Creating family routines and traditions

Creating family routines and traditions

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One thing I love about being a mom is spending time with my little ones. We are still very early in our relationship (our first he was eight months old at the original writing of this post and at the update, we now have three). We are in the interesting stage of creating routines and family traditions.

I currently work a full-time job outside of our home, so I am unable to spend all day with my little one like I did during maternity leave. Since I returned to work five months ago, we have been blessed that my parents watch him three days a week and my in-laws watch him for two.

Knowing he is with family whom I trust is a big stress reliever. I find I am not worried about him at all when we are apart because I know our parents and have confidence in their ability to care for him as lovingly as I would do.

However, it does make the time I spend with him even more precious!

Little daily routines

The separation means that I try even harder now to spend time bonding and interacting with my little one. One way is to create little daily routines.

For example, every morning when I wake him up, I gently call his name, rub his back, pick him up to cuddle, and then lay him down to change his diaper. As I change his diaper, I always sing the old hymn There Is Sunlight On the Hilltops and he gives me the most adorable sleepy smile as he stretches!

Now that he is eating baby food, we aim to enjoy dinner all together at the dining table. We also give him a bath a few times a week. He also gets baths at his grandparents’ so the evening bath time tends to be more “play in the water” time. He has little animal friends that he likes to dunk under the water, and he really enjoys splashing.

Once he is changed into his pajamas, he usually gets cuddle time with Mama and I sing to him different quiet songs until he falls asleep. Right now, teething has completely thrown our nice sleep routine out the window. When he gets a little older and has more of a set bedtime again, we want to get back to reading to him and saying bedtime prayers.

Singing songs

Music is very important to me, and I come from a musically inclined family. Some of my fondest memories growing up was when the whole family sang songs together in the car, learning how to play the flute from both of my parents, and later when I was a teenager, singing karaoke with my sisters.

I would like this love of music to continue with my own children, so I sing to my son often. I sing a combination of kids songs and hymns, but I also have made up quite a few of my own little songs. Usually, the songs include his name or silly nicknames in some way.

For example, once he started making loud sounds like a velociraptor, I made up this little song:

Little [name]-saurus, running through the forest,
Rawr! Rawr! Dinosaur! Chasing you and me!

Run, run, run, run. Run with [name]-saurus!
Run, run, run, run. Run with [name]-saurus!

Little [name]-saurus, running through the forest,
Rawr! Rawr! Dinosaur! Chasing you and me!

He loves the songs, no matter how silly they are, and often laughs or tries to join me in singing.

Interested in making silly songs for your baby or toddler? Here are three ways to create your own special songs, and you don’t need to be musically gifted to do so.

Weekly Sabbath

Weekly rest from the busyness of everyday life, the stress of work and bills, the pressure to get everything done on our list, etc. is vital for sanity and health.

It is a true blessing and delight for our family to keep the Biblical Sabbath holy. (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.)

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
— Exodus 20:8-11, NKJV

We have chosen to honor Sabbath not out of obligation nor an effort to earn salvation. It is a natural response to His love for us that we would want to keep the special day He set aside as holy and He, Himself, honored when on this earth. It is purely out of respect and love for our Creator, Redeemer, Lord, and Friend and originates from our gratitude for His free gift of salvation by grace through faith that we choose to keep Sabbath.

After all, we love the Lord and desire to spend special time with Him, unfettered by the cares and obligations of the daily toils of life. The Sabbath is also a day to rest, both physically and spiritually, and to reflect upon the blessings the Lord has given to us.

We want our son to grow up enjoying the peace that the Sabbath brings to an often fast-paced, chaotic world. So it is important to us, as a family, to establish this weekly tradition in our home.

You may also be interested in the importance of family worship and how to have family worship with little ones.

Holiday traditions

Though we now have three little ones, we are still new to being parents, and there is a lot we are still figuring out. We are blessed that both sets of grandparents (my parents and my in-laws) live within a twenty-minute drive. One set of great-grandparents live only thirty minutes away, and both of my sisters and their families live close, too!

It is absolutely wonderful having our family close, but it does make figuring out the holidays a little challenging. Our first Christmas with Peanut was a challenge. We tried to see everyone in one day. Unfortunately, by doing so we did not succeed in giving all sides of the family equal time. Our second Christmas was also a little rough as we tried to figure out how to divvy up the time.

By our third Christmas (and third baby!), we did better with scheduling holiday activities over a two week period to give everyone the time they wanted. We also were better at communicating so everyone knew what to expect.

When you have a new baby, it can be hard to foresee how the big holidays — Christmas, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, whatever they are for you — are going to play out. We spent two years pondering questions like: Which holidays do we want to celebrate as a family? What will these holidays and traditions look like? What virtues/lessons are we teaching? We are learning as we go!

From the beginning, I did know that I wanted to instill a sense of family and also teach that holidays are a time to gather as a family and to show compassion to others.

Quality time together

Ultimately, I believe it is all about spending quality time together as a family. It is in the little things that we do on a regular basis and deciding what activities, routines, and lessons we want to prioritize for our family and our children.

Granted, life happens and there is also a need to be flexible, but children do better when there is some kind of structure to their life.

You can capture these precious memories and cherish them for years to come with a custom photobook from Mixbook. These beautiful photobooks are easy to create and completely customizable to your personal style.

What routines or traditions have you created for your family?

Photo by Picsea on Unsplash.


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