Most days, I can guarantee some sort of routine in our household. Let’s be honest, I’m Type A and I function better with a set schedule and mama is gonna pass that on to her kids.
I envy people that can fly by the seat of their pants and go with the flow. I try to do that, but I just can’t help it, I find myself getting frazzled and stressed. I just like to know what is going to happen. Maybe it is the former kindergarten teacher in me, or the fact that my mom ran a well-oiled machine in our household growing up. I thrive on our daily schedule, therefore my children will have one too. I’ve had to adapt to their schedule but a schedule is a schedule! And I know that children thrive on routine and structure. I learned that in my elementary education courses in college, my 6+ years in the classroom and just being a mommy.
Of course during the first few months of motherhood, any routine and schedule goes straight out the window. I struggled with that lack of structure, but learned baby was in charge! It was hard on my Type A personality, who wanted to know exactly when my son would nap and sleep. (HA!) I quickly learned to become more flexible and adapt, but was frazzled with the little structure and not knowing what the day was going to be like. Would we attempt story time? Go on a walk? Go to Target? I hated that feeling of not knowing what we were going to do! But once he got on a semi-predictable schedule, things felt less chaotic and like they were falling into place. And then three years later, we went through it all again with our daughter.
Whenever we have attempted to go with the flow to stray from that set routine and schedule, you better believe we were the getting the first ride on the hot mess express train. And you know what I’m talking about. Up all night, up earlier, crabby and tantrums. Oh, the joys!
Special events come up, holidays and vacations etc. all happen, so we are flexible and go with it. And late bedtimes and naps are bound to happen. As our son has gotten older, we have become more flexible with bedtime and naps. But for the most part we aim for a set routine and daily routine. Because mama needs her sanity. The irony of this article is that I’m writing this in the car completely off our routine/schedule because yep, life happens and we had to go out of town for a funeral.
For the most part, now we’ve got some sort of routine and schedule down again after little sis joined the party in September of 2016. It took longer, or it feels that way. When the weather cooperates, we always have lots of outside time. And even in the chilly temps, these kids get bundled up and at least get the dog for a mile long walk. Everyone sleeps better with fresh air. We strive to get out at least once a day because cabin fever is a real thing.
So what does a typical or ideal day look like for us? After the babes wake, we’ve got breakfast and play time. Around 9/930, the baby goes down for her first nap. I strive for some one-on-one time with my 3 year old and attempt to put myself together while she naps. After she wakes we always try to get out of the house. Park, zoo, baby yoga, Deanna Rose, library or just get outside! Then it is lunchtime and if I’m lucky I get both down for a nap/quiet time so maybe I get a few minutes of quiet. After they get up, usually it is more outside time and getting the dog for a walk. Dinner is between 5-6, then it is baths and getting ready for bed. My husband gets home around 7 to help for bedtime. And then we do it all again!
I can’t help but really want a daily schedule printed out on our fridge. Too much maybe? The days that we don’t follow our normal schedule are the days that everyone is more on edge. It’s probably just me and they are feeling that energy. This is something that was a necessity for me and just works for me and my family! But when we don’t have a plan, it just seems everything is a little more chaotic, so for us, we will stick to our daily routine and schedule for my own sanity.