7/24-7/30: Understanding your own routine
Hello Readers! Let’s take a moment to contemplate one of the fundamentals to getting it all done: the daily routine. Right now, it’s just after three in the afternoon. My son Sean is playing on the floor near my feet. He is dressed, fed, and clean, as am I. My daily tasks and weekly chores are done, my daily laundry load has been washed and folded and put away. The dishwasher has been emptied, the tools needed to prepare dinner are ready to go, and the ingredients are thawed or washed and ready. I have an hour before Sean will go down for his next nap and I will start my dinner prep for the night. Everything is done, everything is ready for the rest of the night. My house—even with a baby underfoot—is clean and tidy.
It is possible to achieve this every day, and I do so every day. I don’t have a maid. I don’t have a housekeeper. I don’t have a nanny. And, while I love my husband, I do almost everything myself while caring for my son all day. I am a neat freak. I understand that not everyone is a neat freak like I am, and most people will use their children or their busy lives for the untidiness. My sister is one of them, and she and her family are always on the move. But it is possible to keep everything clean, and it starts with understanding your own daily routine.
Right now, most families are getting ready for the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. You may be planning one last family trip somewhere before getting back to the daily grind of another school year, or you may be breathing a sigh of relief as you count down to the first day of the academic year. This is the best time to begin mapping out your daily routine. This doesn’t have to be elaborate or too detailed, but it should be accurate to your typical week.
To begin with, create a table—either on paper or on your computer—that includes each day of the week along the columns. Now, you can break this down by the hours in each day—such as I do with my rugrat—or you can break this down by the members of your family—such as my sister does for her school-age children and her husband. However you break it down, be sure it’s the best method for you. For example, if you have a child in kindergarten that doesn’t go all day, you may want to break down your routine into 3 sections: “morning”, “afternoon”, and “evening”. If you have an infant or toddler, like I do, you may want to set up for an hourly schedule since most of your time centers around their schedules.
After you create your blank table, sit down with your family—or on your own—and plan out your week. Include after school activities, spiritual services or studies, volunteer times, family time, and any other weekly occurrences—except for work and school—that you have. This is best done in increments and in a family meeting. Let’s take a look at a mock routine for one family:
|Mom||Bible Study, 11 am||Yoga, 2 pm||Spin class, 7 am||Food Pantry Volunteer, 10 am||Yoga, 2 pm||Spin class, 7 am|
|Dad||Bible study, 11 am||Work meetings, till 7 pm|
|Sally (10)||Soccer, 4 pm||Ballet,
|Reading group, 3:00 pm||Soccer, 4 pm||Ballet, 5 pm||Soccer game, 10 am|
|Tom (6)||Piano, 3:30 pm||Karate, 4:30 pm||Piano, 3:30 pm||Karate, 4:30 pm||Reading group, 3:00 pm|
|Family||Church- 9 am||Game Night, 7 pm||Date night, 7 pm||Family Day, 1 pm|
As you can see, this family has a lot going on each week, and every day is filled with at least two different activities for different people. But, while this is a busy schedule, setting it on paper and doing some planning on the weekly routine, the family can get into a rhythm that makes sense and works well for everyone’s needs. It even allows for this family to plan on family or couple centered activities like Game nights, family days, and date nights.
Now, let’s look at a different schedule to see how this can be done for everyone. Here is my own routine:
|Family||Dinner w/ In Laws||Date Night||Picnic|
For the most part, this is the routine I adhere to during my week, though we sometimes deviate when we need to. But having a routine established helps me when we have a restless night or we have some other distraction. It also helps my son get into a rhythm and learn when we do different tasks.
So, tell me Readers, do you keep track of your routine? Does it help you and your family? What issues have you had with routines?
Until next time,