We are on Day 3 of post-travel recovery and looks like schedules are getting closer to being on track again. Thank goodness! Because I don’t know how much more this cranky mom can handle at this point!
With all this pressure to get back on routine for school and work, I can’t help but think back to our trip and how easy it was to let go of all the rules and just enjoy the moment. There are, of course, many more pros to having a routine for the kiddos vs not, but I think every now and then it’s refreshing for everyone to let go a bit and let the kids learn to go with the flow. In our home, this takes place during summer while the kids are off from school and during vacations.
The pros of when the kids are on routine is that there is a lot less fussiness to deal with. They know what to expect from their day and when what will happen. So, for example, no tantrums about when they can do painting – they know when “art time” is. (And yes, my kids daily schedule includes arts/crafts time – it’s one of their fav things to do!). Or another example, no constant nagging about reading them their favorite book – they know they’ll get to choose a book to read before bedtime. It solves a lot of unnecessary operational headaches. Their routines are also scheduled around their needs – so they get fed before they can get too hungry, or take naps so they aren’t over-tired before bedtime, etc. Plus knowing that you have a guaranteed nap period or that the kids will be in bed by a certain time every night gives you guaranteed you-time every day! So for those parents with multiples that don’t operate on a strict routine – let me tell you, it’s a life changer! (I can also share my routine with my 4, 2.5, and 9 month old if anyone is interested).
But the pros of having kids off routine during certain periods are great too. It teaches your kids to be flexible. That there are certain times in life where you go with the flow and seize the moment. It’s ok if we don’t do art time, or if we delay our snack time – we can still have fun! You also get to do much more with the kids because you aren’t bound by nap times and meal times, etc. In a regular day you have to nix so many activities purely bc there won’t be enough time to squeeze them in. And yes, obviously when you throw off the routine, the kids tend to have more breakdowns or get fussier faster – but overtime that lessens. They learn to become flexible. And that is a pretty darn important trait for human beings to have!
So my point is, even though it sucks to have to spend a week or so getting everyone back on schedule, I love how much fun we were able to have and how much easier it was to enjoy our vacation because I wasn’t particular about the kids being on their routine while there. Rules and routines…they’re meant to be broken!