Setting a family routine is beneficial and essential to living a simple, stress-free life.
Before our family set a weekly routine, we felt like hamsters running continuously in a wheel going nowhere but crazy.
With a preschooler and a teenager, our schedules are all over the place. Stress peaks and finding joy in everyday living disappears for us when my husband and I don’t set schedules and communicate about the week’s plans. We have figured out a family routine that works for us and since then our stress has lessened. Granted, there are days where our routine simply does not work, but we try not to dwell on those days and start fresh the next day.
Like I said, not every day is perfect. Being flexible and knowing when to tweak routines with your family is a must to make routine work. For us, we eventually get back on track because we have noticed consistency and routine calm our children (and our dog Dax, weirdly enough). They are more likely to follow along.
One of the best parts of setting a routine is how it simplifies your life. It takes the guesswork out of daily living and gives you the control to manage your time to enjoy the things and people that matter most to you.
Tips for setting a family routine
Mornings can make or break your day. If possible, try to get as many things ready the night before such as backpacks packed, lunches made, and outfits picked out. This will help eliminate any frustrations you may encounter trying to make it out the door in one piece on time.
We have a kids morning routine printable visible to help my daughter get ready. Granted, she can’t read yet, but it keeps me in line to remind her when she forgets a step on her own.
I also try to allow enough time that we don’t feel rushed. This is one of my hardest areas to tackle because I am not a morning person. I realize that eating breakfast together is a great way to start off your day.
After school activities can be challenging to keep up with – especially when you have a preschooler and a high schooler. Talk about two different worlds. Oddly enough, I am finding they are both equally as busy. I make sure that our family is all on the same page about our after school activities with a weekly planner.
If my preschooler doesn’t have a class or activity, we will use that time to play, run errands, or she will help with Mommy’s work. She loves making videos for the blog! Lucky me!
This is the time of the day that can also seem rushed. To get a jump start on dinner, I meal plan on Sundays so I am not scrambling every night wondering what we should have for dinner. When that happens, my husband will likely pick up to-go food on his way home which is okay some times but can be unhealthy and expensive when it happens often.
For our family, eating dinner together with no technology is non-negotiable. I firmly believe in the importance of eating dinner at the dinner table together at the end of the day. That is when you can find out how everyone’s day was and engage in meaningful conversations.
Our bedtime routine starts around 6:45 p.m. with bath time, pajamas, and reading a book before bed. We say our goodnight prayers and strive to have my daughter in bed by 8 p.m. I wish we could get here to bed earlier, but we haven’t been able to accomplish that with our schedules right now. Again, do what works best for your family’s situation because every household is different.
During weekends is when I really struggled to find life/family balance. I found myself saying “YES” to a lot of things that took me away from family.
Once I realized I couldn’t fit everyone and everything into those short two days everything changed.
We do our best to reserve weekends for quality family time.
Sometimes that means saying “No” to friends and fun activities that take us away from our family. If we can mix friends with our family then that’s the best option! We also realize that sometimes our weekends are when Mommy and Daddy need some “Me” time. Finding balance throughout the month is key.
Figure out what is important in this season of your life and reduce anything that takes you away from that. It’s challenging to do, but refreshing once you realize how much time you will gain from doing so.
My hope is that our children will see how well we manage our time that they will grow up to do the same for their own lives. Excellent time management skills are great to have no matter what career or path a person pursues.
This season of life is short and goes by fast. Make your days productive and meaningful by setting a family routine that works for you!