April 19, 2012 by Carin
I shouldn’t say that this week has been bad, it hasn’t. It just feels long. Back in December we had all our windows replaced in our house. We went from single pane, drafty windows, to double pain, warm and quiet ones. A nice change to say the least and adds so much to the value of our house. I didn’t like the disruption it caused, but it was fine. This week is another story. The interior of the windows are now being stained to match the rest of the trim in the house. As of tonight (Wednesday) we are two days into the work, with another day to go and possibly part of Friday. While this work is being done, we cannot be in the house for a few reasons. One, the fumes from the stain are horrible and we don’t really feel we can be good parents for burning our kids brain cells at such a young age, gotta save those cells for our future geniuses. Two, while the work is being done during the day, we are turning off the heat and keeping the windows open to rid the house of as much of the fumes as possible so we can sleep easy at night. Three, they are in every room of the house, so no naps in the kids rooms while they work. Four, they have taken over the play area of the basement to create a work area for the staining of the windows. Five, my kids would get into everything!!
So, while all this work is going on, we have spent two days at Grandma B’s (my mom) house and then come home at night to have dinner with dad and then bedtime. Don’t worry, the house has been well ventilated by the time we get home. Hanging out with grandma has been great and the kids love it. But it is hard on this mama. While I love hanging out with my mom as well, the routine of our days is messed up. The kids aren’t napping well, we are sitting in the car for 45 min – 1 hr a day and the kids are being more active playing in a new environment. We get home and they are exhausted, but wound up from the day, which makes them crabby, but hyper. A double whammy!
For me, it feels like it takes twice as long to do anything. I take for granted how everything is in it place for example when it comes time to put the kids down for naps. At home the crib has the pacifier, blanket and lovey all waiting for us. While away, those things tend to be packed in a bag or need to be tracked down in another room. Lunch time is exciting for the kids because grandma is generous with the treats as only a grandma house can be. Cookie for morning snack time, sure why not?!
I am learning through all this that I love our routine as much as it sometimes feels stale and old. Expectations are set and in place and leaves little doubt to the all those involved. Anything goes at grandma’s house. There are the days when the everyday routine feels stifling and I want a break from it, but I am learning that I am happier with it in place because it creates less stress for me and the kids. The kids are well rested, less crabby and we are able to enjoy the day without worrying about hopping in the car to beat traffic or if we are going to have everything we need for a “successful” day away as we walk out the door.
I do appreciate my mom for letting us interrupt her days and spend them with her. I know she has her routine and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I am just learning that as stifling as the days sometimes feel, I really like my routine and I miss it. Come Monday morning, I will be happy to be home doing laundry and hanging out with the kids in our house, with their toys and making a mess in their play space.
Do you love or hate your routines with your kids? Do you miss routines when you are away from home?