It’s not a secret that December (slash the whole last quarter of 2013) was a little rough on the GB home front. Early pregnancy, an overwhelmed grad student and commuting husband, a new house, an intense winter, and a lack of social interaction had us feeling totally crappy, to put it mildly. Even I, queen of moving and quickly finding my mojo, was having a hard time getting it together.
I blogged a post last month about how we are focusing on a goal each month to get our lives to a place where we have more fun and actually do things we enjoy doing. January’s goal: socialization. When it comes down to it, the only way to feel better sometimes is to be your own parent. There are things kids don’t want to do that parents make them do anyway, and I take the same approach with making changes in my own life.
So what did I do? I went to two playdates, despite social anxiety and really not wanting to go. I hosted a playdate for one mom I knew and three I didn’t (and nine kids under age 3!). I started a standing play group on Tuesday mornings that has been fruitful and enjoyable already. These things all helped me to feel better and connected, but we were still feeling a real lacking as far as doing things as a family.
In Bloomington, we had Matt and Alyssa who were in the same parenting, lifestyle and spirituality realm as we were. Turns out that’s a really, really hard thing to find for us since we are obviously weird. We still make it a priority to see them (we’re meeting in Indy next weekend and we will vacation with them) but it isn’t the same as meeting for a snowy dinner or grabbing coffee with kiddos as often as we used to. Tim and I both agreed that what we really need is a young family with a similar mindset to hang out with once a week or so.
To that end, I posted a craigslist ad for watching a few kids with the premise that we were a granola, Montessori-minded, positive discipline family. I got literally no hits on this post when I put it up in the Fall. Zero. This time, I got four families who were obviously not a good fit and one that was an uncanny fit.
Officially, I will be spending my afternoons with a 3 year old little boy and 5 month old baby girl from now on. The best part is that they are a displaced granola family from Harrisburg, PA here for full time grad school. We loved them instantly and all four of the grown ups are equally excited about being friends. We already feel totally rejuvenated about living here after getting the scoop on CSAs and the best diners when they came over to meet our family. Mission: socialization was a raging success in my book.
Tim’s doing really well balancing work, class, and parenthood this past month. It’s naturally difficult for him to structure his time, so his efforts for January intentions involved mustering the discipline to do things he didn’t want to do in order to make room for positive change. He’s been doing more homework the nights he is away so that we can have more down time as a family and it has made a huge difference for our relationship and for the general mood of family life. He also is feeling energized about work now that things are picking up and getting exciting, which is always a great feeling. I’m really proud of all the the hard work he is doing to make our life run smoothly and his commitment to our future with his grad work. It ain’t easy, but he’s doing it. He has a week off from course work and new Ugg slippers, so he’s pretty much dancing around the house with a gleeful look on his face. I love it.
How about you? Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to be your own parent and make things happen? The Nike slogan “Just Do It” comes to mind.