Ruled by routine

On Thursday afternoons, every Thursday afternoon without fail, I take the kids grocery shopping.

Last week however, I made a completely uncharacteristic decision to take the girls on a road trip … on a Thursday. Did I mention I do the groceries on Thursdays?

I guess you could say I’m a bit of a planner. I like to be organised and feel in control. Both of my daughters have a routine and I stick to those routines fairly closely.

I can be flexible, but I like a little notice. *Hangs head in shame*. Okay, who am I kidding? If someone asks me to veer from my trusty schedule, I have a mini meltdown akin to my three-year-old when she’s given her dinner on the Peter Rabbit plate instead of the Snow White one.

It’s not that I don’t want to try new things with the girls, I do. I enviously watch my friends get out and about doing cool stuff with their kids all the time and wish I could do the same.

BC (Before children), I was always out and about, hanging out with friends, and trying new things. I flew by the seat of my pants.

I realised recently that I’ve forgotten what winging it is like, what doing things on the spur of the moment is like. Since I’ve had kids, I’ve clung to my schedule, our routines, the familiarity for dear life. It makes me feel safe and in control. I focus on what I know will get me through the day with as little stress as possible. I focus on keeping everything and everyone calm, happy, and in control. I keep it local and that keeps us sane.

Since our semi-disastrous first family holiday though, I’ve felt I owe it to the girls to broaden their horizons. With Smiley (14 months) sleeping less during the day and Curly-locks (three) generally well behaved, I think we may be ready to mix things up a little.

So, when I had an opportunity to visit my 92-year-old Grandma, my 89-year-old Grandma and my 91-year-old Great Aunt, I jumped at it. I know these gorgeous girls won’t be around forever and I need to cherish every single second I have with them now.

As I veered off from our routine and onto the motorway I desperately fought the voices in my head begging me not to leave the safety of the known – ‘You hate driving on the motorway, Smiley will crack it because she’s missed her sleep, the cupboards are bare!!!’ As I hit 110 on the speedo, I was so anxious I felt as though a dark force was closing in on me with its hands around my neck, but in just over an hour we made it to our destination and I let myself breathe.

You know what? That minor anxiety attack was totally worth it. Smiley did crack it, Curly-locks was moody at times, and the cupboards were bare, but for the most part the girls had a ball with their Great Grandmothers, Great Great Aunt, Great Aunty and my cousin.

Best of all, I realised that the girls and I can handle a little break from the routine now and then.

So watch out world, the Wilson girls are throwing out setting aside the routine and taking the world by storm!

Are you ruled by routine or are you a little more adventurous than me when getting out and about with the kids?

60 comments on Ruled by routine

  1. Bec | Mumma Tells
    January 14, 2014 at 5:52 am (3 years ago)

    Go you good thing! Throwing caution into the wind with success! X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm (3 years ago)

      Woohoooo! Thanks Bec xx

      Reply
  2. Lydia C. Lee
    January 14, 2014 at 5:52 am (3 years ago)

    Definitely adventurous. That’s the luxury of before they go to school or school holidays – routine gets rammed down your neck soon enough. Kids get on board, and if they’re vile, they were probably going to be vile at home too – we all have days when were a little moody…that’s what I say!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm (3 years ago)

      You are so right, Lydia. At least if they’re being vile we could be at the beach or something rather than at home!!

      Reply
  3. Eleise @ A Very Blended Family
    January 14, 2014 at 7:00 am (3 years ago)

    I think our children thrive on loose boundaries and become more adaptable with change. Well done on shaking it up a little! I like some routine but I get bored and my imagination gets stuck, I like spontananity and change. Even my step kids have started to embrace it when they were used to strict routines.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s great, Eleise. I think I was just waiting for the time when I felt I was ready and the girls were old enough. Yay.

