My goodness a bunch of stuff is going on after that lull!
Mal- very exciting about the house! Do you have a link to share with us? Keep us posted!
Ash- wow on the surgery date and wow on the weaning! I can't imagine all the emotions you're feeling about these two things. How is the weaning going? Are you doing a "don't offer, don't refuse" method or something more immediate?
Amanda- you are super busy! Like crazy busy! And I know you do a bunch of stuff with your dd's girl scouts on top of it all! My hat is off to you! And your expectations of your dh are totally valid. If I recall correctly, he's doing some sort of start up business from home? I'm sure he could be pulling his weight more around the house if you are the primary breadwinner and provider of benefits. I guess, if it were me, I would start with a sit down talk about how to balance the household- how you can work together to find a solution that satisfies all members of the family and results in a cleaner and smoother functioning home. I think that food is a huge deal. Perhaps you guys could set up a food system where you rotate certain meals throughout the month and go shopping for those meals in bulk every 2 weeks or so and then only need to supplement with fresh produce each week. If the meal plan is made then the lists can be made and he can shop for everything and at the VERY least start meals before you get home. The older kids could help with this, too. Larger portions can be made and frozen for easy re-heating, too. Getting the shopping entirely off your plate as well as some or most of the food prep, I think, is totally reasonable if you are working out of the home until 6:30. But if he doesn't want to deal with the shopping and meal prep and you're okay doing shopping on the weekend, then I think he needs to take over the cleaning and decluttering of the house. And the older kids can help there as well. I had several chores growing up including dusting, emptying garbage cans, taking out the recycling, and mopping certain floors. Really, it seems to me one of these two major things needs to be taken out of your hands. In our house, I chose cleaning. Dh still does the shopping and most of the meal prep, but I do all the cleaning, including all the dishes, emptying the dish drainer and dishwasher, etc. Now that it's garden season, I'm providing food (via my work in the garden) and prepping that food as well (like fresh salads from garden produce). Anyway, I would totally have a sit down talk to work this out before resentment builds on top of things not getting done. Let us know how you proceed!
Amber- That's just weird. Why would you take toddlers to 7-11?! I totally get taking them to parks or other areas where they could play. I get taking slightly older kids to a treat every now and then. But toddlers? No. I completely agree with you and your reservations. I know at ds1's preschool, they took the kids on a rope line (each kid holds a loop on the rope) when they walked to the park. It seemed safe enough. Strollers seem even safer. That wouldn't be my issue. My issue would be the destination. I would totally talk to the teachers and see if we couldn't work together to brainstorm appropriate outing locations. Let us know how it goes!
J- thanks for popping in with your message. I have missed your voice in this group. I really appreciate your words and would like you to know that, for myself, I welcome you back to the group if you'd like to start posting again in the spirit of your message. I'd love to hear from Katie as well!