For the first time in years, the beginning of the “school year” means more to me than Brandon returning to work. This week my first baby, Layla, is starting school. My second baby, Meaghan, is going to a new daycare. And “the” baby, Violet, is already 6 weeks old (and not going anywhere any time soon!).
The summer has been a whirlwind/blur – with the most incredible weather we’ve had in years, the arrival of a beautiful new baby, the purchase of a new cottage for family getaways, a new school, a new daycare… and a lot of thoughtful consideration of this new season of our lives… what will it bring? and what do I want to accomplish?
Of course I’m not thinking anything like “Kilimanjaro” this time. While that was a real adventure, this is not the right season of my life for such big undertakings. Still… I have some ideas of things I would like to do or change over the next few months while I’m at home and more focused on things that aren’t “work”.
I want to find ways that help me to be GOOD at being a house wife/mom! Maybe that sounds weird but I really hope to manage things around the home more efficiently. Maybe it’s a simple as using a day planner, but I am looking for a way to see my role at home more like I do my office job… so that I waste as little time as possible and avoid the constant “in a minute…when I finish this…” responses with my kids… not to mention the great potential for spending hours of unproductive or unintentional time online.
I want to take advantage of the extra time with the girls… this time is precious and I want to make the most of it. Being home allows me to be able to offer Meaghan a part-time daycare schedule, to bring Layla home for lunch, to get more household “chores” done during the week so that our weekends can be focused more on quality time with family and friends. All things I won’t be able to do when I’m back at work.
I want to reconnect with friends . This past year our young family definitely had less time and energy for social stuff. For starters there was a lot going on with the two girls, work and other commitments… but this time around being pregnant and working full-time really zapped my energy and desire to get out and/or host as much as I’d usually like to. I’ll also have to finally get over my strange fear of the telephone because I’m embarrassed to admit that I am absolutely terrible at keeping in touch with people I love and miss, but don’t run into regularly… terrible, but true… and I’m sorry.
I really hope to start hosting more often again, even if it’s for something as simple as a cup of coffee and store-bought cookies (I’m really hoping to be good enough to have home-baked muffins or cookies on hand as much as possible – but I make no promises!).
I want to make time for health and wellness. For me this means eating well (and trying new recipes from time to time), re-introducing regular exercise into my life, making more time to do things that I enjoy and less time for the things that drain or hurt me.
Eating: We started making some changes to how we eat this past year, like eating more fruit and vegetables and less starchy foods, choosing more unprocessed options and making our own bread – but maybe there is more we can do…
Exercising: At 6 weeks post partum I’m happy (very happy) to have lost my pregnancy weight but I have my work cut out for me if I intend to reclaim my body now that my child-bearing years are behind me. And YES – they are officially behind me. This is a new season people… a new season! Cardio-pousette (or “outdoor stroller cardio” classes) begin next week – bring on the squats and lunges!
Enjoying: Aside from the obvious family related things that I enjoy as a mom (and I’m not just making the token mention here, I really do love and enjoy being a Mom)… as an “Andrea”, there are also a lot of things that I enjoy… one-on-one time with my husband, connecting with others, especially with great women and moms, laughing until I cry, reading a great story, being outdoors, getting a great massage… And I really want to make more time for these things. On the flip side, I’m finally realizing how much I let fear and guilt consume me. I hope to change that and start developing the strength and perspective to let go of the things, the thoughts, and sadly, the people, that drag me down or simply aren’t good for me…
And on a more practical… hands on… note – I’d also like to…
– go through all our digital-only pictures from the last three years and put together some albums. that’s right… nothing has been printed since Meaghan was 6-months old… I’m way behind!
– decide on shelving and pictures for the playroom and the girls’ rooms. I’d like to say that all my home projects will be done once I do this… but I’m sure it won’t take me long before I find something else that “needs” to be updated or changed.
– make it to the cottage at least once and ideally twice a month. No TV, internet or phone makes for some pretty awesome family “memory building” time!
– find the right way for me to “express” myself. Maybe it will be more writing or blogging, but maybe it will be something completely different…
It seems like a lot when I write it all down, but it really just comes down to one major thing… being more intentional in how I approach the things that I do and how I manage my time.
I think I’ll start by getting a day planner to manage the family schedule(s) and to do lists… and go from there!