Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hormones + Organization = Overdrive

I prefer to be organized all the time but, in the third trimester of pregnancy:

hormones + organization = overdrive!

31 weeks

(1) The chore duties get updated. I keep wondering how will I possibly "do it all" when I have the duties of a newborn. (Answer: I won't be able to do so.) And how will the postpartum period go? Joseph couldn't nurse at all till his tongue tie was fixed, so the around-the-clock pumping and feeding meant I couldn't resume my household duties for an entire month. I relied so much on the help of others, rarely leaving the bedroom. What will happen this time around? Who can know? It's worth spending lots of time worrying about and trying to control in advance, right? (No, but I will anyway.)

My new washer of dishes

So, I look around me and see if there are any other chores the children are old enough to do. We just did an important upgrade around mealtimes: Margaret (4) graduated from no chores to wiping the kitchen table (she feels like a Big Girl). Mary (6) graduated to sweeping the floor (she does an awesome job!). John (8) graduated to rinsing and loading the dishes (which he prefers so much to sweeping and he is doing a better job at this). Changes like this require slow, purposeful training during moments of calm and the updating of our chore lists.

Speaking of purposeful training, the new "chore" for Joseph (2) is learning to sleep more independently of me because a little 8-pound somebody is going to supplant him. We are about a month in to step-by-gentle-step teaching of how Daddy can put Joseph to sleep instead of only me and how Joseph can sleep better and longer by himself.

Updated chore list

(2) All the lists get updated and some new lists are created. I've posted updated lists of mine and the children's chores for each day of the week. I've posted lists of Emergency Numbers (911, poison control, all the neighbors, and the hospital five minutes away) and a list of babysitters with all their contact information. These lists are posted in duplicate upstairs and downstairs because two is better than one.

Organized music binders and practice lists

Around this time, I also update my list of a month's worth of simple meal ideas and the children's daily routine (for anyone who might be caring for them). I've organized the children's four music practice binders with great new tabs and lists of their daily practice songs so that they will be able to continue their music even when I'm not supervising.

(3) Safety issues become increasingly important to me. I decided recently that I must make an accidental poisoning kit--two actually: one for the home, one for the car (because of the principle above that two is better than one). I have ipecac syrup and activated charcoal in two forms (two better than one!) and will be putting them into two separate kits with needed instructions and supplies. Additionally, we're updating our wills because that feels suddenly urgent to me, and I'm reading anew the manual on Emergency Childbirth because one never knows how suddenly a baby might arrive. The midwife almost missed Joseph last time!

The other day I gave the kids a training on when and how to call 911 and I now spend perhaps inordinate time considering the merits of safety matters like fire escape ladders. We just ordered fresh fire extinguishers (two, because two is better than one). I checked all the expiration dates on the car seats, discarded expired ones, and replaced them.

(4) I plan who will be available to help me. Now is when I begin feeling panicky and start preparing who will be able to help me when I feel helpless. My sweet husband, mother-in-law, and stepfather worked together on budgeting to make it possible for me to have professional housekeeping help and mother's helpers for a few months. That change required me to research house cleaners and babysitters, doing interviews of both, and start training the ones I hired how to help in our home.

Also, I tackle questions like, who will come and stay with us after the baby is born? Who will help me when my husband resumes traveling for work after the baby is born? Who will organize meals from the church ladies on our behalf?

Birth kit at the ready

(5) I start preparing specifically for the new baby. I've done an inventory of my home birth kit, ordered fresh supplies, and tested the birthing pool for leaks. We've purchased the new baby monitor and have to buy a new infant car seat. I've scheduled the baptism and hired the doula. Boy and girl infant clothing is already organized in labeled boxes.

But we do need to put time into choosing baby names! Time is running out.

Be on the lookout: when you see me alphabetizing my library, straightening anew the cans in the pantry, and putting my husband's clothing in rainbow order (mine already being in rainbow order because how else would a sane person organize their clothing?), then you can know labor is imminent!

Fun Note: Check it out!--I wrote about my 31-week flurry with my last pregnancy too! Being 32 weeks now puts me at five weeks away from when I had #1 and #4, five-and-a-half from #3, and six weeks from #2.


  1. Do you think you could fly out here for a few days? Please.
    Pretty please!

  2. I totally get it, and I'm feeling rather overwhelmed for you!

  3. You look great! And I remember being an organizing fanatic a few weeks before birth! Go with it! Ha!