Thank you to Emily Sovich for the tips on getting our lives in order before we have to go back to reality.
My family had so much fun this Christmas. We didn’t go to work. We didn’t go to school. Instead, we spent entire days in the kitchen, baking cookies and cakes and old-fashioned feasts that were completely from scratch. Afterward, we dedicated our dining room table to a massive puzzle project. We disregarded bedtime in favor of family game nights. We snipped out coffee-filter snowflakes and strung piles of construction-paper stars into a banner for all our New Year’s Day wishes. We even made homemade yarn dolls, and of course we spent hours on the floor playing with all our new Christmas presents. While we were having fun, though, the kids’ backpacks were collecting dust in the bottom of the coat closet, and in the back of my mind I knew my husband was quietly preparing to go TAD for a while.
Now I’m in a panic. The house is a mess, the leftovers are nearly gone, the laundry baskets are starting to look like miniature mountains, and my husband is leaving the day before school starts. By this time next week, I’ll be racing to meet dinner-times and bedtimes and project deadlines. I’ll be on my own, overseeing homework and activities and making sure the kids’ school uniforms are clean. That’s why this weekend I’m going to get organized. I’m going to seize control of our schedule and reestablish our old routines.
Here’s my plan:
1. Reset The House: When you’re battling to see who’s going to build the first set of hotels in Monopoly (or when you’re bemoaning that fact that you just spilled your bucket again in Hi Ho Cherry-O!) you can’t be expected to notice that the dishes are piling up in the kitchen sink, or that the Christmas tree’s dropping pine needles, or that the house is officially a wreck; you’ve got to focus. Before your alarm rings on Monday morning though, you’ll want to do something about the mess. Put away the wine glasses, wash those late-night dessert dishes, sweep the floors, stock the fridge, and for goodness’s sake catch up on all that laundry! I promise you, it’s for the best.
2. Get Some Sleep: My kids always jump at the chance to mess up their sleep schedules, but my husband and I usually resist. Over the course of this vacation though, my husband and I have been virtually sleepless. We’ve been reveling in the togetherness, all those late-night movies and long conversations, but before we re-enter the real world we need to get some rest. I’m planning to start reestablishing our sleep habits a few days in advance. After all, with kids in the house I know I’ll have to be subtle. I can’t let them know I want them to sleep. Instead, I have to wear them out. A few days before school starts, I’m planning to turn off our electronics, banish our books, and put away our puzzles. I’m going to bundle them up and send them out on their bikes. Then I’m going to suggest we take the dog out for a walk. We might even go for a hike. I want those girls to drop into bed on that first school night.
3. Host A Fancy Breakfast: I hate putting away our Christmas decorations almost as much as I hate saying goodbye to the easy pace of school vacations, and I know it’s even harder for my girls to pack away the prettiness of the season in favor of their familiar winter routine. That’s why, assuming I get the house clean, the laundry caught up, and the refrigerator restocked (and assuming we all get a good night’s sleep), I’m planning to surprise them with a fancy breakfast before their first day back at school. We’ll have sausage, eggs, strawberries, and cinnamon rolls, and I’ll spread my nicest cloth across the table. I’ll even pour their tea out of my prettiest teapot.
After all, you don’t always have to wait for a holiday to make life feel like a celebration; sometimes you just have to embrace the chaos around you and celebrate the day you’ve got.
During her years as a military spouse, Emily Sovich has traveled through five continents and approximately thirty countries. She’s climbed the Great Wall of China, gone swimming with sharks in Australia, and ridden a camel around the pyramids in Egypt. She loves culture and adventure, but she’s happiest at home with a book in her hand, a child in her lap, and a cup of coffee on her bedside table. You can read more about Emily’s life and adventures on her blog, Keeping Time.
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