Thursday, November 29, 2012

46. Routine

I used to be an 'anti-routine' person, routine pretty much was synonymous with boring. Routine was so distasteful to me that I would rarely eat the same food from the same restaurant, always venturing for the 'new' dish, something that I had not tried before...

Of course, it's always good to try something new, and 'spice' things up, so to speak. But routine has its place too, and instead of being boring, can actually help one feel grounded at times, increase productivity (by freeing your mind to do/try other things while the routine becomes habitual), and help with physical activity and healthy eating goals (through creating healthy habits).

And when you're a parent, routine becomes something that you almost crave for, since so many new adventures are happening in one's life, with a baby learning and acquiring new skills all the time (and an adult entering the crazy, planning-EVERYTHING-ahead-of-time world of parenthood)! Actually, babies seem to thrive with a decent amount of familiarity and routine/structure in their lives, as I am discovering the hard way, being so routine-averse that I thought I could get my child to adapt to my lifestyle...while my son has adapted to my non-routine, flex lifestyle, it's also affected his sleep greatly, at times needing a parent to fall and stay asleep, and sleeping less in general. Babies generally need around 13-16 hours of sleep for healthy growth and development, and while my child was once ahead of other children his age in terms of growth and development, he's slipping behind lately. Part of it was because our flex lifestyle led to him eating on the go and therefore skipping some much-needed sit-down meals, and because he had been going to bed later and later, wanting to stay up and have fun with his parents, while waking up at around the same time each morning.

So, I am starting to appreciate routine and structure more and more in my life, one other reason being that my memory is not as good as it used to be before child, so I almost have to create routines to ingrain habits that will help me remember where I put things (such as my keys, phone, and wallet!) and what needs to get done, and free up space to keep track of things that I need to do for my child. Routine is helping my son eat more, eat healthier, and sleep better and longer; it gives me some down time to do things that I enjoy doing, provide me with some much-needed 'me-time,' and I've recently realized routine can help me eat better. And I can honestly say even with these routines, my life is far from boring, as there is always something new happening in my life vis-a-vis my child, or something new to learn, such as the fine art of choosing a daycare.

Hence, my ode to routine, I say, bring it!

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