What do you mean you need a break from the old routine?

If curiosity killed the cat, monotony killed the stay at home Mummy.

I don’t mean that to sound so negative, but the routine of taking care of the children and family chores can get a little repetitive can’t it? I’ve always believed that kids do well on a good routine, but as they are growing into children, it’s time to break through the boundaries and take a walk on the wild side.

I once heard on the radio a discussion about repetition, which said that the benefits of always doing certain tasks in the same way allowed a reduction of stress on the mind. For example, if you always put your keys in the same bowl by the door, and shoes on a rack, you will never have to think about where they are; freeing up your mind to glide through daily tasks stress-free.

I subscribed to that concept for quite a while. Until I read another opposing theory; that repetition does in fact dull your senses and sends you through your days on auto-pilot failing to engage with your surroundings and therefore leaving you missing out on life experiences.

So whilst I’m not hiding the car keys, or boycotting the laundry, I’m trying to adopt this philosophy: Being more present in my day to day, and enjoying the experiences I’m sharing with the children as they grow up.

For me and the girls, it’s the small changes which make a big impact to our week. We just enjoyed two weeks off nursery, which for the first time, was such a blessing – to forget about the normal morning rush and do things together without the bind of the ‘nursery runs’.

Is a change as good as a rest? I’m not sure anything is as good as an actual rest…but here are a few things which come pretty damn close.

Scrapping sandwhiches for lunch and picking up chip shop chips.

Letting Tigs stay up late on the weekend to share our takeaway and watch a film, until she falls asleep.

Inviting nursery friends over for tea.

Staying in our pyjamas all day.

Getting away for a weekend.

Walking home from nursery.

Go to friends or family for the evening, and stay up way past bedtime.

Scrapping a regular group, and trying out a new one.

Eating lunch in the garden.

Meeting up with friends we haven’t seen for ages.

Going somewhere fun for the day.

Going absolutely nowhere for the day.

It’s done us, or should I say, me, the world of good. Go on, do something crazy, well, different, today.

x MMT

 

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66 thoughts on “What do you mean you need a break from the old routine?

  1. dearbearandbeany Reply

    I can relate to this, I love being a home with my girls but the routine does get to you after a while. I like to take us out on a day out and not worry about naps, Holly can sleep in the pushchair and just have fun. I think I could do more though x #MarvMondays

  2. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

    I like weekends for that – stay in PJs, watch TV and go out for yummy coffees. I think mornings and the usual can get a bit tedious if you don’t shake it up a bit. Plus kids love a treat. xx #fartglitter

    1. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

      Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

  3. thismummylark Reply

    I do like and function better with routine but to a point. I get awfully bored quickly too so some change is good and even a treat depending what it is πŸ™‚ today an unexpected trip to town ( hopefully not in the rain)

  4. crummymummy1 Reply

    I think a change IS as good as a rest! It’s too easy to get bogged down by the same old routine but so easy to feel refreshed with a few small changes #marvmondays

  5. Thirtysomethingbelle Reply

    I agree. I work best with routine, but after a while, burn-out rears it’s head and I need that fresh air, a little spontaneity! Routine can be silently stifling, it’s always good to mix things up every now and again.

  6. justsayingmum Reply

    Oh I love this post and found myself nodding away – oh go on – be a rebel – hide the keys, boycott the laundry! But, you’re so right, sometimes we get so consumed in the routine it is sometimes just so refreshing to do something different – I bet the children loved it! Another great read #BigPinkLink

  7. This Mum's Life Reply

    It’s always interesting when you read a theory on something, and think ‘yes, that’s me, I’m definitely on board with this!’ And then read something completely opposing and shout ‘oh crap!! I’m doing it all wrong!!’ I’m a bit like you were, getting painfully bored with the every day monotony… I was also feeling much less engaged, and just felt like I was ‘getting through’ until the end of the day. I always come home for MA’s sleep, because I know we will have the hugest meltdown if he doesn’t get at least 2 hours!! But I’m still too scared to let DT stay up/go out with them for an evening, and I’ve been set in my ways with our groups for ages now!! I’ve done a few spontaneous picnics recently (check me out!!) and did meet up with some old friends last week, and it did do me the world of good!!! Its an important thing to bear in mind, because we should be enjoying our children, and making sure we don’t switch off by the monotony they can easily bring!!
    #bigpinklink

  8. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum) Reply

    Yes I agree and as the kids get older it is easier to do! Doing the same stuff day in day out is plain boring, it feels like you are stuck on that treadmill.

