Having two toddling little ones, I have found most mornings it is actually easier to get out and stay out of the house until about lunch time. This serves several purposes: 1) it keeps the house relatively picked up and clean, 2) it keeps the girls and I from going stir crazy and 3) it helps wear them out so they want to rest and relax when we come home. We average about 3-4 mornings out a week, with at least one of the days in being my cleaning day. Not every mom is wired this way and I totally get that. Especially you that have older children (that play with each other!!) and more children (how do you do it?!). I’m sure our morning routine will slow down a bit as the girls age and begin to self-entertain a bit more…but for now, this feels necessary.
On an IDEAL morning (meaning everything goes smoothly and according to plan), I am able to wake up, work out, shower, and dress before the girls. We eat breakfast together, I look over my calendar for the day and prep dinner if need be. The girls get dressed and then, depending on the day we either leave shortly after or if we have time, Bea takes a short hour nap while MG watches a show or does a school activity with me.
Here are some of the ways we spend our mornings out:
(asterisk marks the ones that are free)
–grocery store* This definitely eats up an entire morning but I like that it is an anchor in our week
–mops / Bible studies Mops only runs through the school year but it is a nice outing on winter days when we’ve been cooped up for far too long
-playground* Even in our little rural community there are several area play grounds. Bonus: these are a great place to meet other moms
-splash park* Sadly, no splash parks exist out here…yet. For the ages of the girls, splash parks are a bit more manageable than pools when I’m single parenting, and I do miss their accessibility. But there are a few within an hour’s drive if we are desperate
-field trips* In talking to a few other moms, we discovered a FREE field trip program that runs through the summer. So far we’ve done the fire station, car wash, and airport…upcoming are the recycling center and zoo!
-library* Ah, I can’t say enough good things about the library. Isn’t it a wonderful resource? Even out here we have three pretty good ones to pool from and we could find a free activity there just about every day of the week if we wanted to. Story time, crafts, movies, science experiments, summer reading programs, all for FREE.
-pool Ours isn’t free but only cost $2 for all of us to get in, and thankfully our generous neighbors have had us over to swim a few times too.
–indoor track* Probably only a resource we will have available in our current location, but it is AMAZING…especially in the dead of winter. Having it as an outlet seriously got me through some dark days last winter
-play dates* Always a nice way to spend a morning and a win for both parents and children. There are tons of resources on FB to help connect you to a local group or you can start by asking around at your church or library
It’s amazing to me that even living out here in the rural cornfields there are still plenty of opportunities to get out and explore, mostly for free! Anything I’m missing? Let me know!