Kids and routines

I’m a flexible Mum. I have never been one to set rigid routines. I just kind of go with the flow and let the kids find their own. I have always fed on demand, and put them to bed on demand. They grow and change so quickly that I figured there was no point getting too attached to a routine on any given week.

That said, we’ve been doing the same thing for months now. MONTHS. In fact, for most of Natalie’s life. We get up, get stuff done, we go to school to drop off Ivy. Back when she was brand new, Natalie would fall asleep in the car. Then she started screaming instead of falling asleep, and progressed to not screaming but settling in for a nice nap as soon as we got home from school.

I used to put her to bed and blitz some housework. Get some writing stuff out of the way. Attend to other matters. I could hit morning tea time with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that some of the important tasks of my day were done.

Not any more.

I guess I could consider myself lucky in some ways – by the time Lauren was 10 months old she was trying to convince me she only needed one sleep a day. At least I am still getting two from Natalie (one from Lauren). For now. But those naps, they rarely overlap. I’m getting perhaps 20mins a day to myself and it’s not quite enough.

This will pass, too. I know. Things will change again in a couple of months. We’ll get to the end of the year and Lauren will start Kindy and then things will change again. Dramatically. That’s just life with small children.

And I am flexible. Really. Just today, I’m mourning the loss of that span of the morning where I only had one child up and could get a little work done. I’ll find new things to love about this routine. Just not today.

Motivating forces

So, you know how I started playing that new game? Omg, I love it. I think about ┬áit a lot. Rather than causing me to waste time though, it’s actually helping keep me motivated. I know that I can’t play until I get so many things ticked off my list. It’s like I have finally found the rhythm I have been so desperately searching for.

Who would have thought that a game I’m in love with was the answer to my problems? Things seem to be falling into place now, and by about 8pm each night I am finished my list of tasks and I can shut my laptop down and switch into play time mode. Hubby is really enjoying it too, which is a blessing – I much prefer to game with him. We make a kick ass team and I really think that gaming together has helped us learn our strengths and weaknesses, which can then be applied to the rest of our relationship. Yeah, I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes, but if you’ve ever played an mmorpg with your life partner, you’ll probably get where I’m coming from.

In any event. Things are being ticked of my task list left right and centre. I’m aiming to edit a couple of stories for Tales every day, and that will about see me on track for launch. I’m doing my best to stay on top of it all, and also making sure I write a scene on my new story every day as well. I need to reconnect with my own writing, and I am finally feeling at a place where I can do that. Between Omm, and the incentive to get it done so that I can go and play…

Ah, yes. Reward systems DO work.

Now if only I could find a big enough reward to get Lauren to stay in her own bed all night…

I survived the school holidays

I need a mug. Or a t-shirt or something.

Okay, to be honest it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be – but by the end of the second week we were all very ready for a return to the normal routine. Ivy was in need of more activity/stimulation, Lauren was in need of some more time not being bossed around by her big sister, and I was well and truly ready for some slower paced, quieter days!

Thank goodness they are back. At least for now.

Amazingly, the last week was the more productive of the two, and I managed to get four short stories out the door. I’m trying my best not to inbox watch, and just focusing on the other things that need doing rather than the things that are completely out of my control.

With the start of the second term comes the beginning of another count down – baby is due at the end of this one. Last term went by really quickly, and I imagine this one will as well. Everywhere I look there are little reminders: 75 days on one ticker, 2 months and 15 days by another website I frequent. I’m feeling more excited by these numbers, though if I stop to think about it I could let it stress me out.

Anyway. I’m happy. Things seem to be settling back to normal and I’m thrilled about that. Here’s hoping I can get a few more short stories out this term.

Wed

The beginning of a new day! Hang on a sec, there is a cat tapping at the window. Apparently, even though I’m up early they think they should be allowed to come in.

Okay, I’m back. So, part of my new routine is to attempt to get up early! lol the purpose of this is to clear my email and other such stuff out of the way before the kids wake up. Lauren’s getting quite good at sleeping in until 7.30, and Ivy has an alarm now which amazingly prevents her from waking up before 7am, though it does on the other hand mean that she is always up then. Unless we make it later, which we have on a couple of occassions and she’s had some well needed sleep ins. Who would have thought an alarm would fix all our ‘early bird’ issues with her? It’s great!

Anyway… yes, I plan on clearing the decks first thing in the morning. Then I can do the good Mum thing without thinking about whether I got a reply to whatever, or anything else net related. Mmmm setting myself up for some freedom from the beast. Brilliant I think.

That’s my mornings taken care of, and then the afternoons where Ivy is at preschool I can tinker when Lauren is sleeping, she does a fair bit of that in the afternoon, though I’ll have to work on making most of it occur in a bed rather than on me. I’ve been pretty lazy about that. Just enjoying the time when she’s so little and still wants to be near me all the time. I know it won’t last long.

SO. I made a huge list of catch up things to do yesterday and I managed to get most of them done which was thrilling. Finally a list where I can tick stuff off. After the net didn’t come on for so long I realized that so many of my ‘writing’ goals were attached to the internet, which simply sucked.

I couldn’t keep up with my Critters, I couldn’t finish critting the novel because I couldn’t get the chapters, I couldn’t submit a new story to get critted, or keep up with the blog, or Pax (which Tama lost interest with in the time I was gone), I couldn’t start looking for places I might query about my novel. I was derailed.

The internet is an essential writing tool it seems. Thank goodness it’s back!

Anyway I better go, 5 minutes til Ivy is up and I’d like to get the animals fed. Mishka is winding her way around my legs in an attempt to get me off my seat.