Apartment life: Making time to get outside
On the weekend, I branch out from cooking-related posts and write about my family, answer reader questions, or just blog about what's on my mind! If you have a question or topic you'd like me to tackle, send it my way! :)
I'd love to read on how you make time to enjoy the parks, trails etc. Have you found any good tricks to balancing your work with the need for the children to be outside? Do you let the housework slide? Do you clean up first then go? Do you follow a schedule and schedule outside time in? What do you do to ensure that your children get plenty of fresh air?
This is one of the hardest things about having 4 young children and NO yard!
#1. I am really not great about making sure we get outside enough. Last summer we had lots of sunny weather and we did get out pretty often, but this year? The weather has waffled between cold and rainy, with a few downright HOT days and then a few really great days of sunshine.
I say that as an excuse -- because you would think that with weather like that, I would jump at the first sunny day and take the kids outside, right? Nope. There have been many days this summer when Joshua came home and asked "Did you and the kids get outside today?" and I had to say "No..." :(
I tend to get behind in things ("things" like housework or blogging or going outside) and then get a little down about it, and then neglect the very things that would actually help me feel better and get more done! It's a horrible cycle that lands me in a pit of not eating right, not sleeping enough, not getting exercise, and just generally NOT being productive!
Getting outside regularly (as in nearly daily if not DAILY) helps me (and the kids) a lot physically and mentally, so I know it needs to be a priority and I continue to work on making it a priority. Yes, even over housework, blogging, or just about anything else!
Ruth, shelling peanuts for a snack. We were having a horrible morning so I put shoes and socks on everyone, grabbed a bag of peanuts and some water, stuck Moshe in the Ergo, and walked to the park. We sat, played, and ate for several hours before I felt ready to go back home!
1. Get outside first. Worry about other stuff later. It'll still be there.
2. Better yet, skip some of that other stuff. Joshua and I made a very bare-bones schedule/routine of sorts for me, and decided on a handful of non-negotiable things. Those are: Bible time, outside, school, showers, and (simple) meals. Everything else can -- and often does -- wait.
3. For housework: Minimize what I NEED to do, and then enlist children to help get it done.
Laundry: Joshua suggested I do laundry once a week and that has worked well and saved time rather than doing lots of miscellaneous loads. I do a big load of: towels/bibs/dish rags, socks/underwear, kids, Joshua's, and mine. Bedding is just whenever. (Not often enough but OH WELL!) Kids help a LOT with laundry!
Dishes: This has to be done daily.
Cooking: Make easier meals. Have Joshua grill a lot. Serve fresh fruits and veggies as sides.
Cleaning: I love a clean house and I hate the mess and dirt! But, it just can't take top priority, even with kids to help. Yehoshua (6) does the vacuuming -- but I don't make him vacuum daily, even though the floor probably needs it. Maybe when I have older kids, they will be faster or more efficient at cleaning and more will get done.
So here's my trick for cleaning: Have company over every week or two. Make a nice meal for them and everyone works hard to clean the house. We get to enjoy a nicer meal than usual and the bathroom finally gets that much-needed cleaning. :P And the work is more fun because we're all working for the exciting evening/day of fellowship and friends!
So, these are my meager efforts... remember, I usually do some things, but never all things. And I have to be content with that! :)
Does anyone else have tips for getting outside? I can't believe summer is almost over! :(
More photos from this week:
These three LOVE to swim!
What Moshe does (hopefully!) while the others swim: Sleep! :) I love him.
Little Mister Moshe. Super cute and a Super-Scooter these days! :)
Ruth heads straight to the blackberries!
Eating peanuts at the park and discussing multiplication. :)