Establishing a Family Routine – Très Important

by Lisa Douglas

Back to school means back to business. It means tightening up the ship around here, taking care of responsibilities, and back to a semblance of normalcy. While I love the sleeping-in and lazy, undisturbed and irresponsible days summer can bring, it’s when school is back in session that I feel our family is back in harmony again. Why, you ask?

Routines.

While I don’t have a fondness for getting up at the butt-crack of dawn, having that morning routine in which school needs to be prepared for, with the entire family up at ohdarkthirty, blurry-eyed, coffee slurping and breakfasts pushed about the plate in a mono-syllabic, cavemanesque, I-just-woke-up-leave-me-the-heck-alone kind-of way, it has me all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s that early time in which the oldest four kids go off to school, the younger two stay home to play with mommy, the naptimes occur at regularly scheduled times mid-day, and everyone knows what to expect at all times, because it’s already planned out and practically performs itself. All is calm, collected, and functionally on-time every day from August to June. All because of school.

All because of our routine because of school.

Sure, there are soccer and football practices for five. different. children. And games. And other extra-curricular activities peppered amongst the little-to-no free time we have because of school. But this MACH-10, hair-on-fire, routinely preparation from day-to-day is good for my soul, good for my babies, good for my entire family to see them operationally magnificent, taking care of what they need to take care of in a timely manner, falling to sleep at night, dead-tired, after a long but full day.

I know you’ll think I’m crazy for saying this, but sometimes? Time off? It makes me lose my marbles. We lose this schedule, this routine, and all gets haywire and out-of-whack. Our family almost becomes unmanageable. Vacation sometimes is more work than actual work is, because we fight to get back to “normal” and back to schedule when we get back.

But this? Right now? This one-month into school and fall starting to settle in? And the air getting cooler and sports starting to really get going? And games and practices at an all-time high? This? Is wonderful.

Do you have routines for your family, too? Do you also feel that sometimes time off is sometimes too hard to deal with? What do you do to help combat the crazy that comes with time off?

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