This is not the normal nostalgic recap of the last year, rather a list of what did work for us and did not work for us as our first year as a family. Before, having children we had all these ideas of how life would be-well as always reality is very different. A good different, but different none the less. Since we had two babies last year, and will be having one this year. I am trying to very intentional this year and that means purposefully thinking about what did and did not work for our little family.
What did not work:
1. Social Media-I know this one is a shocking one. Having social media is amazing, letting it go unchecked it becomes a major time suck. For me, I could spend an hour or more looking at other peoples lives instead of focusing on the beautiful one around me. I found myself getting angry at some people's post, jealous of others, and more than anything spending way more time investing in my Facebook friends than in face-to-face time with my friends.
2. Trying to do all the things I was doing before I had kids-this left me drained, emotional, over tired, and spending my time thinking about all the things I did not do-instead of getting a task completed.
3. The Cry It Out Method- I know for some people this works. For me this was worse than trying to work through things with my girls. When I was pregnant people kept saying you are just going to have to let them cry. I admit sometimes my girls cry now, but to let them cry for minutes on end was more emotionally draining for me than working it out another way.
4. Fast Food- our diet was horrible. I attribute this to a crazy year, but none the less it is something that needs to be fixed this next year.
5. Planning- I was a horrible planner, our days were jumbled. We had scheduled moments-but in each of those moments there was a lack of planning. Their was no goal planning. It seemed like we were floating around just trying to survive. I don't want another year of that same feeling. I want a purpose for each day.
6. Clutter-the amount of stuff we have amassed is amazing. This year alone we have gotten rid of about 5% of the stuff we moved to GA. There is still room for improvement. We are trying to live a more simpler life in all things including the amount of material possessions we have.
What did work:
1. Family dinner time- we have always eaten dinner as a family, and now with children it is infinitely more rewarding. I now eat 3 meals with my girls at the table, and I love this time where they are fully engaged with us, and not all their toys. Being able to take time out of David's hectic school/work schedule, and my running around chasing the girls are my favorite moments of the day.
2. Schedule/Routine- this was the preferred method to the crying it out method. Schedules are hard, but they keep our life from becoming a 3 ring circus. The girls go to bed so much easier, sleep through the night, have play time, reading time, and a bath 99% of nights.
3. Alone time with my husband- we did get a few dates in, and it was worth the planning and time. I realize how important it is to make time for just each other-even if it is after bed time eating a dessert. Continuing to better our marriage should always be a priority in our life.
4.Flexibility- I know I mentioned routine before, but there must be moments of flexibility. We lived with family for 2 months, while David was away with the Army. I fought to keep our schedule in tact, that made things a lot worse. When I let go and enjoyed the time with family life was much easier. It is ok to deviate from the norm every once and while, learning to be ok with that was a huge parenting milestone for me.
5. Baby Led Weaning- the girls are amazing eaters. I fully believe it was due to baby led weaning. I have yet to buy one can of baby food, the girls feed themselves 95% of their food. They have no food aversions, or allergies yet. It is something that I want to repeat with all of my children. I simply can't say enough good things about this process of teaching babies how to eat.
6. Running- it rocks what can I say. I got a moment to myself, being able to think, jam out to a song, or simply just pound the pavement. I am currently just walking due to my pregnancy, but I miss running and can't wait to get back in June. I meet weight goals, and finally ran my first 5k and got up to running 7 miles.
Goals for 2014:
1. Giving up control- I want to be present in what I am doing, not upset about all the things that I am not doing. I have started taking clothes to try dry cleaners, creating easier meals to prepare, and letting a groomer handle the dogs.
2. Planning-I am trying to find a great planner where I can meal plan, goal plan, and list out daily and monthly activities. If anyone knows of a great one-I would love a recommendation.
3. Intentional Living- I want to be more intentional in savings, time with my girls, clean eating, and just focusing on what matters to me and try to live my life in that manner.