Hello, fellow parents!
I hope everyone is staying safe and staying entertained! I’m wondering how many of my fellow parents have totally abandoned their routines? If you haven’t, how are you keeping the routines you have in place during the lockdown? I’m super interested in hearing from everyone, so please use the comment section below to let us know what routine looks like right now in your household.
Our routine has become utter chaos. We tried. We really tried. During the first few weeks I attempted to keep things running as smoothly as possible because I knew the transition would be hard for the kids.
As time dragged on my sanity broke, but I kept on a truckin’. I harped on the kids to keep to the schedules. I jumped on the Man-Childe if he ate food that I’d intended to be for a meal. I went a bit Martha-Crazy to be honest …
Guess what? It got old. It got old for me and it got REALLY old for the rest of my wonderful family. God love em though, they tried their best to do things my way. I think they understood how important it had become to me that we stay on a routine and so they tried to rise to my expectations. Eventually, I had to ask myself — why was this even so important to me?
The answer was in front of me the entire time. I know part of it was because I thought it would help the kids if we tried to keep our lives as normal as possible. I still think that’s important because children crave routine and they thrive on stability. It helps when a child knows what’s expected and chaos leads to confusion, which leads to frustration.
I still believe this, but routine should be a partnership between parents and children. Not a dictatorship.
I think I’d felt it was important I do things a certain way so that people wouldn’t look down on me and my parenting. If we skipped school work for a day, what kind of mom would that make me? What would the teachers think if I didn’t send perfectly completed work each day? If my daughter was not in bed at an age appropriate time, what would the neighbors think? Would I look trashy because my daughter was still awake after a normal bedtime?
While I had fooled myself into believing I was doing this entirely for my family, I was ignoring how selfish I was really being.
Once I sat down and asked myself what my TRUE motivations were, I could pick through the necessary and the unnecessary. I could pull the disguise off my selfish motivations and expose the truly selfless reasons. Once I’d uncovered those, I could determine what was important and what I could toss in the trash-bin.
Our routine is much more slack today. We’ve found compromises as a family so that each of us get a little of what we all want. There’s now room in the schedule for ALL of our selfish reasons and we tuck them in between the necessary things.
We still do our school work because it’s mandated, but in return for doing her work, Kay can stay up a little later than normal each night right now. We still sit down as a family to home-cooked meals, but if she wants to play outside a little longer, dinner can wait.
I buy extra of the things I know the Man-Childe might eat before I’ve used them so it’s not an emergency if I’m in the middle of cooking and find an important ingredient is no longer available.
It’s a little hectic. It’s not as strict. However, we still have a routine so Buggy does not feel like life is spiraling out of control. If our routine does not look like others think it should, to hell with them. If the neighbors turn up their noses because my daughter is still watching TV an hour after her normal bedtime, oh well. Truth is, I’m probably snuggled up beside her enjoying a family movie night and I couldn’t careless what people think in that moment!
How about you? Has your routine changed during quarantine? Have you struggled with this? Share your story with us in the comments below!