Create steady, and ever present rhythms.
I’ve read about, and noticed in our own lives, that the more predictable our days are, the easier they become. Days with small children can often stretch out, endlessly. Whining from boredom, or desire, or lack of attention can sidetrack us, but a schedule; well, that is the goal. For my children to know the schedule; to wake up and start the day with a known quantity rather than begging for this or that is the dream, and it happens when we hold to a schedule, but not when something goes awry (illness, family is away, family is visiting, school is on break, etc.). I’m hoping to spend some time really working on crafting a rhythm for our home, and being present and thoughtful enough to include space in it for Baby B’s needs, so the transition to three babes will be seamless. (Oh, I know. That’s just not going to be seamless at all, but one can dream.) I keep thinking that if I can increase the independence of my children now, and help them know what mornings and days typically hold, we’ll be moving in the right direction.
More time outdoors, less screen time.
Ah, screens. The bane of my existence, the ever present kryptonite, and my most exasperating crutch. I won’t get in to details about television, and behavior, and social skills. AT ALL. But, I definitely want less of this monstrosity in my life. I think that spending more time outside, walking, talking, discovering, and seeing will reduce our screen dependence, and help with independent play. I’m totally open to mud pies, and bug hunts and I’m looking forward to cooler weather that sends our mosquitoes packing. Because, really, who wants to douse themselves in deet every morning?
As a side note, I want to reduce my screen time too. I spend far too much time stressing over the state of the world, and going down news rabbit holes. While I do think it’s important to be aware of what’s happening in the world, I can only hold so much in my two hands and one heart. Not to mention, the sometimes dangerous world of social media inviting in all that self doubt and comparison. So, nix screen time for the babies, and for me, please.
More simplifying, less buying.
I’ve mentioned before that we have no intention of moving. Ever. We live in a large (for the world) house, but I can already feel the piles of clutter, alongside the overabundance of clothing, toys, books, bits and bobs taking over. Because I don’t intend to yell at my children about cleaning up their mess every ten minutes, I hope to reduce the amount of stuff we have – everywhere. And all before baby comes. Additionally, I hope to reduce the amount of things we bring in to our home through careful thought, research, and planning when we do make purchases for ourselves or our children. Even better if we can meet some of our needs through handmade options. Handmade furniture, handmade clothing, slow and steady. With an understanding of the time, detail, and work that went in to the creation of the thing. Even more importantly, I’m hoping that, with a rhythm and schedule, we can create time and space to be. To play, but also to consider. To think and to bare our hearts to one another. The idea I’m most driven by right now is to consciously create space, resisting the urge to fill it.
More creativity, with less waste.
I’m not talking about creativity with watercolors but a more adult pursuit, and one that I’m not very good at. I’m referring to the creativity in the work of the kitchen. Not my forte. I love to bake but honestly, if Brandon didn’t cook, I’d survive on pizza and take out. No joke. So, creativity in the kitchen preserving food, using it up, and preparing it for my family.
The sneaky snake of comparison pops up here for me because I see all you crafty people out there, baking dutch babies for breakfast, and making your own pasties to pack in your kids’ lunch boxes. But, y’all. Some of us just like to eat the cake, and not necessarily learn how to make it. I am one of those people when it comes to the savory dishes.
Additionally, there are so many prepackaged things that are created to make life easier for young moms. And they do. And I’m grateful for them. But I’ve grown so tired of finding cheese wrappers, and applesauce packets, and all sorts of bits of trash fluttering around my house. These pre-sliced, pre-packaged, pre-planned foods are simple enough to prepare, and the time spent will be worth the cost saved, and trash reduction. Thereby making that squeeze-and-go all the more special when we do pick it up.
Not to mention the fact that I’m really trying to be more conscientious about my (and my family’s impact) on the planet.
Prepare my children, my home, and my self for new life.
This looks a lot like defining a rhythm even my children can explain to me. It looks like potty training now, rather than later, and setting up big boy beds, and brushing one’s own teeth. It looks a lot like cuddling, and being present when we can be, and learning to play and exist independently for a few minutes without relying on the television to fill a void. It looks like telling stories about this baby, and about the boys as babies, and asking for help. It looks like putting supports in place to keep my exhaustion down, and my joy up. So I can be the best mama to all three of my kids. It looks like love.
What are the things you hope to accomplish this fall? Are you focusing on politics, or home? Or nesting? I’d love to hear.