Tuesday, 22 September 2020

FAMILY: Why I Love Routine and Think you Will Too

Routine. When you become a parent I think you either learn to love it or hate it. Loving the familiarity of routine or resenting the repitiviness, either way routine becomes a part of your life. Prior to your child starting any form of childcare you can generally be in control of how your days go, whether that be going with the flow or creating a routine. However, as soon as you're back at work and your child is in childcare and then school we are all suddenly controlled to some extent by external forces. Drop offs, pick ups, naps, meal times, bed times etc. are all contributing factors within a family routine of younger children and then as they get older you may have to throw in homework, reading, spellings, after-school clubs, sports clubs etc. There's no denying that life as a parent is one big juggling act, which is why I find creating a family routine that works vital to our happiness and wellbeing. 
Personally, I find routine to be my comfort when it comes to parenting. As long as I have established a routine that works for all of the children then we're all happier. Their needs are being met, they know what is to come and it helps to reduce that uncertain feeling. There is a lot of research supporting the need for children to have routine in their lives, as it can help to reduce anxiety because they know what to expect at different points throughout the day. I think because we've always had routine to some degree all three of my children thrive off routine; they can tell grandparents who come to look after them what happens at certain points throughout the day and therefore feel like they have that control many children so desperately want. 
Currently our daily routine is different depending on the day of the week because Poppy goes to Pre-School on certain days, Isabella is at school for five days and Rory stays with me all of the time still. But the bare bones of our current weekday routine is:

7.30am - Have breakfast

8am - Get dressed, brush teeth and do hair

8.30am - Television while putting shoes/coats on for school or pre-school

9am - School run

9.15am - Play

10am - Rory naps

12pm - Lunch and play

3pm - School run 

3.20pm - Isabella's reading

3.45pm - Rory naps

4pm - Television time

5pm - Dinner

5.30pm - Bath

6pm - Bed

It's almost the same every day of the working week and then we don't really have a routine as such for the weekends. We are only just settling into our new 'post-lockdown, start school again' routine, but it seems to be working well and ensures Rory doesn't get overtired. I think the key to finding a routine that works for your family is being flexible. As Rory gets older his need for naps changes, as does Poppy's, so being able to notice this and adapt is vital. I remember when we just had Isabella and I would battle on with the same routine expecting different results, through fear of losing routine altogether. However, all that was needed was a slight change of nap times or playing for a little longer to help tire Isabella out more. That's part of the advantage of being a parent to three children; experience makes everything so much easier! 
Another reason why I love routines and think you will too is because they help to keep everyone united at certain times of the day. By getting up together, having meals at certain times etc. helps to bring the family together for catch ups, updates and staying organised. Part of our routine is ensuring meal times are at a similar time each day, as well as meal planning each week. This really helps to keep us organised and not wasting time on a daily basis thinking about what's for dinner. 

Time is such a key part of any routine and personally I find that my days in-between school drop offs and pick ups fly by! I barely have a second to sit down with keeping the children entertained, cooking meals, cleaning, tidying, play dates, working, preparing for the next step in our routine. I love the feeling of being on top of our day, whilst being prepared for the next. Apparently living life at 100mph is just the way I like it. As soon as we have a quieter day I will quickly fill it with preparations to help save time at a later date, whether it be batch cooking for the freezer, getting photographs taken for this blog, setting out clothes for the children, making a packed lunch for Poppy, doing the washing etc. Anything that helps to make time feel productive, although I am very aware that working from home is a luxury and one that I certainly don't take for granted. I think that is a big part of my want to always be busy because I feel so lucky to be able to be at home with my children that I need to feel like my time is spent wisely. 

Whether you love a routine or aren't such a fan, we are all trying our best when it comes to raising our beautiful children, so should feel content that our decisions are the best for our family. 

Do you enjoy a routine or are they not for you?

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x
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6 comments

  1. Having a routine was one of the things my Mum told me was most important when I had my son 13 years ago. Even now I am keen on him having his dinner at a set time and being in bed for a certain time each night.

    I think a routine lets everyone know what is expected of them and where they need to be. Its not a bad lesson for us to learn as early as possible. It offers children some much needed stability to x

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  2. I think routines re so important, my kids need it and so do I. During lockdown when they were off we also tried to keep to a routine.

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  3. Yes!! I am with you on this one completely, I love having a routine it helps me and my family so much x

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  4. This was the one thing I was taught by Mum before having kids - routine works! It can get boring but kids depend on it!

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  5. I definitely think children, and parents, benefit from having some sort of routine.

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  6. Children thrive on routine don't they? Without one they don't know what to expect.

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