Routine, the necessary evil.

The days are starting to blur. Tuesday is a lot like Thursday, is a lot like Saturday, is a lot like all of last March.  I struggle many days to remember what day of the week it is, they all look so similar. The monotony can be so overwhelming at times, maddening at others and unfortunately necessary the rest of the time.

My kids (like most all kids) thrive off of structure and routine. From a production standpoint, I also tend to be significantly more productive  when involved with some sort of structure. But from a mental standpoint, I am losing my mind. I need to change it up, but I’m not sure how. 

Obviously, I need some level of routine and structure or we’ll miss the school bus and not eat breakfast until 1pm but too much and I feel like I am a mindless robot on auto-pilot. I’m struggling to find the proper happy medium between a minute-by-minute itinerary and a free-for-all.

What do you do as a parent to break up the monotony of the same schedule essentially repeating every week? Or do you find comfort instead of monotony in your routine? Please let me know of ways you have found to add variety into your otherwise repeating loop.

On an unrelated note: You may have noticed this new icon I have on my page (or as is probably the case you had no clue it was there):

Click to vote for me @ Top Daddy Blogs // Dad Blogs Directory

Anytime you click on this image I get a vote as one of the top dad bloggers in the universe. (That’s right, I said universe!) You can vote once a day everyday and it doesn’t matter if you click on the logo above or the one in my sidebar, it counts the same. So if you could support me with a click I’d be much appreciative. You don’t even have to enter any info or anything, just click and get on with your day.

I hope you all have a great start to your week! (It’s Monday right? I think it’s Monday today.)

15 thoughts on “Routine, the necessary evil.”

  1. Being a working dad I don’t face this challenge as much as you do (except for dinner and bedtime routine) but my wife does. We are firm believers in keeping our children flexible and not letting them be to dependant on routine. This definitely came in handy on our recent vacation. The boys adjusted quickly. All things in moderation, even routine. Good luck!

  2. I used to be very organised and have a routine but as I’ve got older and so have my kids that routine has pretty much gone out of the window. I still have to do the necessities like making sure the kids get to school on time etc but I’ve really slackened off. I clicked on the image btw 😉

    1. Thanks for the click/vote! 🙂
      Even on the days I don’t have a routine, I have so many of these necessities going on it still just feels like a routine anyway. I guess there is no avoiding it altogether. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Bring on the top daddy bloggers of the Universe! Just kidding, as for routine oriented I think that’s just life as a parent especially with children your age. It will get better as they get older though.

  4. “CLICK”
    I think its possible for a routine to actually SAVE us from the monotony of days repeating themselves if part of our routine is to throw ourselves a bone at planned intervals. Much like having a budget counterintuitively allows you to spend money freely when it is allocated for that item, a playdate here, a morning that you spend away from the house there and it can be your routine to vary from the norm. My wife is really intentional about this. For a couple examples we have “Beach Fridays” all summer and she stroller-walks with a neighborhood mom every Monday morning.

    1. An excellent point! Planning in free time to a routine does break up the monotony. You can’t avoid routine if you actually want to be productive so you might as well plan in some fun. Thanks for the insight Dan.

  5. Clicked the Top Daddy Bloggers button for you, but now I want to join too. Maybe return the favor when/if I do?

    I thrive off of routine and go crazy when something gets in the way to mess it up. It usually involves the in-laws, but I’ll spare you the lengthy stories. Maybe you already know the feeling. I do, however, know I must get myself out of my comfort zone for my daughter’s sake.

    As an at-home dad, this girl needs to get out and see all kinds of cool things and I don’t want to hold her back because going to a new park to play wasn’t “part of the daily routine”. I don’t have school to worry about yet, but I MUST get in my daily exercise and time to cook meals for everyone before naptime. Overall, I’m like you and still trying to find that right balance of spontaneity and structure. Let me know if you find anything along the way and I’ll do the same!

    1. Oh man I was starting to enjoy your blog, if you join too then we’ll have to be sworn mortal enemies…
      You should do it!
      I’ll be sure to let you know if I find a magic secret formula of spontaneity and structure. Nothing so far this week. Enjoy your weekend!

  6. Structure is so important, but sometimes it does lead to the dull drums. If you figure out how to find a happy medium between the two please let me know how to do it.

  7. I think that it really depends on where you are in the “parenting game” When my kids were younger and all at home every day or even when one was gone and two were home, routine was paramount to having a successful day; but I did find that it was the routine at the beginning and at the end of the day that mattered the most. All of the stuff in the middle was a little more flexible…Maybe we’ll go to the park today, maybe not…maybe we’ll do an arts and crafts thing at home…maybe we’ll have a picnic etc.No matter what happened in the middle,though dinner was no later than 6:30. Bath, book, bed by 8:30…Period…done. Parenting hat came off…This was the only way my sanity stayed in tact. I had to know that just like a regular job, my “day as a mom” came to an end. (save for the straggling, “can I have water? I have to go to the bathroom. Where’s my Spiderman?”) Kids are malleable and are usually pretty accepting of routines. In fact, I think that really appreciate it and thrive with them. It gives them a sense of balance.
    For me now as mine are all a little older (14, 10, and 9) and gone all day, there is still a routine to the day; but it’s more of an “everyone knows what they need to be doing and when” routine. This works because of the routines that were learned and established in the early years….
    Ok…I have babbled on long enough!!

    1. Great point. I can see how as your family grows the structure of your routines will be vastly different.
      Oh man, those straggling “can I have water” kill me.

  8. Hi, for me routine is important or I get overwhelmed as to know where to start, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t find it monotonous, but without routine my lot would probably starve or have no clean clothes!

    I was going to say that getting out for a morning run is what I do to break the monotony, but that’s not true as I have that planned too, but it is what helps keep me sane for sure.

    To be honest my routine is for me and even without children (who are barely children anymore) I feel better for having one.

  9. I stopped to think about this, and realized that I’m pretty much I the same place as you.

    A couple of things that keep me sane are:

    1) I love to cook, so I get a real thrill from feeding my family. Trying new recipes, getting random csa veggies, mastering the outdoor grill in all weathers all serve to break up the routine.

    2) scouring the local papers and listings for random things to do that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

    3) taking the kids out to a new place for lunch once a week.

    But I’m only 3 months in to SAHD life, so still looking for tips!

If you could take 30 seconds and give me your thoughts about what you just read, I'd be grateful!