      Reply
  4. Emily
    January 14, 2014 at 7:30 am (3 years ago)

    Oh how I LOVE routine. But, like you, I try to change it up. Not being near family helps in a weird way – we welcome visitors whenever they can come, or we try to head to the country once a month, and schedules get thrown out the window during those times.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm (3 years ago)

      Somehow I had a feeling you’d like routine, Emily. Heading to the country once a month sounds awesome!

      Reply
  5. Vanessa
    January 14, 2014 at 8:05 am (3 years ago)

    I used to be great at just doing anything any time…now I feel like I’m not allowed to. I’ve put up invisible walls and for no reason! But I’m working through them slowly.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s great, Vanessa. Maybe we can muddle through it together!

      Reply
  6. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    January 14, 2014 at 8:13 am (3 years ago)

    OMG I soooo know what you mean! I am such an organiser, planner, control freak and have to have routine! I do surprise myself when I do things out of routine and find that I really enjoy it and life still goes on! I think I’ll follow you and start doing it a bit more! xx Lucy #TeamIBOT

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s great, Lucy. Yes, I think I surprised myself too. It wasn’t as hard as I imagined xx

      Reply
  7. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    January 14, 2014 at 8:16 am (3 years ago)

    Ah huh! perhaps you and I are both getting just that little bit closer to “living in the now” after all!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes maybe, Leanne πŸ™‚ Will have to wait and see what 2014 brings πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Martine@themodernparent
    January 14, 2014 at 9:36 am (3 years ago)

    I love routine but I also love the change and breaking it up. I love that as I am on holidays at the moment the only routine is heading to the beach all day then returning to a nice glass of wine and relaxing night. I could certainly get used to this! Well done for challenging yourself though!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm (3 years ago)

      Now that’s the type of routine I like, Martine! Have a glass for me please πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    January 14, 2014 at 9:40 am (3 years ago)

    Ha Ha! Yep – I am that way all the time. I know the feeling of anxiety when there’s a little hiccup in the routine. Glad it worked out for you and that you are brave enough to try again.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Jody. I don’t know how you cope with six little people to manage!

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm (3 years ago)

      Haha Sam. Yes, I don’t usually let things get in the way of me and food. I must have really been living in the moment! xo

      Reply
  10. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    January 14, 2014 at 11:22 am (3 years ago)

    Go girl – I’m SOO glad to hear it – you’ll be a much happier Vegemite if you can let go of the routine every now and then. I have a very flexible routine, but it’s here nonetheless, when I had just 2 kids I was VERY strict with routines, we never went out for tea in case it mucked up our dinner/bath/bed routine, and don’t even get me started on not meeting friends around nap time. Thankfully that’s all changed and now anything goes. It’s also made my kids more resilient, they can adapt better to change. Proud of you girl, keep it up! Em xxx (also visiting as part of #teamIBOT)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Em. I sound exactly like the way you used to be. I usually under no circumstances go out arond nap time etc. I like the fact that you think your kids are more resilient and adaptable to change now. That’s what I’m aiming for. Thanks πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  11. Lauren
    January 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm (3 years ago)

    Well done, it sounds like it all went well! I am a creature of routine, I like to have planned what we are doing the following day, bags organised the night before and when possible try to work things around the boys sleeps. I am trying to be more spontaneous, we’ve been on a couple of little ‘spur of the moment’ outings with good results.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 9:47 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m glad you’ve had a couple of good spur of the moment outings. I think that’s all we need so we can build up a little confidence. I love to plan the bags the night before too πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. ann
    January 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm (3 years ago)

    This made me smile, good on you for busting out!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 8:49 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. Thank you, Ann. And thanks for dropping in πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Kate
    January 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm (3 years ago)

    I can’t wait for school to start back just so all the playgroup activities will start up again. Yep, I too love routine. I’ve been in a similar place to you recently with mixing it up a bit and I’m glad we have. Even though it can sometimes be more stress on all fronts, it helps me feel more confident to deal with whatever is thrown at me, helps me learn more about the boys personalities and it doesn’t affect their night sleeps so at least I can recover πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm (3 years ago)

