I wake up repeatedly throughout the night. A distinct reverberation of waking in the wee hours to nurse my now 3 year old daughter. Your body always remembers. 11pm, 2am, 4 am 6. My ideal vacation is only 3 days long, and involves my most comfortable sleeping garb and some NyQuil. Alas, somehow I learned to function on very little sleep. Mothers are above all, adaptable.
One thing I still struggle with is not being able to do everything I set out to do. But I do what I can, and I try to be forgiving with myself about what I can't. When I get to spend time with my family, I am in it, living in the moment and focusing on being present. Everything else is meant to make way for these moments, at least that's how I see it.
After being frustrated about how little I got done I decided to start creating pockets of consistency in my week. The more I could rely on routine, the less I felt like I was scrambling to make the impossible happen. I think this is something most parents suffer through. Not everything will go as planned but I did become more efficient over time, and my family appreciated the comfort in some consistency.
This week I want to dive into how we balance our time, how to remain mindful and expand the richness of our experiences as a family. In its practical application it involves a lot of my "down time" being dedicated to planning, meals, shopping, and planning activities. The most important thing is understanding that the plan is the baseline, but remaining flexible is such an important part of dealing with the unexpected.
6am Wake up, at least once a week I prep lunch / dinner in my slow cooker. Onions, garlic, fixings are prepped while I have my morning coffee. Turn that sucker on and run away. The current recipe in rotation is chicken thighs, which after 6 hours make a mean shredded chicken perfect for organic taco shells, tomato and avocado lunch.
6:30 get ready to enjoy one hour of "me time". The one hour of the day I am not doing something for someone else. The house is peaceful, the sun is rising and I can hear myself think. It's really nice.
7am hussle out the door for a workout.
8am running in the door, get a big hug followed by "eww you're sweaty!" (or conversely, greeted by piercing cries--- depends on the last 30minutes wth Dad) I prepare Greek yogurt parfaits or oatmeal with fresh fruit. Simple, hearty, healthy. My meal plans from the weekend prior will dictate which. Our favorite: Stonybrook Greek Vanilla Yogurt with a little maple syrup, pistachios and blueberries. She takes ages to eat. My sweaty clothes are sticking to me and I'm freezing. Run over and brush her teeth while singing Elmo's Brushy Brush Song. Get her into her play gear and ready for the day.
8:30 shower while entertaining my cranky toddler, who is now demanding that I play with her. I often give her dry erase crayons and she scribbles artwork on the shower door. I'll clean that off eventually. Meanwhile she's practicing her artistic expression. Baby Bansky.
8:40 giving our caretaker the low down. How the she slept, what time, any new boo boos, whether she's had a BM (so much poop talk as a parent. It's crazy).
7:30pm home, greetings are hit or miss. I want to play but I have to prepare dinner.
8:15 Bath Time
8:45 story Time, we stop every other sentence for Q&A, it's quite hilarious but I try really hard not to get her too riled up-- she has become a skilled agent of diversion of late...
9:20 asleep-- if I am lucky. Most of the time it's 10 before she's asleep and it is quite likely that I'm twisted out of shape on the rocker snoozing too. But not to worry. I'll be up in an hour.