Claudia has challenged her readers to write a blog post about what is working in their lives. So I am going to share a few things that help me navigate motherhood.
The “Play” Sandwich – Turo has always preferred playing with someone rather than entertaining himself. I still can remember trying to read a magazine while sitting on the floor in his playroom in the first month of becoming a family. He quickly toddled over, took it from my hand and put it out of my reach. It can be tough to be his playmate while also trying to get things done around the house. I feel like I’m constantly striving to find a happy balance between cleaning/cooking/laundry/ other household tasks and engaging with my son. When I insert play between chores, we tend to both be happier.
YMCA Childwatch – I love, love, love the childcare at the gym. Having a safe, fun place for Turo to go while I do a little self-care has been awesome.
Cleaning Day(s) – I need to have a clean house at least once a week (I’m not of the “they’re only young once, let the house be messy” school of thought.) I tried to do the whole one big chore a day like mopping or vacuuming throughout the week, but then things never had that just cleaned feeling. I like to clean the bathrooms on Thursday and the rest of the house on Friday. Then we go into the weekend with a happy, sparkly house. Now, this doesn’t always happen, but I notice I feel better when Friday night rolls around and everything is in its place.
Sara Saturdays – Back in our early parenting days, I realized that I needed to know I was going to get a “break” during the week to do whatever I wanted. Sometimes this is shopping, blogging, going for coffee or meeting a friend for brunch. And sometimes this time is spent getting chores done that are much easier to do solo. But either way, I love knowing that I have a few hours to myself each week. Now that Turo is in preschool these Saturdays are not as vital to my sanity, but are still nice since I usually spend the preschool hours doing household stuff. Plus it gives Jose and Turo a chance to spend time together and at the beginning I think this really helped their relationship deepen. And in the spirit of alone time, we also try to give Jose some solo time on Sundays and we even try to get to my mom’s once and awhile to give Jose a free weekend. Back in our pre-kid days, Jose and I really enjoyed our independent time and I think it’s been good for both of us to still get time to ourselves.
Fellow adoptive families – I can’t imagine doing this whole adoptive parenting thing without the connections I have made through the blogging world.
Menu planning – I have found that if I make a list of four or five meals that I’m going to make during the week that I am less harried at dinner time. I don’t plan the meals for specific days rather I just know I have the ingredients for these things in my kitchen. Then depending on what’s going on, I can decide that afternoon what to make. And I always have a pasta/sauce back-up for those days when even what is on my list seems too complicated to make.
(our pizza isn't always heart shaped, but this photo from Valentine's Day was just cute)