Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Routines and outsourcing


Since Luke has gone to day shift there have been some pretty big changes. When he worked afternoon shift he was always home until 1pm, giving me some time in the morning to get stuff done and giving him some time with the kids. We ate our main meal at lunchtime and I got some quiet time after the kiddos went to bed.

Now he is gone before the girls get up and he gets home at dinnertime most days. I have the kids with me all day, all week and he only gets Sundays off. My quiet time does not exist and the kids are going to be later so they can spend some time with Luke.

Instead of being a martyr to these changes I've decided to tweak my routine so that we all get what we need. It's become clear that the fly by the seat of our pants approach is not working for us at the moment and I feel it's time to adopt a bit of flexible structure. It's going to require some commitment on my behalf to stick to a daily rhythm and weekly routine, but I know that after an initial adjustment period I'll be fine.

Here are some of my ideas

-get up at 5am with Luke. This means I can take the dog for a walk before he leaves and then get my computer and quiet time before the kids wake up. This will leave our nights free for all of us to hang out.

-Outsource some childcare. Tannah, Willow and Harper are now spending Monday mornings with their Granny and it's a big win for everyone. The girl love spending time with their grandparents and Granny enjoys her time alone with them-and I get about4-5 hours to run errands/go to the gym/do computer stuff alone and without guilt. I'm also going to give our local occasional care a go for 1 hour a week so I can go to the gym. The o.c is at the leisure center where my gym is and they take kids up to 10 years old. I'm pretty sure the girls will love doing some new art and playing on the playground. My plan is to pick them up and then we can all have a swim at the center's pool afterwards.

-get a cleaner. With Luke gone for 6 long days a week I've really been struggling to get the week to week housework jobs done like the shower and the floors. I hate wasting our precious family time juggling kids and housework so we decided a cleaner would be a great option.

-keep to the same weekly menu plan. It will simplify both shopping and cooking. Also keep to the same shopping day and place each week-and write a list!

-schedule in Luke's time with his mates

-use a diary and the wall planner as well as the week to week whiteboard. Every year I start failing on the dairy front in about March and spend the rest of the year double booking myself and getting flustered when I forget things. NOT THIS YEAR.

-keep the kids activities flexible. I've written in the week to week things that we aim to do but it's not essential that we always get there. Sometimes a PJ day and a few DVDs are in order. I've got some designated home time scheduled in as well as a few meet ups that we can see how we travel on the day as to whether we attend or not.

So that is my plan of attack at running the household, being available to the kids and their needs, seeing my husband and getting some time to myself.

I'm feeling optimistic.

Any wisdom you'd like to share?
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