Christmas is over, so what do we do now? In my post a few days ago, Joy Comes in The Mourning, I touch on this transition time between Christmas and life returning to “normal.” The kids are still out of school, dad is still off work, and routines and schedules are out the window.
I don’t know about you, but my kids (and I) thrive on those schedules. With a larger than average family, those schedules and routines are what keep our family from erupting into utter chaos. Alas, I think it may be too late…kids are going to bed at crazy times, we are eating at all hours of the day and night, and the house looks like a war zone. So what do we do in the meantime to get back on track?
This my friends is the plan of attack…
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First, gently get a few of the basics back on schedule.
I am thinking I need to start with meal time. When people get hangry around here it ain’t pretty, so we need to eat on our normal schedule. Breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 11:30, and supper around 5:30 or 6. We also need to get back on the original meal plan, you know the one I bought all those groceries for? Thaw out meat, cook actual meals, quit eating junk and quit frequenting the Drive-Thru. Mom confession…We have eaten in front of the t.v. three nights in a row!!!! We NEVER do that, except for Friday night carpet picnic.
Next, regulate our sleep. We need to go to bed on time and get up on time. Even the animals would probably appreciate a bit more prompt morning feeding schedule. When the kids go to bed on time, Monte and I get our time to talk and relax instead of it feeling like one day runs into the next. Have you ever noticed that even though kids go to bed late, they still get up at the same time? Except for the teenagers, no not them. They need an additional two hours of sleep for every hour late to bed in order to function.
And then there’s rest time, that time right after lunch when the house is quiet around here from about 1-3. The kids are either playing quietly alone, looking at books, or watching a movie (typically while the older two complete there school work). Oh yea that, I used to love that time of day. Well kids, it’s making a comeback.
Use those new Christmas Toys to your advantage.
New toys mean kids are occupied right? Take advantage of that and encourage some quiet play in different rooms of the house. We have had so much “together time” it’s not even funny, so kids are getting a little snippy with each other. Give them some space. Spread them out and let them play. Set a timer for 30 minutes or more if you can get away with it! It will give you a chance to get a few things done too.
Spend some quality time together.
I find that things settle tremendously when I am fully present with my kids. Turn off the electronics and play a board game, read books, or play with them. With kids on each end of the age spectrum, I often refer back to the saying “the days are long but the years are short.” Some day we will look back and wonder where the days went, I already do with my oldest two.
How do you plan to get through this in-between time? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!!
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