Changing Gears

The girls are on Spring Break. They spent last week with their mom. They will spend the upcoming week with us.

I was away Thursday and Friday (although we were back yesterday evening, but I was still playing catch up from chores I hadn't done), and now I feel like I'm trying to prep for that week in 2 days.

It isn't that the girls are terrors, and I have to prepare for anything like that. We look forward to our time with them. It is still a change. We do not have physical custody of the girls. While we are active in their lives, they do not live with us the bulk of the time. The everyday things most parents have to think about and plan for isn't something we do except on the weeks like this (during school breaks and over the summer), and it just a change in planning and how we think. Mark working second shift puts another wrinkle in this. We've never had to experience this with his current work schedule.

It is the normal parenting concerns that we just do not usually have to take into consideration (these are also concerns I've had to really learn as I go as I do not have my own children).

It is a change in the amount of groceries we buy, meal prep required, and ensuring we have stuff for packed lunches...and making sure those lunches get packed. It is figuring out the best plan for dinner when their father won't be home until almost 10. I'll probably feed them as soon as we get home, and I'll wait to eat with Mark after he gets them to bed. Its making sure I have childcare set up at the gym, so they have somewhere to go during my classes. It is remembering I have to leave work on time in order to pick them up at 6. There can't be a "oh I'll go once I wrap this up," moment. I need to leave on time. It is having 2 more people to clean up after.

It also gives me a chance to try (and possibly fail at)  some things before we head into summer. Mark's schedule will change again in May. The change is certain, but what it will change to is not. In all likelihood, though it will not be an ideal M-F 8-5, and more like the later shift he has now (and  likely will involve a Saturday shift).  We need to figure out the best way to make that schedule work for us a family. It gives me a chance to talk to the girls about them needing to pitch in a bit more around the house and how that will work. I'm between quarters next week, but for the bulk of the summer, I will be in classes and/or preparing for my second week of Chair Academy training. Mark is working on building up is online presence in the gaming world. I tried getting them to take on more regular chores (if I ask them to do something, they typically do it without issue, but I mean to have actual regularly scheduled chores) last summer, and it failed. I'll need to work with them to give it another try this summer.

I just have to be game ready on Monday.


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