Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I went back to work yesterday. Even though I worked for about a month after coming home from Russia I didn't travel away from home and my tiny toddler was here with me much of the time, so it really didn't feel like work. For all intents and purposes I really haven't worked since leaving for Russia back in April. Nearly seven months. Wow. I used that time to travel overseas to finalize the adoption of my youngest son. I helped to teach my son his new language. I loved him and fought with him and hugged him and told him no a thousand times. I changed his diapers, gave kisses, emptied the fridge on a daily basis trying to find something he would eat. I picked up the toys he threw, the books he threw, the laundry he threw. I bonded. And now I am back at work. At a job that is now officially permanent, after only one day!

So I packed the lunches and set the timer on the coffee. I laid out clothes for the boys. And the planning paid off because all three of my boys made it out the door on time, with lunches, shoes on, and teeth brushed. Normally after my husband leaves for work I would clean up breakfast and tackle the daily chores. By mid morning the day's zone would be cleaned, the one load of laundry in the dryer and the dishwasher emptied from the day before. By the time I was settling my tiny toddler down in his crib for an afternoon nap the laundry would be folded and ready to be put away. On most days I had it together.

Yesterday I cleaned up breakfast and then instead of heading on to the daily chores I headed upstairs to the office to start my new job. And I didn't look up. I missed working more than I thought I did! So by the time I picked up the boys from daycare/preschool, picked up yet another round of ear drops for my big four and a half year old, took the long way home so the boys could see the digger working in the dark, made dinner and fed everyone and made my near monthly pilgrimage to the AT&T store to replace my phone it was after 8:00pm. But I had planned for going back to work. I had talked and talked and talked about the daily zones with my husband. I had reminded all of my boys that just because I had to run this unexpected after dinner errand our daily zone cleaning still needed done. And I came home to dinner cleaned up- all I had to do was load the dishwasher. (daily chore). The boys had eaten their dessert and their rooms were cleaned up. (daily zone cleaning.) The tiny toddler was in bed. Oh. My. God. Score!

So not all of the zone cleaning got done. We didn't get the sheets on our bed changed and the bedrooms weren't vacuumed. Not all of the dusting was done. But what was left will take no time at all to finish up today. And my husband did ALL of it. All I did was load the dishwasher and pack the lunches. Oh, and I revamped the zone cleaning list. Instead of simply saying "Monday - Zone 1 - upstairs bedrooms", it lists every task needed to complete the daily zone. I gave my family the tools they needed to help me and they did help me. Each daily zone is now taped to the inside of a mirror or closet in the appropriate room, complete with instructions on where to find the cleaning supplies needed.

here is what our Thursday zone looks like. This is taped to the inside of a kitchen cabinet.

So, we begin day two. Breakfast is cleaned up. The dusting from yesterday is done. The laundry is in the washer and I am in the office, working. the house is presentable, dinner is planned. My boys found their Elf on a Shelf this morning and are super excited about decorating for Christmas. All is right with my world. I may just have found the key to this tightrope, the key that was missing my first time around. Organization, a manageable job, and allowing my husband to help by giving him the tools he needs to do it. I don't even need a safety net!

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