Rejoicing in routines

What happened to December? That has been the mantra in our house for the last week.

A long-awaited holiday month turned dark for us as we battled through over two weeks of illnesses. Just as one person in the house seemed to forge on and get well, the next fell victim to the couch for days. When you have six people in one house, these weeks of sickness seemed to never end.

Through those weeks of sickness as I disinfected the house again, I watched another snowstorm brewing outside the windows yet again. As a mom I wondered if the Christmas spirit could save our miserable household.

With a Christmas in South Dakota with extended family postponed, we settled into another week at home just before December 24. We were missing routines and normalcy that had been cut by the sickness and storms.

Before becoming a mom, my daily routine included work, healthy eating, hobbies, and daily exercise. Now, as a mom of four under the age of 10, I often joke that I don’t have a routine, just a house of chaos.

Often, I feel that my chaos is similar to that of herding cats. Different personalities, different likes/dislikes, different needs/wants, different sleep schedules – yep, herding cats.
However, the truth is that we still do have routines. Routines are the only way that my house survives amongst the chaos. No matter what busy schedule consumes that week, there are some parts of our days that are stable and routine.

Breakfast before school, supper around the table together most of the time, book with snack before bed, brushing teeth, and prayers. Sickness and winter storms led to none of these routines being held. Kids were sleeping (and not sleeping) at all hours of the day. There was no eating together and sometimes no eating at all with appetites out the window.

But Christmas came and praise the Lord we were healthy again at last. We snuck away for a quick time with family in South Dakota before driving home overnight for seven hours in the car to beat yet another snowstorm.

As the end of the week finally lended itself to a normal school day this past week, my household rejoiced in the idea of a “normal day.” As an adult, routines and weeks of routines can be mundane. These routines might have us wishing for a day of change or vacation. But for now, after this past month, I will take those routine days and weeks through the rest of winter with a smile.