Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting Back on Track

Do you know what the hardest part of a routine is? For me, it isn't setting it up in the first place. No. In my house, the hardest thing is when I have a brilliant (or at least functioning) routine down pat and then for whatever reason, I stop. Starting AGAIN is more challenging than anything the first time around.

That being said, this fall has been chaos. Not a single routine I had in place in August is occuring this first week of December.

To be fair, my reasons for dropping routine have been good. We *did* after all move into a new house (which immediately became a construction zone). Our new house is missing the dishwasher I had come to rely on at our apartment. I did start a nearly-full time job and a new ministry position that puts me out of the house, together, nearly 50 hours a week. Oh, and did I mention? On top of all that, I'm pregnant and that 1st trimester is a *real* challenge.

So my Christmas gift to my husband, my child-to-be, and myself -- more special and important than anything material available in any store -- is to get back on track with routines. I'm going to make an honest effort to get at LEAST back to where I was over the summer, and hopefully improve even further in a few key areas I've always struggled with (oh, laundry...).

So Sunday afternoon, I dug through all the boxes of books (which are still waiting for their shelves to be finished) to find my cookbooks. I brewed a pot of tea, grabbed my calendar and a blank notebook, and curled up to plan the menu for the week. This has got to be my favorite routine ever! I wrote up the grocery list, as well as a task list for the week. Tuesday mornings are my only home mornings (until I quit my job in the spring) so I made a jolly mess of the kitchen and cooked 3 days worth of dinner plus one extra for the freezer. It's been soooooo nice this week to have healthy, homecooked, tasty meals ready to be warmed up when I walk in the door exhausted at 6:30pm. I can't believe I went so long (cough... like, almost all 17 weeks of this pregnancy...) without a plan for the kitchen.

One routine down, and it's one of the most important! Now that we're fed, next week I'm going to add on laundry so we stop the morning scramble for work clothes. I've got to start it over the weekend tho, with finally -- FINALLY -- moving in the dressers from storage and unpacking all our clothes from the suitcases and laundry baskets and moving boxes they've called home for the past 2 months.

I'm curious: What's the most important routine in your household? What routine are you still trying to accomplish? And, once I have both cooking and laundry under way, what should I tackle next?


Amy said...

My best routine has been taking 15 minutes or so after breakfast is done to walk through the house to wipe down surfaces with a light spray cleaner or a dust rag, carrying items back to their proper places, and making the bed. After that I get Victoria settled with her toys and I wash the breakfast dishes and get the kitchen cleaned up.

With that done, my day is "set to go", and because I then have to juggle work and child care, that one little routine has saved me a lot of time in the evening when I'm at my busiest -- bathing baby, putting her to bed, doing more work (paycheck work), as well as getting done any chores I couldn't get done during the day.

Jenny P. said...

Amy, that's a great idea. I'm so bad about cleaning. I'll have to try that once the house is in a quick-clean position and everything actually has a place. :)

StoshPiznarski said...

The routine I most need to establish is in regards to sleeping. I approach everything 1000x better when I force myself into and out of bed at regular times.

Amy said...

I have to second the sleep routine thing. Once that baby gets here, you'll find that you automatically live on remarkably little sleep (broken sleep, at that) -- but it can wear you down eventually. Finding a way to get everything you need done and still have a set bedtime routine is a lifesaver.

I have a routine for my daughter to prepare for bedtime and thankfully our diligence has paid off because she automatically gets sleepy once the routine is almost over so bedtimes are (mostly) a breeze for us. I don't know why more adults keep a routine for themselves at night so their bodies get the best rest possible. I need to do that more often.