This brain dump is brought to you by an empty house on a Saturday morning.
My in-laws came yesterday and picked the kids up for a day in Richmond with their cousins. I took the kids’ Halloween pictures on the front step then loaded them in the car and then…silence.
1. Luxuries that I have enjoyed lately: waking up in my own house, sans kids. My dear husband is running 14 miles this morning, so I am quite solo. Something about being home alone feels awesome.
More luxuries: dinner this week, delivered to my door. A friend emailed me and asked if she could provide dinner for us one evening. Yes. You may. And thank you. A million times over.
One more: a gym membership with 2.5 hours of childcare. I go most Friday mornings. The baby (who is not really a baby anymore. I know.) loves it and so do I. Some time working out, then a shower, then time in the lounge to work or not work by the fireplace. Who am I and how did I end up at such a legit fancy gym?
2. My inbox is tamed. I read the article that my friend Steve linked to in the comments last month and my biggest takeaway was to process my email. Don’t just “check” it, which I was doing throughout the day. Wait until I am at my ipad (which has a keyboard) and read with the intention of dealing with it. Respond, archive, delete, move to folders. Deal with it.
I am a new smartphone owner and had gotten waaaaay sucked into checking my email on the go all the time. But I don’t like replying with my thumbs, so the emails would sit, read but unprocessed, until I pulled them up on my ipad later and could stare dumbly at the mass.
Process. Don’t “check”.
3. One of my kids woke me up at 3:00 the other night for help with a brief potty break. He went right back to sleep, but the last time I remember looking at the clock it was 4:30. I couldn’t shut my brain off and fixated on the logistics of four kids.
Where will everyone sleep at night?
Where will everyone nap or have room time?
How will I retrieve the first grader from school?
How can I protect some pockets in the day to recharge for myself?
When should we move the baby (okay, toddler) out of his crib?
Should we get back on the potty training bandwagon before the baby comes? (Hopped off that one a few weeks’ in, when the baby/toddler clearly wasn’t taking much initiative to get himself to the potty. It wasn’t making life easier for any of us, so I put him back in diapers.)
During those middle of the night hours, I kept reminding myself that things that feel overwhelming at 3:30 a.m. don’t feel the same way at 3:30 p.m. And, sure enough, by the next afternoon I knew we would figure things out and it would be fine.
To help in that figuring out, I emailed a friend who has four kids and asked if we can get together in the coming weeks. I might bring a white board and ask her to just figure my life out for me. I am a “systems” person- I like to get things in order and then let certain things go on autopilot so I don’t have to think about them. I need some systems in place for when the baby comes. Some parts of the day on autopilot. And I have a few more weeks to figure some of that stuff out!
4. Goal for November: Christmas shopping! I did this last year, in preparation for our big surgery, and it was pretty great. How enjoyable- to have all gifts purchased and ready with a few weeks’ to spare. I’m a big fan of simplifying and creating white space on my calendar and in my brain, and getting gifts in order ahead of time provides that. Anyone else want to join me?