Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dealing with your daily routine

Having a routine is a good way to bring order into your life.  What happens when the routine is broken?  Do you continue on without any repercussions?  Do the children and spouse have meltdowns? 
Morning routine.  In this house the kids get up at 6:00 on school days, shower, make their beds, dress, eat, and do some chores.  Girl sweeps the kitchen and the hall.  Boy unloads the dishwasher and feeds dog.  Breakfast is on the table at 7:00, sometimes earlier if I am done with what I'm doing.  Out the door at 7:20 to catch the school bus.  Me.  I get up, make bed, check on animals, turn on computer to see if any disasters from the evening before with work, shower and dress, get a cup of coffee, make breakfast. Get kids out the door at 7:20.  Either head to the office, work at home, or head out to the field.  If I am working at home I usually do outdoor activities from the time the kids get on the bus until close to 8:00.  Then I hit the computer and phone.
School days are the same, each and every day.  Almost each morning boy and girl checks the refrigerator door where the chore chart is to make sure they've done their chores.  They do the same thing each day but they still review the chart. 
Routine is good but a person can't get so stuck in their routine that they can't function if something goes a little haywire.  I mix up the routine on purpose just to make sure they don't have a meltdown.  It may be as simple as swapping chores, or something more traumatic as no hot water for the shower, or not getting them up until 6:45.  They still have to function and they still have to complete what's required.  Boy just does what's needed with a smile on his face.  Girl on the other hand gets affected by a change in routine. 
If their afternoon routine gets changed by even one item then there are problems.  If they can't do what they normally do it's like their entire routine gets thrown out the window.  We are working on this as they have to be able to be functional but flexible at all times.
I have had so much practice being fluid with my routine that I can function no matter what gets thrown my way.  I do keep a list of chores or tasks taht need to get done.  I keep a calendar for work and appointments that the kids have.  I also write a list of chores that need to be completed.  I may start the list at the beginning of the week and by the end of the week have a huge list.  I will chip away at the list each day but it seems lately that work has been so crazy that I haven't done enough.  I still keep up on the main tasks.  Everyone gets fed.  Everyone has a clean bed to sleep in at night.  All is good.

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