Our life is made up of routines – most likely even those who think they don’t like routines have routines. Routines are habitual patterns of behaviour – we may wake up at the same time, exercise-shower-breakfast is a routine, we may always have a hot chocolate before we go to bed – that is a routine. My life is made up of many mini routines that are so well established I don’t even think about it – but that is what makes it routine!

I have been thinking about these types of things that happen in our family – they make our family hum along.

  • Waking up time: Though we recognise that everyone has a different body clock we also recognise that one family member affects the whole so in order to start our day well we have a cut off point – a time everyone needs to be on deck ready to go.

  • Meal times – The evening dinner meal is our family time. Breakfast and lunch, prepared and eaten individually has a set timeframe once again because our actions affect other people. We have different habbits on the weekend.

  • Personal Responsibilities – Personal devotions, chores, exercise. We have 3 chore times throughout the day.

  • Family Devotions – This is the time we call everyone together in the morning. We start off with a Bible reading, we discuss it and pray. Then we have our family meeting.

  • Family Meeting – Everyone brings their diaries to the table at Family Devotions time. This is when we catch up with everyone’s commitments and plans for the day. I give the children an idea of what I have planned for their studies for the day.

  • Bedtime – This has changed over the years but we try and keep to a set bedtime. Our children go to sleep better if they have a little down time before lights out. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that reading is the best downtime, though the children would prefer to do crafts, listen to audio, and be on the computer (a definite no!) Bedtime is determined largely by a child’s ability to be happy when they wake up in the morning.

  • Regular commitments – grocery shopping, Bible Study, prayer meeting.

Then there are other routines which we are establishing

  • Read Aloud after dinner – This happens in our house in spits and spurts. Too many night time commitments or Video nights challenges us from making this habitual. We are working on it!

  • Exercising – some of the family have a good exercise routine, some don’t. We are working on everyone exercising most days.

  • Afternoon Routines – Our goal for our afternoons is to be productive. Some of us do that well, some need help.

There are times where even these established routines get shaken and our family can go along quite well for a time, and then we start to pop some stitches and things start to unravel. Hopefully we can catch it all early enough before things become chaotic. These days, with older children, we have a bigger grace period; we can last longer with shaky routines than we could when the family was younger. Once again we need to recognise seasons in our life.

What does an unravelling day look like? In our family the things that indicate to me that we need to snap up to some basic routines are:

  • snarky relationships – nothing is wrong, and yet nothing is really right either!
  • Lack of order – things don’t get finished or put away. Piles start growing
  • Conversation stops – we don’t make time, or feel we don’t have time for relationships – this could be consciously or unconsciously decided.
  • Everyone is tired – regardless of how much sleep is happening

Do you know the signs in your house?

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