Do you crave downtime?
Want to chill after your kids have gone to bed?
Be sure to read Part 1 here where I talk about creating routines for kids.
Stop that whining!
This past spring my boys and I went to the park every single day after breakfast. They got used to the routine and it wasn’t even a question about what we should do that day. No begging about going to the park and me trying to decide if I wanted to go. It was just a fact. Eat, put your shoes on, and go!
Now, I didn’t always want to go, and of course we didn’t go when the weather was bad, but it made me get out the door almost every day to get some sun and exercise. Now that our schedule is different, we have other routines and now park time is something they ask about each day. The begging and whining are a sign to me that I need to find another consistent time to build it into my daily routine.
A few routines from our home
We’ve built routines for lots of things that happen on a daily basis and are constantly adding more. I try to keep them as simple as possible and reinforce them as many times as I can.
Some we currently use are:
– Wash hands after getting down from a meal
– Take shoes off and put them on the shelf when we come home
– Wash hands when we come back inside the house
– Kids put their own clothes away
– Throw away their own diaper after a change
– For my potty-trained kid who doesn’t like to take the time to go I have set times to use the bathroom each day. 1) First thing in the morning, 2) Before naps, 3) Before bed at night.
– Clean up toys before nap time and before bedtime
– Get their own silverware for a meal (Eventually they’ll learn to set the table. Gotta have goals!)
– Kids go to bed at a set time each night so that my husband and I can have quiet evenings to ourselves
I hope this list gives you some ideas as you create some routines in your own home!
How to start a daily routine for yourself
– Decide on a task or routine that will make your day easier
Is there something that overwhelms you? Make a routine for it! Sometimes a routine can also look like a checklist or order of steps for frequently repeated activities. I have a posted list of everything I need in my diaper bag so I don’t have to think about it each time I go out. Husbands or older kids can accomplish the task using the list as a guide! Bonus points!
– Link the new routine to an existing one
If you want to wipe down your bathroom sink each day, do it when you brush your teeth! Going somewhere tomorrow? Pack the diaper bag, school backpack, or church bag tonight and set it by the door.
– Set a time (or a timer!)
Sometimes you just need to say, “I’m going to wash my dishes after the kids go to bed.” And then you know when you need to do it. Setting a timer (or turning on a video or podcast) helps me stay focused and lets me know that I didn’t spend FOREVER on the task. I also don’t feel discouraged if I didn’t get it done during the day. You know, with all my free time as I chase little people around.
– Start small and give yourself lots of grace
Starting new things is hard, and it can take three to four weeks to create a new habit. Give yourself rewards when you accomplish it and grace when you don’t. Even completing part of the new habit is better than nothing!
Bless your man!
Did you know that having established routines and creating a peaceful home blesses your husband? Even if he’s at work all day, it makes a difference for him!
I asked my husband how my changes in our home to make it more structured and peaceful have affected him. Here are his answers!
– I don’t worry about things at home when I’m busy.
– When I come home from work, I’m less likely to have to start what feels like another job at home.
– It takes a load off my mind as the main breadwinner. Unless an accident happens, I know that my home is peaceful, well-maintained, and taken care of.
– Who doesn’t like to come home to a happy, peaceful environment?
– Routines help me manage multiple kids, I’ll know who does what first, who gets the bathroom to change, etc. Automate the process to make it easier for all.
I agree with him wholeheartedly. Automation makes everything easier. Sure, it’s work to get it set up, but once it’s running…what a blessing!
You can do it!
Put some routines in place for you and your kids that will transform your home, help you be less overwhelmed, and not feel like you’re drowning in all the things. Start simple and keep practicing.
Let me know how this helped you by leaving a comment below or tagging me on Facebook or Instagram.
Don’t forget to check out Daily Routines Part 1 here .