I have to tell myself that all the time. I am awful with schedules. I am the person who shows up early to appointments because I can’t get the timing right. Besides when your sidekick is a little boy that wants to take his time I try to account for how long it is going to take to get there. Anyway.
I have learned that a routine is habitually doing something every day. Like in the morning before I make out a coherent word I need coffee, so that is what I do as soon as I wake up. It is my routine to start my day. If it were scheduled then I would have to get up at a particular time and make my coffee within a certain timeframe and then who knows how long, timewise I may need every day to enjoy that cup of coffee.
OK enough about me. My son doesn’t like time frames either but lives for our routines. Even the little ones like kisses and hugs every time he lays down in bed, no matter the reason. No matter what time he goes to bed at night, I say prayers with him and sing him a song that I made up when he was one. A schedule would have broken down the 20 minutes of story time 30 minutes before bed so we can give 5 minutes to brushing teeth and 5 minutes to washing our face. (I know I am acting a little OCD here, but you get my drift)
I am blessed and stressed being a stay at home mother; that is a student and writer. I can’t be constrained with all the timing. What if someone was sick? That would set the schedule off, but the routine can easily be adjusted. I went back to work for a little while and tried scheduling and routines all at once. I thought this would be the best way to get everyone out the door at the right time and everything that needed to be done in a reasonable amount of time. NOPE! Scheduling blew up for me. You can’t schedule kids. They get sick, loose shoes, have a mental moment, or decide at the last minute they don’t want to wear the shirt that they picked out 10 minutes earlier.
My advice, find the little things that mean something and do those. If a schedule works for you, I give my blessings and teach me. If just simple routine like a particular book or song at night that is awesome. Your kids will remember the things that made them feel good. My goal is that parents give themselves a break and enjoy. Parenting is hard enough don’t feel that you need to have anything to help keep your family going. Trust your gut and go with it. Everyone will be happier in the long run.
P.S. Screw the grandmothers that say a kid needs to be scheduled to sleep. I haven’t found one kid that is scheduled that actually sleeps 😉
We will Survive!
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