I have mentioned recently my struggles with housekeeping and our need to establish rhythm in our life. Yesterday, Dan and I were talking about all the various things that we need to do and how hard it is to get them done. One of us said that it is some much easier when we have a written out plan that we can see and then we looked at each other and finally had the light bulb moment that we needed. “Why don’t we do that right now instead of trying to catch up so that we have time to make the plan?” And so we made lists. First, we made a list of the lists that we needed to make and then the lists which also included a planned approach to each day.
We have noticed that I especially need to have a plan, otherwise, I try to do everything yet end up doing little and then feel defeated. Dan on the other hand has a personality that is more able to flow with whatever and we also acknowledge that he has more structure due to his work. Our little Cecily seems to have inherited these traits and just bubbles along whereas our eldest seems to need the structure (perhaps even more extremely than I).
My disclaimer is that I share our schedule not as a sign of how capable I am but simply as an awareness of the need for daily rhythm. We started doing this after Aneliese was born as a coping mechanism during the difficult months, had to reapply it after our Alberta move and so this is our third time around. We start out with a pretty structured breakdown of what happens in our day, re-evaluate and re-vamp as need be, and then move into what we prefer to call our daily rhythm because it is more fluid and flexible. But, the bones or structure are still there. It helps us stay on the same page, gives the girls a sense of what is happening each day, and best of all, lends to the peace of our home. I love it because I space times of focused play with the girls which means I don’t feel bad when they are entertaining themselves(a very good thing) and they are happy because they know that my attention is coming. I give myself time to prep meals and clean-up while they are napping which makes the often harried pre-supper hour much calmer (and we have cleanup time that they help). I also plan what household chores need to be done each day (for example laundry on Monday and Friday, bathrooms on Tuesday with a quick clean on Saturday) and this is great because again I don’t try to cram it all in one day and if I miss something one day, I know that there is another day planned for that or that it will be taken care of the next week. This doesn’t make a spotless house but it makes it more orderly for me. Oh and at the beginning of each week, we make a meal plan for the week and note any planned events for the week including any changes that need to be made.
I have had people tell me that this wouldn’t work for them because they are the spontaneous, do it as they go personalities and the difference between Dan and I helps me to understand this. However, I always find that this allows for more spontenaity in my life because I am not always playing catch up. I can change plans or go somewhere unexpected more readily without thinking about leaving a messy house or no plan for a meal. It makes it so much easier to have people over often as well (not that we have that many people here yet!).
So here is a very personal look at our daily schedule!
6:30- Rise and Shine!
– 10 minutes reading (with the girls if they are awake)
6:40- Breakfast (Dan), let out chickens & feed pets (Missy w/ girls)
7:15 – Clean up
7:30 – Shower (Missy) and Finish clean up (Dan)
7:45 – Dress girls, brush teeth and hair, make beds (Dan showers)
8:00 – Missy has quiet time
8:30 – Dan does renos or whatever
9:00 – Dan starts work
– Girls play
– Missy does days house work
10:00 – snack (finish up housework while they snack)
10:30 – Play time!
11:00 – Make lunch
11:15 – eat lunch
11:30 – Stories, songs and nap
12:30 – clean up and dishes
1:00 – supper prep
1:15 –sewing, emails, research, renos etc (I make notes for what I want to do that day)
2:00ish – girls wake up & snack
2:30 – outside play with girls
3:00- yard work with girls
4:00 – start supper
– house work: tidying
5:30 – supper
6:45 – together time
7:20 – Girls ready for bed
7:30 – Stories
7:45 – Bedtime: Cecily
8:00 – Bedtime: Aneliese
8:15 – Breakfast Prep
8:30 – Renos, work catch-up, hang-out, sewing, bills, internet etc
9:40 – Mama bath time :)!
10:00 – Bed time for us: (take A potty)
It has actually been a couple of days since I started this post and as usual, I am amazed at the difference this brings to our house and family. All parts of our house (except where we are storing stuff) have a sense of order, the counter has been visible and the fruit flies kept at bay (not gone but that won’t happen til cooler weather).
What sort of routine or rhythm helps your household? Do you have a written schedule or are you able to plan as you go?
Yes, especially during the school year when I’m working outside the home. Mainly this means having a plan for what our supper will be each day (varied each week & posted on the fridge), then buying the groceries accordingly on grocery day. This helps us not eat out or order in so much because we’re both so tired by the end of the day to figure out what to put together for supper, even if there’s lots of food in the house. I do most laundry and cleaning on the weekend; that way I can focus on meal prep during the week and ignore the dust bunnies and “orderly clutter” knowing that it will be dealt with in its time. (I have certain designated spots where I allow clutter to collect.) We’ve recently returned to this routine now that it’s almost back-to-school (work) time, and yesterday Jeff peeked at the schedule, “What’s for tomorrow?” Then he gleefully exclaimed, “Yes! Spaghetti!” Evidently, even the more spontaneous of the two of us appreciates a meal plan 🙂
Thanks Jenny, spending a week with you was my inspiration to realize that I needed to get myself together again!