Routines to Start the Day
If you are a parent, you certainly know the importance of routine in your family life. Even if you aren’t a parent, there are bound to be some routines that you rarely stray from.
In our family we thrive on routine. From the start of the day all the way up to bedtime, there are routines in place. That’s not to say that we don’t occasionally stray from those routines, but we have found what works for us and we try to stick with it.
Every morning, at least during the school year, my alarm clock goes off at 6:00am. We start the morning routine right away. There is no snooze button in our timeline! I usually get up and get myself ready before heading downstairs to make coffee (that is the morning life-blood after all!) and make the kids’ lunches before school. Travis follows not too far behind me to get started on the kids’ breakfast. We eat, drink, and pack up to leave the house around 7:00am. Well, Marshall and I leave at 7:00, daddy and Adelaide have a bit more time before needing to catch the bus to school.
Extending the Conversation
My favorite part of the day is coming home to my family. The part I look forward to most, aside from just seeing my family, is our dinnertime ritual of asking each other our favorite part of the day. Every night when we sit down to dinner, we ask “What was your favorite part of the day?” Sometimes there is a long list of things, other times it is just having family time together to eat dinner. Regardless, it is a sneaky little way to hear more about our kids’ day and to reflect and be thankful for the positive parts of the day. After responding to the question, you get to choose which family member will go next. This is generally a very loud and enthusiastic “MOMMY, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY!!!”
After everyone has had a chance to ask, we naturally fall into easy conversation about our days because we have a glimpse into what happened that day and know where to pick up. On the rare occasion that the only favorite part of the day was “eating dinner with my family,” I have some follow-up questions ready. Something like “Marshall, how were you kind today?” or “Adelaide, what can you teach me that you learned at school today?”
Early to Bed Means More Sleep
After dinner, we send the kids up to wash hands, brush teeth, if it is a shower night, get a shower, then get in jammies. Then the kids have a few more minutes to hang out with us to either tell us more about their day, read a book (or be read to), or just snuggle before bed. In our house, bedtime is early! Some people think we are crazy to put our kids to bed at 6:30 each night, but that is what works for them, and for us. We have experimented with later bedtimes over the years, but the later the bedtime, the earlier they seemed to rise!
So, it is worth it to us to stick as close to 6:30 as possible so that everyone gets the rest they need. Plus, early bedtimes afford us couple time each night. It isn’t always a romantic evening. Most nights it is vegging out in front of the TV or working on the Winey Parent, but some nights we sneak in a date night with wine and games.
Lock in Your Routines
Long story short, find out what works for your family and stick with it. If your kids thrive on a late bedtime, do it. If your kids need to go to bed at 5:30pm (ours used to!), then do it! The key to anything with kids is consistency and love.
What are your favorite routines with your family? Share with us in the comments or head over to Facebook to share with other winey parents.
Beyond routines in general, we discuss nighttime routines and how they help our kids gain some additional independence. Discover how our family's nightly routine has changed throughout the years and why we make sure to be open to those changes.