Posted: Jan 15, 2014 6:00 AM
 
After two weeks of relaxing over holiday break, we're feeling the effects of the lack of schedule in our home. I might be a Type B mom, overlooking messes and craving new projects, but I recognize that order is important for our daily routines. We're looking forward to more structure and the security our schedule gives us.

I may not be able to remember my blood type, but I do know with certainty that my brain is Type B. I don't do Excel spreadsheets, my husband calls my closet "the barn," and my head feels like a superdome of idea balloons freely floating at all times. My go-to justification for messes, loose schedules and constant projects is, "But I'm a creative!" In parenting though, I find that I have to be especially mindful that what's often a challenge for me — routine and consistency — is so important for my kids and our household. This became especially notable this past month when, after a two-week holiday break — something I'm normally not ready to see end — we were all out of sorts and craving order.

I started to develop a strange anxiety, like I was avoiding responsibility; and my kids, sensing my restlessness and lack of structure, started to test limits and overreact to silly stimuli.

As the holidays approached a few weeks ago, I was thrilled with the idea of two full weeks of adventure. No school, countless pajama days and spontaneous escapades promised fun memories and a needful break from our schedule. We started out strong — crafts and baking by day, cocoa and Christmas light drives by night. And it was a needful break — an opportunity to truly enjoy more time with our family and even schedule a short road trip. But toward the end of the break, even though we tried to prolong the excitement and hang on to that "vacation feel" of not watching the clock and relaxing, it was obvious we needed more order. I started to develop a strange anxiety, like I was avoiding responsibility; and my kids, sensing my restlessness and lack of structure, started to test limits and overreact to silly stimuli.

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Children thrive in order. And as much as I hate to admit it, I thrive in order too. Even though somewhere inside, I'm shouting, "But I'm a creative!" Order isn't the opposite of creativity; it's a needful counterpart. When we follow natural routines in our home and maintain some sort of schedule, everything flows more seamlessly — even creativity and adventure — and a sense of security and comfort is established. Fun breaks from routine like no school pajama days or popcorn-and-living room-fort nights can be enjoyed much more if they are cushioned by a consistent schedule. Which is why two straight weeks of time off started to make us feel jittery.

Today marked the full submersion back into real life with our first day back to school. We rose with the sun, packed lunch, organized folders and made a game plan for the rest of the week. We need more groceries, more clean laundry, an e-mail box clean-up and a full house clean. And for once, I've never been more excited about those tasks.

We're back on track. And all the Type A's of the world? Type B's need you! You ground us.

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