I am a routine person. I grew up with a routine, I had a routine in my classroom, and we have a routine at home! Almost all of the Early Childhood research that I read throughout my education emphasized how important having a routine is, and if you have a child with special needs or one that is very active or scared, a routine is even more imperative! Easier said than done, right? With my first child, it took us probably six to eight months to get into a routine. I have come to find that it takes us about six months to get the next child into the same routine as the rest of us! Yes, we have a routine, but I am not such a stickler that if something comes up out of our normal routine, if we want to and it benefits us, then we’ll do it! I know some people won’t do things if they do not fit into their schedule; we are not one of those families. If we want to go hang out with friends, or there is an event around town that we want to go to and it will interfere with nap, bath, or bedtime, we will usually go to the event.
My oldest thrives on routine! He is the one that if most affected by a routine change, so I make sure to warn him in advance of any changes that may be coming! As he has gotten older, he has become more flexible! Now I don’t specifically remember how we got into our routine, but I do know that with every life change (a new baby, school starting, summer starting, etc), our routine changes too! Our routine is usually:
- the kids wake up and turn on the TV
- I usually get up about ten minutes later and start breakfast
- We eat and my oldest gets ready for school
- My husband takes him to school
- I get on the computer while the kids watch a TV show
- Cuddle time
- The rest of us get dressed
- The older kids play or watch TV as I nurse
- Then I try and play with the kids or read books, etc.
- While the baby is taking his morning nap, I try to get some chores done, usually laundry!
- Lunch time
- Quiet time (this is my sacred time!! Even my older kids have to go to their rooms and play quietly, if they are not being quiet then they have to get in their bed and look at books)
- During quiet time, I usually nurse the baby, try to give the baby tummy/floor time
- When the baby goes down for the afternoon nap, I try to get stuff accomplished, however, most of the time, I just want to take a shower or read a book. I usually have a mindset of what I really want to accomplish before I “reward” myself with a shower or “me time”
- We go get my oldest from school
- Come home, eat snack, look through school stuff, do homework, etc
- I usually start dinner
- Nurse while the kids watch TV or outside playtime for the older children
- Watch TV/play/relax
- Every other night is bath night and then we read and go to bed!
During the morning we do usually have something planned: swimming lessons, Mom’s Day Out, going to the Y, playgroup, doctors appointments, picture appointments (yes I am obsessed with pictures, my children get their pictures taken a lot!!), etc.
There are a couple of nights a week where the oldest has sports practices also! The weekends are usually pretty lax, if we are home, the kids have quiet time, if we aren’t then they don’t, it’s as simple as that!
One day I would love to get up an hour and a half to two hours before everyone else and work out and start on chores, but with a nursing baby, I haven’t had the will power to implement that, one day, hopefully!! Also, after I get a little more organized, I would like to start doing preschool activities with my second for about 30 minutes during quiet time!
What is your routine?