I am over one week down of the summer holidays and I have found myself somewhat unprepared for the challenge of the disappearance of our regular routine and the subsequent impact it has on both of us, though probably me the most.
The first week was an adjustment period for both of us. Okay, let's be honest, mainly for me. But then Ezra had to adjust to me adjusting.
Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy throwing routine out the window once in a while; it can feel rebellious, spontaneous, and just kind of fun - that's what weekends and holidays are for, right? But when it's not the weekend or an official holiday, and you still need to work and function, how do you strike that balance? Especially with the daunting six-week stretch with no routine that looms over our heads.
I've realised (yet again) that sticking to a routine is particularly challenging when the usual anchors that keep it in place are missing.
Some of the things I've found especially difficult without a routine:
1. Running/exercise: I had this ambitious vision of continuing my morning runs while Ezra happily rode his bike alongside me - laughing out loud at myself.
2. Evenings: Sticking to a consistent bedtime routine when the rest of the day lacks structure can be a real struggle.
3. School Run and Mornings: I moaned about them when I had to do them, they were a struggle, but there is something about them that helps get the day going. And I am missing getting up and out of the house to start the day.
4. Food and Meals: Snack consumption seems to go through the roof, no matter how much I try to manage it. And why does preparing a proper lunch suddenly feel like an impossible feat?
So, what have I done to cope with this lack of routine?
1. Days in the Office: Having some normality, getting dressed, leaving the house, and having a good lunch at the office really helps. As well as the fact that my lovely parents are entertaining my kid on these days so there is less pressure, juggling and far less guilt. These days have saved me.
2. Taking Advantage of Mornings: Not having to do the school run and get Ezra ready has allowed me to do some things for me in the mornings. I've been waking up a bit earlier to indulge in some reading and journaling - things I couldn't make time for during the high-pressure school mornings.
3. Acceptance and Adaptation: I've learned to accept that I can't do everything the same way I used to. It's okay to adapt and let go of a few things. For example, I've discovered some evening dance classes that I can do - short, sweet, and sometimes Ezra joins me, other times, it's after he's in bed.
4. Holding on to Evening Routines: Even if my evenings are now shorter, I still try to stick to some routines. Whether it's coaching or writing blogs, I've accepted that it might not be exactly the same, but it can still happen in a way that works for this current period.
In some ways I have started to manage the chaos and unpredictability of the summer holidays by adapting and accepting as well as making some good swaps for the things I can’t do in the same way. While it can be challenging, it also presents some opportunities for doing things differently that also work for us. So, I'm taking it one day at a time, knowing that this too shall pass, and routine will find its way back into our lives. Until then, may the force be with us.
What have you done to manage the lack of routine or are you still going strong with the routine despite the chaos?