By Kiley Watkins

Wake up and smell the routines

For some reason, I have a love/hate relationship with this word.  There is nothing more satisfying than knowing what to expect and when, having a predictable schedule, and getting accomplished what you set out to accomplish.  Yet for some reason, putting a routine together and trying to stick with it, scared the shit out of me.  

I remember when I was in high school, I played sports all year round.  My weekdays looked like this;
1) Wake up
2) Go to school
3) Go to practice
4) Come Home
5) Complete my homework
6) Go to bed

  While I wasn’t the class valedictorian, I did pretty well.  Usually once I finished a sport, I had a few weeks off before the next sport began. During this break,  believe it or not, my grades suffered.  Since I didn’t have anything to do right after school, I kind of just went with the flow.  Some afternoons I went straight home and watched tv, sometimes I went to my boyfriends, sometimes I went to the mall.  While I loved the freedom and not having to be at a certain place by a certain time, I noticed my grades started to slip due to not completing my homework, and/or not completing it to the caliber I was before.  With my new found freedom and me thinking I had all afternoon to get my homework done, I never made it a priority and next thing you know, it was 9 o clock and I had a few worksheets to complete and a paper to edit.  For those who know me, I am NOT a night person so trying to get something done at this time of night, well never worked out well. 

Fast forward to the current day and age, I am a proud member of the popular hashtag, raising #twoundertwo.  Since I am constantly asking friends for advice and best tips, I asked all my friends and co-workers who had two children what’s the best tip for survival and the most popular answer was ‘have a routine.’  I also fell victim to spending a few hundred dollars on books for “how to get my baby to sleep” and what did they all recommend?  Having a routine.  So if everyone is recommending it, and I have living proof from my high school days of how a routine is successful, why was I so scared to put one together and follow it?!

Don’t be afraid to fail!

Digging deep into my soul…I think it was because I was scared of failing.  What if something doesn’t go as planned?  The Moms on Call book I bought had a sample routine so the work was basically done for me, I just had to follow it.  But I was so scared and hesitant! What if I can’t follow it to the tee because of well, life?!  Of course, there is a section about flexibility and how to make it work for your family, but I am the type when I do something, I want to do it 100% and follow it exactly which I admit, is just self-sabotage.  I kept making excuses and thinking well what if..what if..what if and then I legit I had a moment.  I literally WTFU (woke the f* up) and realized first of all, who is going to declare me as a failure if I don’t follow the routine as planned? Is there a routine fairy out there that is going to come to strike me down?!  Second, instead of all the negative what-ifs, WHAT IF, it works out great?!  Yes, some days may be a little crazy but what if for the most part, we operate as a smooth machine because the members of my fam and me know what to expect and when?!  This all happened on Sunday night so I thought to myself, okay tomorrow is Monday and a new day – let’s try this routine thing out.

Create an empowering routine

I used the routine by Moms on Call and what they recommend when you have an infant and toddler.  This helped me navigate how to manage naps, bedtime, dinner, etc. and still have some me time! I figured this can’t hurt and will at least give my days some structure.  Best case – it works great and we all function better having some predictability and worst case?  It sucks, we realize its not for us and we continue on as we have been.

Work smarter not harder!

Well, folks! I am currently on day 3 of my “routine” and I kind of love it!  Monday went great, yesterday I had to pivot a little, and today we are right on course!  My son didn’t nap the best today but fortunately the 20 minutes here and there, I was able to tackle my to-do list and even got to prep for dinner!   Granted, I cheated a little since the chicken was already made.  Meals by Chef B has once again, come to the rescue because it saved me so much time with their meal prep teriyaki chicken that we all eat, but come on now, what do they say – work smarter not harder?!  

Meal Prep Chicken Teriyaki from Meals By Chef B

The bigger lesson from all of this isn’t necessarily about having a routine and sticking with it, it’s the fear of trying something new because of all the negative what ifs.  Yes, it could not work for us, yes it could make our lives more stressful trying to stick to something BUT what if, just what if, it actually made our lives a little easier?!  My mom always said, you never know until you try 😊

Meal By Chef B