We don’t have as fixed a schedule here in Vienna as we did in the US. I was pretty strict with our family schedule at home — here, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf in terms of flexibility, and we’ve also been here for not quite two months (during which time we’ve lived three different places) so we just don’t have things settled yet.
Allowing for flexibility, however, our days tend to follow one of two general patterns: either we get out and explore (or get some things done) first thing after Dan leaves in the morning, followed by an afternoon at home, or we have a relatively quiet morning at home doing household stuff and try to get out in the afternoon. I try to make it a point to get out for a bit every day, and I’ve managed that most days. (I find it helps my sanity, as well as Benjamin’s, to get out and stretch our legs, and I’m also fighting a latent desire to curl up on my couch and watch tv in English all day and temporarily forget where we’re living, which, although occasionally tempting, I know I will regret one day soon.)
Getting the kids out of the house is always an ordeal, although I’m getting better at it. I change diapers, get kids dressed, get myself dressed, make sure the diaper bag is packed, then one child will inevitably need another clean diaper, or one of us will need a clean shirt (because they just spilled something and/or spit up on themselves, or on me), put anything edible away so the dog doesn’t eat it while we’re out, make sure everything is off or closed and squared away, grab my keys or Benjamin’s water or Liam’s pacifier (whatever I almost forgot) . . . and then it’s time to pack all of us, and the stroller, into the too-small elevator and go out into the world.
Typically, by the time I get everyone downstairs and strapped into the stroller, I’m nearly too exhausted to go out.
But every time — every single time — we walk out the front door of the building into the courtyard, Benjamin looks up at the sky and says, “It’s such a beautiful day!” It doesn’t matter what’ it’s like out: cloudy, hot, raining, cold, windy. It’s worth all that effort just to hear it. Really.