An example of my most recent refusal to adjust my thinking or allow for change is my grocery shopping routine. I always create a menu for the week and a grocery list on Monday, then do my shop on Tuesday. It’s been my routine for so long that my friend will call me at 10am Tuesday morning knowing full well I’m done with my shopping and on my way home to unload. I spend that time chatting with her and it makes the job of putting everything away enjoyable. And let’s face it as a stay-at-home mom, those chats with my friends are a lifeline that keeps me sane.
Well, Tuesday shopping no longer works for me. It hasn’t since my son started school in August. He’s in Pre-K this year with a schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He’s with me on Tuesday. Taking a preschooler grocery shopping, trying to unload groceries, then chatting with my friend no longer function for me the way they once did. Grocery shopping went from a quick trip to an hour long adventure. Unloading groceries got pushed into lunch time, which meant chaos in the kitchen. And talking to my friend was gone. But I did it this way for a month, because it was built into my routine and therefore couldn’t change. It made me and my son miserable.
Without noticing, the season of my life had changed and as usual I was stuck in the routine I created unwilling to deviate.
Eventually it did click in my brain that the routine was no longer functional. Over the next few weeks I tried menu planning on Tuesday or Thursday to ensure shopping could be done when my son was at school. I quickly realized that trying to accomplish anything when my son was with me wasn’t manageable for me. He’s very active and we enjoy spending our time outside, at play grounds, biking, swimming or playing trains. Helping him to burn off his energy in healthy ways has become a full time adventure, one that I enjoy. I have settled on menu planning Sunday afternoon. At that point in the weekend we’re done with the playdates and family dinners and are ready to reset for the week ahead. The routine is working great once again!
The grocery shopping routine is just one example of how I need to be constantly changing and adapting my schedule and routine to the current needs of my family. As the kids get older they need different things from me. During this season of our lives the kids can dress themselves, get a snack from the fridge and enjoy playing with friends rather than with me.