TYLENOL® has been highlighting untraditional families as part of their “#HowWeFamily” campaign, since untraditional families are becoming more of the norm these days.
When they asked me to participate, I wasn’t sure what I would write about initially. My family seems pretty traditional. But after thinking about it, I realized my family does actually do things a little differently. Especially over the summer, when I am out at our house with the kids for two solid months and Mike is commuting back and forth on the weekends.
Typically, Mike and I split responsibilities with me doing more childcare and him doing more household duties (including the cooking as I’ve mentioned many times before). Even with Mike in the city, it’s interesting to see how the responsibilities remain largely the same.
Mike is still grocery shopping when he gets in town for the week and making sure we have everything when he leaves. He’s still vacuuming on weekends, going OCD on our fridge organization and monitoring the AC using some mobile app all the way from Manhattan. (This drives me crazy because it’s always TOO HOT when I wake up and it takes me a few moments to realize why.)
Meanwhile, I’m getting up with the kids on my own, getting them ready for the day, packing lunches and taking them to camp.
At night, I’m putting them to bed, saying good night to Mike over Facetime and then going back to work after everyone else is sleeping.
No easy feat considering it takes me about two hours to convince Harlow to stay in bed.
The other untraditional part about our family is how much my personal life and my business overlap. The blog has always involved the kids but now Mike has started taking on a lot behind the scenes. We actually have a shared family calendar just for blog stuff so Mike knows when I need him to participate in a shoot or why I’m taking a picture of our sunscreen while on a family outing at the beach.
There’s a lot less eye rolling that way.
The family calendar also helps plan things where I promise not to take any photos whatsoever, like on a recent kayaking trip with the kids. (OMG, the photos would have been SO GOOD.)
Otherwise, I’d be working all day on my laptop.
Because working from home with kids is impossible, Seri (my office mate from the city who also lives out here for the summer) has invited me to work at her place during the week, since both her kids are in camp all day. She also invited Abby (our shared assistant) to spend the summer and together we’ve moved the whole operation out east.
At 9am, I leave Harlow with our sitter and drop Mazzy off at camp. (This is how they say goodbye to each other every morning which is the sweetest thing.)
Harlow always stands out in front of the house with the sitter and waves to us as we drive away.
After drop-off, I drive straight to Seri’s house and all three of us sit around Seri’s dining room table on laptops, like our office away from the office.
As opposed to our closet the city, we’ve got private places to go if you need to take a phone call, a fully stocked kitchen and the opportunity to eat lunch outside on the back porch.
Sadly, that only happened once but it was GLORIOUS.
After the kids get out of camp, Seri and I sometimes have everyone over one house for a big playdate. If we’re especially busy we’ll throw on a movie.
We also try to plan special nights to do something fun like take the kids to the beach for a picnic dinner.
Roast marshmallows outside in Seri’s firepit.
Or go to an outdoor concert in the park.
Mike comes back on Thursday nights. If he gets home early enough, we’ll go out to eat somewhere, preferably on the water if the weather is right.
Most nights though, I work straight through the day and leave Seri’s at 5pm to go home for dinner, just like I would any other time of the year.
Then I get to hang out with my girls in the sun porch or play outside in the yard until it’s time for the kids to go to bed.
When everyone is finally sleeping and after I’ve said good night to Mike over the phone, I set up my laptop on the kitchen table and work as late as I can on my book.
Most nights I don’t get very far until my eyes are closing and it’s time to go bed myself.
How do you family?
I have received information and materials from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own.