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Returning to Routines

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

Returning to Routines

Winter Break passed by in a hurry.

While three whole weeks of later starts and more relaxed schedules brought much needed relief, it was fleeting. I relished having my morning coffee by the illuminating glow of the Christmas tree. I loved being free from the stress that comes with rushing out the door into the cold, arms loaded down, and racing against the clock to make it ANYWHERE on time.

We cherished extended stays in our pajamas. On days with no outpatient therapies scheduled, we enjoyed the coziness of home, without the constant need to go, go, go. My kids savored sleeping in and having no school. Being at home, in our bubble, we finally managed to stay healthy this time; we thankfully dodged all holiday-wrecking illnesses.

It couldn’t last forever. As much as we all needed rest and time together, now, we REALLY need to return to our routines. We need to give the YouTube videos, that have played on a never-ending loop, a break.

We need consistency in our world to thrive.

In our world of Autism, Epilepsy, complex disabilities, and many additional needs, it’s hard not to worry when the first day back to reality hits.

I fret over the potential of my daughter being exposed to sickness at school. We’ve steered clear of fevers and seizures. I push onward with our regimen of immune system boosting vitamins. I fill her bookbag with hand sanitizing wipes and say a prayer.

I tense up at the thought of her struggling to transition back into her daily agenda. I get her bedtime back on track and hope for abundant sleep. I have explained upcoming changes to my nonverbal girl with visual schedules. I cross my fingers that her usual, sunny disposition will continue as we return to our “normal” life.

I bite my nails as my son resumes his online college courses. We’ve created a calendar for the whole semester and talked through anxiety provoking scenarios. Hopefully, he’ll start out strong and find great success again in this new year.

I miss the holiday season, but at the same time, I’m so glad that it’s over, too.

Time to start fresh. Time to get back to work on our goals.

We’ve got a brand-new year before us to be tackled. As we all return to our routines, may it be our best one yet.


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