My husband and I have a phrase we keep using with each other… That phrase is: “Next month, when we have a normal schedule and things settle down” sometimes it’s said with the whimsical hope you might expect from someone saying “next year in Jerusalem” at the end of passover because we know that these days of crazy young children and their quickly changing needs will not be around forever, and sometime’s it’s said with the cynical resignation of Macbeth’s “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,” because it feels like every time we get a grip on some sort of schedule, life throws us a curveball and it all changes or gets messed up anyway.
And suddenly… even more seems to be changing all at once, but in ways that might force that normal schedule to happen sooner rather than later. The past four and a half years, my “everyday” activities revolved around spending time with my son and helping him grow from a baby to tiny human. Helping him learn, singing with him, reading to him, adjusting his schedule, etc. And then the last 18 months we added another sweet kiddo into the mix and things got even more all over the place trying to balance their needs and schedules. Even more demanding, I breastfed for 18 months- 18 months where my first morning activity was nursing and for the first year especially my schedule and my choices and my body revolved around being a huge part of my child’s nutrition. It was rewarding, exhausting, and totally surprising that it would ever feel ordinary and normal after what a rough start we had. My daughter is just barely weaned and we are both still getting used to a different start to our days, but I’m already having a hard time remembering the days of being confined to nursing friendly outfits. And I know this whole “normal” I’m having a hard time saying goodbye too will someday be something that’s hard to remember without the aids of journal and blog entries (and the hundreds… ok, thousands of pictures…)
And now… my son is starting school three days a week where someone else will play a huge part in helping him learn and spending several hours a day with him. I will have to plan out schedules instead of enjoying general routines because before it didn’t matter what time we started lunch or headed to the children’s museum as long as we were home by nap time, and now there are very set timelines for when my son needs to be at school or when I need to be at school to teach my own class or what time rehearsals will start (OK, we had a few of those things in the past, just not much since adding our daughter to the family!)… the structure is a huge change to my everyday activities. (I’ve upped the color coding game on my calendar, and my hubby and I are planning out meals differently so we can batch cook and freeze things or make stuff that is easier to grab and go instead of worrying about what we’ve planned for dinner each night of the week! I’m looking for other ways to incorporate new everyday habits that will help the new routines go well so please let me know if you have suggestions!)
Standing on the precipice of so much change, it’s nice to know that once we’re “in it” instead of thinking about it, I know we’ll adjust and adapt, and start to thrive. I may even end up loving these changes. But right now it’s taking a lot of courage to look at what’s coming and not want to run back to the comforts of my “old” everyday life. Where the only place I really had to be was home and if a baby got sick, rearranging the schedule was as easy as editing my to-do list and having leftovers for dinner. I’m publishing this post on the day I start teaching at a local college and my son meets his preschool teacher this week, and I just want to be able to look back on this entry and remember how sweet both kinds of “everydays” can be. So here’s to exploring change and embracing the next set of everyday adventures…