Four years ago today, I awoke as a freshly unemployed campaign coordinator for a major county in Texas in a hotel bed after a long night at the elections department and a post-election party, exhausted in a way that made running a marathon seem like I had just taken a walk in the park.
Today, four years and three children later, I awoke equally exhausted. A four day family wedding and a baptism followed by 8 consecutive days of the stomach flu in all its glory have left us tired and quite a bit out of our normal routine.
Melissa Wiley often describes her homeschooling adventure as tidal learning. Homeschooling or not, we all experience some degree of tidal living. While I don’t begrudge the crazy and chaotic times of traveling and family events (well…maybe I do begrudge the stomach flu!), there is something nice about looking at your calendar for the week and seeing nothing other than your usual friday morning playgroup written down.
So it is time to get back in the groove of life with toddlers. We need our routines to maintain our sanity. Everyone benefits. Well rested, well fed, active boys are much happier. Instead of spending our mornings making sure we have all the pieces to a 2T tuxedo, or washing sheets (again), we can listen to classical music and spend time reading from our fall book basket. We will have outside time and note all the signs of the changing seasons. When Incredibaby naps, we can get out the messier things like paint and clay. Our routines help us create a more peaceful atmosphere in the home. If find that a routine allows me to be more attentive to my children, which in turn makes them happier, which makes it easier for me to be patient and joyful. A happy cycle. Not that all our days are smooth sailing…there will be flights over the blue clay and who gets to blow out the candle at prayer time, but having a baseline helps us tremendously.