It’s taken me a little over two years to feel this way, but I FINALLY have a schedule that works for me and it works for the girls. While naps will continue to evolve as Mac grows up and certain days will be more of a challenge thanks to two year old dramas, we’ve really settled into a fantastic schedule. Our days are busy and fulfilling and we couldn’t ask for anything more.
Why am I sharing this info?
Because back when Abby was new and I was a new Mommy, I honestly never thought I’d feel structured again and I never thought I’d find enough to do with my kids…I never thought I’d feel like I was doing a good enough job and I never thought I’d find any time to myself (short of hiring a babysitter on a regular basis). Looking back, I can now say I was being too hard on myself. Not everything falls into place instantly. It takes time. It takes EFFORT. It takes a lot of trial and error (a big error was taking Abby to swimming lessons when I was 36+ weeks pregnant with Mac). But then one day you realize that all that trial and error and effort has paid off. For me, that day happened last week.
Long story short, I’m sharing this because if it helps anyone fill up their days with a new activity or if it helps anyone put things in perspective a bit, I will feel like I’ve done my job. Not everyone will have the same interests and passions as us, but if you think any of these activities sound fun, give them a shot. I also know trying new things as a Mommy can be scary and intimidating (trust me on this…I just remind myself why I’m doing it…it’s for the girls), but once you’ve put yourself out there you’ll shock yourself with how strong you are and how you’re more motivated to try more and more new things.
What’s the secret to my schedule? I have three::
1. The YMCA
I cannot even tell you what a life saver the Y has been. Ever since my parents moved to Atlanta over a year ago, I was struggling with finding any time to myself, with working out regularly, and with feeling normal at all. The Y has been my saving grace. Ever since we got back from our long trip to Atlanta (and now that Mac is old enough to go), the girls and I go to the Y four days a week. We go Monday – Thursday from 4 – 5pm. It’s perfect for so many reasons :: I get to workout; I get to laugh out loud and look like a weirdo while watching Ellen; the girls get to play with other kids at YKids (which is $7.50/hour and if you know anything about babysitters in San Francisco, this rate is AMAZING – plus, their staff is fantastic); and it breaks up our evening since Daddy gets home on the later side. We just love it. The timing is perfect after naps and an hour is all I need to feel refreshed.
More than that, however, they also have something called the Jungle Gym on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 10:30am – Noon where they pull out a ton of toys AND they have a jump house. We went this morning and Abby was in heaven. It’s free for members and $10.00 for drop-ins.
We LOVE the YMCA.
2. Play Dates
My second “secret” is to make friends who have kids and to schedule play dates. This may sound simple, but I found it to be MUCH harder than I thought it was going to be. Like, WAYYYYY harder. Being a stay-at-home-mom in San Francisco is not the norm around here, so I struggled to find friends with kids. Gosh, and when I did make friends, they moved away (Megan, we still miss you guys like crazy!). Or better yet, you make friends who have kids but everyone’s schedules are different…naps are at different times…everyone’s in different classes…some Moms work either full or part time…the list goes on. It’s HARD.
Our days are typically scheduled where we have an activity in the morning (a play date, a class, or a Jungle Gym visit), a long nap mid-day (for both girls now, yay!), the YMCA in the afternoon, and then dinner with Daddy. It took me 2+ years to finally fill up our mornings with a fairly regular group of friends and play dates. Abby talks about her friends all the time and I absolutely love the time I get with other Moms. It’s so refreshing in so many ways.
Seriously though, before I became a Mom I thought this was going to be soooooo easy. It’s not (unless you’re lucky and all your friends happen to live near you and you’re all having kids at the same time). It’s work. But once you’ve made a couple Mommy friends, it feels AMAZING.
Last but not least, we go to a couple classes. We’re currently in our 3rd 10 week session of music class on Tuesday mornings (Abby’s FAVORITE) and we’re also in our 3rd session of Soccer on Friday mornings (Abby’s least favorite…for now). If something else comes up on Fridays (like last week’s Easter Egg Hunt at the YMCA – another reason to love the Y), we tend to skip out on soccer because I know it’ll just be a disaster consisting of Abby chasing birds and not paying attention to directions. She’s only 2…I have to remind myself of that on a regular basis.
All I can say about classes is that some work and some don’t. If you can attend a trial class (or two) before signing up for something, I’d highly recommend that. But if you find a class that your kiddo loves (like Abby with music), stick with it because they will look forward to it and it makes your life that much easier.
In conclusion, I guess I just wanted to write this because I know that it’s taken me a long time to finally feel settled into a schedule and if you’re feeling like it’s never going to happen, just keep trying!
And if you live in or around San Francisco and want to plan a play date with me and my crazy little ladies, let’s do it!
Have a great Thursday afternoon,