When we first started talking about moving, I can tell you now that I had very unrealistic ideas about how that would actually unfold. Every step along the way has taken a lot longer than I ever dreamed. Once all the boxes were unpacked, I thought we'd get back to our usual. But I tell you what....moving is a lot of work and I think it took something out of us. We needed some time to rest and recover and then really had to begin at the beginning to establish a new healthy rhythm.
Good sleep Our whole day has shifted about two hours later. I have certainly heard much about the virtues of starting the day early, but surprisingly, the world has kept on turning. I think it started because we were all just tired from the move, but it has continued because it works for us now that my husband is working on Pacific time. We get more family time with him in the evening if we all sleep later, eat later, and stay up later.
Good food I knew we needed to transition back to home cooked healthy meals. Of course, it is all too easy during busy times to eat out or buy something at the store that requires little preparation. I, in particular, feel so much better when I eat at home and stick to whole foods. So I started putting more time and energy toward meal planning and preparation. My two big kids became interested in this and now they are preparing dinner most nights. They search for recipes, make a grocery list, and then do the evening meal preparation with very little assistance.
Exercise We started getting out every morning for exercise. In the past,
that had so often not made the list because there were books to read,
projects to work on, chores to do, etc. But we put it at the top of the
list and we are all so happy with this change! I alternate walking and
jogging while the kids ride their bikes. If I tried to run without them
while they are still in bed, I would enjoy some time alone, but some of the kids may not get exercise. I
would also miss out on their motivating remarks, such as their excited exclamation
"OH LOOK! Mom is RUNNING!" and "Mom, your butt jiggles when you run."
Chores Our approach to chores had always been pretty informal. The kids were asked to pick up after themselves and then I would do the cleaning. Since I injured my shoulder during the move, I wasn't able to do some of my usual chores. The big kids were very willing to help me out during that time. Now that they have been trained to do certain household chores, they have continued to help out daily. And really, we have hit a point that this makes a lot of sense. The little two still leave a lot of toys out, so it is enough for them to pick up after themselves. But the big two do a lot of projects at their desks, so they have more time, energy and ability to pitch in on general household chores.
Learning Once all these other things had fallen into place, it was easier for all of us to get back to work. I started having weekly meetings on Sunday evening with my older children. During these meetings, I hear what they have been working on the previous week. I write down what I want us to work on for the coming week and what they should be working on on their own. They write down what they want to work on and get better at. All four kids get a main lesson time with me during the day. The big kids have time to work toward their own goals and all four have time for play. We set aside the evening for family time which includes dinner, chores, play, and a read aloud time before bed.