  9. Morgan Prince Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. Change to routine is like a breath of fresh air sometimes! good for you. x
    #fartglitter

  10. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    I couldn’t agree with you more MMT! I read your post and thought – yep. Our weeks are always busy, but follow the same routine week in week out. I am very much guilty of cruising through on autopilot. Love some of the little ideas that you’ve suggested. Nothing too grand but just enough to make a difference!
    Thanks for linking up with #FartGlitter xx

  11. Petite Pudding (@petite_pudding) Reply

    Very much agree with you, and I love some of the ideas to break out of the usual routine, think I might give some of these ago when the monotony really hits! #bigpinklink

  12. wendy Reply

    Sticking to the same routine can make life soo boring. When Leo was napping 2 hours a day at the same time every day it really got to me. We couldn’t go out at certain times because be would need a sleep. I am loving it now he doesn’t nap, it can be hard not having time to myself but it means we can do different things each day and not always have to be home between 1 and 3. I love your suggestions to shake things up, especially chip shop chips haha xx #bigpinklink

  13. Mrs Tubbs Reply

    Enjoy the change and the new adventure … πŸ™‚

  14. colleyswobbles Reply

    I really need to learn a few things from this. I can be so organised at work, at home the total opposite. It’s all about getting the right balance. Great blog really enjoyed reading it thank you. Gem x #passthesauce

  15. Nicole Reply

    Agree. Some days you just want to do something different, something else or even nothing at all!!! (That’s different too, correct?) Great post!
    #passthesauce

  16. Jennifer Jain Reply

    Lovely ideas, I do love routine but sometimes it is great to shake things up a bit! My husband is away most weeks for a night or two for work so that’s when I change things up a bit, I let the children stay up a little later after tea (and sometimes sleep in my bed if they’ve been good!) or we go to the shops and buy them a magazine or we have picnic lunches in the living room.

  17. Lady Nym Reply

    My problem is being autistic and anxious any change has to be thought through and planned out or I panic. I do like the idea of boycotting the laundry, though…

    #bigpinklink

  18. ljdove23 Reply

    Love this. We had a week long break from our routine last week and it was amazing! We didn’t get dressed some days, we didn’t even leave the house, just played in the garden and enjoyed the sunshine and had a much needed break from the daily grind! #bestandworst

  19. Becky Pink Reply

    YES this is so true and (I find) so hard to remember sometimes. The to do list keeps on getting longer, but the kids are growing older and one day they won’t want to sit on your lap ALL the time and get in bed with you. And that time will be gone. Thanks for the reminder xx #BestAndWorst

  20. dadbloguk Reply

    I’ve always stuck to some kind of routine. Alas, it is essential when you have a school aged child or else the wheels would fall off the domestic bus. That said, the school holidays are always great fun. Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  21. This Mum's Life Reply

    Just coming back through #coolmumclub! We are mixing it up to the max by going away this weekend on a spontaneous break (I won’t ever do that, and always need everything planned in meticulous detail!!) and the boys will be sharing a room for the first time (I’ve never allowed this either, I’ve always insisted on staying somewhere they can have a room each!!) but my husband has been saying I need to relax the routine a bit, so here we go…!

  22. My Petit Canard Reply

    That sounds so refreshing! I love breaking routine and just seeing where life takes you sometimes. I find the routine of the day to day so wearing (dont we all) and very dull and live for days and weeks like the ones you describe. It sounds like it was bliss and most definitely a good thing πŸ™‚ Emily #coolmumclub

  23. sisterk1n Reply

    Oh I totally agree. It’s so easy to get into a rut or to use the routine as an excuse. I suppose like most mums I needed the structure when the twins were babies and for some reason it has become a habit (tea at 5pm, bath at 6.20pm etc.). It’s good to break your own rules sometimes and let loose! #coolmumclub

  24. beautybabyandme Reply

    Couldn’t agree more chick. I guess we do have a bit of a routine even though Josh is only 5 months, but we do try to do different things each week. You’re right to want to do different things; mix it up honey!! πŸ™‚ xx #coolmumclub

  25. The Mum Project Reply

    Totally agree. I try to do something different each week, even if it’s something small like trying a different breakfast. It’s hard to always remember to be mindful and try new things because you do get caught up in autopilot mode, this is great reminder! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha you picked up on the mindfulness part πŸ˜‰ trying to embrace it! Xx

  26. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Reply

    Love this – changes in routine can make such a difference. Our routine isn’t always brilliant at the best of times but just getting out and doing something different when the kids are being grumpy can really turn the day around. Love the idea of getting chip shop chips for lunch now – that’s made me hungry! πŸ™‚ #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Do it! X

  27. Jen @ Lifewrangling Reply

    A change is as good as a holiday, as they say. Everyone needs some time to get away from the monotony of their everyday life for a short time to recharge the batteries and become inspired by life again. A walk in a park, a visit with an old friend, a ride on a train to an unexplored part of the city, all of these things help us to step outside the mundane and find joy in our lives again. Your post is a timely reminder to me to do these things more often.

