Getting back to our routine is tough. The Christmas break was filled with parties, outings, new toys and games, late nights and sleeping in.
We tried to get our daughters back on schedule on Dec. 26 by letting them stay up just an hour or so later than their school bedtime, but then New Year’s Eve hit and they were up until 1 a.m. So on New Year’s Day we made sure they were very active to get good and tired. It worked for the most part, when they fell asleep soon after bedtime.
In addition to helping them adjust to back-to-school schedule, we told them how much fun it was going to be to go back to school, talk to their friends about their gifts, time spent with family and the special events we went to. That worked for the most part on day one.
However, day two proved to be a different story. It was not exciting to go to school this morning. Now, in addition to getting back to routine with my work as an editor and freelance journalist, I am trying to get back on my diet and exercise plan. I gleefully talked about my assignments, working out to my new exercise DVD and bought a ton of healthy food. Some of that talk was a self-boosting talk, not just for my daughters.
When our daughters continued to lament about going back to the school routine, we went so far as to tell our daughters that they should be happy to be able to go to school because in some countries girls are not allowed to go to school. We have talked happily about how great their school is and how much we know their teachers and administrators really care that they get a good public education.
However, I am a little sad about having to do it and have kept that hidden from my children. Today, I wondered if I should be more honest. I did give a hint of honesty when I kissed them good-bye yesterday and whispered “I am going to miss you today.” To which my eight-year-old daughter, Julia, said “I am going to miss you too.” Her voice slightly cracked with her reply.
Today, I as checked off my to-do list, I felt somewhat as if I was going through the motions wishing for it to be the end of December again. I thought that by hiding my sad feelings I am not only not being honest, but making them suppress some sad feelings. I know from personal experience that is not healthy. But there have been times when I have forced myself to turn a frown into a smile and found it to be very rewarding and helpful in getting the sadness out of my system.
So I decided when my daughters complain again tomorrow morning about going back to school, to acknowledge their feelings and even share my sad feelings. I will also tell them that we still should be happy to live in a country and a school district where education is valued and that is the best gift we could ask for.