Exhausted without sleeping for anything more than 4 hours a day, physically and mentally I must admit I wasn’t ready to go through 7 months of sleepless nights. Oh, I don’t have a problem sleeping, if that is what you are thinking. Give me a room with soft pillows and queen sized bed, I’ll knock out as soon as you leave the room. My problem is the nightly feeds that I am fully in charge of. My little one feeds every 3 hours, hence the minute my body relaxes into the deep sleep, I am woken up by her hunger cries again.

Stubborn as I was, I’m still going on a full charge in accepting projects from my clients and handling housework on my own. At some point, I begin to lose focus. I went into the supermarket one day and totally forgotten what I need to buy. I nearly missed a client’s deadline because I thought it was a Wednesday instead of a Thursday. I was angry whenever my little diva kicks up a fuss, refusing to take her nap, meaning that I will not have time for myself that afternoon. I couldn’t write anything more than a sentence or two for MiddleMe. All I wanted was a break and a good night rest.

That one night when I was rushing an assignment for one of my clients and my family was nagging at me to go to bed was the final straw that made me realize that I had totally lost my priorities. Myself and my family.

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So to straighten myself quickly. I made an action plan and stick to it.

Nightly Feeds

I asked my husband to take over the nightly feeds at midnight so I can have uninterrupted 5 hours of sleep from 10pm (the time I go to bed) to 3am (her next feed).

My Assignments

Next up, I reduce the number of assignments I have been taking, being very selective of the nature of the assignments and the length of time it takes to complete them. I negotiate for a longer deadline for all my assignments to cater in for days I couldn’t write because I need to care for her. I also set up a diary to keep myself abreast with all the different clients, their preferences, assignments and deadlines for easier tracking.

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MiddleMe

I planned all my articles in advance, making sure I have backup articles if I can’t write that day. I started drafting out my ideas on the go and fill in the body later when I have time to sit down. Same thing, I set up an iCal specifically for MiddleMe so I can keep track of the articles I scheduled.

Housework

I divided my time each day to complete a major housework over a week. My husband helped over the weekends as well. It is so much fun when you don’t have to do housework all by yourself, and much faster too. Instead of buying groceries at a day in a week, I spread out my shopping into 3 days a week. Yes, I may have used more time/ days to go and get my groceries done but I spend lesser time each visit and both me and little diva are in a much better mood after shopping. On the plus side, she naps longer when we are home.

Diet

No more sugary high. I forsake my Coca Cola (Sob!) and watched what I put into my body. Sugar high means sugar crash. Sugar itself isn’t good and combined with exhaustion, it’s a recipe for trouble. Limited intake of carbs, more fibre and more water. I need to watch my health. Given that the only solution to allow me to go back to my regular sleep to 8 hours daily, is to hire a nanny. It is very easy for one to fall sick when your rest is not adequate. But that doesn’t mean I’m torturing myself. I do sneak a couple of cookies every now and then. ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Little One

So instead of getting angry everytime she doesn’t want to nap, I switch her nap time to a physical activity that I know will tire her out. Whether it is strolling at the park, shopping for groceries or even joining her on the playmat with her toys, we’ll both enjoy ourselves and usually ended up, both of us taking a nap together!

When you lose focus, don’t despair and don’t procrastinate. Do up an action plan, remove the elements that are obstructing your focus view and slowly but steadily introduce the changes into your life. I just break down my own element list to show you how I manage to change it so that I have more time and able to refocus on my priorities. If you think you have lost focus, try my method and let me know if it works for you!


