How to shake up your everyday routine
Author: Jasmine Vanstone Date Posted:7 September 2017
When our baby is first born, the one thing we crave almost as much as sleep is routine. You know, some reminder of our life where we had control of our day and night. And then it slowly happens; the routine we wished for but with a twist – the Groundhog Day of parenting aka our new routine normal.
If you’ve read the hundreds of blogs and articles that suggest having a routine for your child is what they need/require/want, no doubt you already feel the heavy realisation that this will be your life from now on. Yep, get up and check on your child, change nappies and pajamas, get breakfast, brush teeth (hopefully your own), play, nap, lunch, change their clothes (maybe yours), laundry, playdate, dinner, clean, reading, bedtime, sleep…are we close?
But a happy parent is a better parent and chances are if you are feeling flat about your daily routine, your child will too. So here are some ideas to shake your daily parenting routine up while keeping your kids on theirs.
Playtime for everyone
We all love to explore, so during your routine playtime, change the location: a park, a friend’s house, a zoo, a kids’ museum – to name a few. The stimulation of a new place with unfamiliar sights and sounds is proven to activate new neuro pathways in your child’s brain, which will strengthen their ability to feel more comfortable in new places as they grow. Oh, and it will help your brain feel energised and alert as you see your child explore and learn.
Rainy day or no outside options
If the weather or your child is simply not allowing you to get outside, then change where you live! Remember tent cities? You know, where you take sheets and towels and make your table, couch, whatever a great “city” where your kids can be creative and quite frankly, you get to be a kid, too.
Check your local library and shopping centre
For your child’s reading or playtime, check your local library for visiting authors or themed reading days. This allows your child to listen to a new voice reading one of their favourites or maybe something new, and it lets both of you meet new people. You might be able to grab a magazine or book to read yourself!
Shopping centres often have free activities for kids, which of course is geared to helping parents shop. But hey what better way to get out, look around and grab a coffee while someone else is covered in glue or paint…. Nice!
More and more cinemas are organising screenings for mums, dads, and bubs. So, if there is a new release you or your child are excited to see, this might be the perfect solution to get out and not watch “Frozen” at home for the 100th time.
Get dressed for work
If your day is going to be “as per normal,” then give yourself a makeover. Active wear, track suits and PJ’s can often be your go-to outfits but why not get dressed up for work because you are doing the most important job ever, right?! Even if a shower is out of the question, putting on a dress or nice blouse and a bit of lippy or mascara can suddenly make you feel like Cinderella.
Exercise with your kids
Whether it is a few sit ups and running in place at home or getting to the local park for a walk or run with kids in a stroller or by your side, just do it! Making this part of your weekly routine is good for the whole family and helps with your endorphins and hopefully their naptime.
Remembering to lock in a date night for you and your partner is essential. Being a parent often has us exhausted, tired and forgetting how these little cherubs got here in the first place. Organise a friend or relative to come over for even an hour so you can reconnect with your partner. Even better, set up boundaries for conversations, such as; no talking about your kids, housework, bills but get back in touch with your pre-child couple.
Don’t have a partner? You can still have a date night just for you! Same rules apply but do something just for you that your pre-baby self would love. That person is still there, and your kids will love to see her, too.