We went camping this weekend and for the first time ever, packed it in and came home a day early. It looked like heavy rain and the friends we were with had decided to leave---we've camped in worse, but the boys would've been very disappointed without their friends, and camping in the rain isn't exactly fun so...
G and the boys are doing errands/chores while I catch up on work. It was going to be an admin day for me, one of VERY FEW this month, so I am actually relieved to have it back. I've dealt with a bunch of backlog and using this time to plan out work projects for the rest of the summer so I can reach my (somewhat ambitious) goals.
You may notice that I've also used some of this unexpected time to comment on your posts! I am always reading, but I can't comment from work or from from my phone, and when I actually sit down to my laptop I am usually back to back with meetings, so don't get used to it :)
As I read and comment and plan, I am always jotting down ideas for "life goals" to work on this summer. I already have grand plans to declutter and organize EVERYTHING while the kids are away with my MIL in August (I did this 3 years ago and its all devolved to shit again, so the whole "do it once" thing is obviously nonsense). Bedtime in our home is a major source of frustration for me right now---I am inspired by SHU and Gwinne to do something about it. I am also revisiting the idea of one on one time with the kids, something we have not done in YEARS as they currently do every single activity together except very occasional play dates (but even then, since usually outdoors, I just bring them both). And then the terrible (lack of) screen time rules in our home currently.
Lets start with bedtime:
Current bedtime in our house (its summer, they go to day camp that starts at 9 so wake up around 8): we try to get them to bed by 9:30 but its often closer to 10 (omg). Unless its before 9, I will NOT read to them nor are they allowed to read by themselves (they are tired anyways lately, from being outside all day). We lay on their pillows for a few minutes each (though if I'm too tired I may just kiss them goodnight and go to bed myself).
Not only is this TOO LATE for my liking (I have zero time to myself or with G regardless, but it actually pushes my own bedtime later than I need for my early wake-up) but the process of getting them upstairs and ready is a disaster. They 1) don't listen 2) fight or play with each other and 3) get distracted in the middle of simple tasks (B, the ADD kid, who will take off his clothes and then forget to put new ones on, or will be just sitting their staring at a book with one sock on and one sock off OMG!). They decide they are hungry. They decide they are "itchy" and want a shower. It is one thing after another.
Obviously, we need to think backwards from when we actually want them in bed so that we can make it work. Currently dinner is just too late, thus "family time" (watch a show or play a game) runs late, and the whole thing gets later and later.
Ideally: Dinner 6:30-7 (I wish this could be earlier, but only possible if we stop work early), clean up/prep tomorrow's lunches/coffee/etc... 7-7:30, family time 7:30-8:30, up to brush/change, read (if time, which there should be if they get ready quickly but will never actually be because they won't), lights out 9:15
On days I'm at work, I'm not home until about 5:45-6. G drops them off and picks them up from camp (at 3 pm) so he doesn't stop work until about 6-6:30. Thus, earlier dinner is only possible if I am at home or have an early day, or if we don't have to cook (leftover days are the best).
This week actually looks unusually good because I have a few admin days. We planned for pizza tonight. I will marinate chicken for a double-batch of chicken tikka which we will eat tomorrow and Thursday. Wednesday is an early day & Friday I am working from home, so I can start cooking at 5 those days. Saturday take-out and then start over again!
Any bedtime tips or commiseration greatly appreciated!