(Say that to the tune ‘I’m Sexy And I Know It’)…
I will admit right now that I’m very structured when it comes to parenting. Don’t mess with my kids bedtimes, mealtimes and nap times, and don’t call me after 7pm, or forget that we have dance on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and you will always find us at The Nook restaurant at 4:45pm on Sunday nights.
Some may call it crazy-anal – but I call it smart.
And in being completely structured for almost 11 years, and getting my kids to bed before they are too tired, and fed before they are too hungry – well I can honestly say we’ve never had to deal with a tantrum and we’ve never had a kid fight bedtime, and we’ve never had to walk out of a restaurant or store, nor even had a child get out of a chair at a restaurant.
Kids like structure, consistency, and something they can count on.
And while there were times it pained me to be structured, and sure things could slide a bit here and there for vacations, visits and friends – it’s worked. For us.
But can I just say that I’m glad my kids are getting a bit older and I’m glad we waited until now to do a colossal road trip, because structure had to be thrown out the window – but my kids are just fine. Eating later and earlier, flexible bedtimes and wake-ups, and taking each day as it comes. It’s working, and my kids are being awesome. I just hope they know that bedtime goes back to 8pm when we get home, and dinner will arrive promptly on the table at 5pm.
I would also recommended traveling with a 10 year old. Since I’m the lone adult in the minivan, without someone sitting shotgun to help with allthethings, Eloise has really taken care of things in the back of the van – she’s the snack person, art person, movie person, electronics person, clean-up crew, and all around cruise director..and she loves it and has asked when she can officially just take her sisters across country by herself. (Dear Children, No, when you are 16, 14, and 9 you are NOT going on a one month road trip ALONE!). Eloise will be paid dearly for her services when we return home from this trip.
So what I’m trying to say, is that besides starting my period at mile 1450, this road trip has been a breeze…and I thank my children for that. I think they know that mommy needs a little sanity on the road, and they give that to me. So thank you kids. I love you for being amazing.
We are setting out today for another 600 miles pull – putting us somewhere in Western Pennsylvania to sleep tonight. Now I just need to stalk some bloggers in the area so I can pitch a tent in their front yard.
Are you more of a structured parent, or are you pretty laid-back?