For many years my personal workflow remained the same. I woke up as early as possible, got showed, made coffee and emptied the dishwasher. Then I ate my breakfast while catching up on some news before my wife and kids got up and needed to be carted to work and school for the day 1. After all that, I’d get to work. Some days I’d be lazy and shower after I dropped the family off, but I was often sitting down to get to work by 8:30. And more times than not I managed to fit a few tasks into the post morning chores portion of my morning before the family work up.
This worked for me, and I was happy and content with my morning productivity. Then we had a baby and my normal routine got tossed out the window. I’m having to find a new way to get into my “productivity mindset,” and the solution on which I’ve settled has surprised me.
In my previous life as a middle-aged father of two teenagers my shower was my mental line of demarcation between productive and puttering. It didn’t matter when I had my shower in the course of my morning routine, I just knew if my shower had been taken I could get to work. In my current life as a middle-aged father of two teens and a newborn, however, I’m finding the shower demarcation line had taken on a different life. In fact, when I’m working at home I’m finding I’m most productive before I take my shower. Because of this I find myself taking my shower on work at home days later and later in the morning, sometimes even waiting until after lunch 2.
I’ve been trying to figure out why this is so, because I find it so perplexing. But now I think I may have some sort of grasp on it. My brain still draws the line between “ready to work” and “not ready to work” at my morning shower. But what I am ready for, has now shifted in my consciousness. It’s no longer that I’m ready for work, its that I’m ready to play with Bump at any time while mom gets something done. Now, I’m always ready to care for Bump as needed, but pre-shower I feel more free to do a diaper change or hold him while my wife does a chore and then hand him right back. We’re both not “ready” for the day yet so in my mind we’re struggling together, even though I’m busy doing my work 3. On the other hand, if I’ve indicated I’m “ready” by taking a shower, and my wife has not, I’ll keep Bump longer so she can also get into a “ready” state 4.
The mind is a very weird thing, and infants turn their parents’ brains into pretzels.