Even without a baby on the way and the transition from the workforce to being stay-at-home, I’ve been looking into ways to establish routines for our household that will keep everything running smoothly, and and keep me organized and productive.
In February or March of 2009 when Craig was in the Arctic, I discovered the Flylady website and attempted to make her system work for me. I jumped right in to all of the sink shining, bathroom swishing and swiping, and ‘15 fling boogies’, but really the only thing that has stuck as been the morning and evening routines – and they only kinda stuck.
I created a ‘control journal’ or household notebook soon afterwards, and after getting really anal about all of the details involved, I then ignored the poor thing for a few months (or maybe a year).
I pulled the notebook out again about a month ago, and began thinking about the kind of routines I would like to be purposeful about when I am no longer working. My notebook also includes space for budgeting, menu planning, and holds our emergency numbers. I was a member of Saving Dinner for 3 months, so I’ve got 12 weekly menus that I can cycle through when the need arises in the future.
The baby has not yet made it's arrival, so these new routines haven’t been tested alongside the loving, rocking, feeding and diapering needs of a baby, but hopefully they are simple and flexible enough that I can keep on top of things in the house and enjoy time with the baby and time for myself.
Some of my routine items are things I will do every day – such as eating breakfast and showering/getting dressed – and some of them are things I would like to do in the morning/evening IF they need to be done (i.e. laundry) and are indicated with a star (*).
Shower & dress
Start laundry load*
Dinner prep: thaw or start crock pot*
Check calendar for appointments/get togethers
Put away clean laundry*
Tidy up living room
Tidy up baby’s room/toys*
Set out things needed for tomorrow (i.e. refill diaper bag, locate cell phone and keys!)
Beyond these two routines, my days will be pretty varied in terms of my to-do’s and appointments – my most important job is baby care and lovin’! – so I don’t want to schedule it too much.
To make things a little easier, I created this daily schedule I can fill out when I’m needing a little extra motivation to get things done. It’s even got spaces to check off to ensure both baby and I are getting enough to drink (baby’s intake measured through a wet diaper count). Feel free to download it if you’d like, or send me an email and I can send you the original file so you can make your own changes. :)
If you’ve got any suggestions for other daily routines that make life easier for a new mama, lay them on! I’m definitely going to be heeding the ‘sleep when they sleep’ mentality as much as possible. My plan right now is to do our walks/visits/chores in the morning (when it’s not so hot!) while she sleeps in the stroller as I cruise around and then when she’s down for her naps in the afternoon, I’ll use those as an opportunity to get some rest if I need it. It seems like a good idea to have her used to having certain naps be ‘mobile’ so that I can get out of the house and get things done without worrying about a fussy baby.