my time

I always stay up WAY too late. My husband is constantly telling me, “you need to get to bed early today. You’re so tired…don’t stay up to late tonight!” But the reality is, I need it. The time, the quiet, the wind-down. My kids are usually out by 8.30 each night. Then my husband and I sometimes eat if we didn’t eat with the kids (a few times a week, this is our way of having mid-week date nights; we put on a movie or a show and eat at our own pace, and talk). Then, it’s time to pick up the house, pack lunches, fold laundry, the usual.

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By the time ALL of that is done, it’s about 10. After that, you’ll find me in the bedroom, either sitting in bed with my laptop (like I am now) or sitting in my favorite chair. I usually don’t go to sleep until about 11.30 or midnight…and my alarm goes off around 6.20.

I wouldn’t trade it.  I know I’m probably getting an hour less of sleep each night. But without that time…without a few quiet minutes (or an hour) to myself, I don’t get a chance to just be ME.  Not mama, not a wife – just ME.

And isn’t that an important part of being whole? I LOVE my role. I love waking up every Saturday and making homemade pancakes or waffles for the family. Love taking my kids to their weekend activities. To birthday parties. To visit relatives.  But we all know that taking time for ourselves is critical to being our best selves. Yes, I do things for myself outside the home – an occasional girls night, mani pedis, etc. But the 60-90 minutes of sleep I may sacrifice recharges my batteries every day.

So yeah I may be a little tired the next morning. But, I know it also means I’m my best self.

 

our family vacation…we did it!

We did it!

Although this wasn’t our FIRST vacation as a family of 4, it was probably our hardest. Since little C was born (now 17 months), we’ve done a waterpark weekend, a week in Mexico, and now we did a one-week rental near the beach in Saugatuck. This one was the hardest, but also I think the most important.

We met up with some of my husband’s family that doesn’t live near us, and that we’re lucky to see maybe once or twice a year.  They have two young kids as well, same age as my kids. I believe strongly that I want my kids to grow up knowing their cousins (my sister-in-law does too) – so we planned this week with our two families. 4 adults, 4 kids, and lots of chaos.

The kids had a blast. At times the girls got on each other’s nerves, but that’s to be expected with 2 almost-5-year-olds.  We did the beach. We did ice cream downtown almost every day. We did movie nights. We did the park. I really do feel I gave my older one a week to remember (my younger one is probably still wondering what happened!).

I have a couple of things I’d do differently the next time, though – so something to think about if you’re planning to rent a place with another family. The space was sufficient – 5 bedrooms. Keeping the house clean and 8 people fed was tiring! Although I thoroughly enjoyed the family time, I came home pretty drained and with a backache.  Next time around I would do 2 things differently:

  • take advantage of the mid-week cleaning service the rental offers for a fee (linens, vacuum, mopping) – will save a few hours of time and make things less hectic
  • eat out or order in a few times (we cooked ALL of our meals at home…the next time, I would definitely plan ahead to accommodate preferences/allergies and find some safe places to either get take out or hit the restaurants!)

We plan to make this a yearly tradition…can’t wait!