Routine, force of habit…monotony is a part of life, at least for me. I’ve always been a creature of habit, with bursts of spontaneity. I don’t like to have plans either. I remember dreading dates when assignments were due for school; I even dreaded breaking out of my routine to get married – the wedding part made me so nervous, but I couldn’t wait for the party afterwards!
Anyhow, I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently thinking about routines, perhaps because I am a mother to two baby boys. I understand that children need routine to feel secure, but for some reason, I have a hard time getting the kids onto a set schedule. My boys are pretty unpredictable from day to day, so that makes routine with them tough.
I’m working toward getting my oldest, two-year-old Jack, to return to sleeping in his own bed in his own room. I do notice that if he is off our meager schedule even by a little bit, he gets off kilter. For instance, after he stays with my in-laws for a few nights, he comes home and basically has to readjust to our home routine.
Hopefully, by the time the boys start school I won’t be so goofy about doing things according to a plan. When I stated above that my life is full of monotony, I meant it. Although I may not be on a set time schedule, each day is similar to the one previous.
I am so lucky to have the chance to be a stay-at-home mom, but I do notice that I functioned better when I was working, as I did have to schedule my time then. I fly by the seat of my pants while also doing the same old thing!
Every morning, my husband kisses me goodbye as he leaves for work around 7:00, then the kids are typically ready to roll out of bed by 8:00 at the latest. I give my six-month-old his breakfast bottle, as I do my toddler. We lie in my bed for a while watching TV and adjusting to the new morning. The rest of the day is pretty much anything goes.
A lot of the time, I end up alone all day with my children. My mom has been able to help me so much more, thankfully, now that she is over the two separate flu strains she contracted this year. Other than Mom and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and Dad helping when they can, it’s typically just me and the boys. Every day, all day.
Not that I’m complaining – I adore every moment with my children, even if I get bored or sick of watching Spongebob Squarepants for the thousandth time. However, I do tend to get lonely, especially for my husband, who works quite a bit.
I wish I was better at getting into a routine, rather than simply repeating the same old shit every day, but, as I mentioned, I hate having plans too. I guess I’m kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place – I crave routine, yet despise it.
I know that when my boys are older and we’re blowing and going at all times with sports and other extracurricular activities, even just with them going to school, that I’ll long for the monotony of these days. So, I try my best not to take my time with my children now for granted, which sometimes results in my feeling guilty about looking toward the future.
I really put too much pressure on myself regarding pretty much everything I do, no matter how small the task. It seems so simple to think of what I need to do to get myself into a routine, yet so difficult to implement. And I’m talking about taking my medicine at the same time every day and just being organized in general.
I also have an all or none personality, meaning that I either completely throw myself into something or I ignore it altogether. For instance, if I miss taking my medicine at my ‘usual’ time to do so, I may skip it for the day and start over the next, which isn’t smart, considering what I’m prescribed.
Finding balance has always been difficult for me – maybe I’m not meant to be perfectly evened out. I would like to have the perfect balance in my life and you’d think it would be easy to come by, considering that I don’t work outside of my home. Maybe I just need to accept my situation for what it is, do the best I can, and accept myself for who I am.
I can’t remember being any different regarding routine, obsession, and ambivalence. I simply need to take my damn medicine every day like I am supposed to and then maybe I’ll accidentally slip into a functioning routine. Hopefully, I’ll have it figured out by the time my boys do start school. In the meantime, as usual, I just need to relax and go with the flow.