We turned the corner from January and are already well into February; life is full and busy lately! Before pressing ahead, I want to reflect on how January started and where we are now. January started off with some rough seas but the waters feel much more manageable. With a lot of intention and effort we made parenting changes across screen time, chores, and behavior which has made a difference. Even if these things still take effort, I feel confident in our approach and what the boundaries are. That always helps me feel better about a situation.
Now that we are settled into a routine I thought it might be interesting or helpful to share what our weekly schedule looks like right now. I'm always curious about other people's schedules, especially when they have kids similar ages to mine (currently 10, 9, and 3). I like a Monday start week so starting with Mondays here's what fills our schedules:
Mondays: Chris works out early while I get up early (4 a.m.) to have coffee, write in my journal and line-a-day-journal, and plan my week. Then I go to an Orange Theory treadmill-only class at 7:20 a.m. while Chris gets the kids off the school. Chris is taking a woodworking class on Monday and Wednesday afternoons this semester so after school I greet the boys when they burst through the door and then go pick up Maeve. We don't have any after school activities on Mondays so Maeve and I hang out and often meet up with friends at the park down the street. After bedtime, I go to High Fitness at 8 p.m.
Tuesdays: Chris works out early and I hope that Maeve sleeps until 6 a.m. or later since I was up late the night before. It's a 50-50 chance. After school we have the whole afternoon until Dash's evening soccer practice so the boys play with friends, we hang with Maeve, or occasionally go do something as a family. Dash has soccer practice from 7 to 8:30 p.m. – the latest kid activity we've ever had! – and Chris usually takes him.
Wednesdays: I go to a 5 a.m. Orange Theory class. Chris has his woodworking class on Wednesday afternoons so he's gone until the 5 o'clock hour. On Wednesdays the boys get out one hour early from school and two neighbor friends come home with them. So I set out snacks and then they go out to play. I go pick up Maeve at 3 and then we hang out (i.e. play together or I try to engage her in independent play while I prep dinner / fold laundry / etc.). Once a month I have book club on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. but otherwise we don't have Wednesday evening commitments. I'm trying to make Wednesday evening a day when we watch a show with the boys after Maeve's bedtime. We just started the new Percy Jackson series and I'd love your other recs for family shows that tweens enjoy.
Thursdays: Sometimes Chris or I fit in an additional early morning workout here but not always. If I didn't have book club the night before sometimes I'll try to get up early for coffee + reading or writing. Currently Dash is playing flag football on his school's team and he has practice or a game (always at school conveniently) right after school. He also has soccer practice at 4:15 p.m. so Chris does that sports shuffle with him. After bedtime I go to High Fitness at 8 p.m.
Fridays: Chris works out early and, like Tuesdays, I hope Maeve sleeps in just a little bit. On Fridays after the kids are off to school I try to go grocery shopping at Trader Joe's so we are stocked for the weekend. After school the boys get screen time, which they are always eager for, and sometimes Maeve has some screen time or we'll take her to the park.
Saturdays: I go to Orange Theory at 6 a.m. and then come home for family chores, which we are now calling Saturday Sweep (thank you to the reader who suggested it!). Dash has a soccer game most Saturdays and lately they have been in the afternoon. Until then we do our weekend things: hang out, run errands, maybe the farmers' market (which we should do more in this great weather!), and often the boys get together with their cousin. Same for Saturday after the soccer game.
Sundays: Chris sometimes goes to a 90 minute Orange Theory class. The boys just started tennis lessons and so those on Sunday afternoons. I try to make a soup on Sundays so that Chris and I can eat the leftovers all week. We try to make sure all laundry is done and everything shipshape for the week ahead. Which recalls the Sunday Home, a post and concept I still love. We aim to have everyone bathed and in bed on time on Sundays (asleep by 7 p.m. for Maeve, in bed by 7 or 7:30 p.m. for the boys) so that Chris and I can also go to bed early.
Moving on to February goals...
Big things happening in February:
+ Girl Next Door Podcast retreat. During this two-night getaway to the Arizona mountains, Erica and I plan all the coming year's content for our podcast plus talk marketing, business, and admin of the show. It's one of my favorite weekends of the year!
+ Valentine's Day plus school parties. I've been saving three shoe boxes for Valentine's boxes for months so high five to my future self indeed. Nothing big planned for a family Valentine's celebration but I do have cards for the kids (and Chris) and bought heart-shaped pasta from Trader Joe's for dinner. We usually buy a Trader Joe's cheesecake and maybe we can find a good family movie to watch.
+ Day off on Leap Day. My first day off of the year, which is part of my 2024 goals. I have it blocked off and am starting to make plans.
A lot to get done and keep moving forward with in February, and it's a short month! But continuing to build momentum now will really help as the spring gets busier.
+ Make a plan and timeline for Your Year to Shine 2025. If you didn't join this year but want to know about the next workshop, sign up to be on my email list. (If you joined the workshop this year then you're already on the list!)
+ Catch up on photographing kiddo art work. Ack! I'm behind but did just buy a new goose neck phone holder that I think will make taking photos even easier.
+ Go on a family hike.
+ Take care of tax admin. Various tasks like downloading our daycare payment receipts and tax admin for The Girl Next Door and my work.
+ Plan April birthdays. Because we'll be traveling in March I know that Dash and Maeve's birthdays will sneak up on us. I want to decide what we're doing and book anything we need to.
+ Plan our spring break trip to Joshua Tree National Park and San Juan Capistrano. Your suggestions welcome; thank you!
+ Have weekly family meetings. We've had these for the past couple of weeks and they have been great! They are really simple and mostly are sharing calendar things. I'm really glad we are starting the routine.
+ Keep up weekly Saturday Sweeps. This is our weekly family chore hour. So far so good!
+ One-on-one time with each of my kids. Also one of my 2024 goals. I did this with two of three kids in January which helps me see where/with whom it's easy to find quality time and where I need more intention.
Wishing you good things in February, friends!