      That is great it doesn’t affect their night sleep! I like the idea that you can learn more about their personalities too. I think mixing it up a little every now and then is definitely a good thing. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  14. lisa
    January 14, 2014 at 5:08 pm (3 years ago)

    I am the opposite. I hate routine, and I struggle being a mum that has to do the boring things like groceries, cleaning etc when I all I want to do is go out and have an adventure with my kids. I do my groceries first thing in the morning-the earlier the better (my kids would be ready to run-a-muck in the store if in the afternoon) and try to get my chores done either first thing or while the kids are napping. School holidays I can relax and just entertain them but during school terms I very much feel the grindstone of the same thing day after day. On the other hand my hubby loves order, cleanliness and structure and gets stressed when things aren’t in their right order. So glad you went to see your relatives and had a surprising but fun day.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 8:53 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lisa. It sounds like you have lots of fun in your house! I do find it hard when chores get in the way of playing with the kids, but don’t have the energy these days to get up early to do it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  15. SarahD @SnippetsandSpirits
    January 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm (3 years ago)

    I like routine If my boys would stick to it! Lately I have to just go with it and it is tiring. You are right though there are some Mums out there that just go off for the day kids in two and do not bat an eye lid. I worry, me! and sometimes it is just easier to stay at home ! May there be more flying by the seat of your pants for you.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 8:55 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. Thanks Sarah. Yes, I am envious of those mums. I just need to find a happy medium πŸ™‚

      Reply
  16. Josefa @always Josefa
    January 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm (3 years ago)

    Routine is good, especially during summer holidays when routine goes out the window and you are clawing at the walls begging your children to sleep and it is ten o-clock!! But then routine is not so good, when you need to just let of holding on to life so tightly. The flow of things is so much easier. I think the key is balance – a happy place where routine works but does not define you xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm (3 years ago)

      Beautifully said as always, Josefa. I think I have definitely been holding on too tightly and need to loosen the grip. Thanks for dropping in x

      Reply
  17. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    January 14, 2014 at 8:13 pm (3 years ago)

    I was very much ruled by routine when mine were babies and toddlers. Not because I am a lover of all things routine but because it worked. The routine allowed sanity in the house and when your a Mum that really helps as you well know! I think mine were about the same age as your lovelies when I started stepping outside the routine every now and then. It’s a great feeling, very freeing. Good on you, you’ll enjoy this more and more xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 9:02 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Jodi! Yes, I definitely think routine has helped us get as far as we have with minimal stress. I’m looking forward to what the future holds for us πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  18. Tegan
    January 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm (3 years ago)

    I love routine, like you it makes me feel safe. My partner has learned that I don’t do flying by the seat of my pants and has made sure to let me know in advance if anything is going to change.
    Good for you getting out of your routine though! I know how hard it can be.

    Reply
  19. Toni
    January 14, 2014 at 9:29 pm (3 years ago)

    I like to know whats happening and be in control, but I am actually more fly by the seat of my pants now than I was before. I think its mainly because I’m not working and I actually have time to do more things and say yes more often. I still like to have a days notice though and if anyone ever randomly showed up at my door I would probably have a full on panic attack!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 10:02 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. That’s great you’re very spur of the moment now especially with bub so young. Make the most of it, I say!

      Reply
  20. Lara @ This Charming Mum
    January 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve never been good at routine! I do my best with the kids, as they obviously need some form of stability in their days, but they’ve never truly been tied a schedule. I used to do those spontaneous road trips quite a bit when they were younger actually, but I thought of it as taking control, rather than throwing caution to the wind. I liked the fact that they were strapped in and not running anywhere they shouldn’t be! A bit of kid friendly music and could usually get an hour or so of relative peace. How very special for your kids that they still have so many senior relatives in their lives!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 15, 2014 at 6:07 am (3 years ago)

      I really like that idea, Lara. It’s a different way of being in control. I never thought of it that way. Thanks! Yes, we are very lucky to have these women still in our lives.

