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Routine… what’s that?

Routine… what’s that?

Alright this is a moment I’m going to need everyone to take a “don’t judge” pill. I’m just gonna say it. Just like ripping off a bandaid… my family currently have no routine… are you still there? Can we still be friends? Will you still read my blogs?

Now because I am a “maturing” mama after all, I have taken up the task of trying out a strict routine with my family for ONE week… it’s just one week, Chanelle, you can do it. To do this I’ve compiled examples of weekly routines from many of my mom friends which I am going to use to help me form my own weekly routine.

So why am I doing this? Well to be honest I want more kids, but I seriously don’t think my husband and I are prepared for more kids. We are super exhausted from keeping up with our two daughters and I think that’s truly because we have no routine.

No this was not always the case so I’m not completely hopeless. When my first born, Esperanza, was born we had a strict routine. And this was because she turned into a terror if she went to bed even a little bit off schedule. I also very much enjoyed having a routine because it kept me from feeling bored. I constantly had something to look forward to next (even chores).

I literally woke up at the same time (even if Esperanza slept in at any point). I made Esperanza the same meals everyday until she was able to eat the same food hubs and I ate. When she started childcare, these routines helped us out a lot and we noticed that at the times we did let her stay up past her bed time (for a party for example), she would throw the biggest tantrum by the end of the night and would go to bed screaming.

Once Izabella was born, we stopped Esperanza from going to childcare so she could stay home and get used to being a big sister. I believe this was when we started getting relaxed with our routine. You see, Jesiah went on parental leave, making it easy for us to relax more because there was two of us to tackle chores and the kids.

Once Jesiah went back to work, I was so burnt out from dealing with postpartum depression that I constantly dragged my feet when trying to get something done. I felt very hopeless and looked at many of my tasks with the thought: “what’s the point?”

Once I started medication for postpartum depression and joined the gym, my routine picked up. But it became very scattered. Instead of dragging my feet when getting things done, it felt like I was suddenly trying to do everything all at once.

I was often starting tasks and not finishing them or putting off tasks because I was distracted by an aspect of my day. There were weeks my focus would be on playing with my kids, and because of this the house would get completely trashed. Other weeks my focus would be cooking delicious meals, and because of that the kids would spend a lot of time in front of the tv. Then other weeks I’d be consumed with cleaning and no one would eat a proper meal.

With all this being said, let’s look at an average week day in our home:

5:00am – Hubs’ alarm goes off and he hits the snooze button.

5:30am – Hubs’ alarm goes off again and I hit him to get him up… (hehe I’m not abusive I swear).

6:00am – Hubs kisses me good-bye which usually wakes me up because we like a good long smooch (see I do love my husband).

6:15am – Hubs leaves for work and I sit on my phone for a bit. I play some games then do a devotional on my Bible app.

6:30am – Izabella (my 8 month old) wakes up for a feeding. I put her into bed with me and fall back to sleep while she’s feeding.

7:30am – Esperanza, (my 3 year old) wakes up and wakes me up. I tell her Izabella’s still eating so I can’t get up now (but really Izabella is asleep on top of my boob). I then get her to go use the toilet and then get a banana down stairs. After she leaves I fall back to sleep and she plays in the playroom… hopefully. Some times she trashes the living room too. It really depends on what mood she’s in that morning.

10:00am – Esperanza wakes me up again and this time I’m ready for it. I very slowly get myself out of bed while she screams at me to move faster. I lecture her on how mommy’s tired because she has to take care of two little girls all day AND night.

10:30am – I finally make it down stairs. And this is after stopping at the laundry room to grab laundry out of the dryer and put Esperanza’s wet sheets into the washer (I keep forgetting to put her in pull-ups at night, though we have a Costco sized box of them). On our way down Esperanza repetitively says “mommy I want cheereals”.