  28. The Pramshed Reply

    I think a change from the routine is brilliant, I’ve often believed that children need some degree of flexibility in their lives as not always the routine can be stuck too, there will be times when they won’t be able to have a bath before bed etc… I hope you had a fab time with your girls! I love the idea of chip shop chips for lunch, much better than sandwiches πŸ™‚ Claire x #coolmumclub

  29. familylifeandme Reply

    Having the same routine in life can get you down and make you resent being at home. I know it does to me, so its great when you switch up your routine even if it’s just as a treat. Although children do benefit from a routine it gives them a fresh lease of life when they do something out of the norm too. Great post! #coolmumclub

  30. rightroyalmother Reply

    It’s pretty crazy when a bathtime slips by half an hour in our house. I am a bit of a sucker for routine but it is so brill when you break it a bit, like you say. We had chocolate after brushing teeth last night (and then brushed them again, obvs) and NG nearly danced with happiness. Which doesn’t say a lot for the excitement levels in our house. Brill post – thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  31. Emma - meandbmaketea Reply

    can def relate. Part reason why I wanted to go back to work really. I wish id found blogging sooner too as I find it really motivates me to get out and see the world! #coolmumclub

  32. crummymummy1 Reply

    Back again – and I still haven’t managed to make any changes to our routine this week! #coolmumclub

  33. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    I totally agree! Routine will be the end of us all! Our routine has gone totally out of the window this week and feeling almost new again! There with you always #coolmumclub co-hosty xxx

  34. justsayingmum Reply

    back again from #Coolmumclub – hope you hid those keys and boycotted the laundry!

  35. jaxbest Reply

    I totally agree that routine is important but it can definitely dull the senses. Time for a little excitement in our household. #coolmumclub

  36. anywaytostayathome Reply

    I quite like a little break from the routine every now and then, even something simple like cutting L’s sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters can make our day! Or letting him direct me home, he only knows ‘this way’ and ‘that way’ coupled with pointing so it can be quite good fun. #CoolMumClub

  37. Helen Reply

    Completely with you. I like routine for about 1 week and then I get bored! we also loved our time off over Easter. No early rising for swimming/ballet/football/school. Lots of PJ wearing is good for the soul! Glad you feel refreshed x #coolmumclub

  38. Mum in Brum Reply

    Love this list Sarah! We managed to eat lunch in the garden a couple of times last week and it really was such a lovely change. Taylor was in her element too, taking everything in. It’s so funny how routines help us but yet we can become such a slave to them. I’m well past the point now of not leaving the house after 7pm. Last week I dropped the hubby off at a friends after 7 and had to take Taylor with me. She ended up playing with their kids for well over an hour and it was good for all the adults to catch up. She wasn’t in bed until 8.30 but she was absolutely fine – sometimes we need to throw routine out of the window. You’ve really made me want to go out to the local chippie… xx #coolmumclub

  39. Kat EatLoveLive Reply

    You’re so right! I love these ideas and all are a nice little alternative to the normal same same routine. I need to take some of this advice x #coolmumclub

  40. baddadu Reply

    Weirdly we find rotating our kitchen table 90 degrees every once in a while has the same effect – that’s probably just me though #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Sit in a different seat almost made the list. I just forgot to add it!

  41. DillyDolly Reply

    This sounds like I fab idea I wrote a post yesterday about feeling guilty about not spending enough time with the children and I think I can totally use some of the things you did to help with that as well πŸ™‚ #coolmumclub

  42. Katy (@hotpinkwellies) Reply

    I love this idea! It’s the routine (or monotony!) that I found hardest to handle when I first became a mum – it feels so good to mix it up now and again (and I’m someone who doesn’t like change!) I do need to force myself to do it though (because, you know, I’m someone who doesn’t like change!) #coolmumclub

  43. Squirmy Popple Reply

    Wise words! It can be easy to get into a rut when you’re a stay-at-home parent. I always find that my best days with the Popple are the days where we get out of the house and do something different, even if it’s just letting her walk around a shop she’s never been to before. #coolmumclub

  44. newmummyblogcom Reply

    Sounds good! And, well typical that you read one thing, then read the opposite. I prefer the first option of having a routine, as so often I end up having to check I did lock the car and where I left my keys, which drives me mad! Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  45. Twinmummyyummy Reply

    It’s surprising how much we do on auto pilot. I do enjoy a bit of routine, but those moments when you realise you’ve ‘lived a little’ lol always feel good don’t they

