Jeff and I were taking a walk the other night and we were discussing how our life has changed since we have had two kids and the economy has tanked. Some changes have been good and others have been rough, but I think the changes have made us better people.
#1- meal planning
we use to go to dinner at least once a week, and lunch and breakfast out were fairly frequently too. Now we go out to dinner probably once a month or at most every other week and it is usually something inexpensive, not a sit-down, real restaurant. Now I plan meals a week or two in advance, go to the grocery get ingredients and stick pretty close to our strict schedule. Meals, at least dinner, isn't spontaneous anymore, but that isn't at all bad. I don't have excuses about not feeling like making dinner because it doesn't require thought, it is already planned for me and usually I have everything I need to make it, no daily trips to the grocery store. We have less waste because I am buying exactly what I need and not just a lot of stuff that I may or may not use. Also, our grocery bill is less because I only buy what I need and I can plan meals according to the activities of the week and what is on sale. Since we are eating in so much we are better about eating leftovers which also creates less waste. Meal planning requires a bit more work and time at the beginning of each week, but I am starting to enjoy it. I try and incorporate a new recipe every week to keep things interesting. I am also starting to get interested in freezer meals and need to branch out a bit more, get past casserole style meals. We eat a lot more variety of foods and healthier foods now too. Of all the changes in our life, this one is all good!
#2- friday nights are just another night
it use to be that friday nights were something different, we would usually go out to eat, go shopping or do some activity, now it doesn't look much different than thursday or monday night, but that is okay. we don't really have the extra money to go shopping and out to eat and with lily's bedtime being around 8 there isn't a lot of time to go out and about. this change is sometimes a little depressing come friday night when we are taking our walk thinking about all the people who are out enjoying the weekend night, but going out just to go out is pointless so we stay in. though it is hard, our babies won't be in this life stage forever and before we know it friday night might be movie night again or go out night, time will tell.
#3- we never rent or see movies anymore
this is sad, but true. we rarely rent movies or go out and see movies anymore. i can't stay up late and by the time we get the kids asleep and start the movie I am drifting off to sleep. finding time and money to go see a movie in a theatre is difficult. not to mention the fact that our ghetto city doesn't currently have a stadium seating theatre and I am not spending $8 or 9 on a movie in a bad theatre or driving an hour to see a movie.
#4- i just don't run in and grab something quick
I avoid quick trips for one or two things at a store at all costs. getting both kids out of the car, lily in the sling, holding onto lance, getting the one thing we need, making the purchase while keeping control of lance then loading everyone back up in the car takes a ridiculous amount of work. heck, i don't go shopping anymore, i go purchasing!
#5- we use to take weekend trips places
now i don't want to go anywhere unless we are staying for more than 2 full days for several reasons. my kids don't really like the car and so road trips can be stressful, I like a few days to rest and regain sanity before travelling again. the amount of stuff needed for both my children is ridiculous, I prefer to pack my house up for a long trip, not a there and back again kind of deal.
then again, we have little money to go anywhere.
#6- this is lance and lily's house
not jeff and sarah's house, evidence is in every room
need i say more?
#7- we use to sleep in
if a child isn't up early then I am up to get some solitude/ alone time in because once the day starts, even using the bathroom is not alone time
i know there is more, but this is it for now