01 Mar The Two R’s – Part 2
Last month I talked about the first of what I call the two R’s. These are rest and routine and I believe each to be vital for feeling good and living effectively. Here are some thoughts on routine.
My theory about routine is not original with me. I picked up the idea at a seminar on dealing with persons suffering from bi-polar disorder. As I considered this information, I began to wonder how much the same idea really applies to us all. Think about it. When we have infants, the experts and most sane moms tell us that keeping a child on a schedule makes for a happier baby and a happier mommy. Now think about school-aged kids and how much better they function during the school year versus free time in summer. I know with my own kids, the more structure they were forced to have because of school and extra-curricular activities, the better they did and the better their grades were.
So I began to think that if routine is good for infants and adolescents, at what point did that become not true for me. And the answer is, it never became not true. I still thrive on routine.
When I’m saying routine, I’m not just talking about doing the same thing every day, which is impossible for most. Rather, this is about life operating in a more or less structured and predictable fashion. In other words, I do better when I know for the most part the steps that move me from wakeup to bedtime. Conversely, I do less well when that routine is bombarded by random or unpredicted events.
Of course, we can’t control the random occurrences but any level of routine helps some. Getting up and going to bed at the same time every day are two things that bring rhythm to our lives. Sometimes we need to take a moment to map out our day – go here, do that, go there, do this, etc. I also believe it is important to create space every day for self-care and having some room to accommodate the unexpected.
In many ways, maintaining a routine is as hard or harder than getting rest. But I’m telling you that baby will be happier and so will momma (apply that is you like!) if baby keeps a routine.