Everyone’s family routine varies. Some moms stay at home. Some dads stay home. In some families, both parents work the same hours and the kids go to daycare/school. And in other families, the parents work opposites shifts allowing the children to be with a parent at all times.
In my family, there’s one parent with more work/life flexibility. That’s me.
I’m an editor. My work has an ebb and flow to it depending on the publishing schedule. And much of what I do can be done from home. So, if there is a sick kid in my house, I work from home to care for said child.
When Little Miss started school, I changed my office hours to accommodate her school drop-off and pick-up schedule. Now that school is out, I have changed my office hours again to accommodate her camp schedule.
My husband has worked longer hours since Little Mister was born, thus taking him out of the running for child drop-off and pick-up.
However, that recently changed. Now my husband is on pick-up duty and I have more afternoon flexibility because I don’t have to get to the school or to the daycare to get the kids at the end of each day.
This may seem like an ideal situation. I drop off. Husband picks up. That’s how things worked when we first had Little Miss. And it was great. “Total” shared parenting responsibility. I fed her breakfast and got her out the door in the morning. He brought her home and did the dinner thing.
Then Little Mister was born and, after my mat leave, my husband changed jobs, leaving me to do all the drop-offs and pick-ups.
But after almost two years of doing it mostly all myself, I now come home without the kids and, therefore, without our usual afternoon/evening routine.
And I miss them. The house is too quiet. Running errands without the chaos of kids in tow…it’s too easy.
My husband thinks that I’m never satisfied. It’s either too hard with the kids or too easy/boring without them. I should be thankful for the time I spend with them and I should also be thankful for the time I spend without them.
I guess it’s just a matter of adjustment. I’m not one to enjoy a good change-up in routine. I attribute this mostly to the fact that it took the first two years of Little Miss’s life for me to get used to routine in the first place. I liked random before I had kids. I avoided routine because it seemed like something that old people do and I was determined to stay young as long as possible.
But Little Miss gave me a kick in the pants when she was born. Kids really do thrive on routine. And so, I got used to it. Now I don’t like random. And change, well that’s just terrifying. I recognize that change is good, most of the time. But I still don’t like it.
I’m getting used to this latest change in our routine, though. In fact, give me another week of it and I’ll be downright convinced that this routine is the best one so far.