We are about to move. From one part of Austin to another. While I’m not thrilled about the move itself, I am thrilled that our world is about to shrink. Significantly.
Between the 5 of us currently we are commuting a collective 8 hours of drive time. Some of that is on the city bus. Some of that is in the car. Some on foot. While we live central, and I work from home, our schools are north and south and so we travel to all of it. That’s a lot of time spent getting to and from where we need to be. And that’s on a normal day. That’s not a day when there’s a back to school night or booster meeting or any such thing. That’s just daily drive time. And in growing Austin, daily drive time seems to compound monthly.
So, as I said, we’re moving. And where we’re going we’ll all be walking or biking to where we need to be. In fact, the youngest’s commute from our back gate will be shorter than it currently is to walk from where we park to his classroom. The older 3 will bike just over a mile to their respective schools. And I’ll be standing in the yard waving goodbye.
Here’s what I think I’m going to gain…
- More sleep each morning
- Less road angst
- Less arguing about who gets shot-gun
- Less chance of car accident
- More time in general
- More ease
- Less crankiness
What’s funny is this schedule we’re on now was fine for us. Until it wasn’t. Which leads me back to one of the basic tenets of Slow Family Living, the question, “Is this working for us?” It was. Then it wasn’t. And when it wasn’t? We made a change.
Tags: austin traffic
, commuting in Austin
, slow commute
, Slow Family
, slow living
, slow parenting
, slowing down the mornings
The first week in and we are feeling a little wobbly over here. The kindergartner is perhaps the most surprised by the upheaval of his beautiful world. We went from lazy days to 6:00 alarm clocks. From playing all day with his legos and his siblings to arriving in class to the same spot day after day next to the same kids with the same people who are decidedly NOT his loved ones. From random trips to Barton Springs at 9pm to being in bed, lights out by 8:pm at the latest.
On the home front we are enjoying the first time in nearly 15 years that we are home alone during the day without any children, but still, this schedule is going to take some getting used to. I am a night owl by nature and the idea of being in bed by 11 is positively shocking to my system.
So here’s what we’ve figured out thus far about the things we need to make this all work, for everyone involved…
- better lunch making routines – so that we’re not scrambling at bedtime to get lunches made for the next day. Or even worse, making lunches while we’re putting breakfast on the table. Whoever makes dinner will have one of the kids by them making lunches.
- Get our 6th grader on a different bike – it’s kind of hard to ride the bmx bike with a trumpet in tow. Especially if he also wants to bring his skateboard.
- Earlier dinner time. We’re still in our summer time mode of 7pm dinner time which is just too late if you need to be in bed by 8.
- Get a maid. Just kidding. But it sure would be fun to have a full-time maid on hand to clean up , do some laundry, maybe throw a meal together every now and again.
- Don’t hit the snooze on the alarm. It doesn’t really give me what I need, it just makes it more frantic getting everyone settled.
- Pause, for just 2 minutes, on the edge of the bed before I jump into high gear. That’s one thing I’ve been doing that is really, really working.
- Oh, and if you sense your young child might have a rough morning, do not wear a skirt with an elastic waistband.
I’d love to know how others are doing these first weeks of school. What have you learned about your family’s routine?
Tags: back to school
, back to school blues
, getting into the back to school routine
, getting kids out of the house on time
, how to get kids to bed on time
, slowing down the mornings