The year is nearly over, my first year with all kids at school. It wasn't meant to be this way, but it is what it is.
And here was I thinking I'd have time to do everything I wanted to do, get everything on my to-do list done. It doesn't really work that way though, I found out.
Although I have gone from being on full-on-mum-duty 13-14 hours a day, to full-on-mum-duty for about 8 hours a day. Better working conditions there, right? And during my 5 kid-free hours, I can actually sit down and have lunch. And pee without company.
But as any mum knows, those 5 hours are crammed with 101 things to get done and sometimes lunch doesn't actually happen. Then again, I get to do those 101 things on my own, no more dragging cranky kids to the library or grocery store, no having to switch off the vacuum cleaner 15 times to listen to little voices requesting food/tv/stories/
And the on-duty hours are filled with taxi-ing kids around, negotiating homework, preparing breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack, packing aforementioned foods for school and extra curricular activities for kids and husband. No nappies to change, sticky fingers to wipe or kids to persuade to have naps. Lots and lots of laundry and sorting out uniforms and work-out gear for the whole family. TV and computer use to negotiate. Catering to everyone's needs and personalities. And sometimes to mine.
As well as sooo many activities the school asks for help with. Running club, swimming, supervision on various excursions, jump rope for heart, hearing the kids read, preparations for the school fete, cross country, school athletics day, church services and my mind goes blank on what else.
I like to make healthy, paleo-style meals for us all, so lots of shopping for good food and a ton of time in the kitchen. Figuring out everyone's tastes and TRYING to make sure everyone has the appropriate fuel for the activity they want to undertake. Not always succeeding.
Farmer's market every Sunday. Growing some of our own veggies to hopefully off-set the cost of all that good food just a little.
Dealing with the "I don't wanna to go school/karate/rock climbing/do homework" that inevitably pops it's head up from time to time.
Camping, we've done quite a bit of that this year too. The boys are old enough to help set up camp with the husband, while I sort out the food. Our family seems to run on it's stomach, surprise, surprise. Lots of organisation and laundry and catching up afterwards involved in that too, but worth it.
Constant decluttering takes place as the boys get bigger, so boxes of donations to be dropped off, free cycle pick ups to be arranged, ebay items to be posted. Larger clothes to be sourced, preferably not at top price, so perusing all possible sources of good quality second hand clothing and school uniforms takes place on a semi-regular basis.
Throw in a few periods of unwell kids, the odd late night babysitting at the mansion, a big catch up with my side of the family, lots of karate, cage fitness and rock climbing, the run-of-the-mill stuff like kids parties, to attend, gift buying, mending, arranging appointments for everyone, play dates etc etc etc and that just about sums up the year.
And here comes Christmas.......