Hi all! Today I'm coming in with a little check in and hopefully touching a bit on that ever-elusive concept of "balance!" Like I mentioned in my last post I'm working nights (one more week!) which actually means I get my weekends off (well, I'm off Friday and Saturday night) which is definitely a bonus in hospital medicine where we usually only get one day off at a time! This past weekend was the first weekend we spent at home instead of traveling - as nice as it was to visit the Cape and to see my family for the Fourth of July, coming back with just enough time to head back to work leaves home life feeling like chaos!
Liv had a little viral infection she came down with Friday evening so we decided to have a quiet weekend, but we also didn't want to feel like we let the weekend go to waste either! I think one of the keys for balancing a busy work schedule and little time off with a satisfying home life is making home as comfortable as possible, as simply as possible. If your home feels like an oasis, spending time there will be so much more pleasant! Now this is obviously not always possible, and I'm guilty of just hiding messes so I don't have to see them for a while so I can relax until I have more time to actually tackle the mess! One thing that I find really helps is doing small cleaning chores each day. Instead of saving a precious Sunday for deep cleaning everything and doing all the laundry, I spread it out into small little tasks throughout the week when I have time. I'll throw a load of laundry in on a random weekday when I get home from my shift, pop it in the dryer when I wake up, then fold it while Liv plays in bed - doesn't feel like the huge task it becomes when I save all the laundry to do at once (and hence doing 3 or 4 loads at a time, and never actually folding all the laundry, and then just throwing it all in a pile on the floor - please tell me I'm not the only one guilty of this)! Same thing with cleaning the tub for example - it really doesn't take long to do if you do it regularly - I'll literally scrub the tub after I give Liv a bath and she's playing with N and not have to think about it the rest of the week! Breaking everything up this way really makes cleaning feel more manageable and allows us more time on the weekend to really just spend together!
Friday I was able to to have a relaxing "spa" afternoon at home while Liv napped. I always sleep less on Friday during the day so that I can actually sleep during the night on Friday and quickly hop back into a normal schedule for the weekend - it means Friday's are pretty exhausting, but thankfully there isn't too much to do! Some of my tried and true favorites for pampering myself include these eye gels I've mentioned before - especially now that I'm working nights, and it's summer time, the cooling effect they have when they're on feels so good! I always want to leave them on for longer than the recommended 10 minutes! They help so much with under eye bags (the jury is still out about dark circles, but these notoriously just take so much longer to see any type of effect). My favorite bath soak is this lavender one by Ahava, paired with this lavender scrub my bath smells heavenly! In an attempt to save time and money I've cut down on gel manicures - an Essie polish paired with this Seche Vite top coat is the closest it gets to gel manicures (although I still prefer gel manicures for the shine and incredible durability - as much as I like having my nails look nice I don't actually like doing my nails)! And of course drinking plenty of water while in the tub! I'm weird and always drink more water through a cup with a straw - whatever works right!?
For the weekend I decided it was time we got our own little blow up pool for the backyard. Liv is a water baby, and I knew she'd love it, but I also knew that not feeling quite herself, she'd probably tire out earlier than usual (so packing up and leaving somewhere to spend a day in the water would not have been a good option)! I found this perfect little pool at Target on sale for $20 - I call it little because it only takes up a little corner of the backyard, but it definitely fits me and Liv (and N) comfortably! I also couldn't help myself and picked up this adorable polka dot tankini (that ties as a retro-looking halter, but I tied in the back to make it strapless) - its front ruching is perfect for my growing belly! Liv loves running around in her little fringe suit - she kept shaking it to make the fringes move! I marinated our steak and threw it in a ziploc bag in the fridge, tossed our sheets in the dryer, and we played in the pool until naptime! It was fun and relaxing and I still felt like I wasn't letting my house fall apart!
Shop our backyard pool day necessities here! Make sure you don't forget the sunscreen!!
I guess the point of this post (other than rambling on - and boy am I rambling - about our weekend) is really to say that balancing work and home is easiest when you keep things simple. When you break chores up into small tasks throughout the week to maximize time spent together over the weekend. The same can be said for schoolwork (for those of you who aren't responsible for a home yet) - breaking it up throughout the week into manageable time efficient chunks will keep you from spending hours at the library all weekend!