If you were to peer through the windows of working families around the U.S., you’d likely see a similar picture. A picture that shows exhausted children and stressed out parents who are, day in and day out, attempting to keep up with a seemingly endless schedule that looks something like this:
- Wake up at the crack of dawn with a child (or two) crammed into your bed.
- Dress sleepy children and bus them to school.
- Drive (entirely too fast) on your way to work, responding to calls on the way.
- Fight traffic to pick up the kids from school/daycare.
- Shuffle from one sports activity to another, running through the nearest Chil-Fil-A drive thru for a “healthy” dinner.
- Give baths, help with homework, put the resistant kids to bed, pack lunches, wash and fold seemingly endless loads of laundry.
- Collapse in bed.
- Start all over the next day.
Monotonous? Absolutely without question.
It’s the working mother’s version of Groundhog Day. But is this what motherhood was meant to look like? I would argue no. So how do you break that monotonous cycle?
Routine is an important part of raising children. Most kids, regardless of what they tell you, need structure. But they also desperately crave down time, fun and spontaneity. And so do you.
Our lives have become increasingly busier, more demanding and more reliant on entertainment and technology. We’ve allowed ourselves to get sucked into what society tells us we are supposed to do, how we should look, where we should go and the types of people we should spend time with.
Consequently, we’ve sacrificed a relaxed life for a rushed life. A monotonous life.
I challenge you and your family to take a break from the norm, from your routine, and see how enriched your life will be.
Unplug from technology for a week – no TV, computer, social media, Xbox, DS, Wii, or other entertainment device. Instead, get on the floor and wrestle with your kids. Read books. Play board games. Listen to music.
Create weekly or monthly traditions unique to your family like Movie Monday or Taco Tuesday.
Change the way you drive to work. Or change the times you typically do certain activities, like working out, or change where you go out to eat.
Then evaluate your family’s time. What activities are you most focused on? Is that the priority for you and your children right now?
Routine and activity is good in moderation. But allowing it to rule your family’s life will only inhibit creativity and limit the opportunity to create connections and lasting memories in your life.