A Monday after a vacation week. It is truly amazing how you can be gone for a week and when you arrive back home, jump right back into your routine. I am very thankful that we have routines, my type A personality would have it no other way.
I have always been a routine type person, having that structure helps me to make sure I am tackling everything that needs to be tackled. I started the kids on routines early on. Routines cut down on anxiety because everyone knows what they should be doing at all times. For instance, Hummingbird knows that when we get home, it's homework. Because I am a working outside the home mom, she attends karate afterschool and she gets a chance to get a jumpstart on homework. By the time I pick her up, we get home, she has a chance to finish any uncompleted homework. MonkeyMan and I work different shifts, he works about 15 minutes away from our home. Hummingbird must have homework completed by 7 pm because that's when MonkeyMan comes home for his lunch, our dinner. When he returns to work at 8 pm, she has an opportunity to watch one of her favorite shows.
Speaking of dinner, that's another routine. It is very important for us to eat dinner together. I believe that provides a great foundation for a family and gives us a chance to talk and find out about each other's day. Now, don't get me wrong, it gets a bit chaotic. Everyone wants to talk at the same time. But I would rather have all that chatter than not have any at all.
So, yeah, routines. They provide structure and security for kids. Kids thrive when there is consistency. There are some things that I need to tighten up on that are affected by the ages and stages of kids. Yogli has the duty of cleaning the kitchen every night. Well, we have just reached the point where he does this without being told. We've both learned some things: he's learned a bit of responsibility, I've learned that he may not clean the kitchen perfectly. Yes, for the longest time, I expected him to clean the kitchen the way I would clean the kitchen. Part of that whole control thing, type A personality. Told you, I am working on this thing! So, MonkeyMan broke it all down for me. I finally realized that other people will not do things the way I would do them. And that's ok. So, Yogli still leaves food in the sink. And that's ok...I think, yeah, it's ok.
Don't forget, it helps to write things down, too! I have an app on my phone and tablet, Cozi, that helps with that. You can access from any phone/tablet/computer (wow, we have way too many gadgets). It's color coded, a color for each family member. You can also share calendars between family members and send text messages about anything on the calendar. And best of all, it's free! I don't believe in buying apps, if it's not free, I don't need it.
My love of routines helped me to have a great "welcome back" Monday from vacation. Now tell me, what great routines have you got going on?