I am facing a new parenting stage and wondering how to get through it productively.
Having never sent the kids to a school away from home, I am not used to having to drop kids off for activities/classes, etc. I’ve done it a couple times (like gymnastics a couple years ago) and even with only once a week, those months of my life pretty much evaporated in a blur and I was constantly worn out!
Anytime I have to go anywhere with the kids (even just a play date, where I’m sitting on my butt drinking coffee and talking to other moms while the kids destroy someone else’s basement) I come home wanting to take a load off and relax rather than jump into chores. On those days, if I’m smart, I’ve started a crock pot meal for dinner, or else I’m calling my husband on the way home begging him to grill out because I just don’t have it in me.
Now Miriam is taking an art class (just a few more weeks, thankfully) and the girls also have piano lessons once a week. I’ve also organized an every-other-week hand sewing class taught by a friend, that I sometimes host (with 6 other little girls). Even though these events take just hours, I feel like that encompasses the whole day as I’m either getting ready for it or recovering from it. Then there are farm delivery days, visits, library days, and regular errands. When am I supposed to feed the kids (or myself!) and do the neverending laundry? And how about nursing the baby? It perplexes me.
I just don’t know how some moms can manage doing this kind of running around all the time. I know there must be a trick to it (and I hope the answer is not “takeout for dinner” because that simply isn’t an option for us). Today wasn’t so bad even though I drove about 90 miles all told, and it took up my entire afternoon (12:30 to 5pm). Here are a couple of the things I decided to try:
– Instead of juggling everything at once like I usually do, I chose one or two specific tasks that I could get done within the time frame I had (in between dropping off/ picking up someone, or before leaving the house in the morning). Such as preparing a new batch of sauerkraut, or loading the dishwasher. That did help keep me focused, and felt good to check something off the list rather than feel like there wasn’t enough time to do much of anything.
– Keeping it simple for meals. After errands and before dinner can really be a “witching hour” in my house, as the kids are tired and hungry and it coincides with my bustling about like a madwoman trying to get dinner on. Today, instead, I decided to make breakfast for dinner (something that is quick and simple) and serve the kids immediately, and then reheated some leftovers for me and Dave. Though I can’t do this every time, it did work for today.
So please, moms who drive around town as part of your weekly routine, please enlighten me! How do you do it? What are your tips and tricks? What simple meals do you have up your sleeve for just this kind of day? What chores do you have your kids in charge of to ensure smooth sailing at these times? Any and all feedback is appreciated.
The girls in their sewing class today:
photo credit: Susannah Joy