Daily Routines: Rut in the Road or Road Map to a Balanced Life?

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According to Catherine Pulsifer, “We need to maintain a proper balance in our life by allocating the time we have.”

Have you found a way to do that? 

For me, it’s simple.  I set up a schedule and try to follow it.  Of course there are times when the schedule goes out the window.  Someone is sick or you have company visiting for a few days or you win free tickets to vacation in paradise.  Barring those unforeseen events though, life becomes so much less stressful and so much more harmonious when we have routines that we follow on a daily basis.

 At least, that’s how it is for me.

When my children were small, it seemed even more important to have a plan for each day.  Life can get really chaotic if you don’t have a plan in place. 


Within the framework of the routine, you can be flexible.  Take a look at the schedule I created when my children were growing up and I operated a home daycare for the infants and preschoolers of local teachers.  These routines can be applied to a family with one or more toddlers, as well as a home daycare.  Perhaps with some modifications for your unique situation, it can provide the framework for a balanced and fun-filled day for you and your children.  This supposes, of course, that you are home with your children.  And that you have children. 🙂

6:30am to 7:30am: Greet the Day: Wash, brush teeth, get dressed

7:30am to 8:30am: Breakfast

8:30am to 9:15am: Story-time

9:15am to 9:30am: Music and Rhythms

9:30am to 10:15am: Arts and Crafts

10:15am to 10:30am: Morning Snack

10:30am to 11:30am: Free Play (not free-for-all)

11:30am to 12:00pm: Cooking Experience

12:00pm to 12:45pm: Lunch

12:45pm to 2:00pm: Naptime

2:00pm to 3:00pm: Free Play

3:00pm to 3:15pm: Afternoon Snack

3:15pm to 5:00pm: Another round of story-time, music and rhythms and arts and crafts

5:00pm: Dinner preparation: young children love to help…they can pour and mix or color placemats or help set the table with napkins and silverware (no knives, please).

6:00pm to 7:00pm: Family dinner

7:00pm: Bedtime preparations…each family will have their own traditions (washing up, brushing teeth, story-time, song, prayer, etc.).


Perhaps your child still takes two good naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Perhaps your child is in pre-school or daycare for part of the day.

Perhaps dinner can be earlier because the family is home and ready to eat, or perhaps it needs to be later because parents work later.  As I said, each of you can take the schedule and play with it until it suits your family’s situation and unique needs.  The important thing is to have some kind of schedule and be consistent with it, as much as possible.  This consistency helps children relax because they know what to expect and when to expect it.

If you are interested in learning more about the activities that are a large part of the routine, please check out my book for parents of preschoolers, SHOW ME HOW!  BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING.  In it, you’ll find story summaries for 100 picture books every young child should hear and an easy eco-friendly craft project and a healthful child-friendly cooking activity for each of those recommended stories.  The simple format and fun-filled self-esteem building activities are a perfect shortcut for today’s busy parents. 

Library Journal says, “The layout and tri-fold format of reading, crafting and cooking are commendable.”

Katherine Holabird, author of the Angelina Ballerina series says, “What a lovely book!  Parents and caretakers will find inspiration in this delightful guide to reading and planning activities with young children.”

Norman Bridwell, author of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series says, “SHOW ME HOW! is a wonderful resource for people who care for their children and hope to better their reading and learning experience.”

The book is in several libraries already…if it’s not in yours, perhaps you can request that your local library purchase it for their shelves.  If you can’t wait and want to get started building your child’s self-esteem, developing pre-literacy skills and creating a life-long parent-child bond right away, you can go to my website or to Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please tune in tomorrow for a look at the nemesis of many parents: Bedtime…Routines, Rituals and Can I Have One More Drink of Water, Please!  There will be a story suggestion and craft activity as well.


6 thoughts on “Daily Routines: Rut in the Road or Road Map to a Balanced Life?

  1. scheduling is pretty important to me but on the week ends I go totally non schedule as I feel that gives me a balance of scheduled and non scheduled life.
    Also a tip a friend gave me to be balanced is to put
    Me on one side of a paper and
    Others on the other side. Put a paper clip for each task and it helps you to see if your balanced in doing for yourself and others.
    Have a great day.


  2. What a beautiful insight…you are right…it is really important to balance what you do for others in relation to what you do for yourself…otherwise you will empty yourself of your energy and have nothing left to give. Perhaps the only thing we can give in unlimited amounts is LOVE. 🙂


  3. I was reading this post earlier today and thought, Good Lord, how quickly we forget the intense routine of childhood…
    With my twins, we were on a round the clock schedule and didn’t get our dizzy heads back till 5 years later when they were off to k-school.
    I don’t miss those sleepless nights and now our routine is more flexible and relaxed.
    We did read a lot and I remember loving the Angelina Ballerina series… Oh, do you remember the story of the girl named Chrysanthemum? Brilliant. 🙂
    Thanks for bringing back memories…
    Have a great week ahead!


  4. Thanks God for routines, schedules and NAPS! My 2 year old looks forward to our evening ritual of bath, story time and brushing. He goes down to sleep without a fuss bc he knows what to expect and that is a huge relief for mommy! Vivian, Thanks for the sample schedule. We will try to use it next weekend when we are all home and let u know how it goes. 🙂


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