Why Do I Need Routines?
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If you’ve read some of the other posts on my blog, you may have guessed that I love routines! My husband, on the other hand, is not as much as a fan. When we first got married, and especially when Emma was first born, he commented that routines were great for us, but he didn’t like feeling like he had no choice about what to do next. He felt stuck and like he wasn’t allowed to have any fun! Maybe you feel that way too.
Through the years, however, I’ve noticed that he actually does crave routines. He likes to know ‘the plan’ of what we’ll be doing next. He likes to go to the same restaurant on the weekends after we do our errands. Maybe this is just him settling down! But I really think he is coming around to the idea of knowing what’s coming next.
Routines help us feel comfortable in an ever-changing world. For me, knowing that I have a time built into my day where I get the bulk of my chores done, helps me be flexible for the rest of the day. I don’t worry about ‘not having time’ to get everything done because I already have a time set (and it’s usually before I’m dressed in the mornings)!
Start with Limited Routines
If routines make you feel stuck or cornered, try adding a few small ones here and there. Something like shower, brush teeth, do face lotion, get dressed, make bed. In fact, you probably do all these things already. And maybe you do them in the same order every day without realizing it! But making it into a solid routine, and writing it down somewhere, can keep you from forgetting an important step.
Be More Efficient
If you struggle to get things done efficiently, routines can help with that too! For example, if you get distracted often, having a series of steps to do before you take a break could be helpful for you. I know it is for me! When Emma asks for a snack, I can tell her ‘Snack time is in half an hour, after Mommy finishes her coffee and doing the dishes.’
I don’t know about you, but so often I forget to take out meat from the freezer for dinner! Adding that step to my morning routine has eliminated having to defrost it in the microwave, which I really don’t like to do! If you have something that you’re always forgetting, consider adding it to your routine.
Instill New Habits
They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. But keeping up with that thing for 21 days is the real struggle! Adding it to your routine or creating a new one can help you add new, healthy habits to your life. When I first started doing my Bible reading every morning, it was hard to get up before Emma and dive right in before I finished my coffee! But now I enjoy waking up before her and having my quiet time. And most of the time my mind is ready to go as soon as I crack open my Bible.
Routines for Kids
Whenever you look up baby or kid advice on the Internet, one of the first things you’ll read is that they need a consistent routine! Of course, it helps the parents too to know how to structure each day for their child.
For babies, having a sleeping and eating routine can help with crying fits and colic. They’re not a cure-all of course, but knowing when the last time your baby ate or had a nap can help figure out why they’re upset.
For bigger kids like my Emma, a routine can help them get used to transitions. You know – when it’s time to stop playing so they can eat lunch, they completely lose it! Since we’ve started having meals and snacks at more consistent times, she cleans up and comes to eat much more happily. I also give her a warning a few minutes before it’s time to start cleaning up.
These are some ways that routines have helped my family, and they can help yours! Are you still on the fence about routines? Let me know in the comments!
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