5 weeks to establish, 5 days to destroy….

In Motherhood on August 17, 2012 at 2:33 am

This summer has been an experiment of sorts.  For the first time in a long time I have had little to no breaks from my kids.  This past year my mother would watch the kids twice a week in the afternoons while I rushed off to run an errand or two and then to my very part time job teaching Hebrew at a local synagogue.  So my time “off” was busy and never really about me.  I was ok with that, to a degree.  Then summer came and my mother retreated up to the family home in lake Tahoe.  Lots of projects for her to take care of up there, understandably.  And, well, I was on my own.  I could have been really upset (selfishly so), but instead I embraced having my children to myself.  Each day has had its own struggles, but for the most part I have truly enjoyed having my kids all to myself.  It took me some time to adjust to not having a break, at all.  And the kids and I were, at times, a bit fed up with one another.  But…  in the end we managed to formulate a great little routine together.  They seem to “get” that Mommy has some work to do in the mornings now.  After their breakfast I do dishes and tidy up the house (sweep, start laundry, put things away, etc.).  Sometimes they even try to help.  Nathan does an ok job holding the dust pan for me.  Norah, not so much.  It definitely takes longer to get things done when they help.  But it is good for all of us.  I try to remember to breathe.  It helps, too that we have attempted to minimize the clutter this summer (the toys included).  I do my best to get us out of the house by 9 a.m.  That seems to be a witching hour, when all the chaos seems to happen.  Being out of the house helps minimize that.  We’ve gone to parks, libraries, play dates, etc.  We come home, they have snack/lunch.  Norah then naps and I have time to get dinner prepped and then play with Nathan.  The afternoons are usually pretty mellow.  And unless we need to run an errand, we typically stay home and play outside.  It took us approximately 5 weeks (give or take) to make this new routine feel strongly ingrained in ourselves.  It then took just five days to undo it when we went up to Tahoe for a family vacation.  I could go on and on about how long it is now taking us to get back on track.  But I would be lying.  The truth is that the first day home was disastrous.  The second day home was less disastrous and the third day (today) was almost back to our new “normal.”  It is incredible to me how quickly all that hard work could be seemingly torn asunder.  It is even more amazing to me how quickly we recovered.  Consistency, consistency, consistency.  I have never been very good at being consistent, but that is what parenthood is all about.  Consistency is my new best friend.  Thank goodness for it and for sticking to my guns.


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