Confirmation of our need for routine

I had been prayerful about what I need to do to help my family right now and one word came to my mind


For whatever reason we haven't had great daytime/wake time routines. We have bedtime routines and naptime routines and even silly little routines about where the sauerkraut gets placed on Jeremy's highchair tray (yes my son eats and even likes sauerkraut). I'm not very good at routines. I don't even really have my own morning routine or maybe I will for a while and then it will fade. I'm even so inconsistent about things that my handwriting changes within a page  a sentence no even within a word. So you can see why it might be hard for me to have regular routines. And perhaps something about moving twice, dealing with allergies, sorting out depression, getting robbed, used-car hunting, being pregnant while moving across the country, and having a baby (among other things) has kept our days pretty filled with generally uncommon activities.

But we're coming up on two years of motherhood in action and I definitely have a toddler on my hands. I know structure allows children, well really people in general, but particularly young children to thrive. It's been on my mind and I've been wanting to be more of a proactive and not reactive parent, but I just hadn't made it a priority, but I really wanted to take our family life to a level beyond just survival, eating, and diapers. Even if that is A LOT of our day I felt in my heart that there must be a way to give my children more. Not that life isn't good and we are indeed surviving (I am dumbfounded at how many times I've gotten dinner on the table with two children!) And there are calm tender moments of brother insisting on holding Clara (even if she cries), and laughter, and books, but there also seems to be much more chaos than what I think is necessary.

So as I am reading about structure and schedules for toddlers in my free time in the middle of the night while I'm nursing, it's reaffirmed that discipline problems and acting out occur more when there is lack of structure.

And it was this moment today...

I turn my back and my son has pulled the finger-painting that my husband and I made on the 4th of July off the fridge and is tearing it in to little shreds.

And this one ...

My son walks in to the kitchen bringing I don't know what to me saying "no no." As I discover he has ripped out the lining of one of my high heals.

And this one ...

I am trying to fix dinner and Jeremy is literally tugging on my apron and whining "Mamma, mamma."

And this one ...

I am trying to feed and clean one child while another is wailing in the other room because it is also time for her to be fed.

These moments made my realize something really had to change. I had read about structure and it was time to not delay. So I spent at least an hour this evening making a daily schedule for our family. One that will hopefully align everyone's needs (mine included) of eating and needing to be put down for a naps not happening at the same time. And this schedule has more structured activities and independent play time so I can be more involved and catch a break all at the same time.

Ah! This is crazy and overwhelming, but I'm convinced we can find improvement. Even if we don't stick to this schedule I know I'm on the right path.

Here's one of the articles about structure I turned to as guidance when I knew I needed more routine. Used this example and this other mom's schedule as guides for making our first rough draft.

Check out: 
Our first day with structure/schedule

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