Now that school has been in session for a few weeks, we are trying to nail down a new rhythm for our family. Isn’t it crazy how long it takes to do that?
Things like – when is the best time to do homework, when do we buy groceries, what days is dad not home to eat dinner with us so I need something super simple to fix, when do we go to the park, etc.? Because Ed’s schedule is so wonky the first 6 weeks of fall semester (due to extra events like info fairs and welcome week activities and extra socials and getting Bible studies off the ground), he hasn’t really settled into a schedule, but for our sanity, we have to!
I will say – having two littles that need help with reading and homework and having two other littles who demand time and attention has been super challenging. Thankful for God’s grace because we have needed it this week! It was ROUGH!! I am praying as we all get into a good routine and rhythm, things will go much smoother.
One thing that has to happen in every week is grocery shopping, Lots of people have asked how we do that in the city, and let me tell you, it can be quite challenging. A good bit of people eat out a TON (which we can’t afford to do), a lot of people use delivery services like Amazon Fresh or PeaPod (which we flirted with but decided it was the more expensive option), and some people do a mix of the two. We have an Aldi one subway stop away and because Aldi and Trader Joe’s are the only two stores that have agreed not to increase their prices just because they are in NYC, they are really affordable. So, we have decided, that for now, it is worth trekking there every week to get our groceries and then getting other small things we need for our local store or our local mini Target which is more expensive. One of us usually goes to Aldi late at night or early in the morning and then treks back with the bags over our shoulders (or in our handy dandy new grocery cart we just bought!) – sans kids. This week, I experimented taking the two littles while the older girls were in school.
To take both of them, I needed my big double stroller. Because the store is at a subway stop that doesn’t have an elevator and because I can’t lift the huge stroller by myself, I couldn’t take the subway. The bus requires that you fold up the stroller, which isn’t easy with my big double stroller and all the stuff I have with me, so I couldn’t take the bus. I could Uber, but by the time I pay that, it makes the trip not as affordable. So, I resorted to walking. It was a little over a mile one way – so not a bad walk according to NYC standards. I even got to talk to my good friend Jenn from NC on the way, which made the walk go so much faster.
This is a picture of what I ended up with after the trip. Notice the bigger bag rode back on my rider board (that you use for a third kid to stand and ride on the stroller) and the smaller bag went over my shoulder.
While the trip wasn’t horrible and the kids did great, I was tired when I got back and it took 2 hours to do all of this. So, while this is doable, this will not be part of my weekly rhythm. Back to the drawing board.
Laundry is another weekly thing that has to happen. Thankfully, laundry is one of the things I love about living in NYC. Our building has laundry rooms in the basement, so it is easy to run laundry down, set a timer to come back and switch it over, and then go back again to pick it all up. I actually LOVE that I can throw in all my loads at one time and get them all done relatively quickly. The only downside is that you have to pay, but thankfully, our building is cheaper than other friends’ buildings that we know.
Every weekend, we try to go do something fun together as a family. I actually told Ed recently that I love that we always have tons of time to spend together as a family on the weekends because we don’t have to worry about yard work, washing the cars, etc. So, for now, we have tried to pick one day/afternoon in a weekend and do something new or fun in the city. This week, we went to Union Square in Manhattan to have lunch and play at a new playground, went to Barnes and Noble for the kids to play in the kid’s section (Kinsley LOVES books just like me so she was in heaven and we even found an autographed copy of Savannah Gutherie’s new book she co-wrote – my guess is they had it left from a book signing they did), and then went to the Apple Store to upgrade our phones. It was a fun day and we had a great time. I love exploring new parts of the city together!
Anyways, hopefully this post just gives you a little insight into what our rhythms look like in the city and answers a few questions we commonly get asked. Please pray we can settle into a good routine for my sake, my kids’ sake, the homework’s sake, and all of our sanity.