When I became a mom, I knew there were a lot of new things I would be learning. I expected to become an expert at changing diapers and multitasking, but one thing I didn’t expect to master was the art of doing everything and anything one handed.
This unexpected skill has come in handy over the years and it’s helped me to keep things running (mostly) smoothly when I’ve got a baby who wants to be held 24/7.
These are some of the most common things I do with one hand (and I’m sure you have a list of your own):
Dishes – Doing the dishes requires two hands, right? Wrong. Nine times out of ten I end up doing dishes with one hand, which the other holds my baby on my hip. The process is a bit slower than it would be otherwise but I can get the job done so I count that as a win. For any extra dirty dishes that really require two hands, I put my older kids to work or leave them to soak until the next time I run the dishwasher (and hopefully have two hands to spare).
Check Emails – Typing with one hand is tricky (although in a pinch I can do that too), but checking emails is doable. If I have a few minutes to spare, I can hold my baby while getting caught up on my email. I don’t often respond to emails while holding my baby (which probably explains why I am so far behind in the first place) but I can delete the emails I don’t need any more, respond to anything that requires a sentence or less, and flag anything I need to tackle that day. Doing this lets me maximize my baby’s naptime since I’ll only have to deal with the important stuff.
Help Older Kids with School Work – My older kids need a lot of supervision with their schoolwork but, fortunately, I only need one hand to do it. I’ve actually found that holding the baby helps me resist the urge to impatiently jump in and “show my kids how it’s done” which just gives them an easy way out.
Put on Makeup – As it turns out, putting on makeup is an ideal one-handed job. I struggle a bit putting mascara on my left eye but I solved this by shifting baby to my other arm so I can take use my left hand when I need it. It may not be ideal, but I’d much rather get my makeup on before noon then go without and hope no one shows up at my front door.
Create a Menu Plan – Planning ahead helps me create more hours in my day and menu planning is one of the biggest time savers of all. When my baby won’t let me put her down, I enjoy the snuggles and get to work creating my weekly menu plan. I’m like a ninja with my stack of cookbooks and I only need one hand to search through my pantry and see what food needs to be used up.
What can you do with one hand?