We’ve been trying to find a new routine around here since the start of the year. Aaron is back to full-time at work, which makes all of us happy, but with the new position he has to be in the office every day, with no chance to work from home. Not too big of a deal, except that his office is a loooooong commute and he has different hours. So he’s gone early in the morning and home much later.
This has required me to rearrange my schedule as well. I’m now the one getting the kids onto the school bus, and I’m always the one picking them up from school. Since he gets home so late, it falls on me to do a lot of their homework with them, too. Housework, working out, errands? I get to them when I can, which means not very often. I’m grateful that my job is flexible enough to accommodate working weird hours when needed. That’s one piece to the puzzle that we don’t need to worry about.
I’m not resentful that I’ve had to take on more of the kid responsibility lately, although I’m finding it harder to make everything fit into the hours we have available. And I worry that Aaron doesn’t get as much time with the kids now, possibly an hour to an hour and a half before their usual bedtime. (which includes dinner)
Waking up earlier would probably help me get a better start to the day. But I’m not a morning person at all. In fact, talking to me before I’ve had the chance to fully wake up yet generally goes poorly. I’m convinced that gravity is twice as strong in the early morning, when it takes tremendous effort to drag myself out of bed and get moving. Non-morning people will know precisely what I mean.
On the other hand, Cordy has always preferred to go to bed early. It wasn’t so bad when she was in kindergarten and falling asleep at 6:30pm. She has always set her own early bedtime, and previous attempts to push it back never worked. (Mira is super flexible on bedtime, although she still wakes up early no matter what time she goes to bed.) Cordy springs out of her room wide-eyed and full of energy at 6am. If it wasn’t for the obvious family resemblance, I’d swear she was switched at birth because I have no idea how it’s possible to wake up so…awake.
But now Cordy is in second grade and has more responsibilities and homework. She stays up until 7:30 most nights now, and seems capable of staying up most nights until 8pm. Her homework takes up a portion of the evening – her spelling homework alone can take half an hour to finish. Staying up until 7:30pm is an improvement, but still limits our available time to get anything done when there’s only an hour to an hour and a half of full family time together.
If we try to have the kids stay up later, Aaron gets more time with them, but then Aaron and I have practically no kid-free time together before he falls asleep on the couch and then stumbles upstairs to bed. (He’s up for the day at 4:30am many days.)
I’m sure we’ll figure out a new routine that works, but there may be some rough days ahead while we find what works best. Getting more done would be nice, but I’m more concerned that the kids feel they’re getting enough of our attention – both of us – while I still get a little time with my husband without a child wedging herself between us to tell us all about her favorite Skylander.
And now for the interactive portion of our show: I need your help. I want to know your routine and if it works well for your family. How late do you let your kids stay up? (and ages, please) Do you or your spouse (if you have a spouse or sig. other) only get to see the kids for a very short time in the evenings before bed? If so, how do you/your partner maximize your time so the kids feel like they’re getting enough of your time? Is someone in your family not getting enough of your time? I’d love to hear how others make the parent-working-late situation work for them