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Finding a New Normal

March 7th, 2012 · 6 Comments · Family Life

I’ve not been doing a very good job of writing in my blog.  I have all kinds of excuses but I’ve been floundering around trying to find our new normal.

You see my husband, after spending most of the last 17 years staying at home taking care of our kids (with a few years of employment mixed in here and there) has gone back to work.  It’s a temporary position, so if anyone has a full-time job for a 55 year old, over-educated, hard working, good man, let me know.

I’ve had to begin doing things I haven’t done in…awhile.  Things like laundry and dishes and cooking and just stuff.  Which along with my running.  Has been sucking the life out of me.  I did 8 miles on Saturday;  go me!

Now, instead of just getting myself up and out the door, I’ve got to get myself AND the BoyChild up and out the door and to school.  All on time.  This has been a bit of a challenge as I’m not always my best in the mornings and neither is the BoyChild.

I’ve not done too badly.  There was the morning I hit the snooze bar on the alarm and awoke at 8:30 when the BoyChild was suppose to actually be at school.  Not my finest moment.  I was so embarrassed I seriously thought about just calling us both in sick and staying home that day.  But I got up with my shame and he made it to school at 9:15.

And then there were the three days last week that the school was closed because 1/2 the teachers and 1/3 of the students were sick with the flu.  We did not (knock-wood) succumb to that particular illness.  Though we’ve had our own version of the plague running rampant through our house.

We’ve set up some new systems.  Three laundry baskets in the hallway.  Pretty, I know, but necessary; one for whites, one for darks and one for pinks/reds.  The dark and the white basket has it’s own little washable bag just for socks and there is another bag for my bras.  Almost every day we do at least one load of laundry.  I often wonder (especially since about half my clothes go to the cleaners) how three people manage to make so much laundry, but we do.  Our solution is the new system.  It seems to be working pretty well and isn’t dramatically different than what we did before.  Before we each had our own laundry baskets and David would gather clothes from each.  This new method saves time.  The bags for the socks are to try to combat the problem of the missing socks.  If we can get them into a washable bag and wash them together maybe they won’t disappear as dramatically as they seemed to before.  It’s worth a try; right?

We’ve been more diligent about making menus for the week.  We try to make enough so that we can freeze half and have two meals.  This is not only economical, but it is a huge time saver when we have something to do in the evenings.  We’ve been using the crock pot ALOT.  Throwing the meal into the crock pot the night before, putting it on in the morning and coming home to dinner that all we have to do is make rice or noodles or a veggie is heavenly.   We clean the kitchen before we go to bed and David unloads the dishwasher while he’s waiting for the coffee to make in the morning.

I’ve been having to make the drive to all the doctor’s appointments, dentist, orthodentist, allergy shots and the like.  I try to group those appointments as much as I can.  So today for instance, while I couldn’t get a late afternoon orthodentist appointment, I did set it on the same day he has his allergy shots.  That way I only have to make one trip instead of two.

On days he doesn’t have appointments, I pick the BoyChild up from school at 3:15, we go back to my office.  He does his homework, eats a snack from my desk and then gets to play on the computer until it’s time to go home.  On the days I run, David comes and picks him up and takes him home after he gets off work.  On days I can’t pick him up at 3:15, we have the option of sending him to after-care.  This all works pretty well for us because the BoyChild’s school is relatively close to my office and David’s job isn’t far from our home or my office.

The BoyChild and I seem to have settled into a routine. It seems to be working for us.  David seems to be having a little more difficult time of it.  That he doesn’t get to spend as much time with the BoyChild as he did seems to be the hardest on him.  Now a lot of things have to be done in the evenings when we would be watching tv or playing Uno or something.  Before, he would say, “let’s leave the dishes until tomorrow and I’ll do them so we can do X.”  Now, we have to do the dishes or tomorrow will turn into a nightmare.

I managed to get my clothes to the dry cleaners this week.  David said he could pick them up when they are ready.

I’m going to find someone to clean house ever week or two.  I think we can keep up with the day to day cleaning but I’d rather not spend my weekends doing the heavy stuff.

We are working on our new normal.  It’s not been horrible but it has been different.


6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cynthia // Mar 7, 2012 at 8:20 am

    oh man….I’d fall apart if Ernie went back to work. I often think about how lucky I am…or spoiled….or whatever you want to call it. Good luck with your new normal….you sound like you’re working through it pretty well!

  • 2 M&Co. // Mar 7, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I knew this day was coming. The BoyChild didn’t need David like he once did. So, it’s not a big surprise but it is making things different. Not necessairly bad, just different.

  • 3 Leanne // Mar 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    This is going to be us this fall, that is if I can find a job. Sigh. I’m now going to book mark this page so I can refer to how you’re getting things done when I’m freaking in October. You sound frighteningly well organized….

  • 4 M&Co. // Mar 8, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I don’t think I’m well organized but I’m working hard at figuring out how to make my life easier. I always thought it was a little dumb that my husband didn’t have us sort clothes when we put them in the laundry basket but he was doing the laundry, and he didn’t seem to care, so I didn’t either. When we make our menu every week, we look at the calendar for things like meetings, so we’ll know when we need to eat left overs (quick and easy) or when one of us isn’t going to be at home for dinner. I’ve started adding everyone’s schedule to the calendar I carry around for work, so where we need to be or do on any given day is all in one place. I’m thinking about getting a large calendar for the kitchen so what’s coming up and our menus can be more visable. Last night I decided to put everything I needed to take with me (I seem to have three bags on any given day) in the morning by the front door. That seemed to help us get out the door this morning. I may try putting it in the car before I go to bed so I don’t even have to carry it out to the car. I think probably for us, the geography is the key; it’s about 8 minutes from my office to my son’s school. I’m about 5 minutes from my office to my house. My husband is about 8-10 minutes from our house to his work. It’s about 6-8 minutes from our house to my son’s school. Good luck on getting a job, it is tough out there!

  • 5 Homestead // Mar 8, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I think we are existing in a parallel life. I’m going to post about this.

  • 6 Christal // Mar 9, 2012 at 2:05 am

    It helps me to layout my clothes etc the night before. Then in the morning when I let the dogs out, I grab 1-2 bags (depends on if I have college classes that night) of “stuff” and dump them in the car when I go out to start it. (We do live in the county not the city, so there hasn’t been a lot of worry about someone stealing from the now running car with my laptop etc.) Then by the time I get back to the back door the dogs are ready to go back inside and I’m forced to zip through my shower etc because the car is running and I can’t stand to waste gas. So I get a quickly loaded auto, a no-longer ice covered windshield and I’m at work on time.

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