Updated on June 14, 2013
When I was a young mom of two children, I knew a mom who had 5 kids and wondered how she could keep up with everything. I had a hard enough time keeping up with my two! Since then I’ve still never felt like I can get it all done, but having a routine has really helped over the years.
I have always liked a routine versus a schedule. I’ve tried following a schedule in the past, but found that it was hard to stick with. I mean, how do you schedule in diaper blowouts, fussy babies, sick kids and “mommy, can you play with me”?
For me, following the same routine everyday works best. That way, if we get a late start to the day or something else unexpected comes up, we can easily work it into our routine instead of having to adjust a bunch of time frames.
In deciding what our routine should be, I always plan to do the most important things first. That way, if something does come up, we usually can still get those things done. A general breakdown of our day looks like this:
There are more specifics to each item on the list. For instance during school we start with reading, then math, followed by other subjects. At rest time, some are finishing up school, some reading, and some napping. Also, throughout the day each of the kids take turns watching the little ones, we do that on a 15 minute rotation basis as needed, so again, it’s not at scheduled times.
Jim leads our times of family worship, which we usually do just before bed, but on occasions where we are out for the evening, he might lead us in family worship on our drive home, or sometimes he will feel led to do family worship right after supper in place of doing it just before bed. With all of these things a routine serves us well, providing a plan for the day, without the rigidity of a set schedule.
We have had this routine since my older kids were little. It helps to have a simple outline of a routine and then I can add on to each category as I need to or adjust things as our family grows. For example, I used to do the cleaning when the kids were younger, but now the kids do it all, and I am doing other things during that time, usually playing with the little ones.
I think one of the best things about routines is that they can be very flexible. It is good for kids to have structure in their day too, however, a balance between being flexible and having structure helps them learn to be disciplined with their time, as well as, learn to go with the flow of life, the uncertainty of it, plus, it allows for creativity and fun.
How about you? Are you a schedule person or a routine person?