I’m Structured And I Know It #girlsaretrippin

(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?

About Tracy


My name is Tracy Morrison and I live in sunny Minnesota. I'm neither British nor a nun - I'm just a Midwesterner with a headache. This is mainly a humor and lifestyle blog that documents the lighter side of parenting. I am an ex-corporate ladder climber turned freelance writer, social media manager, and fashion expert - and ruler of my own little universe(very small). Aren't we all. I would love for you to contact me at tracy@sellabitmum.com

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  1. says

    I am much less structured now than I used to be, as the kids are older and get to make many of their decisions on their own. But when they were your kids’ ages, I was very much like you are, and have no regrets about parenting with structure and schedules. There were times when it did suck, though, to leave the party early because the boy was going to puke if he got overly tired,.
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  2. Kari Larsom says

    Def more laid back, but basic structure exists — meal times, bedtime routines (as best I can manage in the summer). My kids are 17, 5 and 2, so consistency is not always easy to manage.

  3. Jennifer Kissner says

    I love that I’m not the only one who thrives from structure :) As I sit here and listen to my kids gripe about going to bed while the sun is shining, I know we will be refreshed and happy in the morning.

  4. says

    We are definitely structured. I like the routine as much as the kids because it means I know when I have time to do all the other things that are not kid-related, and somehow, we get more done.

    However, I’m all for being more laidback when on vacation. Though please remind me when we go away in September. Also, can I borrow Eloise? Just for a couple of weeks.

    Love that you’re having a good time!
    Alison recently posted..Cake For Breakfast

  5. says

    I’m structured about some things – notably bedtime and manners – and more loosey-goosey about others. But mostly I’m totally in agreement that being structured most of the time allows for relaxing those rules now and then. I remember last year on Christmas Eve, letting my kids stay up until 11:30 because it was a big family dinner with old dear friends and we were singing carols and having a ball. My sister was sort of horrified and shocked that me, of the bedtime anal-ness, would let them stay up. But I told her it was precisely BECAUSE I was so anal that they could, this once. Does that make sense? xox

  6. Leah S says

    Looks so fun! AND I am so unstructured – about everything but kindness and manners – they always matter :) Bedtime, when you are tired, meals, when you are hungry – it works for us! The school year KILLS me when we have to have a bit of a routine!!

  7. says

    I’m this way, my wife and 3 girls – hell no.

    This is we live so far apart, Trace. If we lived in the same town we’d be like Will Smith and Charlize Theron in Hancock, our superpowers would destroy the town.
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  8. says

    So glad that you had a great time. I’m definitely more a structured parent and it’s very much the same here – a pretty strict routine because that’s what makes everyone happy. But it does sometimes get tricky on vacations when the routines need to be more flexible. Better now that the boys are older but I cannot wait until they are 10. Safe travels home.
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  9. Zoe says

    As a parent I was pretty completely unstructured. Worked hard on learning more structure as my son seemed to need it more. With my grandson, I’ve been much more structured. It’s hard for me! Unschooler and negotiator by nature, drawing lines and holding them is a challenge! But I’m learning. Both my adult kids are amazing people who definitely weren’t harmed by lack of structure and are creative, flexible thinkers. Completely different in many ways, but two of the most remarkably articulate and thoughtful young adults I know.

  10. says

    I am not as structured as I wish I was with meal times, but sleep times are non-negotiable and set in stone! We called ourselves the nap-Nazis when the girls were babies/toddlers. We would skip events, leave events early, and pretty much schedule everything around naps and bedtimes. Like you, we have girls who sleep and we’ve never had much in the way of sleep problems. I have a friend who is constantly complaining that her young kids won’t sleep, yet she takes them out for fireworks, skips naps regularly, keeps them up late for parties, etc. You pay a price for that!
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  12. says

    I’m pretty unstructured and it works for our family. My kids are very roll with the punches, go with the flow hippies. I taught pre-k for 12 years & most of my parenting life and while I loved the structure of my classroom implementing that at home just made it feel like WORK…and I didn’t like that.
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  13. says

    We fly by the seat of our pants around here. Sometimes I wish I was more structured, but I think it has made my kids more adaptable. They can sleep anywhere and eat anything.
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  14. Amy says

    Somewhere in the middle. My daughters (I have three little girls) go to bed at 9:00 on school nights and 10:00 on non-school nights. We eat dinner at 6:00 PM and bathe at 6:30 PM. We wake them at 7:30 AM on school mornings and we sleep in on non-school mornings, most of the time. The morning school bus comes at 8:30 AM and the afternoon school bus comes at 4:30 PM.

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