In the back of your mind you know that your life is going to change drastically when you have kids, but it’s a whole new world when they actually burst into the picture. Everything changed for us, and in the beginning, it felt like this new life is just overwhelmed with THEM. Their schedule, their food, their sleep; it can be all-consuming, and frankly, it made me frustrated. I needed more balance.
There are some things we have tried to integrate into one whole package. Our living space is a shared space – we have a few baskets for toys that can be brought out and played with, and we have a small toy kitchen next to our kitchen.
It makes sense in our living space – we have one large open room where we all spend our time. This also helps us keep tabs on the amount of toys we keep around, it’s easy to become buried in kid’s toys quickly. We find that when it’s a part of our space we are more motivated to keep it pared down to a reasonable amount.
A goal that we have for integration is dinnertime, but it’s a work in progress. It’s so fun to make food with Charlie and see her try new foods for the first time, and she loves to cook.
I’d love to have meals together be a part of our regular routine, but it doesn’t happen every night. Some nights the kids are melting down and they get a peanut butter and jelly or chicken nuggets and we get them in bed asap – because we prioritize sleep first in our house. My kids are like me, a nightmare when sleep deprived.
On those nights we use it as an excuse to treat ourselves to some take out. I don’t know what parents did before food delivery.
We also try to balance our free time with kids stuff and our time. We aren’t the best at date nights because we aren’t great planners, but one thing I really appreciate is how willing Aaron is to let me have nights out and off. He’s a champ at solo parenting (I’m working on it.)
The common theme for us is balance. When we make everything about our kids I believe they feel the imbalance too. Someday they will grow up and live in a world that isn’t all about them, so I hope we can prepare them for that. Our old lives are gone, but I love sharing our world with these tiny humans. And they happen to be pretty cute, too.
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