I recently saw this picture and thought “Yup. That’s me. They nailed it.” That is what my life is these days, a former spontaneous young woman trying to be a routine loving mom.
Routine isn’t easy for me. I like to just roll with things. And a lot of times my kids will too, but not without consequence. I’ll pay in some way for a skipped nap, late lunch, early or late bedtime or an early or late morning. These cute little kids are really like little robots or something, they have their own program and if you deviate from it… they will destroy you. Ok, obviously that’s a little dramatic, but you parents understand.
It seems like every time I have a week that really worked for me and the kids, they were on a good schedule and things around the house were in good order, the next week is a mess! We ended up feeling too cooped up at home so we spend that week trying to be social and we let the routines fly out the window! But then that was too chaotic so we go back and have another low key week at home. Just like the cartoon so perfectly illustrated!
I miss being more spontaneous. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I caught myself saying “oh I can’t with the kids” a few too many times. David and I made a point when we were first married of never turning down plans with friends. Even if something was a little inconvenient we would do it, knowing we wouldn’t always have opportunities to be that flexible. I’m so glad we did that when we could. It’s been hard for me to limit what we do, but I have to think of what works for the kids. I really miss being more active socially. I don’t remember having to turn things down quite as much when we only had one kid, but now with two I feel like I have to say no a lot more. I know it won’t always be like this, I’m already seeing signs of a roll with it personality from my 3 year old and I know it won’t be long until the baby is on board too.
When I was preparing to stay home with the kids I remember thinking how much cleaner the house would be with “all that time on my hands” HA! I felt like a huge failure with my housework routine until I finally figured out that the reason the house wasn’t staying clean anymore is because we are constantly home making messes!! It’s not going to look like “Better Homes and Gardens” in here 24/7! We live here, we play here, we cook here! But I am proud to say that I keep us off the cover of “What bomb went off here?” and “Top 10 health code violations”
I’m still working on balancing being a responsible stay at home mom with a clean home who stays on the kids’ schedules and a woman who has a need to be social and stay sane. But I have learned to give myself more grace. Grace for a messy home. Grace for feeling guilty for turning down plans. Grace when it feels selfish to do something on my own. I think a routine full of grace might be the routine I’ve been looking for.
Author: Cassia Hobbs