The Doctor Mom
Contact the Doctor Find the Doctor at Facebook Get The Doctor in a Reader Follow the Doctor on Twitter

Friday, July 23, 2010

A break from the routine?

I don't love hot, but I love summer.  There are so many more options for good, child friendly daytime activities.  On the flip side, however, summer really messes with my kids schedules.  They go to sleep late, they wake up late and mealtimes occasionally seem optional.  Not the best combination for this mommy who craves routine, but I'm rolling with it.

Last night, I came home to my babysitter playing with the girls outside in the sprinkler after they had dinner. We brought them in, showered them and then I gave them a special dessert treat.  I planned to do a video then bed. Sounds perfect (to me).  My husband came home and I took a shower.  He had not eaten dinner.  And, in those 5 short minutes while I was in the shower they, somehow, manipulated him into believing that they were hungry and needed him to make them a fresh pot of mac and cheese.  At 8:30 pm.  After dinner, dessert and part of my dinner.  Really?!?!?

I understand both sides of the issue.  Telling them no will lead to much whining and distress.  And then will turn into 2 children claiming they are hungry when they are in bed.  But, I side more with order.  They had their chance at eating.  They don't need another meal.  They are just manipulating their Daddy to stay up later.  Beyond obvious to this well seasoned Mommy of 2 Master Manipulators.

But, I got to thinking about routines.  I am good with routines.  I need order in the midst of my chaos.  My husband, not so much.  This is a frequent point of contention in our approach to parenting.  Our children are so scheduled throughout the year, is it "ok" to veer from the routine in the summer, on vacation, on the weekend?  Will they understand that this is a treat and will not last forever?  Or will they not settle back into routine when that time comes?

There is no right or wrong answer to these issues.  And that is the problem.  If I 'go with the flow' maybe my children will be more maleable, more easy going, more like my hubby.  I love that.  If I press on about schedules and bedtimes and planned activities they may be more type 'A'.  More stressed out, more conflicted.  More like mommy.

Or maybe, just maybe, neither one of us will 'win' and these (so far) perfect creatures will fall somewhere in the middle.  A combination of the two of us.  Better than their individual parts.  And that would, indeed, be perfect.


Do you veer from schedules on vacations or on weekends?  Do you find it hard to get back on track?

How do your children manipulate you?

Do you dig mac & cheese as much as I do?