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?