Monday, February 28, 2011

"Get into the groove...."

"...boy, you've got to prove...."

Just kidding.  Yes, I'm a child of the 80's, and if you have no idea what I'm talking, er, singing about just, uh, carry on.

But getting into a "groove" is definitely a way to keep your sanity, wouldn't ya say?  I'll be the first to say that I think getting into a rhythm in life is hard enough on it's own with kids, a job, A LIFE THAT NEVER QUITS, you know.... the basics.  But a LEO family?  Sheesh.

Someone recently asked me on Twitter if I scheduled my days.  I gave a flip "It depends on the day" ~ which was totally the truth but somewhat a cop out.  What I eventually came to share was that I have a plan; a general plan, not a minute-by-minute plan or even a hour-by-hour plan of how to structure most of my days.  Of course there are certain days we have obligations and must be out the door at a certain time -- those are non-negotiables, obviously.  I'm even less structured than I would like to be, but that's because I'm a perfectionist.  Does anyone else see the irony in that statement?!?!  I'm a perfectionist, so the less I plan the better I am about going with the flow and accepting whatever comes my way.  And with a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants husband with an equally unpredictable job, it's really helping me manage my expectations about accomplishments in our daily lives.

In truth, I'm not even as scheduled as Monday/laundry day; Tuesday/Bathroom cleaning day, although I'd probably be better off if I was.  However, the things I do to keep our rhythm on a daily basis are:
  1. Have everyone's clothes laid out the night before, even for the baby and me.  Since I am always up before my husband, this is an easy way to avoid the certain groaning from him as I open and close drawers looking for that always-lost sock.
  2. No one eats breakfast if they aren't dressed.  While this is not a hard-and-fast rule every single day, on days when we have places to go/people to see/things to do, it sure gets everyone dressed and ready in a hurry.  Socks have to be on and shoes are by the door for easy access when it comes down to the last minute rush to get out the door.
  3. I check our calendar the night before to make sure that everything we need is ready to go.  This includes programming my phone with the phone numbers of people with whom I have appointments the next day.  That way if I'm running late, or they don't show up, I have a way to contact them and rearrange our appointment.
  4. Everyone packs their bags the night before.  The kids' things are ready to go, I'm ready, and it really cuts down on the morning stress.
  5. Speaking of the night before?  I make sure I have a plan for all the meals the next day.  I'm in NO way a menu planner  of the caliber of Mrs. Fuzz, but if I know the night before what's happening the next day for meals, I can chop any veggies and prep as much as possible the night before, or add to my to-do list to pick up that one essential ingredient I'm inevitably missing before 5pm rolls around the next day.
  6. This one is the worst.  I'm just warning you now: I do my very very best to get up and dressed before I hear the first tentative "Mama" calling from the kids' room.  On many days, it really really.... well, it sucks.  But when I have time to get ready in peace and start my day on my terms, it cuts down on the yelling (what? ME? yell?) and frustration I inevitably feel at some point in the morning.  The other thing that's nice in our house is that the kids are not allowed to get up and out of bed without permission. 
That's just to make sure our days go smoothly and cut down on stress when things (always) come up at the last minute.  The thing that really got me going on this post, however, was thinking about how the rhythm of our days and week has been pretty hard to mesh with my cop husband's.

We get up early.
He doesn't.
We have a weekend, like the rest of the world.  Well, the same days as the rest of the world.
He doesn't.
We eat breakfast in the morning.
He doesn't.
Afternoons are for naps.
His afternoons are the prime of his day.

You know, all those basic things.  It's been a continual, conscious effort to readjust my weekly rhythm to fit with my husbands'.  We don't necessarily use Saturday as a free-for-all weekend day --  It might be Monday, Sunday, or Thursday.

What tips, tricks, and downright skulldudgery do you use to keep your family in sync with your significant other?  Please share.  I'm trying to avoid the bitter side of life so help me out, people!


The Lioness said...

Well, our kids are school age and the Lion works from 4PM - 2 AM. This means they never see him during his set on (8 days in a row) except for weekends. Our morning routine is that they go in and kiss him goodbye. He wakes up a little, but it's more for the kids than it is for him.

On his days off (6 in a row), he takes them to school and picks them up - it gives me a reprieve since I'm in school and like to have a little "down time", too.

Sometimes he gets to come home for dinner breaks, but that's usually on a school night, so the kids aren't awake. He'll go to their room and kiss on them a little before he leaves, though. That's more for him than it is for them.

We're still trying to figure out how to not miss him so much on his days on. Around the middle of it, we get a little weepy - but we've only been a LEO family for about a year.

MrsRobbieD said...

My husband works in the steel industry & is on a steady shift. He was on 2nd for over a year or two, (it was for so long I can't remember now how long he was on it) He went in at 2pm & got off at 1am. WE never saw him except on weekends, that was if he didnt work Saturdays from 1-9pm. SO he missed out on alot those couple of years. Recently he has gone back to 3rd which is 10pm-7am, but he is working over til 9am. We see him now in the evening before kids go to bed & I got to bed when he leaves at 10.

Mornings for me are always stressful no matter how I try to get kids to stick to a routine. Pick out clothes the night before, make sure you are eating at school or taking your lunch, are you riding the bus etc. So they know how the next morning is going to go. BUT always seems to hit a snag.

Ive threatened recently to take my daughters clothes and replace them with school uniforms so it takes away the "I have nothing to wear" excuse.