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Trying to get back to routine and back to school


It's already well past 8:30 a.m. and my house is still silent. There are just a handful of days until school is officially back in, and our family of four has not readjusted our schedules to match the upcoming change.

If I'm being honest, I've never been good at keeping a routine. Even when my kids were babies and then toddlers, we've always been apt at winging life a little. Part of me understands it's a bit of a survival mechanism, the other part knows it's just habits. Living with a spouse whose health can be fairly unpredictable, we've learned that a good day is a good day, and it doesn't really matter how that day flows.

Getting myself ready for a day of work and being able to leave everyone else at home was easy enough. But, then my kids started school.

When I was a student myself, I was overall pretty quiet, I followed the rules (other than maybe a bit of a rebellious stage in junior high). I didn't really get into trouble. So, as a parent, I've received more messages and reminders about the importance of being on time, or being early, than I ever did as a student myself.

Don't get me wrong, my life often runs on deadlines. But as we get older, I think we prioritize and manage our deadlines a bit differently. And so, staying up late to get work done, or to get in a late night workout to maintain your own mental and physical wellbeing, sometimes trumps being on time for other things in the morning. 

Our lack of routine did, however, create a child who hates being late, so there may have been some sort of reverse psychology that has played out, somehow. As a preteen, he would be the first awake in the house, and he would encourage some better morning habits in all of us. But now that preteen is a full fledge teenager, and sleeping in until 11 a.m. has been a regular occurrence during the summer months.

So, as the last days of summer break trickle by, I'm not really sure how we are going to manage through our morning routine - or lack thereof. Working at home has not helped create much of a firm foundation for my kids' schedules. The past year-and-a-half has been a toss up for a list of reasons, and tackling life - and mornings - is not going to be easy. 

But, I'm sure we will manage. We will be tired, but we will manage.

So, here a shout out to the teachers who get to work with kids of all backgrounds, of all routines, and with parents of all personalities and habits in the upcoming weeks. I'm going to try really hard to get my kids to school in time the majority of the time this year.


Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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