I am a single working mother with two young boys. On the three days I travel into the city for work we leave very early in the morning and return home quite late. On the days I don’t travel to the city the boys have after school extra curricula activities. Therefore routine and structure is very important in our life to keep the wheels turning. We work well as a team and the boys know what they are expected to do. Not too much but enough to help out, support each other and keep our little family unit happy and healthy.
Some would say I am a bit controlling and a bit OCD in nature (which I probably am) but much of this stems from necessity due to the current circumstances of our life. There is a very fine line for us before it all turns to chaos.
In the past I have wondered whether the routines and structure work well for my boys, they get plenty of downtime on the weekend but not during the week. Does this allow them enough freedom and time to be themselves?
One week ago I had to go into hospital for surgery and my parents have come to stay and help with the boys and the house while I recover. With me gone for two nights while in hospital it was a big change to routine for the boys on top of them worrying if I was ok and when I was coming home. Even once home I could do very little and was quite tired and sore and for two loud boys to try and stay quiet is difficult. To add to this my Dad can be quite strict and expects things done quickly and efficiently.
Five days into all of this my youngest (six years old) pulled me aside for a “private chat”. He cuddled into me crying and told me that Grandad keeps getting mad and he is doing what he is supposed to do just not how Grandad wanted it done. I asked him if he was upset because everything was a bit different this week and not like normal. That ended up being the main issue.
So I guess my routine works….or at least helps the boys feel secure in what is going on around them.