Recently, I have implemented a daily routine, and not to be dramatic or anything, but it has changed my life.
My routine keeps the day moving, it carves out time I never took advantage of for household chores, and it blesses me with a to-do list I can reliably tick off every 1-2 hours throughout the day. I go to bed feeling satisfied. I awaken refreshed, ready to rinse, wash, repeat my fabulous new routine.
Recently though, things got a little out of hand.
It was a Tuesday morning.
Meal planning and grocery shopping beckoned at me, and I dutifully sat at the kitchen table while Jackson watched ABC Kids. I filed away last week’s recipes and thumbed through my folders, selecting new recipes for the week to come.
I pulled out my phone to put together my list on shopping list app. My finger hovering over the app I needed, I suddenly remembered a funny YouTube video Chris had suggested I look up, so I paused my task and went searching.
I promised myself that I would just quickly watch the video – I felt I’d earnt it for getting this far into the morning – then re-focus and get straight back into my beloved routine. We were right on target to hit the shops before nap time.
Maybe you know how the story goes.
Somewhere between finding the actual video Chris had suggested, being sucked in by the related videos that popped up after it, and finally getting lost in an embarrassingly long Miranda Sings rabbit-hole while keeping an eye on my toddler as he destroyed the house, time slipped away. I was no longer on track.
The routine was broken.
My golden, perfectly planned list-making window had shattered, leaving me with too few morning hours left to do my routine justice. Nap time was creeping ever-closer, and I still didn’t have a shopping list, let alone enough time to hit Woolies.
At first I was annoyed. Slow mornings are not part of the plan.
8 o’clock dish-washing is the plan. 11 o’clock lunch is the plan. Midday nap-time is the plan. My routine gives me satisfaction, and without it I feel a little chaotic.
But it turns out, it wasn’t all bad.
We watched too much TV. We ate more snacks than usual. We cuddled and tickled. We sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star more times than any human could usually withstand. We took blurry photos and romped on my freshly made bed. We ignored the breakfast mess in the kitchen.
By the time nap-time rolled around, none of my carefully laid plans had come to fruition. But I was content.
We broke the routine. And it was good.
The day wasn’t a complete loss for my chores, either. I cleaned the kitchen after lunch instead of breakfast. I moved our grocery shopping trip to the afternoon. I made sure that the dinner I planned for that night was something I could whip together quickly to make up for the lost time.
I learnt that sometimes I need to react intuitively to my day, rather than allow a change in routine to throw me into a tailspin.
You see, I think I had idolized my routine a bit. I had cuffed myself to it in desperation, believing that it was the only way I could feel on top of my days.
But I don’t need a routine to be the best version of myself. It helps. Oh, it really helps. But my skills as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend… they don’t need two-hourly brackets of time to shine.
If you’re rigidly set on your routine like me, maybe you need to break it once in a while.
Take a slow morning, a slow afternoon, a slow day if you need! Allow yourself to re-calibrate and remember what’s important.
Just don’t leave those dishes in the sink too long…
If you love the idea of a routine, check out this post by Erica on her blog Whimsical September as it has some great tips (she recently wrote a feature on me too!). And for some daily routine ideas, Gabriela also recently shared her family’s daily habits here on the blog.
Klara is the founder of She the Fierce. She lives in Perth, Western Australia and is married to a Californian IT-nerd/carpentry dabbler/handyman extreme, Chris. They have one gorgeous, long-lashed little boy, Jackson, and their fur-babies include two dogs and one fat black cat. Klara is a (mostly) stay-at-home Mum with a background in finance and admin. She’s a Christian who loves singing, cooking, cups of tea, grey rainy days, scrapbooking and suggesting spectacular renovation and handyman projects to Chris!