Happy Tuesday everyone! As we are in the midst of social distancing, with many having stay at home ordinances, I have seen several photos circulate social media platforms that promote no schedule for the kids. So, that’s what I want to write about today!
Before I move forward, I for the most part agree with a lot of what I have read. Extending grace to ourselves and our families in this time is good – even necessary. We who have the luxury of staying close to home and venturing out only when required have, I believe, the responsibility to do so. Even if we are wanting to be helpful to those who are essential workers, my thought is that staying out of their way with those I am responsible for is the best way I CAN help right now. My crew have had their share of sleep in, wear pajamas all day, and watch shows while it rains days. (Real life admission as an example: As I type this, the Princess is rolling off the couch just because and driving me nuts while I try to work.)
The point of today’s post is to defend routines. There are people who thrive without defined systems and routines set for their days. I think there are very few if we are completely honest with ourselves. I, for one, like flexibility and freedom in my routine if I keep to the same general guidelines that I have set for myself. This allows me the freedom to create when the inspiration strikes, while still being productive with my time. However, my husband and my son succeed best when the routine sets clearly defined steps to eliminate choice overload. The days that we deviate from a routine of SOME sort are frustrating for my Buddy and ultimately end up frustrating us all. The days that we keep the routine, life is much easier. I would say in spite of life’s current circumstances, but the truth is that it’s especially with life’s current circumstances.
Right now, we sleep a little later, take a little longer on meal breaks, take several play breaks throughout our days, and make as much of our learning time things like making volcanoes to learn about acids & bases, making cookies to review fractions, and watching read-alouds provided by their teachers for some of their reading. We are touring museums online that have provided virtual tours, and we sometimes cuddle & snack with a movie! A new habit that our family has adopted is nightly walks after dinner when the weather permits. That’s been a favorite, as it provides a much-needed sense of getting out into the world without violating the safety of social distancing. But we do all the things within defined times throughout our day.
I guess the main point I would like to relate is to alleviate the guilt of any other moms or childcare providers out there like me that need the routine to thrive. Don’t feel like you are causing your kids to miss out on memories! We make better ones in our house WITH the schedule loosely in place. You know what’s going to work best for your crew, and you will be just fine with a routine. If you are one that can’t deal with the drama of creating a routine right now, don’t! You know just as well what works in your household. All our different personalities and needs require completely different approaches, and that’s okay.