I am undergoing a process of routine change right now. It is a bold path and wide-reaching. With the newness of school routines, I am not only reacting to my own routine changes but currently Ian and Kaylee’s. Whew! Managing the differences in life between the openness of summer and the defined time of school is hard. They are loving school but we are losing it during the window of 4-8pm. Between snack, dinner, homework, etc… we are battling the exhaustion of two kids in full day school.
At 4pm, I am so excited to see them and by 4:05 they have sucked the air out of the house. Yesterday they actually walked up the drive smacking each other. This is all new to us. We typically all get along pretty well but the ugly head of exhaustion may take us under.
It gets better around 8pm because Kaylee is already in bed and Ian is headed there. And they are both bitter that Rhett is still up, but hey he has been enjoying his afternoon naps again so there! I know that with any time of change it is going to get better soon. This initial time warp lasts about 3 weeks. Soon it will be a faded memory of how tired they have been. (I can’t wait)
To be proactive with handling the exhaustion I have decided to try:
1 – greet them on the driveway from the bus (perhaps the hitting will be halted) with a hug and a big smile
2 – not answer the phone until after 5pm (text me if you neeeeeeeed me)
3 – have a snack and drink on the counter ready to go
4 – take turns on who shares about their day first
5 – have a dinner planned out hours ahead so I don’t get flustered when 5pm comes
6 – ask them what they would like to do after snack and homework (talk more with mom, play upstairs, downstairs, outside, or watch a show quietly)
I know that this seems like quite a structured list but all of this happens in just a moment. It is a decision to parent proactively instead of reactively. It doesn’t cut it to just be there to greet them. You have to pick a pattern that works for you and stick with it. Kids crave routine, predictability and communication. I can do that! I just need to get ‘er done.
Hoping you all are finding new routines as a stretching and defining time. Don’t let them bog you down. Take them on as a new challenge that you can tackle.
Have a blessed day!