That feeling on a Sunday morning where you wake a little early…
You have promised your wife she can sleep in and you will take care of the girls…..
And you want to go back to sleep but you dread that very very shortly you will hear their little feet running down the hall….
I’ll be honest I feel a little selfish thinking this. My wife does a lot for me and I have had many a sleep in. It’s also a great chance to spend some quiet (figuratively speaking) time with the girls. But as a dad I always worry that I’ll give them the wrong food or not feed them enough. Now that they are getting older I’ll admit it’s a lot easier, as they now almost dictate what they want for breakfast, which is toast or cereal. Pretty hard to balls that up right??
“That’s the wrong bowl daddy” “no daddy that’s not my milk” “you gave me to much, I can’t eat it” “no I always butter my bread”….. Annoying? Absolutely!! Should I get cranky?? No way. You see my wife and I made them like this. We are fairly strict on routine and particular on following patterns. It helps us get through the day and we found it helps the girls cope when things get tough. They are pretty good when out of routine, for example we have gone out for dinner and got home 3hrs past their bed time, they know the bed time routine and are usually asleep in 15 mins. But they also have their morning routine. As a dad who is at work well before they wake up, helping them with breakfast is a novel idea and they are now telling me what to do. Give it another year and they will be doing it themselves, they currently know that straight after breakfast you go make your own bed, not hard and it’s not perfect, but that’s not the idea. It’s about also teaching them life skills.
We tried the no routine thing with our girls, it was chaos. They seem far more comfortable having strict boundaries to operate in. Only problem is for breakfast routine they know it better than me, and spend most of it guiding me through, and I just love it!!
Yes it does lead to some melt downs when things are out of place. Jo and I as parents are working on that and teaching the girls how to handle it, it’s called balance. Life is not easy. Having routine to fall back on helps, when it’s over the top, it stifles creativity, when there is not enough you have bedlam. Trying to find that happy medium is truly exhausting. But as we watch our children grow it is a remarkable thing to watch them understand, sometimes better than I do, why we follow routine and then take it on board themselves.