We’ve been doing our new schedule for 4 weeks now and it’s going pretty well.
In the morning we usually walk Gabby to school. I put Callie in the stroller and she’s happy sitting the whole way there (about 20 minutes). On the way back she gets a bit antsy, but I’ve figured out she will stay seated without too much complaining if I give her a busy snack, like raisins. They stick together and stick to the box so it takes her a lot of time to eat them! Without Gabby walking, it takes us about 15 minutes to come back.
By the time we’re back home, it’s time to get Callie in the car and drop her off at preschool. Preschool wasn’t too much out of the way when Chris or I would be dropping her off on the way to work, but now it feels SO out of the way. The drive is 15 minutes there, then of course I have to drive back home after. I’ll admit I’ve considered switching Callie to a different preschool just to save me time (there’s one literally next door to Gabby’s school, how convenient would that be?!) but we really love our preschool and it’s been our kids’ other home for so long, it’s just not worth changing.
Anyway, by the time I’m back home it’s a little past 9am. I have to leave again to pick up Callie around 12 or 12:15 at the very latest, so that gives me 3 hours. At first I was spending most of my time doing dishes and cleaning the house and folding laundry, but then I realized, WHAT AM I DOING?! I can totally do those things with the kids in the afternoon… Actually it’s about time they help me, with some chores of their own. That time in the morning is mine. MINE!
So it’s taking some discipline to ignore the messy house and force myself to sit down and accomplish the things I wanted to accomplish, namely writing. I found it helps getting out of the house, so I’ve been going to the natural history museum one morning a week. I bring my laptop and find a comfy spot on a bench in their backyard area. I’ve also been doing weekly writing sessions with my picture book critique group, we mostly just meet to force each other to sit down and write.
Anyway, before I know it, it’s noon. I shovel some food into my mouth and then run out the door to pick up Callie. We’re back home by 12:45, kill 15 minutes, then we’re back out the door with the stroller to go pick up Gabby.
Gabby gets out at 1:30, then we stop by a park near school on the way home. A lot of times we’re not there for very long because someone needs to go potty (*cough*cough* GABBY! She doesn’t want to waste recess time by using the restroom at school!), but pretty often we end up finding school friends there and staying quite a while.
After the park, we go home and play in the backyard. I keep thinking I should do more educational activities with them. I feel so lazy sitting in the backyard reading a book while they play. But you know what, it feels so relaxing… for all of us. I think they’re happy being left alone, I’m happy doing my own thing, and they’re really learning to play together and entertain themselves and each other. It’s so nice to see the girls spend more time together.
Sometimes we spend the afternoon at the library, or the museum, or the beach. But usually, we’re all happy just being free. At home. Playing.