      Reply
  21. Jaz @ Red Dolls
    January 14, 2014 at 11:15 pm (3 years ago)

    I dread school holidays for lack of routine but saying that I’m flexible too – no set day for groceries! Good on you for visiting your rellies – way more important than keeping to a schedule πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 15, 2014 at 6:09 am (3 years ago)

      Yes, so true πŸ™‚ It will be interesting when the girls start school how we will cope with the routine and then the lack of it on holidays! Thanks for dropping in πŸ™‚

      Reply
  22. Maxabella
    January 15, 2014 at 12:06 pm (3 years ago)

    We could actually use a little more routine around here!!!! It does get crazy, but I need the spontaneity as much as you need the structure. It keeps me sane.

    You are SO SO SO lucky to have your grands and great aunt alive. That’s a gift! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm (3 years ago)

      It sure is, Bron! We are very, very lucky. I guess we all need to find that happy medium with routine πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  23. Maxabella
    January 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm (3 years ago)

    We could actually do with a little more routine around here! I crave spontaneity as much as you crave structure. It gets crazy, but it keeps me sane…

    You are so, so, so lucky to have your grandmas and great aunt licking along at such a great age. That’s a gift!

    x

    Reply
  24. Maxabella
    January 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm (3 years ago)

    Whoops – I thought my first comment got eaten, but it was spat out after all. Sorry to double up! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s okay. It makes me feel extra loved πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  25. Twitchy
    January 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm (3 years ago)

    Well done for breaking out of your regular box without too much fallout. I think our elderly relatives are so precious and kids need to know this more than they need to know what they are doing at 2pm on a Thursday πŸ™‚ #teamIBOT

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, we need to make the most of our time with them πŸ™‚

      Reply
  26. Living Serenely
    January 15, 2014 at 10:41 pm (3 years ago)

    I am definitely a routine persons. Routines definitely make life more comfortable. But choosing to go on a holiday, or visit family, or road trips is a brave step into the unknown. The kids likely might go all wacko having their meal times and nap times mixed up a little, but hopefully the beautiful memories made from veering off course make it all worthwhile!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 16, 2014 at 6:14 am (3 years ago)

      I think you’ve head the nail on the head there πŸ™‚ You can’t put a price on those memories. Thanks for dropping in πŸ™‚

      Reply
  27. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    January 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm (3 years ago)

    Good on you for being outrageous Renee! When Bell was little we really stuck to routine, because it was the easy way to go. Now we quite often go off on adventures. It’s all about making memories hun xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s right, Lisa πŸ™‚ I think I just needed to get to a stage where I felt ready, just like you πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  28. Nina
    January 17, 2014 at 1:26 am (3 years ago)

    Good for you! Like yourself, I’m a planner and routine-stickler. For instance, I bow down to my babies’ (twins) nap schedule, arranging life around them. But once in a while I make exceptions, like the time we went to a bowling party and the two of them had to skip their nap and just sleep in the car on the way home. I think the key is to find a good reason (like your visit to your grandmas) and to keep it once in a while. Adds a little bit of fun to life πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 17, 2014 at 6:13 am (3 years ago)

      I think that’s exactly right, Nina. It’s all about finding a happy medium. I’m glad you were able to get out to your party and have fun. It’s all about looking after you too. Thanks for dropping in πŸ™‚

      Reply
  29. Neets
    January 17, 2014 at 11:14 am (3 years ago)

    You rebel you!! We are generally good with routine however definitely break the rules. My biggest challenge is getting the husband to stick to the same routine as me when I’m not around! He never does x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. Yes, we definitely have that problem with my husband too πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  30. floodproofmum
    January 17, 2014 at 11:17 am (3 years ago)

    I try and have a routine but it always changes…am working on it this year though. I love that you did something spontaneous. You are so lucky to have the grandmas still alive. Sounds like a wonderful day πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm (3 years ago)

      It sure was and yes, we’re so lucky to have those lovely ladies still around. Thanks for dropping in πŸ™‚

      Reply

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