Friday, July 22, 2011


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'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.


  1. I have routines for the Boy, but no "schedules"...and people keep telling me I need to schedule his naps and feeds. He sleeps when he wants, eats when he wants, and I work around that. But bedtime...there's a routine. He gets changed, put into pj's, and a bottle, all around the same time every night. He seems to know the difference between that and a regular change and feed, because he'll go to sleep and stay there for about 8 hours or so!

  2. I love this because I see so much of myself in it. I've got the ponytail holder on my wrist right now in case Bean wakes up and our monitor actually goes in the bed with us, between Hubby and me. And the last thing that we say to each other before we go to sleep is "See you in 5 minutes." Of course we don't really want or hope to see each other in 5 minutes, but for awhile it seemed like Bean woke up right after we went to bed and just like you said, if we shoot for 5 minutes, anything more then that seems great. So yeah, I'm right there with you!

  3. I'm a K teacher as well and unknowingly set up a routine for J at about 8 weeks. He thrives on it! Consistency is key and, while I want him to be flexible, I know it's so good for him to be able to predict what happens in certain situations.

    And seriously, I totally calculate nursing sessions and hours slept to see how much sleep i can get and be "rested."

  4. It seems like more of us may have our own funny little routines that keep us's not surprising that so many of them revolve around sleep!!


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