Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring break survival tips

So I'm still relatively new at this stay-at-home-mom gig.  Erin had Spring Break this week.  I was concerned it would turn into Spring Breakdown for Mommy, but we somehow survived.  Here are a few rules I've learned:

1. Get out of the house every day.  Even if it's to Target.  
Seriously.  Thank you, Aunt Madeline, for reminding me of this the week before spring break.  We had lots of excursions this week - to the zoo (on half-price membership day.  Talk about a zoo!), to the "museum" (Lawrence Hall of Science), to a park, to the Lafayette Reservoir, to the Linsday Wildlife Museum, and yes, to Target.  

2. Find "yes" activities.
Brian taught me this one.  Go somewhere or do some activity where you don't have to ever say "no" to your toddler.  Or your husband.  Erin wanted to paint with tempra paints.  Rather than saying "no way" or freaking about the house turning into a fuscha smear, we took it outside.  Three little pots of paint, one ruined T-shirt (the paints say they're washable, but we know the truth), 10 sheets of paper, and you get one happy toddler enjoying self-directed fun for 45 minutes.


3. When not out and about, have projects.
Again, Brian taught me this.  Erin and I have done "cooking show" (her term for cooking/baking - we made excellent blueberry and chocolate chip muffins), sorted through baby clothes, worked on building castles, cleaning up said castle and other block toys, and the dishes/laundry always occupies at least a few minutes.  The below "castle" was constructed over two mornings, and took probably a total of 40 minutes.  40 minutes of quiet, self-contained occupation in toddler terms is astounding.


4. Television, when used judiciously, is a lifesaver.
Thank you, Dora.  Thank you. 

5. Find a baby carrier the baby actually likes. 
Robin hates the Baby Bjorn.  Hates it.  She tolerates the Ergo (my fave). But she loves the Moby Wrap right now.  So do I.  There are a variety of ways she can be bundled in, it's quite comfortable to wear, and when on the go, we've figured out how to nurse most discretely too.  The pattern I chose is black with a central panel of blue silk with a flower pattern, so it's quite pretty too. And I can wrap Robin  so snug against me, I can wrangle the 32 pound toddler when needed.

6. Have backup.
This may be the real reason why this week was a success. I'm lucky to have a husband who works out of the house.  So, he was able to squelch tantrums, do a diaper change here and there, and even have Erin watch Dora (quietly) in the office while I got to do something else for a little while.  Awesome.  

7. Have the wine/beer/cocktail of choice chilled for the end of the day. 
And have some kid cocktail ready too.  Fizzy is better.  Right now we're a big fan of the sparkling grapefruit juice from Trader Joe's.  With gin for the grown-ups.

Weeks end

This has been a fun week and I feel much closer to my girls now than I did the week before.  I bet most SAHMs are reading this and thinking, "Boy she's still such an amateur."    But at least now I have much more confidence in my new role - before this week just heading to drop Erin off at preschool seemed daunting.  Now we're all over getting out and about, just the three of us.  Nevertheless, I'm so glad school is in session next week. 


Christie said...

You're doing great, mama! Number 7 is my favorite. :)

Amber said...

Great job! It takes a lot to conquer spring break. Every single year I'm surprised what a long week it is.

Christina said...

Way to go Ash! Super Mom!!!! I, having no children, am very impressed! You get mom of the year from me! PS- everyone looks pretty happy, so keep those drinks flowing! :)

Zozopdx said...

you sound like a pro to me! getting out of the house is key for me.

Annie Powell, not yet PhD said...

Nice job Ashleigh! I can't imagine having to deal with 2 full-time! I barely can handle my 2 month old for 6 consecutive hours alone. For real. You rock, Mama!

Mary said...

Not an amateur at all!! Bravo!