Re-establishing a Routine. Again.

It feels like I’m always blogging about starting a routine or getting organized- yet most of these routines seem to fall apart after a while. A few months ago, I blogged about making a family lunch instead of a family dinner. That worked really well- that one time. I did it one other time and we ended up all eating at different times, with most of it being reheated at dinner time.

My daughters are just finishing up their first week of classes at the community college, and the public schools start next week. I plan on starting the homeschooling year with Jack when his friends start public school, as it’s never worked well in the past to try to have a school day when his friends were available to socialize. I hadn’t planned this ahead of time, but it did work well to have a week to figure out my schedule and the girls’ schedules before adding Jack’s work into the mix.

Family lunches are OUT! Leah has classes in the morning and early afternoon, while Hannah has classes in the afternoon through evening. Then Leah is home for a little bit in the afternoon before she goes to work. Many days, Leah gets home from work around the same time that Hannah gets home from school- around 8:15 or 8:30 PM. So the new plan is to have dinner ready by 8:00 and we eat really late.

What I’m liking about this new routine is that it’s forcing me to be more organized. I have to go food shopping early, because I won’t have the car once Hannah leaves for school. I’m also getting quiet time in the morning with Leah out and Hannah still in bed, and quiet time again in the evenings when they’re both out. I’m finding that the quiet time is making a HUGE difference in my overall stress levels and ability to focus.

Jack’s been happy to play on his Xbox in his room much of the time, which is convenient for me but can’t continue at the same level once homeschooling begins. But it was nice that he was occupied while I was figuring out what to do for the girls. I now know to buy baby carrots for the girls to pack to school- it’s easier than one of us having to peel and cut carrots every day. I also know it’s important to have things ready for Leah to eat lunch when she comes home from school. The first few days the lettuce wasn’t washed or ready to eat, and there was too much clutter on the kitchen table for her to easily prepare a meal. I have their schedules on the bulletin board in the living room, and I know how long it takes for them to drive home.

So, this week has been an adjustment, but overall I feel like it’s all improvements. I’m eating better because I’m thinking about timing and schedules and keeping vegetables on hand. Next week will be adjustments again, as I add Jack’s needs to the mix. A part of me wishes I could send him off on the school bus and truly have time to myself in the mornings, but I know that’s not what’s best for him. Between his misery and the fighting I’d have to do at the school on his behalf, teaching him at home is actually the easier choice overall.

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