Back to the Rat RacePosted: April 1, 2013
Many of us in Northern Virginia heard our alarm clocks for the first time in over a week this morning. After a slower paced spring break we are back to the school buses, packing lunches, homework and shuttling around from one practice to another.
It was so nice to let go of the schedule for a bit. We slowed down, slept in, travelled and played. The kids seemed lighter, slower and relaxed. Many parents that I know took the week off from work, or at least a couple of days. Throw in Passover and Easter to the mix and it’s been one big party (well, mostly, unless you observe the Passover dietary rules which is an entirely different blog post).
Last night as we sat around the dining room table for the first time in over a week and ate a home cooked meal, we were laughing and being silly with an edge of “it’s time to get back to normal”. We had spent MANY hours together, in the car and at meals and in a hotel room, there had been little alone time and we just might have been starting to rub each other the wrong way. My big announcement was “in the morning, everyone is going to leave”. One kid rolled his eyes dreading the school bell while another one was somewhat relieved to get back to school and his friends and the routine.
There is something to be said for routine. We depend on some sense of normalcy and patterns. Despite the monotony of it, our kids do thrive with a schedule. I work with a family whose father defied all routine. He wouldn’t adhere to meal times, bed times or a homework schedule. The kids were suffering; they fell asleep in class and were struggling academically. With the help of many professionals, this dad began to implement some routine into his daughters’ lives and they are doing much better. With a good night’s sleep and a consistent schedule the girls (and all of us) perform better in our daily lives.
Flexibility is key; a night out once in a while or breakfast for dinner in front of the television on occasion, but overall, spring break or not, routine is a good thing. Our bodies crave it as do our minds and souls.
As we get back to the grind, keep this in mind while we are rubbing our eyes from lack of sleep and cursing the traffic, there is something to be said for getting back on that hamster wheel.