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September 1, 2010

The Old Normal and the New Normal

In theory, I am of the belief that – to the extent possible – a family should incorporate a new baby (or babies) into their life…and not completely rearrange their life to suit the new baby/ies.

That was certainly my game plan before the girls were born.

But as the “old normal” on the weekends, for example, involved a lot of eating out, a lot of napping, some shopping and a mani-pedi – if I could fit it in with my nap schedule – we’ve had to establish more of a “new normal” than I imagined.

Although the “new normal” obviously involves a lot less of those earthly pleasures, over the past couple of months I’ve finally begun to feel really settled into our routine.

Our routine does pretty well revolve around the babies, but I’m comfortable that that’s how it should be right now. They need and deserve a lot of attention, and I feel like it’s my job to give it to them.

But amid our two-ring baby circus, there are certain things that remind me of the “old normal”…things that I used to take for granted…things that really give me pleasure and allow me to recharge so I can devote that time and attention to the girls.

Reading. I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like, but there’s something so nice about curling up with a book for a little while during naptime, or snuggling in to read for a few minutes before bed.

Soaking in the tub. At night, when everyone is nestled in bed, I sometimes like to slip into the tub – often with a magazine – and unwind from the day.

Baking. I love to lose myself with a from-scratch recipe and my trusty measuring spoons. I love the act of following instructions (as the last I checked, my kiddos surely didn’t come with any!), the sifting and mixing, the yummy smells, and of course the taste-testing.

And on those rare occasions that I do get to enjoy a mani-pedi…or even more rarely, a massage…well that’s just a little slice of “old normal” heaven.

I am really looking forward to sharing some of these little pleasures – like baking and mani-pedi’s – with the girls one day. I think that might even allow me to ditch the “old normal” / “new normal” labels, and just call it plain ol’ fun.

7 comments:

The Bormann Family said...

We got the boys the chairs for their first birthday! They ABSOLUTELY LOVE them. Although, I thought they were a little dangerous at first because at that time they would walk right off the chairs or climb over the back about tipping the chair. Now that they are bigger- totally fine.

They are from Pottery Barn - they have three sizes, these are the largest and really big. I would maybe recommend the medium size. They do tip them upside down and push them around sometimes, but not too much.

Seriously though, those chairs are like one of our best toys! They have so much fun with them and sit in them and climb on them all the time!

That is so funny the girls still like the bumbo chairs. The boys recently sat in one of theirs and got stuck. too funny!

Deanna said...

There are days when I want a Saturday all to myself...just to lay on the couch with a good book, reading in between naps. Instead, I have to find little snippets of time during nap or while the girls are otherwise occupied, and occasionally, I can sneak in a short nap. When I miss those lazy pre-baby weekends, I try to remind myself that before too long, the girls will be able to entertain themselves...they will be holed up in their room or outside playing and they probably won't want me around! I guess I will have plenty of reading time then! : )

Seriously, though, it will be fun when they are old enough to understand weekend outings or curling up together to watch a movie. Oh, and football on Saturdays, of course!! (That's our plan for this weekend...football all day and rotel dip in the crock pot!)

Mandy said...

I would love to have the old way of life back for one day a month-husband free! These days it's all about family all the time and I think I need a little "me" time.

Is there Daddy time in your house? And are you envious of it?

Andrea said...

I too look forward to the day that I can take Molly for a mother/daughter pedicure. It will be so much fun. Of couse I wouldn't leave Luke out if he wanted to come, but something tells me he will pass.

Momma Chantal said...

I almost like our new normal more then the old normal. I love doing fun stuff with the kids and seeing their joy when they discover new things. I am very excited for the fall and them discovering piles of leaves, apple picking, fairs, etc. :)

reanbean said...

Our new normal is definitely completely different from our old normal, but I think T and I still slip in enough of our old normal pleasures to keep somewhat of a balance. I got into a new reading routine this summer, and have been reading so much more now. I'd forgotten how much I really love to read.

I'm really looking forward to weekends this fall. We'll do many of the same activities as last year (apple picking, pumpkin picking, leaf pile jumping, Halloween activities, etc.), but I think the kids will enjoy them so much more this year. I can't wait! :o)

lazymornings said...

I miss reading novels too! I have become a magazine mom. I read all sorts and love when someone buys me one as a gift or gives me their old copies...(b/c I am thrifty and can't seem to order them for myself).

Somehow Tom can read tomes...but I don't have the mental stamina for it. I have been trying to read the biography of Virgina Woolf lately and happily it is going well.