It was a very full weekend. I won’t say “busy” as I’m against that word. Also, there was still a fair amount of open space. However, we did wind up packing a lot in, and a few of my favorite strategies made that possible. Among them:
Use car time. There was heavy traffic when I was driving home in the hurricane-related rain from the airport Friday afternoon. I’d written my speech for the Chicago Ideas Week “Edison Talks” on the plane, so I used the occasion of sitting in stop-and-go traffic on I-476 to practice the speech. It clocked in at the right time, and while it’s still rough in places now, I think it will work with more practice. Any idea what I should wear? Think TED-ish looking.
Do in-home date night. My husband went grocery shopping (with the 3-year-old and baby!) on Friday night. We’re going grocery shopping way too often these days, but it’s hard to think far ahead. Anyway, he came home with mussels, and after I got the baby down, we had mussels in wine and cream sauce. Yum. Unfortunately, the romantic mood was somewhat spoiled by our 8-year-old continuously popping into the room as we were trying to watch TV together.
Use conference time to bond with your own team. I went to the Rock the World conference on Saturday in NYC. It was a lightning fast trip – on the 2:21 train, left on the 7:53 train, and got home 9:38. Nancy Sheed of Sheed Communications, who’s worked with me on marketing for 5.5 years now, was there. So we wound up chatting to each other for a big chunk of the time, which was great.
Everyone loves breakfast. I made chocolate chip pancakes for 6 kids on Sunday morning. My husband’s brother’s family came to join us from mid-day Saturday to mid-day Sunday, and this was an easy crowd-pleaser. I could also make eggs and bacon for the adults quite quickly. And everyone was happy!
Sitters can make you a better parent. We scheduled the 6-year-old and 4-year-old’s birthday parties on the same day (Sunday) at two party venues in the same strip mall 25 minutes from our house. It was going to be an intense (if fun!) day. So I hired a sitter to take care of the baby at home for the afternoon. That way I could focus on the birthday children and their friends and their friends’ parents.
Go “full service” on kids’ parties. We chose places where the staff ran the show, brought out the pizza and cake, got the favors, etc. This considerably lightens my mental load.
You don’t need much time to get stuff done. We had an hour and 20 minutes in between parties. So we used that time to knock two personal projects off the list: getting the kids’ hair cut, and buying Halloween costumes (well, 2/3 big kids. The third is considering the outfit shown in the photo, but Target didn’t have it in his size).
Sometimes rain is good. It meant we had no soccer Saturday morning, which gave us a few chill hours. I also skipped my long run, which may not be good for half-marathon training purposes, but probably was necessary for my stamina.