Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Beauty of Routine and Structure

Well hello, Mr. Blog.  Long time, no write.  I'm not even going to apologize for my absence.

You see this?  This is pretty much how our entire Christmas break looked.  This was taken on New Year's Eve.  We were watching the new Winnie the Pooh movie.  If anyone saw my 20s out at some bar having a rockin' New Year's Eve, tell them I say hey.  And tell them I bet I felt better than they did the next morning.  (P.S. The Winnie the Pooh movie was actually quite good.  Clever and funny and just sweet.  I recommend!)

I'm not going to beat around the bush or sugar coat anything here.  Our break wasn't all that great.  A few of us did come down with the throw-ups but even that wasn't what really brought it down.  I think I came into the break thinking how amazing it was going to be to have Brian around so much.  I could feed the baby while he made lunch.  He could change her diaper while I gave the kids a bath.  An extra pair of hands.  Someone to chat with.  We would drink coffee all day long and sip wine at night by the fire while watching the latest flick from Redbox.

And we did do some of that but by and large there was just a lot of sitting/laying around.  In all of our excitement about the idea of having us all be at home together for so long Brian and I both failed to actually plan any activities.  So the kids got bored and then got on our nerves.  The house got messy and stressed me out.  No one really ever got dressed.  We ate a lot of crap.  But we did drink a lot of coffee.  So I guess I got one thing out of my list.

The truth of the matter is that we're a better, happier family when we run on schedule.  When the kids see that dad is home they're not really sure what to expect.  They think it's Saturday but when there's six Saturdays in a row things get a little jumbled.

And while there isn't a single other person in this whole entire world who I would rather spend my free time with, the truth is that I don't function as my best wife and mother when he's home every day.  Everything feels too loosey goosey.  The laundry stays dirty.  The dishes don't get cleared.  The counters are smeared with...something.  The bed doesn't always get made.  It's the kind of stuff I never let go by the wayside when I'm home alone, doing my job.  I'm sure Brian wouldn't be productive at the office either if I were hanging out by his desk all day long.  It's just the way it is.

I realize that some families do free time a lot better than us.  Some marriages work great when the spouses are together all day, every day.  A lot of people are good at spontaneity.  A lot of families are good at getting ready in the morning and kicking everyone out the door for some good fun.

We aren't that family.  We need a plan and we need one every single day.

Yesterday Brian went back to work and William went back to school and I swear I could almost hear those gears start clicking and turning once again.  They were a bit rusty but once they got going it was all too familiar.

Do you how many times Lucy asked where William was or how many times any of the kids asked where Dad was?  None.  I think they were just as relieved as I was to be back on schedule.  And besides, I really did miss the sound of the door opening at the end of the day and the excited shrieks and stomping feet running to the back door to greet their dad.  Best part of every day.  Hands down.

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