My 12 day stretch at home with the kids. Complete with manifesto.
I enjoyed parts of it. I wouldn’t say I had an overall fantastic experience, though, and I never really want to do it again. And I don’t think I will have to – Josh (hopefully!) will work Christmas or New Years’ next year but not both (!) and I will be more aggressive about childcare or camps or SOMETHING if a similar situation ever arises again.
(Plus, everyone will be older. And that is good!)
The little lady above drove me the least crazy, honestly. The other two . . . well, I think it was just perhaps too many unstructured days. We did have a bit of a rhythm going:
AM: breakfast, toys, putter around, usually avoid screen time. Sometimes babysitter ~8 – 10 am (I should have done this more.)
Mid-AM: outing — playground, museum, play date, etc. Ideally with friends so that I can get some adult contact.
Lunch: out or at home. Yesterday the kids did a picnic at the playground which they loved.
Afternoon: G nap, which thankfully was a pretty reliable staple most days ~1:30 – 3:30 (or 1-3, 2-4, etc). During this time big kids got screen (or craft or whatever) time and told not to bother G or me. (I pretty much used this time to read, nap, and recover.)
Late afternoon: This is where it always got hard. Typically I’d WANT to go take a walk / go to the store / etc, but not really have the energy to fight the kids’ inertia. Yesterday we did not make it to Whole Foods – thankfully Josh stopped on his way home instead. Around 4 – 5 pm many nights I cooked dinner / folded laundry while G watched Pinkalicious.
Dinner: Josh sometimes got home and sometimes didn’t. When he did it was great. We’ll just leave it at that.
Baths/bedtime: Ugh, this was rough (when Josh wasn’t home) and I’m very happy that I will be getting our nanny back during this witching hour. G’s bedtime has drifted closer to 8 pm with her later nap, and the big kids by 8:30 – 9 pm.
All that said, we all survived. There was more yelling / threats than I would have preferred. But I will keep working on it.
I am happy and excited to return to work today (!), so I guess the break did accomplish something! ONWARD AND UPWARD.
And here’s another planner pic for you:
PS: I also picked a word for the year, which I will share tomorrow. Anyone else?