As a mom you spend a lot of time at home. Whether it's just 8-10+ weeks of your maternity leave, or you are employed as a "stay at home mom," it's likely you spend the most time with the kids in the home compared to your partner.
And it's easy to get in a rut. To just wake up, feed the kids and tend to their every need. But did you know that creating a daily schedule can actually help combat postpartum anxiety/depression and make you more productive?
As humans, we all create routines in our lives. And we thrive when we have one!
Here's why a daily schedule can be beneficial for both you and your children...
Why routines are good for kids
Daily routines help family life run more smoothly. For newborns and babies, they even help with sleep training. Newborns can't tell the difference between morning and evening, so routines are especially helpful in establishing circadian rhythms (the biological clock that helps determine night from day).
Establishing routines before naps and night time will also help your baby learn when it's time to sleep. These routines might include a bottle, story, bath, song, or even just zipping up the sleep sack and turning on the sound machine.
For older children, routines are part of an organized and predictable home environment, which helps them feel safe and secure. They can also be built around fun or spending time together as a family, which strengthens relationships.
Routines can also help kids become more independent and establish healthy habits like exercising, brushing their teeth, washing their hands, etc.
Research shows that routines are linked to healthy social emotional development in early childhood, and children with regular routines at home have self-regulation skills-- which translate to good mental health. When kids can learn to regulate feelings and behaviors, they can identify feelings and have skills to manage those feelings without feeling overwhelmed. This helps them adapt to change, challenges, stressors or new situations.
Why routines are good for parents
Setting a routine that works for you might take a little effort and trial and error. But it will be worth it. Routines will help you:
- Feel more organized and in control
- Decrease stress
- Increase happiness
- Be more efficient
- Make decisions easier for your family/kids
What makes a good routine?
A good routine is the routine that works for YOU. However, most include three key features:
1. Well planned
In a good family routine, everyone understands their role. The kids know what their chores are and what you expect from them in the morning, after school or after dinner. As they get older they can even help plan routines.
Good routines are part of everyday life. They include things to look forward to such as family movie Friday night, family dinners on Sunday, or Saturday morning donut runs.
In a good routine, things happen at the same time every (or most) days or days of the week. This makes it easier for everyone to know what to expect. For example, you might do laundry every Monday. Or wake the kids up every day at 7am.
If you're struggling to create a schedule for yourself and your baby, here are a few examples.
When coming up with your routine, decide what parts of the day you want to be productive, and when you can relax and unwind too. This will help create more balance in your life.