Friday, May 6, 2011
The calming effect of Routines
I'm a reader. Mostly non-fiction lately, but when I pick up a novel it's hard to stop. 400 pages in a day and no clean dishes and I still can't stop.
In August I'm starting an online graduate program in MLIS. If I don't get the basics under control, the classes will be too stressful on top of being full-time mom and wife to a PhD student.
So I'm reluctantly turning to routines. I love thinking them up; following through isn't my strength. This week Josh suggested a morning routine. His self-ascribed primary love language is other people heeding his advice, so I paid attention. All week the first hour of my day has felt worthwhile.
1. Kids get up, sit at the table while I make breakfast. They can't play because we have downstairs neighbors who like to sleep in.
2. They eat, I eat. We eat together.
3. Leo draws or plays quietly while Guy does school*.
That's it. All these things correspond to goals I have for my family. Simple, but I feel so accomplished. What's stopping you from integrating your goals and values into our daily life? Doesn't matter what it is, right now I'll just say this; routine makes kids feel safe and happy.
What can you do? Breakfast at the same time every day. Doing your bedtime tasks in the same order. Reading together every day after lunch. Lighting a candle before dinner.
So if you're feeling uninspired (should that be our code word for lazy?) remember that ROUTINE MAKES KIDS FEEL SAFE AND HAPPY. Safe and happy means calmer kids. And we all want some of those!
*He works on memorizing a scripture, and then reads his phonics readers to me and practices writing. (Letters to family, a grocery list, or simply copywork).