Welcome back to the ORGANIZED Work-At-Home Challenge! You can find the beginning of this challenge *here*
Today we’re talking Daily Routines. Yesterday, I had you sort your list of daily importants into these different categories…
- Before-Kids-Wake Routine
- Morning Routine (after the Kids wake)
- During-Naptime/Afternoon Routine
- Evening Routine and
- Before Bed Routine
First we’re going to talk your Before-The-Kids-Wake-Up Routine. I’m going to look at this part a bit extra since I believe these are THE MOST IMPORTANT hours in my day. To me, they are crucial in preparing the home for a productive and efficient day’s work ahead and they really set the mood for the rest of my day. If they get skipped over, the rest of my day seems to be spent just trying to keep my head above water.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine wake up hungry! Among the last-minute scramble to get breakfast out and cleaned up after, it’s easy to skip breakfast myself and forget my coffee until it’s already cold. After all, the toddler wet the bed and the sheets need to be stripped and started in the wash. The baby is hungry to tears and needs his food NOW and chopped into tiny pieces so he won’t choke. The toddler finishes breakfast (before you even started yours) and needs his hands wiped before he gets everything else sticky. You start stacking dishes on the table since the counter’s already full and the dishwasher hasn’t been unloaded yet. As your husband comes to kiss you goodbye, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and are ashamed to see yesterday’s make-up smudged beneath your eyes and your hair looking the part of a homeless person. You are tempted to cling to your husband’s leg and beg him not to leave you alone with the messy house and fussy
monsterlings –I mean, darling children. Among the tower of dirty dishes and on an empty stomach, it’s easy to loose perspective and become grumpy, snappy, teary, and overwhelmed.
Does this sound like a lot of your mornings? Trust me, I’ve been there. Motherhood is a lot to ask of anyone, but I believe we can rise to the occasion. Let’s problem solve and learn to do it better! Try picturing this instead:
You wake up an hour or more before your kids awake. The house is peaceful and quiet. You shower, dress, and do your five minute hair-and-make-up routine. You may even put on that pair of dangly earrings you know look nice on you. You tip-toe to the kitchen, serve yourself some coffee, and read through your morning devotions while you drink it hot. After praying for your family and friends, you ask for God’s guidance and blessing on today’s work. You empty the dishwasher, pack your husband’s lunch, see if there’s enough laundry to start a load, and prepare breakfast. You may even go so far as to set all the dishes and spoons out so everyone just has to sit down and be served. If you have a few extra minutes, you can check your emails (or write a blog post, in my case) until the kiddos start to wake. When you finally go in to get them, you greet them with a warm smile, knowing you are not only happy to see them, but also prepared to enjoy them to the fullest today. When your husband comes to kiss you goodbye, he sees a pretty wife, sitting around the table, smiling and chatting with your children. It’s going to be a good day.
Now, that may sound like an unrealistic dream to you if you’re in the camp of mothers that wakes up the same time as your children. This may be because 1) your children wake up bright and early already (5am, anyone?) and you can’t imagine waking up any earlier. Or 2) it might be because you’re just not a morning person. And, hey! If your kid’s going to sleep until 10am… You’re going to take advantage of it and sleep-in too.
My advice to you then is either to… 1) Become a morning person, 2) Teach your kids to sleep in later (I’d like to do a post on this sometime), or 3) Move everything you can from the Before Kids Wake Routine to your Before Bedtime Routine. Get your coffee pot ready to go, empty that dishwasher, pack that lunch, start your laundry, and set out breakfast dishes the night before. Then try to get up ten minutes earlier than your kids to brush out your hair, pray, and memorize a quick bible verse. The rest of your day will thank you.
The rest of your Morning Routine (once the kids wake up) might look something like this…
- Dress the Kids
- Start Laundry
- Enjoy Breakfast Together (and Take Vitamins)
- Clean Up After Breakfast
- Brush Everyone’s Teeth
- Look over your day and what you’re planning to serve for dinner that night (see if anything needs to be thawed or marinated).
- Spend some quality time reading to or playing with your children.
- Put an educational movie on for your kids (see why I like movies here) and do a speedy pick-up to straighten your whole house.
Your afternoon and evening responsibilities probably look entirely different than mine, since that’s where I tend to do a lot of my business-related things. But if you’re home then, it’s also a great time to focus on your weekly and monthly tasks. If your kids take an afternoon nap, this is a great opportunity to schedule those things that need extra focus.
Your challenge for Day #16 is to finalize your Before-Kids-Wake, Morning, and During Naptime Routines. Put it on paper and try it out today.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about Evening and Before-Bed Routines. Until then!