At this time of year, routines are what help us as a family and help me to balance work/family & me.
My kids have always thrived on a scheduled. When they were really small, I set up a schedule and a daily routine that was predictable and helped them sleep better, and also helped them adapt to family life at home with security and comfort. As school age kids, it became even easier to implement the schedule, because it was all around the school schedule and their sports and activities. While those were busy years, it was the schedule and being prepared each day that helped us master it. Some days we thrived on it, and some days we either ran late or missed something which is inevitable in family life. As Moms, we need to give ourselves and each other a break—the best advice I can give is to create a schedule that works for your family. Also, busy is not where it is at, I always felt busy and as they grow, you learn that while some of it is necessary, to some degree we over schedule our kids, and so much of it is really not that necessary.
As Teens, I continue to implement schedules, and try and have some boundaries in place to help the kids adjust to the school year, and the demands on them as teens with school work and of sports/activities. They have more freedom, so putting boundaries in place at home helps—and my biggest challenge has been following through on the boundaries. Things such as limited video games during the week, and we are going video free during the school week beginning next week, just another way to get them focused on the things they need to be focused on (and more down time for them that does not involve technology). Dinner is not always a big sit down event during the week, as much as I wish we had “family dinner” every night, inevitably it happens in shifts. My son comes home from football practice hungry and tired, and I have dinner ready for him and his brother. My husband will eat either with the boys, or when he gets home later, and sometimes it is a different meal as he does not eat carbs like the boys do. I eat when I can and as a family, we try and eat 1 to 2 times altogether—3 to 4 times a week family dinner is a win for us!
Routines have helped my family so much over the years, and it is driven mostly in part by the school year.
Wake Up time.
Get dressed/brush teeth
Back Pack/shoes/Bus (and now car)
As teens, they have sports and activities after school so it is dinner, homework, chill time then bedtime.
If I could change one thing, I would have taken their phones away more. I insist that the phones get put away during dinner. I get them off of their phones at night (this is the biggest offender), it is a work in progress at our house. I believe it is important for them to shut down the noise on Social Media and/or texts and snap chat. I believe we need to do more together as parents and this is another topic to discuss. In most recent years I have not been great with this, and I encourage parents with younger kids to really grab hold of it in the tween years.
As far as my routine, I need one for myself as a Mom, Entrepreneur & woman that desires to live her best life.
My routines are so important to thriving in life, work, and family-centered living. There are times I go off course, but I think part of me likes that because it feels good to go “off” to get back on if that makes any sense. We have seasons, and the on and off is a flow really, it is being real with life, it is imperfection and it is not about performance, it is all about presence. I choose presence over perfection any day!
Given that, I do need a routine and structure because it allows me to be productive, it allows me ‘down time’ as well. I also add rituals because it is in the rituals that fill my soul. A cup of coffee or tea and time to breathe, think, be present, and just be is so very important and something I do each day. My morning routine is what I refer to as Magical Mornings, they are what can make or break my day.
Planning has been so important to my success in work, family, home, and life. If you fail to plan you plan to fail! It truly is just part of the routine, where I plan out my week and month (and yes, there is monthly planning as well). On Sunday morning (or at sometime during the day), I sit with either coffee or tea and plan out my week. I look at what I have to do with family or work and schedule it in, I look at what I need to do for fitness/health and schedule in when I will go to yoga and also schedule in my work time. This has been instrumental to my ability to manage to be a Mom Boss, it is a game changer. When I am not doing these things, I am not productive, focused and balanced in my life. On the contrary, I am reactive, and reactive is not a way of life. I give myself days (mainly on weekends) that I go with the flow, and I will take time if I need to, to chill and not be “so scheduled”.
Here is my Morning Routine:
Wake up between 5 to 6am (depending on time of year and what is going on in my life)
Coffee. Really Good Strong Coffee
At least one of the following: Reading– devotionals, spiritual, positive. Journaling: thoughts, gratitude, vision, obstacles/challenges.
I review my calendar and my day: I write down the top things I need to do that day.
Gratitude: I always write at least 5 things I am grateful for. It really sets the tone for my day.
During the day while kids are at school I do yoga, work, walk dogs and do any things around the house that I need to do (and I hire help for many of the household chores).
In the evening, after dinner, I do a few things on the house, and either chill out by watching a show or I go upstairs to bed and read either online or out of a book. This Fall I am hoping to add a time to shut down technology at night not only for myself but also for my kids. I am working on that one and let’s just say we are not there yet. Progress, not perfection!
In terms of the vibe and spirit of the home, while our routines are in place (and at times fall out of place), the vibe in the home is always seasonal and always makes our home feel good during different times of the year. As we head into Fall, we will begin to do things like light a candle in the kitchen which adds warmth to the spirit, the kids love it and it reminds them of this time of year (hello autumn and pumpkin spice). Soft music playing in the background (unless it is a dancing in the kitchen party then we turn it up a notch). Decor, food and seasonal rituals add warmth and comfort throughout each season, and those touches of home, those touches of tradition are something we all enjoy. I truly believe that home should be a place we all feel good, and a place where season traditions & rituals become part of the routine and work synergistically to finding the balance of doing and being!