This Working Mom Needs a Routine

Anyone who knows us knows that our family is not the best at planning things. “Daily routine” is not in our admittedly bilingual household vocabulary.

Before I was used to being single, I was dating my husband. When I was still reveling in having a boyfriend, suddenly we were engaged! Eschewing any kind of “adult” planning timeframe, we arranged the details and got married in less than 6 months. And before I had really learned anything about being a wife, I found out I was expecting and would become a mom — after 16 short months of marriage! We quickly jammed in buying a house, so we’d have somewhere to really call a home to take the baby from the hospital.

Two Fools Without a Plan

Two Fools Without a Plan

All this identity shifting can take it’s toll. Sometimes I just want to scream at myself to SLOW DOWN! We don’t really plan, in our house, we take action. We don’t really have routines — we’re spontaneous. We invited people over for a barbecue — so now one of them said yes and my husband decided maybe he should go buy a grill before they get here (that’s where he is right now).

This morning during the sermon at church I was thinking about what I had packed in the diaper bag. My son was looking suspiciously like he was about to proliferate from his nether regions. Red face and the whole nine. I realized that I still had the swim trunks and sun shirt in the Target bag that my MIL had given me the day before. So at very least we’d go straight from blow-out to pool-ready, all before leaving the church parking lot.

We like to cram as much living of the life as we can into a day. Sometimes this is fun and exciting. Sometimes it’s downright exhausting. And it makes being a working mom very chaotic and challenging.

The more that I learn about babies, the more vital it seems to give them routine. It gives them a sense of security as they develop (supposedly). I am not good at routines, so I am trying to learn.

Right after I returned to work following my maternity leave, I thought a time diary might be a good idea, so I could see where I needed to improve efficiency, and where I was doing pretty well, and where I might have more time than I realized to be able to accomplish all I wanted. That lasted less than one day. No joke. I just couldn’t keep track of everything I was doing in one day, and I really, really had no system for keeping up with any of it.

So! It is June 1 and I always enjoy to start new resolutions on the first of anything. I am trying to start a new routine in many, many areas, but really just generally: life skills. There has be a way to get everyone eating, sleeping, clothed, and surrounded by at least moderate cleanliness, all while smiling and laughing euphorically through life — right?!

How do you do it? What routines work for you? When something has to give, what goes first? Is there a part of your life that irks you to the core, you just can’t figure out, and you’d like a little help? Let’s all talk about it! Get it going.

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