The Importance of Establishing a Routine
Women are all about routines. We have to be! Since we tend to pile a lot on our plates, we need schedules to keep everything running smoothly, and this is especially true for work-at-home moms. A solid routine will ensure that work is done in a timely manner so that clients are satisfied and bills get paid. It will also guarantee that kids get to school, play dates, soccer practice, violin lessons, and whatever other activities they can manage to cram into a day (don’t forget homework), and you should be able to squeeze in a little time to clean the house, run errands, and prepare three square meals plus snacks. There are, after all, twenty-four usable hours in every day, as you can probably attest. Well, maybe you’d better pencil in some sleep time or a weekend at the spa. The point is, women are multi-taskers who take on a lot. And establishing a routine is absolutely essential if you want to continue to work, parent, and run a household.
However, routines aren’t only good for you. Imagine for a moment what it must be like for a child to grow up in a household that is in constant chaos with a caretaker that is frazzled, at best. Children thrive in stable environments where they can anticipate what is coming and they know that they can depend upon the adults in their lives to behave in certain ways and set parameters for what is acceptable. Those who are constantly being shuffled around a shifting work schedule, never knowing when you’re going to forget that they have a classmate’s birthday party to attend, or if you’ll renege on your promise to help them practice for a recital or study for a test, or what events or queries are important enough to come in your office and interrupt you for, are more likely to clam up, or alternately, act out their frustrations in socially unacceptable ways. They may be nervous and apprehensive and they will eventually begin to distrust and disrespect authority figures…namely you.
Children require boundaries and a measure of stability that cannot be provided by a house stocked with instant food and a television for a nanny. The majority of women who opt to work at home do so because of the flexibility it allows them to interact with their family, but living the dream can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t plan accordingly. You can easily get behind with work and leave yourself playing an endless game of catch up if you don’t get organized at the outset and implement a realistic schedule that works for you and your family. Certainly there will be times when the day-planner goes out the window. Kids get sick, deadlines get changed, and plumbing and electrical problems that require your attention will arise. That’s just life and as the parent with a “flexible” occupation, you will most likely have to deal with the day-to-day disasters. But for the most part, establishing a routine will allow you to get everything done, reduce your stress, and make the time that you do spend with your family quality time.
Jennifer Kardish writes for Spirit Pins, a company that specializes in custom lapel pins and sports team trading pins.
Image source: mom-goals.com