Resuming routine

We had an amazingly fun and relaxing week at Emerald Isle and made so many memories. We chased the kids across the sand and through the surf, their little footprints and musical laughter trailing behind. We explored things we had left behind in our own childhoods afresh and anew. We had grown up time with our best friend after the kids were in bed filled with our own laughter (and more than a little junk food). I even spent a few chunks of afternoon sitting with the sun on my face and my feet in the water, just reading, and that was heavenly.

But now we are home, and I’m ready to get started on so many new things! We are beginning a new school year-kindergarten for Lexi (still unofficially, our first official year of homeschooling will be next year), and Declan’s first year of preschool. I’m starting a new fitness regime with more yoga, in preparation to transition to mostly yoga, with goals for cycling also. (A separate post on all that to come.) I’m also pursuing a ton of improvements in areas of improving nutrition and rest, in hopes that better physical health will continue to support my mental health. These are all good things, but will take intention and focus to make happen.

And routine. One thing I’ve begun to embrace is the subtle but important difference between schedule and routine. As a stay at home homeschool mama, I have the freedom to create predictable routine without a strict schedule. This means we have a list of objectives each day that we perform in (generally) the same order at (mostly) the same times, but without the rigidity of being tied to the clock. This is something I have fought the past couple years, but I am learning to really lean into in the season I find myself in, because we are just not in a place of predictability yet, and I cannot allow that to be another “failure” that I take on, because it’s just not up to me.

For example, last Monday morning, our first weekday after vacation: The plan was for me to get up, eat, have devotions, and work out, hopefully all before the kids got up. I got up on time, I had my breakfast, was finishing my devotional time, still “on schedule”, but moments after Scott left for work, Lexi was up and singing at the top of her lungs, thus waking Declan. She then came downstairs and started demanding my attention and help and to paint. I told her she needed to find something quiet to do because this was my time. She finally settled on a movie, and I heard Declan fussing and knew he needed to be gotten sooner than later. Then they wanted breakfast and their show. Now it’s an hour after I planned to begin my workout, and almost “time” to start school. If I were tied to my schedule, I would feel defeated and frustrated.

Instead, I chose to look at it like this- A few of the objectives in our routine had been crossed off (my breakfast, devotions, the kids are dressed and fed.) and we had all morning to get my workout and school done. I also had an opportunity to start teaching Lexi about boundaries and respect for others’ time. You can believe that’s going to be a big theme for awhile. Eventually I will be able to get up earlier and we will have even more time to get things accomplished. I’m thankful that the past couple months I’ve been able to teach the kids to let me work out without many interruptions. I’m closer to the goal each day of creating space for adventure and fun while accomplishing what we need to. While I’m still pursuing a predictable and smooth morning for us all, I’m embracing flexibility along the way.

We will be starting our new school year and adding that part of the routine to our schedule next Monday, and I’m sure there will be hiccups as we adjust, but hopefully if we approach it with openness and positive expectations, it will fall into place and be a jumping off point for learning, adventure, and fun throughout all of our day.

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