I’ve never been one for plans and routines. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. However, parenting has kicked that carefree spirit to a small, dark corner of my mind.
Oh, but you seem so “roll with the punches.”
Um, not the same thing. Parents learn to roll with the punches in order to survive. Me, I’m working on it. I’m also working on loving routines. Of course, I use the word “routine” very loosely here because with two tweens and an ex, things can change at the drop of a hat.
The Ideal Routine
Ideally, my ex-husband keeps the kids every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday evening. I have them Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. On his days, my ex picks the kids up at my house after he gets off work and I pick them up the next morning in time to catch the bus at our stop. Sounds simple, right?
Not so much.
Toss in travel softball practice, yearbook, art club, friends, and appointments. There is no such thing as an ideal routine. So, I do the best I can with what I’ve got.
The Compromise Routine
A.K.A. Mom’s way. Clearly, we can’t always abide a routine of any kind so we set certain rules in place to provide as much structure as possible. You see, my kids need some sort of routine for very different reasons. My son has ADHD and my daughter is an over-achieving perfectionist. To that end, we keep mornings as normal as possible, even when they are at their Dad’s overnight. It seems to be working and the only disruptions are morning meetings (yearbook, parent meetings at school) that entail being driven to school instead of riding the bus. You can imagine how NOT disappointed the kids are about those days.
Afternoons and evenings are challenging because of activities. However, we have a few basic rituals that help the kids. First, every school day, the kids come home, unpack their bags, hand over their phones (I collect them all and set them in another room). The kids take turns walking me through their days from Homebase through 8th period. It helps them remember homework assignments, tests, etc. and it gives me a good idea of what’s going on for them. If they stay with me, the kids get their phones back after all chores and homework are done, they’ve been physically active for at least thirty minutes, and they’re all ready for the next day.
Experimental Nighttime Routine
We recently started a bedtime ritual that they seem to love. Every night at 9pm, the kids go to their bedrooms. They have time to do what they wish in peace and quiet. It helps them calm down and I’m finding that they actually fall asleep a lot earlier since starting this. However, there are occasions that activities run late and we simply cannot make that 9pm time. Still, I’m finding that both kids look forward to their “alone time” and actually ask for it. Secretly, this thrills me because I can actually read or *gasp* write in peace.
Is this the be all, end all? Nope. I don’t even know if this will last through the school year but the best thing is we can tweak it as a family. Am I telling you that this will work for you? Nope. It just works for my family, at this point in time. Try the parts you dig, leave the parts you don’t. Got suggestions for me, lay them on me by all means. Comment below or email me at email@example.com.
Today in My Life
6:30am – up and at ’em, meditate, scratch that, try to meditate, get distracted by need to pee and the day ahead, give up and hit the bathroom instead. Check email, check social media, realize it’s that time again.
7am – wake kids up, eat breakfast, guzzle coffee, watch GMA and discuss politics with the kids (I’m not kidding).
7:55am – kids leave for bus (HUZZAH!)
8am – morning pages, it’s a thing I do, call it a brain dump, then get dressed for work in ten minutes, out the door for work by 8:40am.
9am-2pm – work at PT job that pays some of the bills so I don’t have to take anymore assignments I don’t want to write (can we say bear-shifter-porn?).
2:15pm-3:15pm – write for a whopping hour before the kids get home.
3:15pm – kids home, phones surrendered, heard about their days, planned the night.
4pm-5pm – changed out of work clothes, answered emails, turned down a job I don’t want to write for (see, PT job worth it), brief social media push.
5pm – drove Autumn to softball practice (it took 45 minutes to get there cuz, sweet, traffic), then sat and did the sports Mom thing with the other team Mom because it is the only adult interaction I’ve had all day, don’t judge.
7:45pm – practice over, sinuses pulsing, grabbed $5 hot and ready pizza (I’m not apologizing for that either) on the way home.
8pm -9pm – ate pizza, watched American Housewife and Speechless with the munchkins because darn it, we deserved a little fun time and those shows make us happy.
9pm – kids went their separate ways, tucked them both in, realized this post is incomplete and sat down to finish it.
10pm – finishing post, going to read and walk so I can hit my damn step count for the day cuz I am not missing another day!
HA HA HA HA HA. I don’t even know when my bedtime will be, I never do. Sleep, sleep is something I need to work on.