While having lunch with a young friend who has 3 small children, the conversation turned to routines, and she started asking me questions about how I managed 4 Boys and House and kept my sanity. My reply to my friend then was:” I figured out a plan and I stuck to it”.
Over the next couple of days, our conversation stayed on my mind and I called my friend and told her I had been thinking about our conversation at Lunch and I really wanted to blog about it. She said: “Do it! I can’t be the only Mom out there that is struggling with trying to start a routine or get organized”.
I know that everyone has a their way of doing things and I am not suggesting that my way is the Only Way, for everyone out there, but I am hoping my 20+ years experience as a Wife and a Mother can help someone who has been struggling with where to start.
-Wake Up Before the Rest of the Family-
I can hear the groans, lol. But hear me out. I started waking up an hour earlier than the rest of my Family when my oldest son was about 7 or 8 years old. I found when I could sit, drink a cup of coffee, and gather my thoughts, the rest of the morning went smoother. As a bonus, we were all getting out of the house on time each morning. It just felt better not to hit the ground running.
-Make the Beds-
As soon as each of my boys were old enough. I taught him to make his own bed in the morning. I wasn’t looking for perfection. Just pulling the comforter all the way back up was good enough. But to straighten up the bed. A made bed makes a room look cleaner! I also think, climbing into a made bed at night just feels better than unmade one. But that might just be me.
-Wash a Load of Laundry a Day-
This one was the hardest for me. Laundry is my least favorite chore. But its easier for me to do a load a day than to spend an entire day doing it. The older the boys have gotten it has gotten easier. Now they can take their own dirty clothes to the laundry room and are expected to put away their own clothes.
Trust me on this one. Nothing is harder on a busy Mom than trying to figure out what’s for dinner at 5 O’clock. If you start anywhere with anything on this list. Start here.
-Never go to Bed with a Sink full of Dirty Dishes-
Take some of the load of your shoulders. Even a 3-year-old can help clear the dinner dishes. Your teaching the kids responsibility and getting help in the kitchen! Waking up to a dirty kitchen is like coming home from vacation to a dirty house. It creates a sense of dread.
-Prep for the Next Day-
During the week I make sure all the boys have their Backpacks packed and their clothes laid out for the next day. That way we aren’t searching for books, homework or shoes. I also prep the coffee maker, check my menu plan (for anything that might need to be taken out of the freezer for the next day) and put away the dishes.
-It’s OK to ask for Help-
All Mom’s are amazing. We are the CEO’s of our household, but even a CEO has a board of directors to turn to when they need too. If you feel overwhelmed, assign a couple of the tasks you normally take on to your husband or an older child.
I stayed at home with my boys for many years. Honestly, there were days I wanted to lock myself in the Bathroom and not come out. I realized one day that it was OK to ask my husband to step in and take over if I needed him to. I didn’t have to be everything to everyone, all the time. Yes, he was the one working outside the home and he was the bread winner but he was also a husband and a father. No one needed to remember that more than me. All I had to do was ask him.
If you have a tip that has helped you along the way. I would love it if you shared in the comments.