My crown has slipped just a little of late. One of the big jewels on the front has fallen off and is lost somewhere under the couch with the three week old toast, odd socks and all the school coloured hair bands. I am not so much ‘Queen of my Home‘ at the moment, as warden of the dungeon and the poor tormented souls who inhabit this dark and smelly place.
Things got turned upside down and put on hold when the Father Figure got sick, but that was weeks ago now, and I can no longer use that as an excuse for me not having my stuff together. I need to get a handle on this new routine before I drown in unwashed clothes and unread readers.
I’d really like to rock a routine here at the Pickle Farm. I imagine how smoothly life would run with a nice predictable routine to guide our days. I dream of how organised I’d be and how the kids would know what was happening on any given day and how I wouldn’t have to drive back to school for a second time because of forgotten violins or show and tell or lunch.
I’m not good with routines though.
I have good intentions… but the wheels fall off when something pops up that isn’t on my list, and somehow, something always seems to pop up. Plus, I’m lazy. If I can get away with not doing something or putting it off, I will. I daydream about how a routine would magically fix this character flaw but in reality I know it won’t.
So a rigid routine is lost on me… but I am not giving up all together!
I’m going with my strengths instead of my failings.
I like to plan. I like to write lists. I like calendars. I like to tackle tasks one chunk at a time.
I’m going for rhythm and systems.
Rhythm – It’s hard to spell, but it’s really just a fancy way of saying routine that doesn’t sound so scary to us routine-a-phobes.
My take on a daily rhythm is less rigid than a routine, with no set times and less guilt when you detour from the day’s tasks. More of a predictable flow so that we all know what to expect from each day.
I’m aiming for some corner stones in our day to stay at roughly the same time to help us keep on track and feel a little less scattered. School has helped us find a daily rhythm, so two of our ‘corner stones’ will be the coming and going to school as those never change and I can’t put them off, no matter how much I want to. We are pretty good at having a family dinner at roughly the same time every day too, so that’s another stone to anchor us.
I’m also going to work on a morning flow and an after school flow. These seem to be the times that go pear shaped the quickest so I suspect we’d all benefit from some predictability and organisation.
Systems – Another catch phrase which I’m using to describe little tips and tricks to make bits of my day work better. Kind of like a ‘chunkerizer’.
Kate Says Stuff is the queen of systems and she is teaching me about the joys of having a workable plan in place, especially when comes to tasks I don’t like much.
Things like school lunches, making little ham rolls in bulk, wrapping them and freezing enough for a whole week has made one of my least favourite tasks more bearable. Menu planning which has made the task of shopping and cooking dinner a lot easier to manage.
I still need to come up with a system for the laundry, and one for keeping on top of the school paperwork, not to mention something for general housework, but I’m getting there, slowly but surely.
So how about you?
Are you a strict routine kind of person or a no routine at all?
Have you got the perfect system for laundry?
Are you Queen of your home at the moment?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I also make muffins or cupcakes in bulk as well to freeze for lunches.I also buy lamingtons to wrap and put into freezer (aldi they come in a pack of 18!!)
I often make a double match of food for dinner and freeze it for a later date.or have it on a 2nd night.just reheat.
I also keep frozen pizzas and pies on hand for BAD days.and frozen veges.
I wash every day,without fail.makes life easier.
I have a basket for each child(either in a different colour or write their name on it) and I get the kids to fold and sort it into each basket.
SChool paperwork gets dealt with as soon as it comes home.
I sign it,write it on calender and put note and money into emvelope and give back to child.
I keep a jar of money ie notes and LOTS of coins to use for such things.
Oh wow.. you are the queen of systems. I’m coming to live in your house, I love lamingtons!
Aussie Mum says
You sounds just like me. I love making the lists and plans but I find it a little hard to follow them through. I’m a reluctant menu planner but it does make life much easier, as does a general rhythm for the day.
A load on before i go to bed, then put it out in the morning. I don’t own an iron as that i far too much work and hubby helps by bringing it in and whoever is supervising the babies in the bath, folds it all while watching them.
My trouble is paper work…bills, notices etc just pile up and up, i hate dealing with it!
JDaniel4's Mom says
I have never thought about my routine having a rhythm! Great idea!
I love alarms. They aren’t always for set things but they break the morning into chunks and hurry us all along. There’s one to finish breakfast then a reminder to leave. We also have one at night for showers, which is the start of the bedtime routine, and while little girl is in the bath the big girl makes her lunch with me.
With washing I have several dirty baskets around the house, makes it easier to get it all in there and not so overwhelming if it’s spread out! We usually wash on the weekend then the little girl and I put it all away on Monday, all the kids shirts are on hangers because it’s easier than folding, the only things that go in drawers are undies and shorts.
Monday is also shopping and cleaning day, the shop gets put away and the kitchen cleaned, then the bathroom and toilet. Getting it all done in one day sounds like a big job but then I have the rest of the week and the house is in pretty good order. And it gives the little girl something special to do when everyone else has gone back to school.
I’m slowly getting on board with the alarms thing – setting my iphone to alarm and remind of things in advance, as well as using the calendar on my PC. That helps a lot!
I’ve contemplated a cleaning day – I’m just not sure I’m up for it. What happens if you have something on on cleaning day?
Basically we’re boring and only do scheduled things! It can throw things out, I tend to move it to the Wednesday because that’s a home day for the toddler and still keep the cleaning together. I just find it works better for me than trying to do bits and pieces, even if we have to live with clutter for a few more days.
Deb G says
I love this. Rhythm and Systems – sound so much more doable for me than the word Routine (which for me is laden with guilt!). Thanks for this! I’m feeling like my crown has slipped lately too.. a lot… like it’s down to my toes. :/
I have that guilt association too… which is kind of silly since it is only a word, but I choose not to fight it and just go with rhythm instead!
Previously I would have said I follow a routine, but I guess it is really more of a rhythm. The day starts when my baby wakes for her first feed, and the rhythm continues in a regular pattern from there. No specific times, but consistent activities occurring in the same order each day/ week (e.g. breakfast, hang washing, kids outside play, kids get dressed, kids play in rooms while I get dressed/ showered…).
Re: laundry systems – doing one load each night and hanging it each morning (indoor line for rainy days) has changed my life!
oh my chalk board is my saviour, each sunday I write the week up and then just walk in a line! I have a night for paperwork and that sort of stuff but confess it rarely gets done but without the board life would be shambles! Also the day rhythms are like iron for me – kids in bed by bedtime or someone loses an eye!
hee hee – perhaps not but I do love a sleeping child!