I Feel Out Of Control With No Alone Time

Dear Gabby,

It feels like ever since I brought my second child home, all things routine have gone out the window. I can’t seem to get the kids to bed at a decent hour, we’re never waking up on time for things…and what time dinner is served is anyones’ guess. How do I reel my kids in, and even my husband, to get them into a routine that allows for more sanity at night…and maybe even some alone time for me?


Out of Control 

Hi Out of Control, 

I am totally feeling a little bit of this myself, due to summer vacation and late activities; it’s easy for it to become a free for all.

When my kids were babies, I read all types of parenting books and the one thing that was common across the board and really worked for me, is routine! Toddlers and young children are sticklers for a reliable schedule because it makes them feel safe. Figure out your daily tasks and try to do them in the same order everyday. It was easier for me to start at night. Set a dinner time, let's say 6pm (obviously your times will vary based on lifestyle and work schedule) but if you want to eat at 6pm, prep starts at 5:30, after dinner and clean up, it's bath and story time which brings you to an 8pm-9pm bed time.

The plus of a routine is that you will have a nice chunk of time to yourself at night to splurge on wine and mindless television! Since the kids are sleeping at a decent hour, wake ups will be a breeze too. Your day will start with the same routine: wake up, make breakfast, daily chores and off you go for activities or errands.

We all have days where we are rushing around and can’t seem to fit everything in. A smart fix could be some preparation before hand. If you are a night owl, do some prep the night before or do it in the morning if you are an early riser. Get breakfast planned out, throw some snacks into a bag, pack the diaper bag and throw the stroller in the car if you plan on going out the next day. Just taking some of that added stress out of the way, will give you peace of mind. 

This may take a few days for everyone to adjust to (even your hubby), but once you get into the swing of things, I think you will be surprised how smoothly the day goes and you can actually get some "me" time back! 

Hope this helps!