By Sandra Beck
“I just don’t DO routines. It cramps my style” I overheard someone saying recently.
The funny thing is that I tell my 5 year old exactly the opposite every morning. “Sweetheart, we can spend all morning discussing the ins and the outs of brushing our teeth – or we can just do everything that we need to do and then have lots of time to play before school.”
Before kids, I used to be an untidy-bordering-on-unsanitary creature. It strikes me as ironic that although I’m three times as busy now, my home is cleaner and better organized.
One of the deep held beliefs that I’ve had to let go of is the ‘Magic Saturday’. On ‘Magic Saturday’ there will be ample time to catch up on sleep. Housework will get done effortlessly with some music on. My husband and I would harmoniously hoover and dust while we chat. On ‘Magic Saturday’ all the bills will be paid, and filed alphabetically. Even before kids, it was a myth – hence why I lived in mess and chaos. Now that kids are here – ‘Magic Saturday’ is a laughable dream.
I’ve had to learn about routines to deal with the fact that there is too much going on in my life for me to think about it all at once. The next best thing to having a live-in cleaner, is to be able to do the bulk of the regular chores on auto-pilot without needing to get stressed about it or think about it.
I ignore the looks from the people who knew the old me. I proudly pin up menu plans and housework routines on the fridge. Everything is in little must-do chunks. It means that I have a definite point when I’m free to enjoy my kids, or indulge my muse, or log on to check my emails.
And my kids? They have their own ‘get ready for school’ pictorial chart. It means that even my nagging can go onto autopilot: “Get ready for school, darling. Look on the chart for the next thing you need to do”.
is a great site to check out!