I used to roll my eyes at Mums who had to have a “routine” for their kids… You know, the ones who know exactly what time baby is going to sleep, feed & just about poo. I’ll admit it, I rolled my eyes at them… Back then I had NO understanding of what a routine really was! Baby #1 (PJ) was really easy for us, he slept anywhere & at anytime & from 12 weeks onwards never woke once through the night (until nightmares started at 2yrs but that’s another story…) Baby #2 (Cintia) is the complete opposite (I’m told its a girl thing – being difficult) and we’ve had to go down to road of “teaching” her a routine. I scoffed at the idea of this for sooooo long. So that meant sooooo many sleepless nights! I thought “If I have a routine that she needs to stick to I’m never going to have a life! I can never go anywhere!” BUT I was so wrong! I learned that having a routine means that I can have flexibility. Kev & I have always LOVED being spontaneous, jumping on a plane to go where we want, when we want, changing or making plans at the drop of a hat – “Going out boating on Sydney Harbour today? Sure! We’ll stay an extra day!” So we’ve always been careful to keep as spontaneous as possible but Baby #2 saw that changing very quickly… Insert “Save Our Sleep” book here (thanks Tizzie Hall!) and hey presto, we have our lives back! Now, I know what time she’s going to sleep & what time she needs to feed & around that we can do pretty much what we want, when we want, because I know exactly what she needs at what times & in between she’s so much happier! So now I’m more excited about traveling, I’m much more relaxed about managing working from home with 2 kiddies & Kev is an amazing hands on Dad because there’s no more random crying sessions from her where we don’t know what she wants! Well, almost no more of those… (teething).
So, the reason for my post on this is that I’ve now looked back & reflected on how much a routine is important, for anyone & any area of life. I have a pretty strict work DMO – Daily Method of Operation – and I’ve coached many people on this topic, because it works. I found it was fairly easy to create a work routine, now I see I need that in other areas too – family, fitness, faith, fun. It’s also about finding that balance of having a strict DMO but having flexibility too. I find for me, by having everything scheduled in my diary (& I still love an old fashioned A4 day to a page paper diary over any electronic gadget – and I’ve just about tried them all!) I can have such a clear mind & see on paper that everything is going to get done today. So I’m totally fine with leaving the emails until 11am or 3pm, because that’s when I’ve scheduled to do them. Or working with different time zones around the world, or scheduling my Personal Development study at 1.30pm (baby afternoon sleep time) and sitting down to do it then, rather than racing around the house putting on loads of washing, because my study is important to me & my work, and loads of washing can be done when I’m not thinking so straight at 11pm! It all gets done. Not every day, but most of the time. And I love it. I never thought I would say this but I LOVE routine. It means I get to be present when I’m working and playing with the kids and having dinner conversation with Kev, because everything else is sorted in it’s own little time slot. It’s like a mans tool shed with those shadows on the walls of where to hang everything, a place for everything & everything in it’s place. I’ve found that a routined WAHM is a happy WAHM.
So a “Lifestyle Routine” (not a routine lifestyle!) is new for me but I love it… How about you? Share with me what works for you – I’m keen to learn more!