Routine is Key: The Bright Side of the School Year

Routine is Key

Even though the back to school season has been one of mixed emotions, I can say it brings me a certain amount of excitement.

You see, I thrive on routine. Now that school is back in session, we’re back to operating on one.

And I couldn’t be happier.

All through quarantine, it was easy for my kids and me to operate like loose cannons. We didn’t have agendas of any kind. Our activities calendar sat blank for months. We didn’t have places to be, teams to commit to, or appointments to keep. Bedtimes were arbitrary, screen time was at a record high, and we were kind of rambling through each day with little to no direction.

To put it kindly, at the end of the summer we were a bit of a crumpled mess.

It took me a while to figure out why the kids were growing increasingly grumpy and demanding. I was also experiencing bouts of fatigue and irritability. I blamed it on Coronavirus easily. We were going stir crazy and restless. Case closed.

It wasn’t until school started that I realized COVID wasn’t {completely} to blame. What we desperately needed was structure. We needed purpose to keep us on a steady, well-paved path.

The transition was almost an immediate one.

Routine is Key: The Bright Side of the School Year

We pinned down bedtime, started taking regular showers (cause let’s face it, we all sucked at that during quarantine), had nightly sit down meals again, and had a very good reason to bring back academic time.

Admittedly, I have slacked on keeping my kids focused on their education since March. I know I’m not alone, yet that still doesn’t bring me comfort. We stopped taking time for ABC Mouse and the educational YouTube channels. We stopped doing art projects or worksheets. We lost our drive and completely succumbed to the relaxed lifestyle quarantine had to offer.

But that all changed when school resumed. Reintroducing a routine in our lives has made a huge difference.

One of the less obvious benefits of the routine life has come to me. I had become complacent as a mother and housekeeper through the summer months. Dishes piled up longer than usual, laundry sat in folded piles, and bedroom messes and clutter became unruly. The bottom line was I wasn’t holding myself accountable or setting any kind of expectations for my day-to-day.

School has only been in session for a short while.

But already my house is cleaner, I’m more well-rested than I have been in a long time, and I feel I’ve gotten a certain amount of vigor back. I’m more motivated to get things done and to be productive. See? Routine is key.

On top of that, the transition hasn’t been very difficult for the kids. They have even welcomed some of the reestablished rules with open arms. Nightly reading sessions have replaced video games for one, but the complaints have been minimal. They may not have even realized how much they needed, dare I say “wanted”, to get back into a routine.

So, we embark on this last part of this worst year more motivated and determined than ever, thanks to something as simple as a routine.


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