I am a list addict. Before I can do anything, I have to sit down and write a list. I feel lost if I start packing for a trip or doing household tasks without a list to work from.
Enter: back to school. I love January and September for their fresh starts. At both times of year, I tend to take a look at what I want our lives, our homes, our relationships to look like, and start a good old-fashioned list. And a schedule. They go hand in hand.
With both boys in school, 15 minutes apart, with four separate start and end times, plus Midge’s naps and her visitations, I HAD to create a schedule before school started, just to make sure I ended up in the right places at the right times! (We know how that turned out on the first day of school!) But it’s also actually fun for me to fit all the pieces of my life together into that little grid…like a puzzle for grown-ups.
These lists and schedules also give me a chance to start again. Yes, start again with trying to keep up with the laundry flow. Start again with trying to keep the house presentable, if not “clean”. (Greg and I keep reminding each other that our house was clean before we had kids, and hopefully will be clean again once they all go to college. In the meantime, presentable often has to cut it.)
So the biggest goals I have for myself this September are:
- Get into an early morning routine. This slipped a lot over the summer. Up early to dress & pick kids’ clothes, read some Psalms & Proverbs, quick check of my favorite blogs if I have time, make the kids breakfast, pack lunches, and go. Like I said earlier, I’m not sure if I’m going to add the kids’ chores in here or not. We’ll see.
- Get into a naptime routine. This is where I get lazy. It’s SO easy to see Midge’s nap as a well deserved break for me. I’ve spent four hours darting around taking care of things by that time, and now the house is quiet. But I’ve learned that if I don’t get the downstairs looking presentable during that time, I will NEVER catch up that day. So I’m trying to get into a naptime routine. Catch up on bible reading if I didn’t get a chance this morning. Do a quick cleanup of the breakfast nook/kitchen/family room. Get dishes taken care of. Clear off those counters and make the downstairs look ready for a great day. Not a frazzled or busy or stressed out day. Just looking at clean counters and decluttered floors makes me breathe and relax. This is what I love about my thirties…getting to know myself well enough to understand what makes me tick, and actually doing something about it!
- Get into a chore routine. The biggest change I want to make is the Swish & Swipe. If you know about the Flylady, you know this one. If you take a few moments to swish & swipe your bathrooms daily, you won’t need to spend all that time scouring them later. I did my first swish and swipe on Monday. Then yesterday I saw some seriously scary cobwebs in my office window. I decided that I’ll swish & swipe on MWF, and do other tasks that often get left behind on Tues and Thurs. I almost forgot to swish and swipe today, but I remembered! If I can get this and a laundry routine down, I think my life will change. I will start waking up singing, my children will no longer fight, and Greg and I will never miscommunicate, right?