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Simply Parenting: The Importance of Routine

A Willingness to Fail is the Key to Our Success



The routine our family developed requires that my husband and I collaborate on how to make time for our children, each other, and ourselves. It’s been a flexible schedule. It continues to change as our kids and our lives change, and I think that our willingness for it to change is how we’ve become somewhat successful with it. On the CDC website, they write that “consistent routines and rules help create order and structure your day. Things go more smoothly when you and your child know what to expect.” This knowing what to expect piece is imperative for us when talking about simple parenting.

My husband works full-time, and I’m at home full-time except for two mornings a week that we’ve set aside for my school work. He has the same work schedule week to week with occasional job events on the weekend. This helps keep our family schedule pretty consistent, and when it comes to nap times and meals, they’ve fallen into place naturally.

A consistent schedule really does help when it comes to day to day life, but sometimes my kids sleep longer than planned or we stay out past bed time. So, I think about my schedule as a blueprint for my day, as a foundation that can be built on. If my kids seem more tired than usual or if their nap time is interrupted, I may put them down for a second nap or put them down for bed at an earlier time.

My husband doesn’t go to work until around 2 o’clock on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which means that on those days, I’m the one who leaves the house for work. Also, on these mornings, I usually exercise. My husband dresses the kids and preps breakfast on those days, and in this way, he and I get to share the parenting duties. On Friday, he gets off of work around noon.

With nap time, we are usually able to put both my 18 month old and 3 year old down around the same time. Then, I’m sure to take a short nap, too, before spending the rest of their nap time for myself. I’ve tried to use this time to be productive around the house, but I risk waking someone, and it’s so hard to be interrupted in the middle of doing something important. So, usually I read or do something else that I enjoy.

One thing my husband and I don’t keep very consistent is our personal bedtime. We usually put our kids to bed between 7:30 and 8 p.m., but we inevitably never get to bed by ten. We’ll stay up late (11 or 12 a.m.) talking or watching Netflix, which ruins our morning routine because our children wake us up. I feel much better when I wake up before our kids. Even if it’s just long enough to put clothes on.

It’s these little things that seem to make all the difference for me—spending some time alone during the kids naps and going to bed on time—but maintaining a healthy routine does take some discipline. I think it also takes a willingness to fail and to be flexible. Parenting requires the acceptance of failure and flexibility.

If you’re interested, here’s an example of our weekday schedule:

6:00 A.M.

wake up and 
get dressed

12:30 P.M.

lunch

6:15 A.M.

10 minute meditation

1:00 P.M.

clean up

6:30 A.M.

kids wake up and we get dressed

1:30 P.M.

school time

7:00 A.M.

casual indoor play while parent preps breakfast

2:30 P.M.

field trip

7:30 A.M.

breakfast

4:30 P.M.

casual indoor play while parent preps dinner

8:00 A.M.

clean up

5:30 P.M.

dinner

8:30 A.M.

free play outdoors

6:30 P.M.

bath time

10:00 A.M.

snack time

7:00 P.M.

get dressed for bed and read a bedtime story

10:30 A.M.

nap time

7:30 P.M.

bed time

11:00 A.M.

parent naps

8:00 P.M.

clean up

11:30 A.M.

free time for parent

8:30 P.M.

free time for parents

 

 

10:00 P.M.

bed time for parents

 

We’d love to hear what your family routine is like. Please, leave a comment about it and we’ll address it in a later post.

Thanks for reading!

Source:

https://www.cdc.gov/parents/essentials/structure/index.html

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It's Simple

Believe In Your 'Tiny' Dreams

About This Blog

Alana Jamison is in her final semester Goddard College’s MFA in creative writing program. Her story "What I Lost" is forthcoming in Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine. As a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers and an aspiring homeschooler, she’s passionate about living simply for the sake of having an adventurous life. She and her husband Jeremiah are building their tiny home in a school bus, and she started http://thejamisons.blog and its accompanying YouTube channel to share about her family’s transition into tiny living. In her work she hopes to inspire others to live their “tiny” dreams. Find out more about Alana and her work at http://alanajamison.ink.  

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