I am a person who likes a routine of some sort. By this I mean I generally get up in the morning and get ready, have breakfast and get my daughter ready at the same time.
I find being organised helps me to feel less overwhelmed and a little more in control. Even preparing clothes for the next day can take that 10 minutes of deciding away.
So knowing I like routine I have always been pretty strict with creating a good one for my daughter. From morning to night we both know what will happen in certain times of the day and this way she is never surprised when I’m saying it’s bedtime.
In the morning we always do the boring task of getting dressed first and going to the toilet. I think most adults do this one without noticing. We then have breakfast together and then teeth brushing before the day begins. I let her have a choice of breakfast, that isn’t part of a routine. However she still has her soya drink. Same goes for lunch and dinner. I give her a couple of options to choose from.
Now we also have routine of leaving the house. Let’s face it when you have a two year old, a hyper dog and bags to get out the house it can be rather stressful. So I normally get things ready before I start calling everyone. I get my own coat on first then My daughter while my dog I put outside if it’s dry because she will knock my child over out of excitement bless her. I find this works best.
The most important of all is the routine we have at bedtime. Now there may be some of you that don’t really stick to a time. However I have since I can remember and I find it helpful for both of us. My daughter doesn’t nap in the daytime so her bedtime is quite early at about 6pm. We have dinner before hand, then a bath and then straight to bed. I lay out her pjs and anything else she needs while the bath is running so I’m not trying to find her teddy she sleeps with while she is meant to be sleeping. I never read with her in bedtime routine as I feel it just excites her and wakes her up. I then lie her down, give her a kiss and that’s it. She knows I’ll always come to her if she needs me as I have since birth. I wasn’t a parent that let their child cry I’ve always cuddled her to sleep when she was very small and I believe this has given her the confidence and security that she needs.
Routine has been such a big part of raising my daughter and I will always stick to it. It gives reassurance to my daughter and it takes away stressful situations that can lead to those arguments. Also if the child knows how it is they are less likely to play up and ask for something else that adds another 30 minutes to your evening.
Have a think about some stressful times you have with your child and maybe start to incorporate a routine. Even the smallest change can make a huge difference to both your lives.
Be caring to yourself xx