I’ve made a few changes to my daily routine in the last month, and they have been so helpful! They were little changes that don’t seem significant, but they actually relieve stress for me and help me choose patience and a quiet spirit in the midst of busy days with little kids. I know you’re just dying to hear about my laundry, so without further ado…
1. I make my bed every morning. A friend posted this video where an Navy Admiral lays out the benefits of making your bed every day. If you want to change the world, start by making your bed! It inspired me to give it a go. He’s right- I feel so productive when I see it all made and looking pretty! In the midst of little kid life where every task is often interrupted, a made bed reminds me that I have accomplished something that day and I can keep plugging away at the other stuff that seems like it will never get done. Small tip: My bed is easy to make- no tucking involved, one sheet to pull up, one duvet to lay flat, a few pillows to throw in place. Done.
2. I created a better system for getting laundry done. Laundry has always been a stressful chore for me, even when I was single and only managing one person’s clothes. Now I manage the wardrobes of four people. Good grief. I had already figured out that I need to do a little bit every day, rather than attempting to do it all in one day. Personal preference. And I try not to do it on the weekend, so the weekend can feel a little different and set apart. I was ok at washing and drying a load a day (sort of- let’s not count up how many times I forgot about a load in the washer and had to re-wash it to get rid of the nasty wet stink. Yuck.), but I rarely got them folded and put away each day. So, there were multiple baskets of clean clothes sitting around all the time. Now, I’m sure for some people that’s just fine. They don’t care. But for me, I would walk by the baskets of clean clothes and be reminded of all I needed to do. My clean, unfolded laundry was such a meanie! Taunted me and told me to feel overwhelmed. Well, enough of that. A friend mentioned that she had started trying to wash, dry, fold, and put away a load of laundry before lunch every weekday. Interesting! I decided to try it, and it is totally helping. Honestly, the before lunch part doesn’t happen most days, but somehow just setting that simple goal has made it all more manageable. It has helped reduce the stress of laundry so much that I even took the crazy to the next level and scheduled out which loads I’ll do each day. Mondays- my clothes, Tuesdays- Cade, Wednesdays- Savannah, Thursdays- Trav, Fridays- Whites, and then every other week I do a second load a day of household items like towels, floor mats, etc. Have there been days when I don’t stick to the plan? OF COURSE. And there are the random loads that need to happen because something was peed/pooped/spit up on. But when the assigned load doesn’t happen one day, I know exactly what I need to do to catch up. I no longer have to wonder if any of us has enough clean clothes for the next day because laundry is getting done in a routine fashion. I’m loving it.
3. I created a set time for when Savvy gets dressed every morning that is not connected to needing to get out of the house. You guys. This one has drastically decreased the amount of tantrums and crying that were happening for Savannah (and me! Ha.). Savvy loves being in her pj’s (#likemotherlikedaughter), so I liked letting her hang out in them until we needed to go somewhere. But then I realized that getting her dressed was consistently a nightmare. Here was the problem- we leave to run errands or meet up with friends for some morning fun around 10:30 most days (after Cade is up from his nap), and that’s right when we’re all a little stir crazy and ready for a snack. This is not the ideal time to get a toddler dressed. Getting dressed brings out lots of opinions and requires patience for both Savvy and me. I want to be patient and let her learn how to dress herself (which takes foooooooorrrreeeeevvvvveeeeerrrr…) and Savvy has to patiently follow a lot of directions in a short period of time. And get her hair brushed. Eeek. So, once I had a quick second to step back and realize we needed to change things up, we made a new routine. Savvy now gets dressed just before it’s time for Cade’s nap, then she gets to watch a show (Daniel Tiger forever and always) while I put Cade down, and then I get to sit and drink my coffee while she finishes her show. Or two. It’s often two. Mama needs some quiet time. Anyhow, she’s motivated to get dressed because if she’s not dressed, she doesn’t watch a show, and I’m way less stressed because there’s a plan and routine I can follow through with that makes us all less stressed. All the praise hands. It’s the best.
Am I sticking to these new routines perfectly? Ha. No way. But routines help me bring order to the crazy in our home and in my head. I can feel pretty overwhelmed and anxious if I’m not intentional with my time. It’s been fun to see how these recent small changes have brought a little more peace to our family. How about you? Do you have any routines that eliminate stress in your day?