Some observations, after being a parent for nearly a week. A lot of these are readily applicable to other aspects of life than being a parent (well, using the sleep option at work is probably bad…).
1) Finish small tasks immediately. If you’ve got a task in front of you that you can complete in five minutes, finish it now unless there is an emergency.
1.1) If you have more than one task to do in the same general location, yes, you can multitask, but make sure you finish them all. Done means done; you haven’t finished making that sandwich until all the condiments are put away and the dishes have been loaded into the dishwasher (then you’re completely done, not on the hook for that task any more, and can move on to the next thing with a clear conscience).
2) Being peed on isn’t that bad. Just make sure that you have backups of everything else that gets peed on, too (e.g., spare shirts, blankets), which means doing a lot of laundry.
3) Small loads of laundry are somehow easier to deal with than big loads (maybe I just hate the sorting).
4) My current definition of Being Tired: Opening the microwave at 9am and finding the coffee that you warmed there yesterday afternoon, from the thermal carafe that you made two days ago. Basically, you don’t need it.
5) Write everything down. You will forget it otherwise.
6) Sleep is always an option.
7) Have a system of organization. A changing station should have everything arrayed and at hand, ditto feeding stuff, ditto cleaning stuff. Chaos (things stacked on other things, things not readily available, running out of supplies) will breed frustration and a bad temper.
8) A two minute wait for hot water at our kitchen sink has me seriously considering installing a second water heater.
9) Whatever’s going on right now may seem bad now, but it won’t in five or six hours. My theory: This is some hard-wiring in the brain ensuring that things like sleep loss, irritability, being peed on, and worse, do not affect the long-term survival of the species.