Sunday, August 1, 2010

8: establishing routines

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.

binder 1 My household notebook (which has been ignored for months).

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).

binder 3

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.

binder 2

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 (*).

Morning Routine:
Shower & dress
Make bed
Eat breakfast
Empty dishwasher*
Start laundry load*
Dinner prep: thaw or start crock pot*
Check calendar for appointments/get togethers

Evening Routine:
Put away clean laundry*
Load/start dishwasher*
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. :)

Daily Schedule

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.



Julia said...

Jen, as a nanny for a 3 mo old, I do have a suggestion based on what has worked for me and for my best friend who recently had a baby. You will probably want to record the baby's schedule for at least the first few months when it is most variable, and you are not sleeping regularly (and thus not as able to remember things like which side you fed her on last...) and it is much easier to do so in a set format rather than just trying to jot random notes on whatever paper is handy (trust me on that-I've written feeding times on current book/magazine pages, never to find them again!).

It is nice to be able to keep track of things like how long feedings last (to see patterns of her eating more at certain times and less at others), which side you did last, if/when you are planning to pump, and notes about how she prefers things (such as rocking in a chair seems to get her to sleep faster than walking around...).

I would suggest working up a daily note sheet for these things (and whatever else you might need help remembering!) to help you in those early days when you can't remember when you last showered much less what day it is :) It is beyond helpful to have one place to put all these things, and it will help you be able to rest easier knowing that you won't have to worry about forgetting all those little things that you'll be thinking of while you care for her.

Good luck and congratulations!! Cannot wait to meet your little one :)

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

I found this post so helpful. I too have a household notebook that sadly has been neglected for a few months. Flying by the seat of my pants just doesn't really work for me so part of my prep for the baby has been to get back into a semi-routine. I really like how you added the glasses of water each day and wet diapers checklist. I also found the above commenters suggestions really helpful too. Thanks girl!


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