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46 replies on “I Lost Focus and How I Gain It Back

  1. Yes sharing is caring!
    God bless u and ur husband !!
    U r cooperative ..i lived these days when my children were months old…uptil now my sleeping habits are a problem..although my children have passed this age…it seems that my mind became accustomed to this !
    Thanks for sharing !!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kally, these are tough days – the feedings, diaper changes. Wait till she sleeps through the night. It will be a blessing. Many more challenges to come in parenting – take one at a time. You’re doing awesome. I love what you shared here. Prioritizing and time management like this will help you through. It’s true – parenting was a major shock to me and still is (I have 6 years experience), with everything that must be done, but as you have seen, the look on your baby’s face, her smile, is truly priceless and worth it all! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, totally priceless during this period. I kept reminding myself that it is only a phase and once this phase is gone, we can’t turn it around. Even she wakes up for night feeds, get cranky for naps, crawling into spaces that she’s not suppose to, I’m still enjoying the moments and feeling blessed at every cries and laughter. But I also can appreciate why women get depressed and trapped when they feel they are stuck at home with a baby (or two!). As parents, we have to treasure the bright moments and think positively. Very soon these little ones will fly from the nest and we’ll get to see them lesser and lesser. Heck, my parents only get to see me once every few months.

      Thank you, Dave for your kind encouragement. You need to share your parenting secrets with me!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, Kally, you’re doing so great already. One of our secrets was keeping them on a routine so that they started to know when feeding times were and also bedtime eventually. Feel free to ask me any questions, but I can only give the Dad perspective. It’s tough being a Mom especially. We really do appreciate our own parents so much more now, don’t we? ๐Ÿ™‚ Wishing you many more wonderful blessings and that first full night of sleep coming soon!! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahhh.. the routine part. The one I got it right is her sleep routine other than that my little diva loves to dictate when she eats and what she eats. It’s tough being a dad too. I know a lot of dads want to help but are stuck in the clueless zone when to jump in to help with mommy hovering at the background. Thankfully I was a good baby, never cry, always smiley, so my parents didn’t have as much problems with me than my whiny sister. Haha.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Lol, I’m sure you were a sweet baby, Kally. I was probably somewhat more troublesome than you as a baby. So is your cute little diva eating solid food already? That was fast! Yeah, I remember our days of spoon-feedings. Those are a blast, too!! We always hated the spit-ups (from milk feedings) because they come like completely unexpected missile launches! Yes, the clueless zone… we dads know it only too well. We could totally form a clueless dad club. We’d all be sitting around, listening to each other’s stories, and just nodding our heads. Mm-hm, me too, me too, we’d say. It’s great to hear that you’re getting her into a sleep pattern! That’s the first step to sleeping through the night. And the feedings will eventually fall into place, too. Always wishing you the best with your little diva. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Boys are usually more active than girls so I’m sure you are a pretty handful for your parents. Haha. I’m trying to get the little diva to be on solid but she’s a picky eater, only like sour and sweet stuff. Kiwi, yogurt, creamy stuff she’ll sit patiently and finish the whole lot but getting her to eat her cereal that’s a total disaster. You should see the mess both of us are in and after each meal time, its bath time for both of us. Urgh! I’m lucky that I have cats to keep her entertained for hours. She’ll crawl trying to grab and gobble them up. They are too quick for her so she’s getting all the crawling exercises she can get, going from room to room. It can get pretty crazy but I love her shrieks when she spot a cat near her. It’s almost like telling us ‘Ah-ha! I’ve got you!’ Not very good at hunting, huh? Haha.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. What a great exercise idea!! That must be so much fun to watch! When my son was crawling, he was chasing a toy football around the room, but a cat would have been so much more interesting! The shrieks.. how cute!! That must be so much fun to watch. Pretty soon she might get fast enough to actually catch one of the cats. Yes, I can totally understand about a cereal mess. What you’re doing with the solids is perfect, just introducing them to her and discovering her likes and dislikes. My son was extremely picky (still is) but my daughter was much easier to please. The challenge was always trying to get them to eat faster. It is actually still a big challenge even when they can eat on their own. How are the night feedings going? Is your prioritizing schedule working for you?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. It is tiring to night feed. I was hoping she’ll wean off at 6 months old but I was told that some kids still have one night feed daily at the age of 1. I’m looking forward to the day (or night) that I can sleep through without having to wake up. Yes, the schedule is working great but of course, I need to be flexible to make adjustments here and there daily, depending on her mood. So how do you make your children eat faster especially in the public? Are they distracted?

