For the past three years, I have been spouting off that "I can't have a routine. It just doesn't work for us." What I really meant is I have to have a strict routine or no routine at all. And since I live with other people, a strict routine just doesn't work.
There are days when all Hell is going to break loose. There are days when it will take Steve forty-five minutes to get dressed and asking him to help get the kids out the door seems like cruel and unusual punishment. There are days when the kids are going to cooperate and be helpful and then there are days when they are not. As a writer, there are days that I can write 10 articles in a few hours and then there are days when I can't complete a single paragraph.
So, because my days didn't fit in a nice little OCD box, I gave up on routine. Allegedly preferring to "wing it." Well, winging it creates endless days with no motivation, no purpose and really awfully behaved children (and adults).
When Steve and I were talking about how to make our lives more purposeful and happy, one of the common themes was "We need some routines and traditions."
The week before last, I had sat down and planned my work days out so I knew what to do when. During our discussions, Steve and I looked at my work day and scheduled the chores and other things around my day. I made a list of the chores that needed to be done. It was eye-opening to realize that Steve had no idea when I cleaned the house. We also planned in time to play with the kids and downtime for each of us.
This week was the test run and things seem to be going well. We are still in the process of tweaking everything but everyone seems much happier. The kids have a clear idea of what is going to happen during the day. I get a reasonable amount of time to work and Steve gets time to rest when he needs it most. I can't believe how much a simple routine makes the day go better.