I love routines and rituals, but I’m not the best at implementing them. While certain habits are automatic to me – like going for a run every day – many others, like washing my face, are not.
I believe routines and rituals are valuable for kids, so I have to work really hard to implement them for our family. I’ll never be as organized and routine-oriented as some moms are, but I do okay and that’s just fine.
This spring, as I contemplate all kinds of different goals, I’m re-committing to a few kid routines that are important to me and will help our family life run smoother.
-Semi-daily review of our calendars. We have several calendars around the house. The boys each have one in their room – though Jonas’s black cat calendar is hung way up high on the wall so he won’t pull it down and attempt to tear it in shreds! In the kitchen, we have a kid-friendly Melissa and Doug calendar and we have a family wall calendar that we use to keep track of commitments and events. I want to re-commit to reviewing the calendar with the boys on a semi-daily basis – even if it just means ME changing the day, date, or month and talking about it out loud as I do it.
–Tidying as we go! When the house is not tidy, it’s not just my job to clean it up. We can all work together to do it. I am pretty good at doing this with the kids, but could be better; occasionally, things get kind of messy, and then it’s harder to tidy as we go, because so much of the mess has accumulated. I want to re-commit to thinking about cleaning up as a family job and as a skill that is valuable and important for the boys. I’d love to be able to truly say, “I don’t clean up after my kids.”
–Scheduled time for chores and housecleaning. We are tentatively set on Friday afternoons and Sunday afternoons being times when we have a few jobs we each have to do related to housecleaning.
–A more luxurious bedtime routine. Sometimes, it’s 7 p.m., and I am just DONE. I don’t want to read an extra story, and I get really impatient. I want to work on this, because I hate ending the boys’ day with my own crabbiness, right before they fall asleep. I want them to feel relaxed and loved and tucked in. That might mean starting our “couch books” a little earlier in the evening, or just prepping myself for reading a couple of extra books. Anything that helps me stay energized and calm a little later before I crash into my bed!
–Encouraging independence whenever we can. Sometimes, we’re great at this, and sometimes I help Edgar get his socks on – which he’s fully capable of doing independently – because he’s cranky. Or because I’m cranky. Or because we’re in a rush, or there’s just a lot going on, and it’s just easier. Which is totally okay! But I do value independence, and so I do want to re-commit to encouraging both of our boys to build their skills.
It’s always good to reflect on things like this and set new intentions for mindful, peaceful, and playful parenting. Onward!