11:30am – Esperanza is finally sitting at the table with her bowl of “cheereals”; this is after I’ve distracted myself by sweeping, vacuuming AND mopping the floors because my hallways are literally an obstacle course. This is also because I realize I can’t put Izabella on the floor with the many dried up pieces of food that she’s likely to put in her mouth and choke on… now I finally have time for my cup of coffee and I split a banana with Izabella.

12:00pm – I sit down and update my instagram/write a blog while the kids play and watch television.

12:30pm – Izabella is cranky because she’s ready for a nap, so I take her upstairs to her crib. Upon coming down stairs Esperanza is ready for something else to eat. I give her a yogurt and send her back to the television.

12:45pm – I continue cleaning… or starting to clean and not finishing. I start unloading the dishwasher, then get distracted after remembering the laundry is still sitting in the washer. Then I realize Esperanza hasn’t gone to the bathroom in a while, so I insist she goes. While she’s there she will always at this time make some kind of mess. It’s a toss up as to whether it’s a wet mess (flood), sticky mess (bubble bath or shampoo all over the counter and floor), or gross mess (… just use your imagination).

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happy black family having fun in fir tree farm

2pm – I’ve finally finished cleaning up Esperanza’s mess and continuing the chores I had started (and no… not one of these chores are actually complete). The baby is now awake, so I get her up and change her diaper. I then realize I haven’t eaten a proper meal yet, so I scarf down a Boost (meal replacement drink) and give the kids whatever was leftover from dinner… or cereal… or a grilled cheese sandwich.

2:30pm – I beg Esperanza to go have a nap. I send her to the bathroom, then to her room. She comes out of her room about four or five times with a different excuse each time. I need water/ I have to use the toilet/ I’m scared…she always has a reason not to nap.

3:30pm – Izabella is now cranky again and needs another nap. I give her another feed and take her upstairs to bed where Esperanza is playing (not napping). I get Esperanza to come out of the bedroom so Izabella can have a nap. We sit down and read a story together and have a snack. Or watch a show together that we both enjoy (usually “Barbie” or “Nailed It”).

4:30pm – Jesiah comes home from work somewhere between 4:30 and 6:00 (and no, dinner is NOT ready). Now there are a few things that can happen at this time. I can either get so overwhelmed at the thought of trying to cook a proper meal now that I ask hubs to make a frozen pizza. Or I procrastinate for so long that it’s suddenly 8pm and no one has eaten so I ask hubs to just order pizza. Or by some kind of miracle I find the energy to make an amazing dinner in the nick of time and we’re sitting at the table by 6pm… this has suddenly become very rare. And occasionally I can convince Jesiah to follow a recipe I want to make.

10pm – Jesiah and I realize the kids are still awake and we’ve been zombies for the last few hours. So we rush them to bed. This somehow turns into a very long process as we keep getting distracted by random things. Like I suddenly realize I haven’t put the wet laundry in the dryer and Esperanza still has no clean sheets on her bed. Jesiah always seems to get the urge to load the dishwasher at this time. I don’t know why… Honestly often times Jesiah and I even start playing games with the kids while we’re trying to get them to bed.

12am – The kids are finally in bed and hubs and I drag ourselves to bed while asking ourselves where the evening has gone.

I hope I didn’t just stress you out. I honestly felt stressed out writing this all down. We are really scattered right now. But it’s time to make a change. After asking all other moms out there to send me their routines, I’ve realized it seems like our family are a rare breed.

I’ve honestly felt proud of the fact that my kids do well when we stay out late at night with them or take them on a trip to another country and they don’t go through the shock of a change in schedule. But I still think there needs to be some form of routine in order to add more kids to our pack. So I am going to do a strict routine next week in order to figure out what I like and don’t like about it so I can then find some kind of healthy medium.

All you routine type moms out there that have any advice for me, feel free to comment your ideas. In the mean time look out for my posts next week that will update you on how we go. It’ll be even easier for you to stay in the loop if you subscribe to my blog. So do it… right now, subscribe!

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