Monday, January 26, 2015

Longing for Normal

Before I had kids I never dreamed of being such a scheduled person. I thrived on being spontaneous with my husband. We went out at the spur of the moment and took unplanned weekend trips frequently. I was sure that once kids came into the picture, I would remain somewhat unstructured. I didn't like the idea of scheduling my whole life.

I remained very flexible and unscheduled until my son was about 4 months old and developed a pattern for sleep and meal times. I accidentally became a structured person. Soon, I started to schedule other things like walks and baths. These necessities remained structured with all my kids. Having five kids under six years old, I really thrived on a schedule. Pretty soon other things like clean-up time and housework became structured as well until nearly everything I did, short of breathing was scheduled. As all the kids entered school, and many now have an activity they are in, schedules have become a must. To this day I still have a pretty stringent routine.

When things come up or there are changes in my routine, it causes me quite a bit of anxiety. If my routine changes it messes up the flow of the running of the household. That said, I have not had a normal week for two months! It is making me crazy! I just want ONE normal week to help me regroup!

This is my normal (boring) week:
All weekdays the kids go to school and dad goes to work, but comes home every night. Homework is done after school and we eat a family meal (except Tuesdays). Bedtime is at 9 PM. These things do not change.

Mon: Bath night.
Tue: After school the 10 yr old has dance, 8 yr old had Karate, and we eat fast food in between the two classes.
Wed: After school the 6 yr olds have dance.
Thurs: After supper the 8 yr old has Karate and I go grocery shopping.
Friday: I do all the laundry and household chores while the kids are at school. Bath night.

Weekends we are very unstructured and mostly have family time. Sometimes we go somewhere and other times we just stay home and play/relax all weekend.

For the last two months  something has messed up this routine.
These things include:
Holiday travel
Illness (horrible amt of sick days)
Dad traveling for work
Extra school days off
Visitors for two weeks
Extra appts
School activities

This week is not normal either. Dad is gone working out of town all week. Wednesday and Thursday I have school conferences and the 8 yr old has an appt Thursday.

I feel like yelling "Can't I just get ONE normal week? JUST ONE, please!

 I was thinking about it the other day when I realized this week also would not be normal. Then it occurred to me, all these hiccups are a normal part of like with five kids, none of it is shocking or totally off the wall things to deal with, just life happening. Unpredictability is a normal, albeit irritating part of being a parent. So I better get used to it! THIS is the new normal!