After almost 6 months of having Jo here as our chef/au pair, she went back to the US over the weekend and we’re back to life as usual around here. And although we know that we used to make that work, we’re currently having trouble figuring out exactly how.
We’ve basically forgotten how the juggling act goes. We can’t remember what worked best for us “before” — way back in October, before we had an extra set of hands. Does it make more sense to shower in the morning or the evening? What time do we have to get up such that we all get showered, fed, get Bailey walked, get Dan to work on time and B to school? Which days should I do dinner, and which days should Dan? What can we make in less than an hour? What’s the most efficient, nutritious and enticing thing I can make for lunch, given that I have to make it entirely with help and supervision from Liam? Should I stop to get groceries while I’m out already from taking B to school or will Liam do better if we come home and take a break first? How do I manage to get a cup of coffee in me before 11:45 in the morning (which is what happened today and will not happen again)?
And, of course, the situation is complicated by the fact that the kids have changed since the fall. Liam used to ride happily in the stroller, but now he wants to be done with it, even though I need him not to be. So now, does the stroller help or hinder? Liam used to fall asleep in the stroller when I went to pick up B, where now he tends to sleep late in the mornings. Should I take B to school and have Dan pick him up, or does it work better the other way around?
We’ve thought about it. We’ve talked and strategized. But there’s no way to figure it out, really, except to try something and see if it works. This morning, Liam and I took B to school. We skipped the stroller because the kids requested to go without. I started getting us ready about 20 minutes later than I should have, but all in all, things went remarkably well. The boys were excellently behaved and we got B to school almost on time. In fact, things went perfectly fine until I stopped at the ATM on the way home and realized, a moment too late, that I didn’t have enough hands to manage it. (Luckily, when I had to lurch away from the ATM to keep from strangling Liam by the hood on his jacket when he leapt/flopped onto the ground, no passersby took either my card or my cash.)
We’ll get there. We’ll sort it out. We’ve done it before. But change is always hard, and there’s always an adjustment period. So far, so good. We got B to school, we got him home, and everyone had lunch. We have a plan for dinner (we’ll see how that goes). And tomorrow, we’ll get up, make some adjustments, and try again. One day at a time, we’ll get it figured out. We’ve done it before, so I know that we can.