It could not come soon enough for me. With all the crazy times and changes going on in our lives these days, I needed some consistency. It’s been a rough year and a half with all the ups and downs, and are we better? Not better? Who can help with the children? Who is in quarantine and who is not? It really has made for an interesting summer.
We did get some relief this summer, as my daughter is now old enough to watch the boys, so we were able to sneak out every now and then or make a trip to the grocery store without it being a full-blown family meeting. At the same time though, this is a first for me, and even though she has been able to watch them, it still seems very weird to walk out of the house and drive off knowing your children are alone in the house and you have never left them alone before.
So now that they are back in school, I think we can get back to that routine that is needed for my sanity and their sanity. I think we need to remember that in all these ups and downs in our lives these days, we need to do our best to keep things simple and routine for our little ones. Too much has been changing, and I can see that as my children get older, my stress goes up with their stress, and the anxiety builds when normal is “not normal.”
So, how do we do this? Well to me, it is the simple things. We make a list of chores for them to do and we make sure it is done when it is supposed to be done, as this helps them feel part of something bigger than themselves. Next, we make dinner a priority. If possible, make it a family thing and make it the same time every day. Let’s get back to the “old-fashioned family dinner.” So many of us are working late or grabbing something while on the run. I have even noticed in my house that we throw something together and half of us are standing around the kitchen counter eating on a paper plate and not even sitting at the table 10 feet away. Don’t get me wrong, this is not always an option with dance and sports after school. This can’t be every day, but I think we can try to build some routines. It will help all of us.
After all, as parents, we have our problems, but we need to remember that our children do too. Their problems are just as real and just as big as ours. We just have grown-up problems. So, let’s celebrate that they are back in school and thank the teachers for everything they have done and continue to do, but let’s also get back to the basics of family time.