The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Planning a successful summer

My job gives me the unique ability to take off large chunks of time from working without technically "losing" my job. Starting mid-July I'll be taking the rest of summer off - adult summer break! Wahoo! Of course, I'll still be pursuing my creative endeavors with photography and this blog but I'll have no other responsibility aside from my family. It's also unique to my job that I haven't been able to officially take any time off in the past 18+ months to vacation so words can truly not express how excited I am to take a break.

In general, stereotypical housewife activities make me a little stir-crazy (mostly just the kid wrangling part) so choosing not to work and to stay at home can seem a little daunting. Everyday will be practice in putting off my selfish desires (like say, to not get out of bed in the morning) to be there for Jack and Morgan, to show them love and to soak up their joy. In the ever complex life that we live in, I'm excited to reset and get on track in a few key areas.

Meal Plan
Being that I am not a person of the kitchen, meal planning and making meals does not come easily to me. I did not grow up cooking but I did marry a man who did and who does make 98% of all the meals we eat. However, since he will mostly not be home for dinner during the summer, I plan on taking on the bulk of the responsibility. Now I've tried this before and have yet to be successful. It usually ends with the kids and I eating sliced apples and popcorn for dinner. Summer is young and it's only June and already I've made dinner a couple of times a week for the last few weeks. It's little successes like this that add up over time and keep me motivated.

In order to be successful, Matt and I can meal plan together. For me, simple meals work best. We've committed to Taco Tuesday. As cliche as it is, it really is easy to do and adds some much needed structure to the dinner process. Another change, will be that I am doing the grocery shopping as well. Since I won't be working, this should be rather easy to do on a mid-Monday morning. The key to my success in preparing meals will be having everything I need on hand along with our meal plan.

Since I will be taking on more responsibility in the kitchen, this will allow Matt time to go to the gym right after work (instead of coming home to make dinner and then going). This is exciting to me because then we can all be together as a family for the evening instead of Matt leaving and the kids being in bed by the time he gets back.

As for me, I'll be exploring the great NW outdoors and taking many walks to soak up the sun and burn the fat from my thighs. 😛 So far, I'm off to a great start not eating sweets after I put the kids to bed and that counts as fitness too!

This category is tough but I'm feeling optimistic. It can be excruciatingly hard taking care of kids all day but I'm hopeful that removing the "work from home" priority will give me the ability to be present for my kids and not juggling competing priorities which always ends in people yelling (mainly me). I'm planning on arts and crafts, parks, play dates, summer time adventures around the Puget Sound and spending time with family.

When you're taking care of kids, it's important to have activities to break up the day and to pass the time. There is nothing more dreadful then bored kids. They whine and complain and inevitably start doing something to totally annoy you. Going into this summer break, I'm bringing a refreshed mind and a tiny bit more patience to just enjoy this time for what it is.

It's so easy to get behind on deep cleaning parts of the house in the daily grind of the work week and weekend but I know if I had more of a schedule the bathroom would never smell like someone peed all over it (perks of having a 5 year old boy). I am so mentally prepared to be the boss of this summer and make it the best yet. Yes, effective and timely house cleaning will make this one of the best summers yet 😬. It'll be important to have a weekly and monthly checklist for myself and checklist for the kids. Hopefully setting these good routines on summer break will set my family up for a successful fall when we transition back to school and work.

Here's to getting my ducks in a row and to being flexible when they don't line up perfectly!

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