Creating A Weekday Family Routine is a bit more complex than creating your own personal routine. Because this one involves other household lifeforms. Consistent expectations of all family members can define roles and help develop a sense of responsibility, skills and time management. As I mentioned before, my time management skills are weak. So nothing but good came of Creating a Weekday Family Routine for me, my husband and our little person.
A lack of organization used to be a screen capture of my whole week. At work, I walked in at sunrise and left with the sunset. Afterwards, I’d rush to pick up my daughter from Aftercare and drive home while painfully extracting from the 6yr old how her day had been. Then, if the hubby is still at work, I’d make a quick dinner, drag her through her homework and maybe tidy-up while she’s upstairs brushing her teeth and putting on pajamas.
Hopefully, by then he is home. Because seriously, he’s way more “put together” than I am. I’m often being reminded by Super Dad of our daughter’s upcoming scholastic & Girl Scout events. So, for this family to be successful, everyone had to be on the same page. Here is a snapshot of our Weekday Family Routine.
A great morning routine sets the tone for your whole day. What you do first thing in the morning can make you more productive, help you feel more organized and more in control of your day.
I’m usually already at work by the time my husband drags our daughter out of the bed by her heels. But, just the same, I created a basic morning outline. You can follow the same steps that I use for creating any routine, with a few tweaks of course. Whenever a little person is involved there are always tweaks. But, here’s our basic routine.
For the Grown Up’s part:
- Yoga/Meditate/Exercise – Get up a bit earlier than the kid(s). Self Care before anyone else gets up goes a long way to getting your mind together before the struggle begins.
- Make the Bed – According to The Spruce, “You spend roughly a third of your life in your bedroom, and the appearance of your room has an effect on your mood. It’s hard to feel calm, relaxed, competent and grounded when you are surrounded by disorganization.”
- Shower/ Skin Care – Sometimes a shower or a Face Wash & Moisturizing can be the first Self Care that wakes you up.
- Consult Calendar/ To-Do List – Don’t waste precious morning minutes trying to remember what your priorities are. Have them already listed and ready to be check off.
- Get Zoe Up – This takes a bit of patience/repetitive cajoling. But a reminder that breakfast and her favorite morning show only come after her morning chores are done helps.
- Breakfast – Have an already thought out/agreed to breakfast that’s prepped and ready in the fridge.
Zoë’s Morning Chores
For Zoe’s part we created a colorful Chore Board for our 6 yr old so that she could see what her morning expectations were without us constantly being a verbal drill sergeant.
She’s a beginning reader, so the pictures help with what the specific chore is. When she’s completed it, she turns the card over. When asked whether she has finished all of her chores, either she has or hasn’t because either all of the cards have been turned or not. It’s that simple.
- Make the Bed
- Get Dressed
- Feed the Bunny
- Eat Breakfast
- Wash Face/Brush Teeth
Like myself, the child is not a morning person, so it took a few tries before she caught on that this was the new normal for the morning. But the consistent expectations and rhythm have made morning 10x less stress-free.
I have about 12 minutes to get my head together between work and getting to Aftercare. I use Essential Oil car fresheners and music to transition from Hospital Life to Mom Life.
For the Grown Up’s Part
- Pick Up – School/Day Care = FT job. Help the transition with a welcoming smile, a hug and a snack
- Dinner – A system of planning/shopping/prepping weekly meals saves tons of time and reduces stress
- Checking Kid Chores – A consistent easy to read Chore Chart saves time and reduces stress for all
- Clean Up – Assisting with after dinner clean-up helps kids develop a sense of responsibility and some basic skills
- Asst with Homework – Having a designated area with all of the tools needed helps facilitate an easier homework time
- Kid’s Bedtime – A consistent routine of getting ready for bed and a story before lights out is another great way to connect with your little one
Zoë’s After School Chores
Once we get home she knows that she has afternoon chores to do. Sometimes it takes a little push, but she gets to it and turns her cards over as she finishes. Having a few chores to do when we get home helps to distract her a bit while I get dinner ready. The fact that the meal was pre-planned and already put together decreases the cooking time tremendously. Since she and her dad are always cooking in the kitchen, sometimes I enlist her help with the meal prep. This is also a great opportunity for 1:1 bonding time.
- Empty/Hang Up Book Bag
- Put Away Coat/Shoes
- Do Homework
- Brush Teeth/ Pajamas
- Tidy Livingroom
Putting Zoe to bed is the best 1:1 time for us. My husband and I take turns, so she gets “special time” with each parent on the regular. This time will strengthen your child/parent relationship. Our Bedtime routine is consistent per parent. Her dad reads 2-3 books, sings 2 song, then it’s lights out. I read 1 book , then snuggle until she falls asleep. Generally I get all of the school gossip at this time.
This is one of my favorite times of the day. This is the time to completely decompress, reflect on the present day, prepare for the next day and focus on some much needed self-care.
- Plan for Tomorrow – Use a Calendar, Planner or prioritized To-Do List so as not to waste time deciding or forgetting what needs to be done
- Straighten Up – Disorganization reminds you that your To-Do list is still undone. This sabotages your sense of well being and peace of mind.
- Shower/Hair/Skin Care – Personal Self care can be a signal to your mind/body that the day is done and its soon time for sleep.
- Brain Dump – Get all of your worries out of your head so they don’t interrupt your sleep with unnecessary anxiety. Keep a pad beside your bed for last minute thoughts.
- Quiet Time – Reading, Yoga, Meditation are also actions that help quiet your mind and ready it for relaxation/sleep.
A great Evening Routine helps you to drift off into a quality sleep. And a quality sleep means a more focused and productive mind in the morning.
Action Changes Things
Family Life runs smoother on routines. An organized and predictable home life reduces stress, teaches healthy habits and strengthens relationships. Mornings, After School and Evening routines are essential to providing a good rhythm and structure to the day allowing you to achieve your family’s goals. One families routine may not work for a different family. But, create one that will work for you and as life changes, modify yours so that it continues to serve you well.
What are some of your thoughts and experiences with creating a Weekday Family Routine? I’m always looking for great tips and new ideas. Please share any that you have in the comment section below.