  46. absolutely prabulous Reply

    That’s funny about the dulled senses thing; they’ll probably come up with another theory in fairness which is somewhere in the middle of both! There really is a lot of truth in a change is as good as a rest. #coolmumclub and #marvmondays

  47. tammymum Reply

    Ow I love this. I have been a stickler for routine, especially at bed time. I felt if we had a routine there it would be routine to sleep though and once she did sleep through I was scared to break the routine, even on our holidays – I know! The ironic thing is, I am now like you, looking to push those boundaries and God forbid, stay up a bit later or go out of an evening. I am learning to chill when it comes to routine and have been less pedantic with our second. I am glad I am not the only one, on both sides. Really enjoyed this xx #coolmumclub

  48. teacuptoria Reply

    I am definitely in this camp of thinking. I feel so boxed in by the routine by the end of the school year, that I can’t wait to go all spontaneous and free living in the holidays. It makes you feel alive again. xx #coolmumclub

  49. agentspitback Reply

    Agree, agree, agree! Staying home in your pjs sound pretty darn good to me. It’s always good to change your routine and sometimes doing nothing is pretty amazing too. Thanks for sharing with #PasstheSauce and hosting #coolmumclub

  50. Busy Working Mummy Reply

    I am such a routine led person. Throwing it out of the window scares me a little bit….but just sometimes, I do let myself do it…and nothing falls apart (unsurprisingly) #picknmix

  51. Jaylan - Diapers at Dawn Reply

    We were home all weekend last Saturday (catching up on housework) and Sunday (having a PJ day) and it felt great, although by Monday little man grabbed his coat and was having a melt down by the front door, I think he was trying to tell me something! x #coolmumclub

  52. Carol Cameleon Reply

    I totally agree with this theory. As our little girl grows up (she’s now 6), she’s had quite a rigid routine (especially bedtime) which has served us well. But as she grows up and starts going to bed slightly later, she doesn’t seem to yearn for the predictability any more, which is good. Good for us, for her… #picknmix

  53. Mess and merlot Reply

    Yes, same here – weekends follow weekdays follow weekends etc etc it’s very easy so get in to a bit of a routine rut. Some lovely ideas in your post to try, kids love even the slightest little change like an indoor picnic or a bath in the morning instead of before bed (at weekends obviously). It is nice to shake things up just for the hell of it sometimes. #justanotherlinky

  54. organisedjo Reply

    Love your ideas of changing things up. I love when the girls first start their school holidays and we are not a slave to getting somewhere by a certain time. Thing is, I know that by the time I get to the end of the school holidays I will be craving that routine of school again #PicknMix

  55. Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu) Reply

    awww that sounds really nice. Bubba responds better to a looser routine. As long as it vaguely resembles what we usually do,… e.g. she gets to eat something within a two hour window, then she is good with whatever happens – thank god!
    #coolmumclub

  56. debsrandomwritings Reply

    Hi Sarah, a change is really good for the soul. I work best when I have a routine, but it’s a pain as I get thrown out of syn so easily when something unexpected comes up. Making a habit of breaking routine every now and again is bound to not only recharge the batteries, it must help children cope with a broken routine.

    xx

  57. Mariandi Reply

    Certainly believe you are into something here. Not only can the routine and structu of the day dull your senses, the lack of other adult company and change can make depression worse. I should go out more and do different things. Thank you #marvmondays

  58. Silly Mummy Reply

    Yes, it can all get a bit repetitive. Love your suggestions for different activities! #coolmumclub

  59. butterflymum83 Reply

    Great post! I’m a big believer in routine helping to keep you sane as a parent (and helping to manage kids’ expectations) but we also need a balance and adding a few new, fun twists freshens things up. Plus I’m a huge fan of anything that helps you to be present as I really believe that is the best way to feel happy X #coolmumclub

  60. DomesticatedMomster Reply

    Sarah! Have you read my mind??? I have been on this very topic of repetition lately. I love my few hours a day to myself but I hate the mad rush in the mornings …couldn’t school and preschool just start at noon? It would make my life so much easier. Yesterday my husband and I sat down and planned almost our entire Summer’s worth of vacations as we just bought a new camper and I refuse to not use it ALL THE TIME! Great post lady! And thanks again for hosting the fab #coolmumclub!

  61. Mummy and monkeys Reply

    I do love a bit of routine but I also love not having one. I sometimes drive home from work a different way just because I’m bored of the same old route. I know living on the wild side. I love the school holidays for being more relaxed. Thanks for linking to #picknmix

  62. Something Crunchy Mummy Reply

    I’ve been trying to do the same sort of thing recently – doing something different and spontaneous. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

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