It’s been a long time since I worked outside of the house. Certainly not as long as some others, but definitely long enough for me to notice going back. I use the term “going back” very loosely- it’s one day a week, but if my first week out was any indication, it’s really going to rock our world. Aside from being absolutely exhausting for me, it royally disrupted our happy, normal set of routines. After my first week as a working mom, I have some ideas to hopefully make next week go a little better. Here’s the plan:
My first week out, I made the mistake of assuming that a “quick prep” dinner would be a good option. I made it home shortly after 6pm (which is around the time we normally eat) and the boys were absolutely starving. I did have the foresight to ask my mother-in-law who was babysitting to peel some shrimp for me, but it was still really late for these guys to eat. You already know my cheat for successful dinners, and my 30-minute meal plan for that day was quick and easy, but next time I think I want to have dinner ready to go as soon as I walk in. My best option is a crock pot meal or something whomever is with the kids can pop in the oven when I’m 30 minutes out. This is also the perfect opportunity for me to whip up some freezer meals we can just pop in the oven when I get home. If I can get dinner taken care of fast, then we can get back on schedule for the evening and have a more relaxing night.
Sticking to the Homeschool Routine
Venti has always thrived on a good, solid plan and it’s no surprise that his homeschool schedule is the same way. Early in our school year, he helped me lay out a routine for us to follow to accomplish our daily school goals and we have kept the original plan for 12 weeks now. Every once in a while we’ll do something to change things up, which is fun, but he always wants to come back to his original routine. With my new schedule taking me away from him for a day that is normally a school day, we decided to compress our activities into the other four week days and take mom’s work day as a break day. This was his choice, but we may do some things on the weekend or evening to spread it out a bit later. I’m fine with the day off, but Venti seemed to get into a lot of trouble and take on a bad attitude for much of the day while I was gone. I won’t have him do an entire day of school while I’m gone, but I am going to give him a short list of things (“homework,” if you will) to accomplish for the day to keep him busy. This will also take a couple of to-do items off our list for the rest of the school week as well as give him hopefully just enough structure to keep him happy.
Little Boys’ Routine
Tall and Grande are also young enough to thrive off of a routine and keeping them on track is going to be key too. Last week, Tall didn’t nap at his regular time and that really threw him off in the evening, creating more chaos before bed. At almost two, Tall is starting to outgrow his daily nap, but he still needs that down time to reset every afternoon so he can be the charming baby he always is. Grande’s routine is a little more tricky- he’s a natural wild-man and I’ve always tried to let him be who he is to some extent, while still giving him some structure and attention. Grande will start Kindergarten next fall, and while he’s excited to “do school” most days he’s content to choose his own adventure for the most part. For Grande, providing that adventure is going to be key to keeping him on track for the day. I’m planning to have a craft project and maybe a Lego challenge for those restless moments during the day.
The day after my out-of-the house work day, I was absolutely exhausted. Working around other adult humans takes a whole other part of your brain that I haven’t exercised regularly and I was FEELING IT the next day. And I still had a couple loads of laundry, some cleaning, cooking and whatever else on my to do list and the last thing I wanted to do, was any of that. This week, I’m planning to get ahead on laundry and do a little more cleaning earlier in the week so I can take more of a chill day after my work day. I’m hoping a day of re-charging (or at least not an overwhelming to do list) will have me ready to go the rest of the week.
Taking Care of Me
Speaking of re-charging, I’ll need to find some time for me at some point during the week. I always say that I’m going to do something for myself, but it always seems so impossible and completely unattainable. Our new schedule is going to feel hectic for a little while, so my family will need me at my best. Running on fumes is doing nobody any favors. I need to find at least one day where I can spend some time on just myself. I’m traditionally very terrible at this, so I need ideas. What say you, blog readers? How shall I spend my me-time?