Days like these - Getting our groove
Some days/weeks/months it feels like absolutely nothing is working. The kids fight, Tyler and I fight, I yell at the kids too much, etc. etc. Getting back into our school routines has not been easy. Soren has had a tough time with kindergarten. Poppy cries every morning at her Montessori drop-off. With me working four days a week, our finances are stretched pretty thin.
Despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, we have had to lean in on each other and work as a team. There isn't time for fighting, when you are trying your hardest to make mornings so much fun that the kids forget to be sad. Social media is funny, because it can often be perceived that a person's life is better than it actually is. We all have problems, but they are not always broadcast with full disclosure.
There are a couple simple things that seem to be helping us get into our back to school groove, so I thought I would share:
A clean kitchen. Tyler and I - mostly Tyler - have been conscious of leaving the kitchen in pristine condition before going to bed. It helps to start the day with a fresh start, and while the toys may not all be in their places, at least I can make a cup of coffee without staring at clutter.
Exercise. As hard as it is to drag myself out of bed at 6am, by 6:45 I am feeling great as I complete my morning walk with Kya. It's nice to get some fresh air, clear my head, and most importantly - get in those vital steps on my fitbit! Tyler always goes to the gym regularly, and I recently joined one as well. The kids, too, are getting lots of fresh air and exercise. Between ballet, hockey, and daily trips to the playground, they are pretty much exhausted by 8pm.
Working four days per week. While it's a challenge financially, having an extra day at home has been wonderful for my sanity. There seems to be enough time to do laundry, bake cookies, and most importantly, spend more time with the kids! We've taken to going to the library on thursdays, which is a perfect free outing that gives us a quiet activity to do together all week long. Both kids love reading.
Planning meals / lunches ahead of time. Our costco membership had lapsed a while back, and I thought I didn't need it. Wrong! Being able to buy mass amounts of yogurt, cheese stings, apple-sauces, etc. allows me to always have our pantry stocked with lunch 'additions'. Buying in bulk also forces me to plan a little more... or make bulk freezer staples, like homemade meatballs that can easily be added to spaghetti squash to make a fast week-night dinner.
These may be the most basic, boring steps ever, but they are working for us. It seems like our house is flowing properly these days, from the alarm going off till our heads hit the pillow. It is perfect? Absolutely not. Far from it. But we are taking things day by day, enjoying family meals every night and settling in with extra stories at bedtime. And we are happy, mostly:)