The Neighborhood Park


For my family, it’s only the first few weeks of public school and the first week of preschool, and I already feel like our schedule has been twirled around. I’m doing my best to create a routine for my 18-month-old. I’m sure many of you feel the same. One thing that has become a great go-to for my son is the small neighborhood park, which is more like a slide, located half a mile from our house. Although that might seem far, it’s been such a pleasant stroll for him and me to walk together. He is big enough now to go up and down the slide alone. I realized I didn’t have to take him to a big park to enjoy being outside and give him the exercise he needed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love larger parks, but sometimes I want a quick way to get out, to avoid the struggle of wrestling him in the car seat, avoiding the two-second nap in the car (that ruins a good nap). For example, today, we did our morning walk to public school for our first grader, and my preschooler got dropped off at preschool. This was when my toddler and I went to our neighborhood park towards the tinny slide. The park serves as just enough exercise to prepare him for lunch and a nap. Also, the walk is easy for me. Win-win.

The Neighborhood Park
The Neighborhood Park

We are new to all-day public school and having a preschooler, so before school started, I was a bit nervous about how I would create a routine. Not just for my toddler but myself. As a mom, I often bite off more than I can chew. My husband always tells me to slow down. I can’t help but have my engine roar before I get settled into a new routine. More than just settling into a new routine, however, I hoped to contribute financially to our home once two out of three of our kids were in school. I’ve found that it doesn’t seem likely unless we get a steady routine going for our toddler.

Making It Work

Luckily, I’ve found part-time gigs coaching my eldest’s soccer team (they’re such a great group) and babysitting two days a week. I also try and maintain a regular house-cleaning routine. It’s a lot, but after having a successful first day of a new habit with all three kid’s schedules, I’m already feeling better about it, and the small neighborhood slide played a big role. Don’t underestimate those small patches of grass near and around your neighborhood.

How do you manage your time and still get your youngest out for some play? Hopefully, this will inspire you to feel good about doing your best and not have high expectations when you’re already running around trying to catch up. I know my son is happy, and even if it’s just a slide, it’s perfect for what he needs and what I need! Good luck out there, Mammas!


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