those things yet and my head was officially spinning! Since this is my first pregnancy I had (read: STILL have) no clue what I’m doing or what I should be doing.
I decided early on that I wanted to make the most of my pregnancy time and get as much done as possible. And I’m not just talking about baby stuff. This includes non baby related projects that I want to get done around the house (arrr …. getting blinds for the home we’ve lived in for over 2 years). You know those projects that unfinished drive you crazy, but you just haven’t carved out time to complete yet. While I know I keep busy NOW, but I had NO idea what life was going to be like come April with a new baby boy joining the family. So no time like the present (or the next 9 months)…..
How I Prepared for Our Baby!
The very first thing I did was create a master list of everything that needed to be done before the baby arrives. Since I wasn’t really sure WHAT needed to be done, I spent the first month asking my friends lots of questions, reading books, and … well Googling. I complied over 100 things that needed to be accomplished before April. I know I know. That sounds CRAZY. While over 100 things to do does sound a bit nutty, I made the list extremely granular to help me take action on it.
For example, instead of just listing ‘baby announcements’ as a to-do item, I broke it down further – 1) make a list of everyone we want to send baby announcements to, 2) get addresses of everyone, 3) find a announcement design that I like. While breaking down an action item into smaller items adds a lot more to-dos, it also makes it much more ACTIONABLE.
If you need some help coming up with your list, check out my Top 10 Unique Things to Do Before You’re Due to get the ideas flowing.
I spent a good two hours walking through each inch of our townhouse one weekend writing down every project I would like to get done (if time were no object). In a way it was kind of a ‘dream list’. Once completed, I reduced down the list to the realistic projects that were important to complete. This ended up being about half the items on the list to get done before the baby arrived.
Now that the to-do lists were complete (or work in progress) I moved everything over to my calendar. I’m a pen and paper gal, especially when it comes to huge projects (did I just call having a baby that?? Well, you know what I mean, right?!). Incorporating my baby tasks in to my AT-A-GLANCE calendars made perfect sense. I simply denoting baby oriented events and tasks in a blue pen.
I took my baby list & home projects list and designated a specific month that I will commit to accomplishing each task. This alone made me feel SO much less stressed. Huge to-do lists are great and all, but then you’ve got to get the work done. Keep in mind that in the 3rd trimester you may be less mobile AND you have no control over your due date! My goal is to have everything accomplished 1 month prior to my due date. This leaves me a little wiggle room for last minute odds & ends in case the baby arrives early.
Here’s how I organize my calendars ….
- Tracking how far along I am by weeks
- Details on doctors appointments, baby showers, & baby classes
- Find available slots of time to complete items on my master to do list (making a calendar appointment helps me get the work done!)
- List of questions to ask my doctor in the Notes section for the week of the appointment
- Doctor appointments & classes
- Tracking how far along I am by weeks
- Due date!
- Family & friends visiting
In the back of my planner, I keep a list of baby product suggestions I receive from friends. Until a friend mentioned to me, I never heard of Boppy, FridaBaby, or Bumbo before!