I am a lover of routine, with 3 boys I find I have to have one. Ever since I had my 1st son 6 1/2 years ago I have followed a routine, not by a book but just from following what was right for me and my babies, and I also expected those that looked after my kids to follow my routine, whether they were babysitting at my house or theirs, luckily for me I have great parents and in laws that follow my instructions, I may have to write it all down but I feel that this is important, not only so they don't have to deal with whingy whiny kids but also because a routine is important to my children.
I believe kids need routine, they need to know whats coming next, those with kids know that if you even put your baby to bed an hour later than normal, its often very difficult and they are so over tired they don't get a decent sleep and your left to deal with an overtired, grumpy baby, and that's not fun for anyone!
In the earlier months with my babies, it was easy as they would sleep anytime and anywhere, I could go shopping and they would just sleep in the pram, fast forward a few months and they started to become more alert, they would try and sit up in the pram when I layed them down or tug at the blanket I had draped over the top, or you would find them peaking out the side, that's when I realised that I couldn't do that anymore, I had to put my baby first and let them sleep in their own cot, so that's when I became the 'I have to go home, its my babies sleep time' person.
Sometimes I feel constricted as I am stuck at home while my baby sleeps and I have missed out on a lot of activities with my friends but I now use this time to have some 'me time' I either catch up on some tv shows I have taped, or I browse the internet, even doing the housework in peace is good without a little one at your feet.
My 20 month old is now down to one day sleep and I have managed to get him sleeping from 11-1pm so this gives me time to work in the morning or go out and the same with the afternoon. I can be quite a stickler for routine but im not a nazi about it, if the kids go to bed 5-10 mins later then thats fine, im also more relaxed on the weekend, especially with my older two, being 6 1/2 and 4 they can handle staying up later, in fact they love to!
So I put this to you, if you have kids, do you have a routine and if you do, do you find if you dont stick to it for one day that it affects your children or do you have a child that doesnt need a routine, if you are pregnant do you plan on finding some sort of routine for yourself and your new baby?