Do you ever feel like the life of a mom is like the movie Groundhogs Day? You have a set routine every day, it goes something like this. You wake up before the sun to get the kids ready, fed and off to school. Go to work (with no memory of the drive between school and the office). Realize that you forgot your cell phone, kids lunch, purse, laptop, etc. Run errand
s on your lunch hour. Pick kids up from school, do homework, take kids to practice/lessons. Engage in the ritual, “you must eat your dinner” argument, which you will inevitably lose. Bath, stories, bedtime, lather, rinse, repeat!
You tell yourself that this is because routines are good for kids, and that they crave consistency. While this is true, the real reason you do it is because it’s a coping mechanism designed to get you from one weekend to the next without losing your mind! Any time my routine is altered, even in the slightest, all mayhem breaks loose and my week is irreparably upended.
My kids however appear completely unaware of my need for these constants and love when we change things up. My 2 year old will endlessly stand by the door with his shoes and back pack on saying, “go bye-bye in the car seat?” Doesn’t he know that today is not swim night? That, for once, I don’t need to get anything at Target? No, of course he doesn’t, all he knows is that he is bored and needs an adventure.
Some of my best memories as a child are when my mom unexpectedly broke from our normal routine for something unplanned (at least to us). Like letting us play hooky from school so we could go to the Sloan Museum, have a dress-up tea party for lunch, or go night swimming at our local pool past bedtime. I don’t have the slightest clue what our normal routine looked like, but I do remember those days.
If you are in a similar rut and are looking for some ways to shake up your normal routine, here are some ideas:
1.) Take the day off of work and let the kids ditch school for a fun day trip.
2.) Turn a normal evening into a pajama party, complete with floor picnic and movies.
3.) Wake your kids up a bit early to go out to breakfast before school.
4.) Pick your kids up from school and take them to do something out-of-the-norm like, skiing, skating, bowling, swimming, etc.
5.) Get a hotel room nearby for the night with a swimming pool in the middle of the week.
6.) Play outside after dark, even if it’s past their bedtime.
7.) Anything else you can think of to change things up mid-week: baking projects, volunteering, hiking . . . the list can go on forever!
Most importantly, be present, give them your undivided attention, have fun and let the schedule go for a day.
I promise the world won’t end, and the memories will last a lifetime!