As my family’s typical routine has been disrupted for many weeks because of moving and visiting with loved ones for the holidays, I’ve become increasingly convinced that routines are critical for having a peaceful, productive home.
When I talk about routines, I’m not talking about schedules (rigid agendas where specific activities occur at specific times). These are hard to keep with children in the house and, quite frankly, they stress me out a bit! I’m talking about a habitual sequence of events that guides you from one activity to the next. Routines are a little flexible, but they add structure and stability to your day.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, routines can make or break your day. Here’s why they are so valuable.
Why routines are so critical in the home
- Routines save time. When you have a routine in place, you don’t have to set aside time each morning to think through what you need to accomplish and to plan out your day. You’re also less likely to get sidetracked because you stick to your routine out of habit.
- Routines help you get the most important things done. If activities are really important, then they will be included in your routine. This means that, even if you don’t get everything accomplished that you’d like to, you’ll at least complete the particularly important tasks.
- Routines help children thrive. Children thrive on routines because routines take the guess work out of their days: They know what is expected of them and what is happening next.
- Routines help children become independent. When children know what is coming next, they are able to prepare for it without being asked. For example, if you eat lunch every day after story time, then your kids can independently wash their hands or set the table after the story because they know lunch is up next.
- Routines help you function on autopilot. Routines are indispensable during weeks when you’re being pulled in dozens of different directions. During these weeks it’s easy to get distracted and to fall behind on homemaking tasks. If you have a routine in place, you’ll be able to keep up with these tasks because they are a normal, habitual part of your day.
I was going to add an additional bullet point about how routines decrease your frustration. I realized, though, that this point is the sum total of all these other benefits. When you use routines, your household is more peaceful, your day is more productive, and you no longer go to bed at night wondering why nothing got accomplished.
Do you utilize routines in your homemaking? How have they benefited you?