Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's early morning, the week before school starts. I'm awake with ideas swirling through my head. Unfortunately, I am not a very practical person. I have great ideas, some of them unrealistic, so of them not. In light of the first semester back to school and a schedule looking challenging, I'm wondering how to cover all of my bases and to pull it off with style. Of course there have been thoughts of completely changing my character and our lifestyle to be instantly highly organized and everything will run smoothly. A loud laugh comes out of nowhere and I recognize the voice of reality saying, YEAH RIGHT. I know if I make extreme changes, it will last maybe through the first two days and then I will fall into a heap, crabby and exhausted. So here's what I think I need to do. I have decided to involve the kids more in the daily picking up, putting away and doing it all over again. Part of our crazy schedule will include extracurricular activities that they love. In order to have access to these activities, they need to fulfill certain pre-requisites. We did this last year to a certain extent, but as usual, I backed off and they SLACKED off on their responsibilities. We need to develop some good habits. Things you do automatically before going to school, after school and going to bed. This is starting to sound like the army. Part of me kicks against being too organized but at the same time, I realize that it just won't work otherwise.

At the same time, there is also ME to look after! I want to get back to eating healthy, exercising and indulging my creative vein by setting out to do and accomplish certain projects, mostly around the house. I don't want to let myself go in all of this mad scramble. I will have a lot of time to myself really, with Liam in school 5 mornings and 3 afternoons. If I could get up in the morning and get the necessary (drudgery) jobs done, I could have the rest of the time to play so to speak. Alinya naps in the afternoon so there would be time to do projects, walk on the treadmill, plan healthy meals etc. I realize that this family's level of healthy eating depends on me. That is a pretty big task and important to get right.

Then there's the two of us. With marriages dissolving right and left aound us, I realize how important it is to invest time in our relationship. The problem is, when and where and how. We don't have close-by grandparents and leaving the 4 on their own is out of the question for the moment. I have not been very good at just organizing an evening away. Years ago, I made a 3 page list of ideas for cost-free romance (there was a complaint from the mgmt at the time that all of my ideas were on the expensive side--hence the list) and there were a lot of good things on that list that were cheap or free to implement. The kids find it extrememly insulting when we do anything that excludes them, and explaining to them that it's to their advantage seems to have absolutly no effect. Sooooo....I need to make sure to go on dates with my hubby. Deal?

Then there's the 6 of us. With the kids' ages sread out 11-2, it's difficult to find things that please everybody. Difficult, not impossible. I'd like to concentrate on activities that help us to be more, not less active. Our Saturdays will be filled with soccer games again and there is always something to do around the house. Sunday is a family day and it's good that way. With our week being so busy and the kids increasingly spending more time at school and away from home, I feel ferociously protective of our time together. It's the now that I want to enjoy.

Do you think I can pull it all off? I was wishing there was a magical substance that I could consume that would make it all work, but don't think it's that simple. My recipe is going to be this: get enough sleep (the first point is already debatable-how much sleep is enough sleep?) prepare for the following day, take moments for myself when it's less hectic, eat healthy and get exercise, make lists and get a calendar ready with all activities (including dates). Yawn, I'm already tired. Better head back to bed.

10 comments:

Rohan & Michelle, Philippa, Heidi, Harrison & Aria said...

You've put into words how I feel. A bit overwhelming really... but yes, it's amazing what a person can do when they get their sleep. Good on you for putting some thought into how you might achieve your goals. Don't beat yourself up if you don't achieve them - none of us are perfect! Hope you've had a good break there. xx Michelle

Mommabelle said...

I am about a month into that process in our family. I had this book laying around that someone gave me years ago. I decided to read it. She listed all the things you mentioned. Take care of you spiritual life, yourself (exercise, eat right,hobbies), your husband (date nights), your parenting and then managing the household. I started to feel like a slave instead of a servant and I was getting resentful. I observed for a few days some areas I needed help with. We are now tweaking that as we go. We have Breakfast/morning chores (bed making, hygiene etc, clean up dishes and feed the pets), Lunch Chores and before and after supper chores. It's not alot, but it helps me tremendously. Plus, everyone needs to fold their own laundry (neatly please! and put it away). I also am making a "get out of the car" routine. (Meaning get all your stuff out and put it away). It takes more work initially getting everyone on board...because the change didn't necessarily benefit them! LOL I also have "character coupons". For example: If I hear very minimal complaining during the week they can have an extra 30 min of electronic time on Saturday. Anyway, I'm still working on all this implementing, but it sure makes me feel better just starting it.
Tamara
Your photo's are beautful!

Growininwillows said...

I feel a glimpse at my future here. I don't have any organization with 4 kids...nor am I planned yet. Date night - what is that? Had a few of them when I was pregnant, but not sure who wants 4 kids to watch... :) I keep saying to myself, when the kids are in school, I can focus on me. hhmm....

I know it does make it easier when everyone pitches in. You can do it!

Jewels said...

How does a bit of yoga sound for exercise? Looking forward to seeing you ladies again so hope it works out!

take the Ellievator said...

hello Heidi! Ellie here...
not sure if I've commented before...but love your blog! and how I wish I could be the solution to at least one of your problems, I would just LOVE to come play with your kids while you two get out of the house occasionally. I have such good memories from the small amount of time I spent with you all. Ah well, I hope to at least be back to visit soon!
Thinking of you all as you dive back into the school year. Much Love!
Ellie

Ralph said...

Truly a difficult taks but you are doing great. Great mom and a great wife. Looking forward to those dates :-)
Your hubbie.

shirleyjean said...

Not time here to leave much of a comment I'm trying to get organized! Love you all Mom
So looking forward to our week at Saginaw
Thanks for all 6 of you and 5 more here in Oregon.

amydee said...

My brain has been running along in the same vein, at full steam. I finally came to the same conclusions--everyone has to chip in and it's okay if it feels like boot camp and the mom must constantly fine-tune and start over all over again all too often to keep all motivated. Good luck to us!!

elann said...

This plan is seriously flawed! It says NOTHING about sending me my monthly chocolate packages....

CabinFever said...

I've had similar moments and my attempts to enforce everything leave me crabby and the kids feeling that I am a drill instructor. Keeping paperwork sorted and filed (in the round can if necessary) is critical. Write everthing on the calendar (each child has their activities highlighted in a specific color) - get rid of all little pieces of paper. We have 5 or 10 minute cleanups where EVERYONE participates in a whirlwind sweep. It's amazing what can be accomplished in a short span if everyone chips in . . . By all means, I am no expert on any of this, LOVE Ralph's comment - that's all that matters.