- providing a calm, loving, safe environment for my children to grow up in
- having fun together as a family
- supporting my children in their education
- fostering independence
Goal 1: Strive to follow "no drama discipline" philosophy---stop (minimize) yelling, threats, "punishment". Continue working with therapist re: B's behavior and best ways to handle.
Goal 2: Once weather better, weekday evening outings 1-2 times a week. Continue to plan weekend acivities and vacations. Loosen up at home---regarding treats, screen time and other things that make kids happy and ease tension.
Goal 3: join PTA next year (so I can get updates/emails even though meetings are difficult/impossible to attend). Work on HW with both kids (alternate days?). Make time for listening to B read. Chaperone field trips 1-2 times/year per kid
Goal 4: By this summer, list of chores for each child.
Of course doing all this isn't easy. I need to also work on "self care" so I don't burn out and lose it. Sleep, exercise, therapy. But I also need to be willing to spend a little money to make things easier. I realize I can be a bit of a martyr and run myself ragged trying not to spend a single penny. I'll walk miles in the rain when exhausted, let myself get hungry (and hangry), and even listen to the kids endlessly whine and meltdown about hunger/thirst because I don't want to buy a water bottle or a snack. Yes, I try to be prepared and bring everything with me, but sometimes I forget!
When I was away last week, G only cooked breakfast and made pasta once. He decided he wasn't going to deal with cooking and cleaning every meal on top of everything else (and he did, indeed, do EVERYTHING else). It was absolutely the best decision---the boys said it felt "like a vacation". They also had more time/energy for outings when they didn't have to trek home before someone melted down from hunger! I also scheduled the dog walker after work, and they took advantage of that, plus the nice weather, to play at the park for an hour each weekday.
I realized that, had it been me, I would've used G being away as an excuse to have a ridiculously frugal weekend. And I'd have been exhausted & miserable. Its not only about the money.
I also have to...yet again...re-evaluate my time and my work schedule. Our evenings are exhausting the way they are set up right now, with all of us getting home around 5:45-6 and then having to do: dog walk, make & eat dinner, check homework, baths/brushing, stories, bedtime for kids, clean kitchen, other chores. All in a 3 hour span. Last Monday I worked half the day at work and then came home for the afternoon since L had no school. I got home by 1:30. I worked a little. We picked B up from school at 3 and I worked some more while they ate snacks and played together. I showed B how to do his homework and he did it. Then we walked the dog and I gave them quick baths. I dealt with the mail and started some laundry, made lunches for the next day and was making dinner when G came home. We all ate and had 90 minutes to play before starting the bedtime routine! It was so relaxing.
I don't want to leave work at 1PM but I would LOVE to be able to pick B up from school a couple of times a week, take him to the park & hang out with him, help him with homework and also get through our evening chores so that we can have a relaxed evening. I also think it would be better for him. Its a really long day for him to go from full day school to aftercare where he gets scolded for "running" and "jumping" and "being loud". I know some of his evening wildness is due to having to hold it together for so long and needing an outlet. I would be willing to start work very early in the morning to do this; alternatively I could work later on other days. I need to test drive both methods soon.
So, yeah, this was useful. Nothing completely earth-shattering but doable changes that could improve our quality of life. I'll write later about: marriage, work, and health---all of these revealed similar actionable items.