We all hear and know very well, that babies need routine. They feel much safer that way. Guess what? Moms need a routine as well.
If you think about your life before your child or children were born; probably you had some kind of a routine:
• Get to work in the morning
• Lunch with colleagues
• Gym after work
• Cook dinner for your loved one
• Spend the evening cuddling in front of a great movie
Suddenly your bundle of joy arrives and your whole life turns up side down. You don’t get enough sleep, your home is a mess and you sometimes do not even have a clue if it is 9 in the morning or 5 in the afternoon. Suddenly your spouse is back from work and you have nothing to present as dinner.
Yes, the life changes dramatically, but putting in place some good routine would help not only your child, but yourself as well.
First of all: don’t beat yourself up. We all need an adaptation period and having sleepless nights don’t help for sure.
Here are a few tips that can help you to get organized and establish a routine that both fits you and your little one(s). It is never early enough to start, but it is also never late to be a bit more disciplined.
1) Establish a bedtime routine both for your child and yourself
- Set bedtime based on the age of your child and ensure you have the following activities done before: dinner, bath, bedtime story, kissing good night - adapt this to your need, but stick to it each night, even on weekends
- Allow sufficient time for yourself in the evening to be with your partner, watch a movie, read a book etc. Try to go to bed at the same time each night.
2) Establish a morning routine
- Try to get up at least 30 min earlier than the other members of the family. This could give you time to start the day with some reflection, meditation and a little exercise to increase your energy level.
- Once the children wake up, have an established routine for them as well. Of course, the routine depends on their age. My kids are 7 and 9 and their morning looks like this: breakfast, getting dressed, making their own bed, brushing teeth, combing hair, getting their bag for the day and leave to school. You need to establish their routine and once it is up and running, morning hassle will go away.
3) Routine for the day might be the trickiest part. Especially if you are home alone with a baby who still has a hectic schedule. We suggest that you write down the 5 things you want to achieve that day. Does that include doing the dishes or an important meeting with your key client? That all depends on your circumstances. The key is to plan in advance and not only go about the day blindly. Try to put timing to your activities as much as you can. Make sure you include some time for yourself as well. If you want to be fit, include exercise time in your routine. If you would like to eat healthy, make sure you set aside some food preparation time, so you don’t end up calling the local pizza delivery.
What is key: if you start from scratch, expect some time for adaptation. It takes about 21 days to establish a routine and you can only do that if you see the benefit of the new habit. After 21 days it is easier to do the new way than going back the old one. Have one change at a time and don’t try to solve everything in once.
We as humans are all driven by habits. It is up to us if we choose good habits or bad ones. Let’s choose the good ones and enjoy the benefit.