Finally — another TBT scorecard

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these — I feel like the frenzy of the past four weeks has given time some new dimensions. But we are all surviving. The 12-year-old is off at an overnight camp, despite sustaining a rather ugly finger injury on the way there (it’s all black and blue but seemingly not broken). I just coached the 15-year-old through his first round of doing laundry on the dorm machines (he’s been gone two weeks but we picked him up for the 4th and did his laundry at the cousins’ house last week). I drove the 10-year-old and 7-year-old to their camps this morning, and we’re trying out a temp daycare for the 2-year-old. We shall see how that goes, but the upside is that the house is quiet. It’s just me and Max the poodle at the moment.

Anyway, last week was not “typical” — with the 4th and associated travel, plus doing Mommy Camp. But as no week ever is, how did I do on the nine Tranquility by Tuesday rules?

Give yourself a bedtime. I did reasonably well here – I was in bed around 11 p.m. every night this week. Even though I didn’t need to wake up at 6:30 a.m. most mornings, the summer light often has me popping up at 5:30 a.m. or so. I go to the bathroom and then try to sleep again and usually succeed. We had one atrocious night with the 2-year-old while we were traveling but other than that it’s been pretty good. He, like most people, prefers to sleep in his own bed.

Plan on Fridays. Even though Friday was a disjointed day with a group dental appointment (my family can fill every chair in an office!) and waiting for the furniture (and going to Dave & Busters), I put planning on the list and did it. I find that life goes so much better when I do. As this week’s childcare set-up is still uncertain I needed to be absolutely sure what needed to happen.

Move by 3 p.m. Not perfectly. We spent all Tuesday morning in the car, so there wasn’t much movement by 3 p.m. that day. However, I did a few unorthodox workouts in the first half of the day during this week — on Monday I played some aerobic games of Ping Pong, on Thursday I did a ton of paddling to get our tubes out into the current, and on Sunday I ran laps with the 2-year-old and 10-year-old at the YMCA while the 7-year-old had basketball.

Three times a week is a habit. In general, I’ve been focusing on running, playing the piano (well, music in general), and eating family meals. I ran three times — all in the mornings. Two weekday short 30 minute runs before everyone was up and moving, and then 6 miles with Jane on Saturday. I only played the piano twice. We had several family dinners with the folks who were here, though they were kind of rough. I’m trying to enforce sitting in the chair, and eating at meal times with less snacking, and there’s a general rebellion underfoot that I am needing to quash. Good times.

Create a back-up slot. Because of the lack-of-childcare situation, I’ve been identifying different spots where I can do things. So I wound up doing my Before Breakfast script writing and recording on Saturday afternoon this week when my husband had the kids.

One big adventure, one little adventure. Plenty to choose from! Seeing the Fourth of July parade near the cousins’ house could be a little adventure, as could seeing the fireworks. Big adventure candidates include taking the kids to Dutch Wonderland, and tubing down the Delaware river. This is a nudge to me to figure out what to do this week, as it is looking a lot less adventurous.

Take one night for you. Choir is done for the summer, but I have been aiming to have some alone restorative time. Yesterday I read on the hammock for 20 minutes during nap time, and I also read a magazine in my bedroom alone when my husband got home from driving the 12-year-old to his sleep-away camp, because I had been on toddler all duty and was feeling a bit done with toddler duty. I even put on the white noise machine so I couldn’t hear anyone.

Batch the little things. Sadly, given that my work is pretty scattered, I’m having to do the little things when I can. I did pay all my business bills in one fell swoop on Friday, so I guess that’s batching. This week I need to fill out a rather intimidating form from my brokerage about my individual 401k – I can’t leave it to Friday since I don’t know for sure if I’ll have the time to do it then.

Effortful before effortless. I spent a lot of time scrolling around. However, I did read A Midsummer Nights Dream in my Shakespeare project, and precisely because it is one of my favorite plays, I found it fairly easy to pick that up when I had a few minutes, and so I read it quite quickly. I’m not feeling quite the same about Merchant of Venice, which is my next assignment.

How was your week? In the meantime, Tranquility by Tuesday will be published on October 11, which is precisely three months away. I’m getting excited!

8 thoughts on “Finally — another TBT scorecard

  1. Love these posts, especially because our family routine has gone out the window over the last month and I’m…floundering a bit. It’s refreshing to see someone else is having lots of ups and downs and still plugging away.

    So exciting about the book date. It also seems shocking to hear that Oct 11th is only 3 months away. For some reason October feels so very far away. But it is now. While some of the days seem quite long now (in the last year my kids have suddenly grown up to the point that there are no early bedtimes anymore; their increased independence has drawbacks as it relates to my evening solitude), in retrospect I know the next 3 months will be over in a flash.

  2. Family dinner can be hard. We’ve been pretty consistent with it, barring a few exceptional periods of an adult on extended travel. One thing that’s helped me has been to clarify that if you’re done eating and want to be excused, you can go to your room or outside (if old enough), but not wander around the kitchen/living area. This was successful in reinforcing the idea that family dinner is about sitting together and sharing without distractions. It helped the kids who stayed at the table stay focused on eating.

    1. @L – last night was somewhat better. It helped that the kids got chicken nuggets and rice (less complaining) and there are fewer of them (only 3 home right now) and I made sure everyone was hungry, even though I hate policing the snacks. It still didn’t last long, but the child with the biggest rebellion mentioned 5 minutes as an “everyone sitting down” goal and I thought that was reasonable and we did hit it.

  3. We had a really busy week last week that included 2 family gatherings that we hosted and 2 friend gatherings away from our house. It was kind of a lot for one week but I am leaning into making social plans after 2 years of barely seeing anyone! My word of the year for 2022 is connection so I have been really good about making sure we see people/make plans. Plus getting out of the house or having people over makes parenting a little easier! My husband’s cousins came over for dinner and their youngest child is in college so they were thrilled to entertain our kids. So I appreciated not having to watch our toddler like a hawk for a couple of hours!

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