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Aw, Kally, I wish you a restful sleep soon. Maybe you can try to tire her out a bit before bedtime so that she feels more of a need to rest more, but it happens like magic. Just one morning you wake up to realize she slept right through and you’re like.. what happened? Then maybe she won’t, and then will. And then will again. About eating in public, we cheated a little. We used an I-pad and set it up at the table so that they could watch a cartoon while eating. It was the only way they could do it quietly without being distracted by other things. And the only way we could eat at the same time. Thankfully they both quickly outgrew that habit by age 3. But I think it was worth it; otherwise, we wouldn’t have had time to eat ourselves. We’d be fussing with their fussing too much. And then if they cried in the restaurant, we were so embarrassed! What methods have you tried when eating out?

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Thanks for sharing your valuable advice, Dave. The tiring out bit certainly works but she still wakes up her usual hours with the exception that she can go to bed earlier than usual.

            As for mealtimes, I like to time it with her mealtime (or milktime) so that she has her meal before we order our food. By the time, our food has arrived on our table, she is konked out from milk coma and that buys us an hour of dinner peace.

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  3. All very good advice. On the job front, it’s hard to say “no” when you’re a freelancer, but cutting down on what works for your life is the only way to protect your health and personal life.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That is good advice for new mums Kally, I did the same 23 years ago, as sleep always lacks with a new baby. One day you celebrate when they sleep through for 6 hours….. I may add to have a good bedtime routine for the baby, so she knows always after the lavender bath it is sleep time. It is all in the organisation and together parents can make it work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your helpful advice! Yes, she identifies after bathtime it will be bedtime. She still wakes up for night feed because her tiny stomach can’t take in more milk and often, she hungry after 4 hours.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Even if you are not a mother, these are great tips for anyone. I work with lists and a time-schedule too. In the beginning it feels a bit awkward, but once in place….get so much more done.
    About those groceries…I go once a week at Saturdays’ and my husband will pick up once during the week some fresh products.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend, big hug and XxX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually don’t like to make a list of groceries. I quite like having the excuse to bring the little one out of the house just to get something. Haha! Yes, it is unproductive but a little indulgence for both of us. Have a wonderful start of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhhh…I remember those days. You’re fortunate that your husband is willing to help. Mine was (still is) too. He took over bath time with the babies for me. He was just better at it than I was. I gave them baths with a purpose…get them in, washed and out. But he allowed them to play and make a mess and there was always a lot of bubbles and laughter. Besides, our husbands need to form memories with the kids too It’s good for both of them. Keep sleeping when you can! Sweet dreams!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I love bath time so much. It’s a special bonding time for the ‘bather’ and the ‘bathee’. As much help as I can get, I’m still in charge of diaper changing. Nobody in my family can stand the stench from the baby’s poop. Hahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I left a message about sleeping while baby sleeps on da-Al’s blog.
    Kally, I especially love your idea of both baby and you, exercising to spend time and then take a nap. I also think giving her a bath is relaxing and I like the baby bubble bath with lavender and chamomile. It is such a naturally relaxing product. Hugs, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robin for the useful advice and the hugs… (totally need it!) I wish I can sleep while the baby sleep but that is also the only time I can catch up with work.. Sacrifices a mother must make.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Did anyone tell you that you are awesome? If not, let me tell you that you are Awesome!! I count my blessings everyday that I am more fortunate than many mothers who need to struggle with their children while putting food on the table, I count my blessings that I wakes up to her smiles and she’s healthy and alive, but it’s the encouragement comments like yours that keep me sane and steer my thoughts to be positive whenever the little princess throw one of her tantrums. I’ll be sure to turn to you for a hug whenever I need one. Big hugs, my friend.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’m happy my simple words help cheer and encourage you, Kally.
            Thank you for your generous hugs.

            You are an interesting, intelligent mother who shows warmth and love for her daughter (and family, I’m sure). We are blessed and fortunate, this is so true! ๐Ÿ•Š

            Liked by 1 person

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