Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Course Correction

One of the things Husband and I talked about at length on our week off together this summer was a joint course correction. We both agreed that we had drifted off course in several areas and the time has come to reverse the trend.

High on our list of objectives was to solidify our attempts to reach and maintain a reasonable fitness level. Both of us have been working on this in 2009 and we've made some modest progress. Progress is defined as the elliptical trainer not accumulating as much dust as before and the workouts are no longer spaced so far apart that we can't remember where our workout duds are.

But the time has come to ink it into our weekly schedules to make fitness a priority as opposed to being committed to fitting it into the schedule when we can. We we've both got trips to the gym and trips to our playroom where the elliptical is housed worked into our schedule. I won't go so far as to say we're on schedule, but we're definitely getting better.

Next on our list was the housework. We have been very reactive in terms of keeping up with the house. Apart from tending to the kitchen nightly, weekly cleaning of the only bathroom I let guests use and the occasional collecting of dirty laundry from the family room floor, housework has been getting done when things get really bad. Or when we have people over. In fact sometimes we invite people over JUST to force us to clean up (with apologies to anyone that has ever been invited over: I don't actually mean YOU).

We decided to come up with a rough plan weekly. Since I work part time more of this fairly falls on my shoulders. But Husband is more than keen to do his part which includes vacuuming of floors (a task he took on when I was pregnant with Jackson. Please don't tell him I am WELL past gestational age if you see him. I don't think he's noticed).

Our theoretical goal was always to focus on one floor of the house per week. I'd do the heavy cleaning, we'd both tidy and Husband would do the floors. This theory rarely translated into practice as Husband doesn't know which floor we are working on in any given week and I've been very lax and get easily side tracked by an unfinished project or something shiny. To that end, I bought his and hers white and cork boards where I can boldly name the zone we are working on and we can both try to keep up our end of the bargain.

While I have the best of intentions, on Monday this week, my theoretical main cleaning and laundry day and I cleaned one bathroom and observed how dirty the kitchen is but did not get much cleaning done. I did however get all the laundry done AND put away, which includes changing all the sheets. Notably, and I say this so you might forget I didn't really do any cleaning, this was done before Husband got home. Work in progress, I am.

Next on the list was to be more intentional in our parenting. While we spend a lot of time with our kids, we admittedly have abdicated in certain areas, often because we are fighting battles on other fronts.

We think the kids are at an age where they can take more responsibility at home. Helping clear the dishes, tidying up after themselves in addition to the assisting in housework is a start.

We want to improve their meals and up the vegetable to non vegetable ratio in their diets. We may have to include potato chips, chocolate and anything chewy in the "vegetable category" to make any real headway, but I think offering more fruit and the occasional vegetable can easily be accommodated.

We want to have more quality family time during the week. School nights feel like a blur of meal prep, dishes, homework. Often the kids eat earlier due to extreme hunger and Husband and I enjoy a quiet meal in the dining room. While it is not all bad for Husband and I to have a semi-uninterrupted conversation, we thought having family meals in the dining room is a good practice at least a few nights a week. This requires more attention to the timing of snacks so, as I said, being more intentional. The reward: real conversations with no cartoon characters interrupting us.

All of these thing take up time and where, you might ask, is this time going to come from?? Of course I have the mythical 6 hours a day on Mondays and Fridays. But am I going to have to give up sleep?

I have been reflecting a great deal on how I'm spending my time, inspired by examining the life of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He lived so intentionally, spent his time doing things he loved, that were important to him and that fulfilled his duty. I want to do that too.

I realized that I spend far too much time on the computer. What I do enjoy and want to continue to do is blogging. While I think keeping up with friends on Facebook does add value to my life, checking for any new Facebook statuses every 10 minutes every waking hour I am at home is a little obsessive. I am a bit of a news junkie but even I have admit that scrolling through my five favourite news sites about five times in a row desperate for any new headlines, is unnecessary. It is okay if I am NOT the first one to hear the latest volley in the Jon versus Kate saga.

So less computer, more exercising, cleaning and parenting. I think I will have to throw in an occasionaly spa night, girls night or date night to keep me going.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

As long as less time at the computer doesn't translate into you blogging less, I'm down with all that. :)

I'm working on getting the kids to participate in the chores more, too. The problem is always my follow through - I'm not up for the whining and crying involved (sometimes the kids cry, too) and so I don't keep up with whatever scheme I have put in place to get them to do chores.

I don't want to talk about laundry.