Motherhood: Getting out the door, for two.

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I have a baby. My husband and I both work. His hours are set hours…you know 12+ hours a day with a commute… mine are a bit closer to 9am-6pm…but not quite… so how do I get out the door? This was not something I thought about before I became a mom. Who knew it would be this hard to just leave the house…. NOBODY warned me. Well, they did say it would be hard… but they never said parenting was THIS hard!!!!

Think of the hardest thing you have done… and add no sleep to that… and the desire to punch anyone who makes noise when you have obviously just gotten the baby to sleep. Now multiply that times 47 and that is how hard being a new parent is, but boy is it lovely and amazing and inspiring and wonderful all at the same time. All of that goodness makes the fact that it is so hard seem to disappear, it makes the fact that I am constantly late going anywhere anymore okay for a punctual person like me. The goodness makes the fact that even getting out the door is hard seem like just another thing.

So… I am by no means an expert but I have learned how to make it easier to get out the door. I have a few rules I try to follow everyday, these are rules that I wish I had followed before I became a mom.

The first rule, get everything organized the night before. All baby and all parental units and all dog (I take her to work with me sometimes) stuff organized before we go to bed. I cannot tell you how important this is. Pick out your clothes, make your lunch, pick out babies clothes, get bottles set up and in the fridge, pack dog’s lunch in a container, make sure the significant other (Sometimes me, sometimes him) is all set, and get as much of it as possible by the door, so that when you are running out the door most of it is right there waiting to be grabbed! Trust me… do this!!!!! Just make yourself get it all ready, it will save you time and stress regardless if you are a parent, a dog parent or not a parent.

Next we created a morning ritual. We may not always do it at the same time or for the same length, but we always do the same stuff in the morning. This helps baby and mama. My baby wakes up anywhere from 6am to 7am and we always have morning time in her room. We always play on her play mat and with the toys in her room, we always play music and we always have deep conversations… well, I do anyways she usually coos, laughs or cries back to me. We play music, we hang out and do similar stuff, we do this everyday. I make time for this. The ritual helps me in that it helps her start to realize how the day begins and that we get up and we do this, then this, then this, then this! Sometimes this lasts an hour, sometimes 20 minutes but we do it.

One of the hardest things is hearing her cry… and sometimes I let her cry in a bouncer for a minute while I get dressed. Mama cannot forget about herself, I am not saying let your baby scream for an hour, but a few minutes of tears is something I am not against. I have to go to work, this means I need to get dressed and brush my teeth. I need to take a quick shower; you cannot forget about you. We keep bouncers or seats in every room of the house so we can place baby girl down in them and sometimes, like this current phase she is is, she does not want to be set down… but I forge ahead and hope that her cries are short term. Make sure you get ready, if its taking you a while and baby is not happy… pick him/her up in between doing your hair and putting on your shoes.

We had a fancy monitor that was connected to our Wi-Fi and had so many cool features… well it interfered with our babies’ heart monitor and we couldn’t get it to not interfere. We spent weeks looking at monitors and picking this one up… well I got fed up with it not working… we went to the store and just bought a monitor. It works so well. It’s amazing. Get yourself one so you can feel okay getting ready in the room down the hall while baby sleeps. This will save you time but also your stress levels will go down.

Seriously though, we spent so much time researching monitors…we literally just got one at Target and it works perfectly.

My last and final thought is that I try to minimize what I am bringing. Living in a townhouse with a parking spot downstairs means I navigate carrying the baby up and down stairs a lot. Baby plus a car seat is heavy, its been heavy since day one… now that we are six months into this… It has become very apparent that I need to carry less. So I do my best to be a light packer, only what I need, and backpacks are amazing. By me minimizing my stuff, this allows me to maximize baby stuff, when needed.

Any mamas out there, that have their own getting out the door tips? I could always use more!

Ashleigh Nichols

About Ashleigh Nichols

Ashleigh Nichols resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Eddie, and their Chihuahua mix, Nova. Together they work on their own projects as a wife-husband directing/producing/writing team. Through Owlet Pictures, they created the web series Coffee Shop Squatters, and the award winning short film Summer of the Zombies. Ashleigh is also working on a dramatic feature and creating a new web series, set to shoot later this year. While not working on her own projects, Ashleigh is currently an in house Production Manager at Ampersand Media. Before going in house she Production Managed several shows/Pilots for Comedy Central, HBO Go and Vh1, some of these include: The Jeselnik Offensive, The Burn, The Ben Show, Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! and Parental Discretion S2. Ashleigh is also honored to have Co-Produced the indie film The Historian, currently touring on the festival circuit.