Just like with a schedule, your routines are going to make or break your day. I know exactly how my husband’s day will go depending on how he gets up. For the 13+ years that we have been together he wakes up, showers, brushes his teeth, gets dressed, gets a cup of coffee, puts it in the microwave (because it apparently doesn’t burn his tongue enough yet), gets his shoes on, and then drinks his coffee. It is like clockwork. I have never met a more routine/habitual person.
If he doesn’t get a shower right when he gets out of bed, our morning will likely end in an argument. If our kiddos distract him and he doesn’t get his shoes on while his coffee is warming up, he will huff and puff. Literally. A huff and a puff.
It’s kind of amazing, but it helps me so much because I can gauge his mood and that will help how I talk to him. He’s like a kid, so sometimes I have to tell him he’s pretty if he had a misstep in his morning. 😉
What are Routines?
The dictionary definition is “a sequence of actions regularly followed.” The mom definition is “if you don’t follow this sequence of actions, tantrums will likely ensue.”
Amiright? Oy!! I cannot even begin with how many tantrums we have in our house because someone went out of order on how we were supposed to do something. They’re usually adult tantrums, but still. Haha! Not really.
In all seriousness, though, routines are amazing things that we put in place so we know what is expected for certain times of the day. I am not a routine person. I like to switch it up, but my family sure is. I have really had to work on this to make sure our day runs smoothly.
Routines as a Teacher
As most of you know I was a teacher in my previous life. Routines for my classroom were so easy for me to set up and teach, it was like second nature.
We had a routine for lining up, sitting down, turning in papers, going to recess/lunch, going home, and sharpening pencils. Anything you did in the class there was a routine or a procedure as to how we did it.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I was pretty darn good at this. My class was extremely streamlined and prepared. It had to be in order to teach #allthethings, right?
So, it makes sense that I would do the same thing at home for my own kiddos, however, I did not do that. Not to begin with. The only routine at home I have done, without fail since birth, is our bedtime routine. (I’m all about sleep, which makes since that I have non-sleepers… ah, story for another time.)
When to Use Routines as a SAHM
There are many times in your day you can set routines at home when you are a stay-at-home mom. I am a firm believer that they should be in place no matter what your employment situation is. SAHMs, moms who work out of the home, and even in the home… they all should have a schedule and routines.
My kids are still little, so you might have some different activities, but I have faith that you can make your own list and figure out what you want to have a routine for.
Our routines are for:
- Waking up
- Getting ready to leave the house
- Getting out of the car
- Making dinner
- Getting ready for bed
If you homeschool you would have some for your “classroom” time. If your kids are in school, you may have one for homework. Any activity that is something you do regularly, you will want a routine for. (My daughter’s favorite is making coffee.)
How to Establish Routines with Your Family
Okay, so you have a list of things that you want to create routines for, now how do you actually get your family to follow those routines?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!
And a lot of patience! Creating routines is not something you can say, “okay guys, when we go to bed we’re going to take a bath, read a book, sing a song, and tuck you in” and have it stick. In order to establish a habit, it has to be done repeatedly. Sometimes you might have your routine down and then you go out of town. You will likely have to practice those routines again.
They are also ever evolving. As you kids get older they are able to do more things, and you will also be changing those routines to fit what they are able to do. Getting loaded in the car has changed for us because my daughter can buckle her own seat. So she gets in on her brother’s side, goes up front to “drive”, gets in her seat and buckles, then when I’m done with my son, I tighten her seat. This is so new for us, but it seems to be working for now!
Setting your day up for success is so huge! Establishing routines will take so much guess work out of the day that expectations can be met and tantrums will be diminished.