Thursday, September 15, 2022

Welcome to the (Fall Semester) Juggle



 It's only the second real week of our September routine, and I am already feeling frustrated.

  • I got up early this morning and wasted a bunch of time instead of writing because the task of getting back into writing was a lot.
  • Our dryer broke, and this was hugely stressful for me because we do SO MUCH laundry, and I hate being behind. Also, Ben had to work, so I had to deal with it, which I don't do well. TL;DR: Our favorite small business repairman came over before lunch and fixed it on the spot THANJK GOODNESS
  • W are just so unspeakably busy, you guys. It's not that each kid does too much (BESIDES COOPER); it's that we have too many kids. But! It's not their fault we're Duggars, so we can't not give them opportunities, you know?
  • I keep shooting myself in the work foot. Like, Ben had to work from home so I could get my hair done (LOVE IT-- was it worth the money and time? STILL ON THE FENCE), so I can't work from the office on one of my normal days this week, and then little stuff piles up, and I never get to the big stuff ever. YOU KNOW?
  • Dinner is a problem I can't solve. Tonight, I am cooking chicken while I do other things, and I chopped up a ton of veggies. We are doing quesadillas on a serve yourself/make your own basis  because once the activities start, they do not stop. AND DANCE HAS THIS WEEK OFF I CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE.

GAH.

A few things we are doing to hopefully  make the semester go smoothly:

  • 1. Laminating things! I printed a weekly calendar grid and a weekly meal planning grid, and Jack laminated them. Harry ran to Target for skinny dry erase markers (and I really need washi tape for this to be great, but I used Scotch for now); and I slapped them on the fridge. Now we can all see what's happening after school and what we're having for dinner. Or not having-- a couple days are blanks because I have no clue how food is happening. Ben definitely fed everyone Little Caesar/'s in a banquet room at the hockey rink while Coop was on the ice and before Cooper went to swim, Harry went to tennis, and Jack went to dive. I was working late and came home in time to grab the girls from Ben's moving car, give them showers, and pick Jack up from the diving well. SO DREAMY
  • 2. PLANNING! Ben and I are meeting on the weekend in a really intentional way to update the Google calendar and plan the week's logistics. We are leaving ourselves really detailed notes about who is taking whom where and what the food plan is, and we made a pact to trust our planning selves and not call audibles the day-of. So far, so tolerable. This process is complicated by a few things that all have to do with Cooper. His 2 main sports, swimming and hockey, do not have consistent week-to-week schedules. At least hockey is always in the same place, but the days of the week and the times each day are completely random. Swim is always at one of 3 pools, but the times vary from day to day (differing just enough that I am certain we will drop him off at the wrong place in the dark and drive away at least once this season) and the "schedule" changes from its chaotic norm weekly (and sometimes day-of) due to lifeguard staffing issues and high school swim meets. It's a lot to keep track of. Sure, Dorothy dances 4 or 5 days a week, but her schedule is the same now through JUNE, so I can; hardly complain.. (Baseball is variable, too-- games and practices are never at the same time or even always the same place-- WHAT THE HELL?)
  • 3. Outsourcing to the kids! Dorothy and Cooper are packing their own lunches, finally, and they are getting themselves to and from school without us, as are Harry and Jack. Harry also takes himself to tennis (4 days a week!), ad he helps drive Jack around to his high school clubs. Jack is doing the fall play, a couple of after school clubs, and a weekly dive coaching session ahead of the winter dive season, so he's a pretty busy kid, too.
What are you doing to stay calm when life has no margins? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!!

Minnie, constantly waving goodbye to her fam:

Dorothy, constantly wearing a full face of make up to school

Harry and Jack, back on their football bullshit
Cooper, proud 5th grader and SAFETY PATROLLER





1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

I have two kids that have very few extracurriculars, I only work part-time and I am feeling completely swamped and exhausted so I have nothing to offer you - you are clearly in a league of your own and very much killing it with awesomeness but I can't even imagine the overwhelm you're going through!

Thoughts: more prefab meals (like buying pre-chopped veggies and rotisserie chickens)?
Outsourcing some of the driving and/or household chores like laundry and such? I know sometimes outsourcing comes with it's own headaches (and it definitely costs $$$), but it might help with some of the frequent pain points.