Read part I here.
So Saturday morning, I woke up after a few weeks of acting "horribly," as Kathy put it, and we tried to figure it out. We all got up to take A to her horseback riding lesson, and I brought my cookbooks with me. While she had her lesson, B and C at bagels and I tried to find actual real meals that could be cooked in under 45 minutes. Then the whole family piled back in the car and we went directly to the grocery store.
We bought the stuff for the meals I'd planned, but we also bought stuff previously on my prohibited-list for budget-friendly grocery shopping. We bought little containers of drinkable yogurt (which I personally think are gross). We bought a massive bag of shredded cheese. We bought Pop Tarts, and granola bars. When we got home, I unpacked the groceries and Kathy started taking games off the shelves of our game closet and sorting out what was no longer age-appropriate for our kids.
We went to Home Depot and got the stuff we needed to finish our closet in the basement so the toys could be moved down there, as well as the hose we needed to fix our grill (something chewed through the gas line) and the part we needed to fix the unflushable toilet.
We spent the rest of the weekend finishing the basement closet, fixing the toilet and grill, putting away all the games in our newly-completed closet, and eating real food which I took my time making. Kathy caught up on the laundry. We went to our friend's daughter's basketball game (they won). I took a deep breath, and I did not have a fit when I had to work for a few hours on Sunday night.
At the end of the weekend, I looked at Kathy, who seemed actually a bit relaxed and happy. We looked at our finished closet, and our clean, well-stocked kitchen. When we went to bed Sunday night, novels in hand, we were actually ready for the week ahead. "See?" Kathy said to me. "We just needed to find our feet."
I am not delusional enough to think that this means we will never have to send the kids off with a lunch that is less than appetizing, or that no one will ever again need to pull their jeans out of the hamper and put them back on. Or that I will never resent having to work on a Sunday. With two working parents, life is sometimes just a crazy mess of multi-tasking and cut corners.
But I have some hope, now, that we can figure this out. We can get the routine down (Saturday morning family grocery shopping, yay!) and the kids will learn to pitch in a bit more, if we ask them nicely. Our household projects will get done, although maybe a bit slower, and the elaborate dinners will be for Sundays, not Tuesdays. But we will get there, I think. Over time, we will really find our feet, and this can actually be sustainable.