it’s been just over two weeks since i made that decision to finally step back from all official responsibilities and roles with the Stockbridge Boiler Room. oh, that decision, though so hard to come to and so slow to be acted upon, it was a long time coming. i just found a draft of a blog entry from almost exactly a year ago that i can now see was a very bold arrow pointing in the direction of this decision. interesting.
but now, being officially mother and home-maker, here is what the days are looking like. they are never dull or boring.
- my first act as Official Full-Time Mama/Homemaker/Wife was to create a family binder. i probably could write an entire post about all the nitty gritty details of this, but for now i’ll just summarize. a family binder is a place to keep track of all those things that make managing your time and your home and nurturing your family run smoothly. mine contains a weekly glance, daily sheets for recording priorities and to-dos and appointments, a bill payment tracker, weekly and monthly cleaning schedules, menu-planning tools, expense trackers, etc. i refer to it multiple times each day. so far, so good.
- we get ourselves out of bed around 7 a.m. each day and get hazel her green juice and kefir mix to drink. we eat breakfast first thing: eggs with toast or steel cut oats with berries. all three of us together usually. i’ve been reading the day’s entry from Jesus Calling each morning, as well as looking up the scriptures that go with it. i read them outloud to myself and hazel (and tim, if he’s still around) as i drink my coffee. though simple and quick, this is the most habitual scripture-reading and devotional time i’ve had for a while. since it works, i think i’ll keep running with it. it’s been good to start the day by reading some truth out loud over us!
- i’ve just started showering while hazel hangs out either in the bathroom or across the hall in her bedroom. then she and i both get dressed. we’re ready for the day by 8:30 or 9 a.m.
- i’ve carved out office hours for myself to do photography work. it appears that God keeps providing that work for me to do and so i’m trying to be faithful. He has provided two people who take hazel for me each week, allowing me a total of 5-6 hours of uninterrupted time to edit photos, upload photos, communicate with clients, update website/facebook, etc. this has been amazing for me and for hazel. on monday mornings she goes down the street to play with landon under his mama Marcy’s watchful care. and on wednesday afternoons our 12-year-old neighbor kaitlin comes to entertain hazel in and around our house while i hole up in our home office and work. additionally, if it’s needed, i’m spending 1 or two evenings each week working for a few hours after hazel goes to bed for the night. it’s been good to put value on making time to do photo work, and not to feel like i have to cram it into random crevices as whenever i can seize a moment.
- on tuesday morning or mid-day hazel and i are still spending a couple of hours with our friends alicia (the mama) and lilia (baby 3 months younger than hazel). we rotate between her house and mine. we’re reading a book together called Loving The Little Years, which is all about mothering toddlers and seeing it as God-given mission. we usually share a meal together, too. and the girls play together happily.
- on thursday morning landon comes to our house while marcy goes to work. i try to load ’em both up in the double stroller for a walk around the neighborhood, and otherwise they play happily around the house together, me just resolving disputes and retrieving toys that have slipped into hard-to-reach places.
- we’re keeping wednesday mornings open for the option of outings to visit friends or fun places together, or to run errands.
- i’ve begun cleaning up after breakfast and lunch and doing all the dishes associated with each meal right after that meal ends. this has put an end to the sink and counter stacked with a zillion dishes at the end of each day. it makes me feel like i WANT to go into the kitchen and prepare food for the next meal, instead of feeling overwhelmed and disgusted by the mess every time i walk in. simple change with great fruit for me. and less work for tim at day’s end (since his chore is the do the dinner clean-up).
- in the afternoons while hazel naps, i try to immediately do my chores for that day. each day of the week i have a two or three household chores to do, all determined by the schedules i’ve created in my family binder. that takes 30 minutes to an hour. this is really new for me!!! i generally avoid cleaning as much as possible, just doing it when the situation becomes almost an emergency. so staying on top of it by doing small bits each day feels empowering. it also makes our house feel more restful because it’s uncluttered, tidy, and clean. mmmm. so nice. it’s been hard to push through and do the chores, however, because often by the time hazel goes down for her nap, i feel pretty ready to crash out myself. but once the chores are finished, i can do more photo work if needed, or just give myself permission to zone out a little bit.
- saturdays are still family sabbath days. no chores. as little cooking as possible. homemade pancakes for dinner. naps for everyone. no commitments, only spontaneity.
- the after-nap period each day is tricky for me. it seems to be one of the harder times for hazel, when she’s most clingy, so making dinner has been challenging. i’m looking for creative activities to keep her engaged while i prep and cook dinner for us. and i think we need to move our dinner hour UP a bit so that hunger pangs don’t intensify her discontent. also, i’ve noticed that if immediately after her nap i give her 30 minutes of undivided attention that includes lots of physical contact (carrying her around, snuggling on the bed, tickling), she seems to do better from then until dinner time.
- when i have a photography session to shoot, i do it on a monday or tuesday evening, or on a sunday evening. usually. tim can stay back and be on point with hazel at those times.
- we still go to Love Feast on wednesday nights to fellowship with our neighbors and the boiler room family.
- on sundays we head to Stockbridge Mission Church, where alicia and i have finally created our own “nursery” for hazel and lilia. we are simply taking turns staying with the two little girls at alicia’s house, which is right across the street from mission church, while the other goes to the service. this has been great, since both of us have been missing church gatherings more often than not for the better part of a year. starting soon, the boiler room core team will also be sharing a meal together at the Tenderos house each sunday afternoon, which feels like a perfect way to remain a part of this family even though i’m no longer working for family business these days.
well, that was a lot of really practical, nitty-gritty detail of how we’re ordering our days around here. but it’s good for me to record it here. 🙂 thanks for listening.
and now my babe is waking from her nap, so i will go give my undivided attention to that sweet girl.