When I fell pregnant with Ethan, I’d never changed a nappy in my life. In fact, up until about a year before I fell pregnant, I had never even wanted to have any kids. Yes, you read right. I was that woman who was never going to have kids until I started getting broody and well, years on, that broodiness just doesn’t want to go away!!!!! At any rate, when Ethan was born, I’d hardly read much on having a baby and the do’s and don’ts. I’d been pre-warned by expectant mothers and people who’d already had children that the books could end up driving you insane with the all overwhelming wealth of information. I was also told that I’d be fine when I had my baby – it would all come naturally – and it did, for the most part! But from the minute Ethan was born, I was dead set on getting him into a routine. I lived, breathed and slept routine. Not a minute went by when I wasn’t watching the time [as a result of this, I am obsessed with time. I’m aware of it all the time. I hardly ever need to look at the clock. My body’s in tune with the time at.all.times]. I ensured that he slept in the day for however long, and I timed his “alert awake times” to the minute. I remember my mother commenting at one stage that I was being silly trying to get him to sleep when quite obviously, he wasn’t tired but noooooo, I was determined to put him down so that I stuck to my sleep schedule. I must say, looking back, I can say that – hands down – it was the best thing I ever did. To this day, my kids (less so with Riley, being the second child) march to a very set beat time wise that I’ve had to chang as they’ve grown older, and I still firmly believe that having a routine works best for kids.
My only problem is that I am so anal about it that I find it terribly hard to divert from it…like EVER. Our plans are driven by our kids’ routine and I like it that way for the most part, but it does sometimes affect our plans negatively. Like we find something fun to do but it starts slap bang in the middle of whatever sleep, eat or bath time, and so we rather forfeit the outing than mess with the routine. The hubster has often told me that I’m too much of a stickler and I hardly ever let my hair down, even when I can afford to do it, but still…it’s just so hard for me. This week Saturday, there’s something that we’ve seen happening that we’d love to go too but again, it starts right in the middle of Riley’s nap and I really don’t know what I should do about it. For a change, I thought we’d divert from routine…after all, the kids are older now and breaking routine for one day surely won’t kill anybody…but it’s just so hard for me to do! And this time (this hardly happens), even the hubster brought up the routine and said that it’s maybe not a good idea. That perhaps we should go after Riley’s had a nap, but if we that, we’ll miss the best part that starts at 12. Well, Ethan will miss out, and this out is really all about Ethan – it’s a kids thing ideal for his age!
What do you do when it comes to routine? Do you even have one or do you just go with the flow? Should I break away from it and let my hair down every now and again and if I do, how do I get back into it (I’m not referring to a once off day thing here, but more something like a sleep time being changed because of holidays etc.)? The one thing I’ve learned from my children is that they so easily break a routine and then it takes 100years to get back into it and I absolutely hate that!!!