Friday, July 9, 2010

The Route to New Routines

Guest post today courtesy of Katie Sluiter.  She is a wife, mom, and high school teacher. She blogs about her life and what she thinks about it at Sluiter Nation ( ). She also reads. A lot. So she started a book blog called Katie’s Bookcase ( You can follow her crazy shenanigans on twitter too (@ksluiter).

The other day while washing sippy cups for what seemed like the thousandth time that day, I was struck by how different my summer is this year than it has been in the past.

I guess this is where I should let you know that I am a high school teacher and up until adding MOM to my resume, my summers belonged to ME. They were MINE. MINE MINE MINE…ahem. Sorry.
Anyway, summer was when I decompressed. I didn’t have any sort of schedule I had to stick to. Now that I have become “Eddie’s Mom”, I have found that there are all sorts of routines—big and small—that have become part of my summer.

First there are the meal routines. My husband and I didn’t really have a meal routine before. When one of us got hungry, this conversation would happen:

Hungry Person: Hey, what’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner/whatever meal we are closest to on the clock?

Other Person: I don’t know. Are you hungry? What should we have?

Hungry Person: Well, I am sort of hungry, and we should eat. I don’t care though.

Other Person: Yeah, we should eat. What do you want? In the mood for anything?

Hungry Person: Not really. I don’t care. Anything.
Other Person: I don’t care either. You pick.

You get the point. We just ate when we were hungry. Sometimes we would make a meal; sometimes we would order a pizza; sometimes we would pack up and head out for dinner and cocktails. Now there are specific times when food NEEDS to happen in our house. Whether the hubs and I eat at this time too is not important, although we usually do because it just makes sense. Either way, our day is definitely planned around when Eddie will need to eat and what he will need to eat.

This weekend, for example, we were going to be out and about for Fourth of July parties and activities at the lake. We couldn’t just throw a cooler and our swimsuits in the truck and take off, we had to go over Eddie’s entire schedule and grab all the necessary things—including food—since we didn’t know what would be served.

This actually leads to how my “fun” routines have even changed. When I got to the beach, I used to slap on a bikini, lay out a towel, grab a book and a beer, and that was it. For hours. Now the only part of that routine that is still current is the towel.

Take today for example. Today we packed up what felt like our entire house and headed to friend’s beach. Upon arrival all three of us had to get into our beach gear which is now a one-piece with a skirt for me. Yes, I said it: a skirt. Then we had to carry a bag of toys, a bag of towels, the cooler, and the swim tube thingy, along with Eddie down a zillion stairs to the beach.

Once down there, instead of just sitting on the towel with a beer, both the hubs and I were in the sand, then in the water, then grabbing other toys, the pulling driftwood out of Eddie’s mouth, then reapplying sun block, then…well, you get the picture. I think I only sat for about 10 non-consecutive minutes in the two hours that we were out there. Don’t get me wrong, it was sort of still fun. Just definitely not the same.

And there is SO much more that has changed too, but you all know how it goes. I’d like to say here that “it’s all worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing.” While the “worth it” part is pretty true, some days I would like to go back to when it was just simple, when I could sit in one place and drink beer all day—and somehow be 20 pounds lighter. But then I wouldn’t have Eddie. And that would just be no fun.


  1. I totally get that! We went to DH's cousin's condo a few weeks ago and we lugged all kinds of things out there, including the high chair. Thank goodness they already had a pack 'n play or that would have gone with us too.

  2. Oh yes. I related to every single word in this post. Is life roses and kittens now? No. Would I trade it for anything in the world? Sometimes. Would I like an hour to myself on the beach? You bet. Let's check with each other 20 years from now and then complain about how lonely we are on the beach. The only thing that stay the same is change. Great post!