As a kindergarten teacher, I know how important routines, procedures and repetition are to successful learning/living.
I also know that having routines in your home help your baby/child/dog know what to expect and that this comforts them. I can't wait to have more "routines" with LM.
But, what I've noticed lately, is that I've developed my own mama routines. Strange little things that have become a habit...unintentionally.
For instance, when I climb into bed at night, I do the following:
I turn on the monitor
I turn the monitor to that the lights face directly at my pillow
Set my phone down in front of the alarm clock
Put a ponytail holder around my phone so when I get up to feed LM at night, I will be able to pull my shedding hair back as I walk down the hall.
Set my glasses down between my phone and the bottle of water I keep on my nightstand.
Turn off the lamp.
Now...would the world end if I didn't follow this routine every night? No. At least I don't think so. But, it helps me settle in for the night. I know that in the throes of sleep deprivation and that fabulous sensation of waking up in the middle of a weird dream to cries, I will be able to grab my phone and glasses and be on my way in no time. With no thought :-)
My other slightly embarrassing routine is slightly more of a superstition. After I turn out the light and close my eyes, I calculate.
I calculate how long it's been since LM went to sleep. And how many hours it has been since he ate. I then tell myself something like this, "Ok, he's been asleep for two hours, it's been two and a half since he ate. It's 1030 now...I'll be 'ok' if he sleeps until 1. That'll give me enough sleep...it'll be ok.". Then, I think...but I really want him to sleep until 3.
It's my little superstition. It makes me fall asleep thinking that he won't wake up in 30 minutes. And if he doesn't sleep as long as I want...I've convinced myself that it's ok. I want him to sleep until a certain time, but I always "undershoot" it so that I am pleasantly surprised if he sleeps longer.
I know this makes no sense. But, it helps me. And it reinforces my belief in the importance of routines in parenting.