If you’re a parent looking for a little peace of mind in your daily tasks of running kids around, and keeping up with the housework, and more, then this is the place for you. Creating a Daily Routine for your busy family is essential to keeping your sanity and preparing you for those times life throws you curve balls (ie. sick kids, sick YOU, unexpected school activities, doing someone a favor, etc.
Are You Ready to Take Back Your Life Mom and Dad?
No need to answer, the whole world has been hearing your cries for help for awhile now. I’m going to be that little angel on your shoulder helping you out with these small, yet large tasks. We can do it together, because I believe in you!
The key factor going forward is your attitude and perspective. We’ll call this your first tip. No one can change things for the better if they feel all is lost or that this is just your season of life and there’s nothing you can do about it.
In June 2019 I’ll become a mom of five kiddos ages 5 and under… no multiples. While it would be easy for you all to give me grace by telling me things will get better later, that just won’t cut it! I want things to be better right now, and why can’t they? I love my life, even though times it looks chaotic, and from the outside looking in it might look like a disaster… I don’t know, I don’t see it from that point of view.
Did I mention we live 6+ hours away from any family? That means my husband and I are literally doing things on our own. You can too, though, there’s no stopping you!
Do Me a Favor
Do me a major favor and ask me questions specifically pertaining to your situation! I consider myself a problem solver. This isn’t just because I’m a parent, but because I have a very strong Special Education background and if you know anyone who is a SpEd Teacher or works with kids of all abilities, then you’ll know what that really means.
So PLEASE ask away!!!
The Morning Routine.
Everyone has to get up in the morning, whether you are a working parent or a stay at home parent set an alarm and get up without hitting “snooze”. This is essential, and I do this even when I’ve been getting up with sick kids or getting up to feed a fresh baby. You made the decision when to start your day, now stick to it.
Don’t skip this meal to lose a little wait Making yourself breakfast will be like doing a little self-care. If you have children, which I’m almost sure you do, this is quality time even if everyone is half asleep while shoveling food into their mouths. Even without conversation, your kids are getting to hangout with you and vice versa. So in the famous words of Nike… Just Do It!
Do the Dishes
You’ll learn later to do the dishes at night, so what I really mean is “Unload the Dishwasher.” Having an empty dishwasher will give you less clutter and easier cleanup throughout the day… including your breakfast dishes. Stay at Home Parents don’t want to see it, and Work Away Parents don’t need it waiting for them to come home!
Fold the Laundry
Just like the dishes, you’ll learn later to do at least one load of laundry every night. I do three usually, but always make my last load towels, or diapers, or something that doesn’t need to be folded right away. After I unload the dishwasher, I move directly to the dryer to fold last nights work. If you don’t feel you have time for this, then fold it the night before!
Make the Beds
There’s no excuse as to why you can’t make the bed, if you’re married then it should be easier because the two of you can make the bed together and much faster. This also helps to have one space that’s clutter free. Maybe after a hard days work, you need to plop down on the bed and scream into a pillow… do you want to do that on a disheveled bed or a neat and crisply made bed? Stay at home parents also need a clutter free space to escape to every now and then. Make that your Bed.
Enlist the Kids
My kids make their own beds every morning, well the ones that are two and up. If your kids are older, give them more morning chores than just making their beds. Maybe one of them can unload the dishwasher or fold the laundry. Perhaps they can make their lunches for school, or help out a younger sibling getting dressed.
Your kids may grumble at first, especially if you’re getting this routine started later in their life, but ultimately kids want to be apart of the grander scheme. They want to be an active member of the family. So let them, and yes, that means allowing beds to look a little less than perfect, or being slightly okay with utensils getting in the wrong drawer. All this can be corrected later, so long as you don’t jump in and redo it or do it for them. Some of us have to practice self-control… and some of us need to do that for our spouses as well (I’m talking myself here).
Get Ready for the Rest of the Day!
Now you can go about your business and get yourself ready for work, for school, and the like. Yes, I’m even talking to you Stay at Home Mom or Dad! Get a shower, put on some clothes, and try to look your best. That may mean styling your hair, wearing makeup, or putting on a little jewelry or cologne. This is a huge measure of success in my day, because I feel better when I put forth some effort into how I present myself to the world. Even though I stay at home with my kids, I don’t literally stay at home… I run errands and we go on field trips. I see people when I least expect.
Now It’s Time to Live!
Now, you just live your life by going to work, or hanging with your kids, or doing the errands, and so on, and so on. No need to worry about the house now, you can pick up later (though cleaning a little as you go will make you happier).
Often stay at home parents feel overwhelmed with chores and rarely get to witness their kids. I used to feel myself shove them to the side so I clean the bathroom or organize a closet, or really anything that could just wait. Take the time to enjoy your kids if you’re home with them. I will let you know when you can deep clean something.
Let me just direct you to my meal planning pages:
I don’t start “working” again until it is time to make Dinner. We make a bunch of homemade meals that are time consuming because we can… if you can’t, don’t try to! Eating together as a family is more important than what you’re making. You can find quick and easy homemade dinners, or you can prep meals for the week ahead of time to give your family that feeling of a home cooked meal. If time still doesn’t allow for this, then order dinner. Again, being with your family at this time is what’s important to your routine and your family life.
Cleaning as you cook is a Martha Stewart tip
Clean Up the Dinner Table as a Family
It goes quickly if everyone pitches in. Cleaning up dinner is a chore, but with many hands helping, and yes my kids are helping and do so as soon as they can walk, time is no longer wasted.
Cleaning up dinner consists of:
- emptying the table
- wiping the table and chairs
- sweeping under the table
- scraping the plates
- loading the dishwasher (wash now or later but make it before you go to bed)
- washing the dishes that don’t go in the dishwasher or don’t fit.
- wiping all surfaces in the kitchen
- sweeping the kitchen
- taking out the trash
Do the Laundry
If you’re a good multi-tasker you will learn to throw loads in in between tasks. The biggest chore of doing laundry is folding and putting it away. My laundry secret is to do many small-medium loads. That way if time gets away from me, I don’t have a lot to fold and put away in order to complete the load.
If you want to see my laundry routine check it out here: https://stmarthaslens.com/2017/07/20/laundry-sanity/
Do I Really Have Time for All This?
Yes, you do! The thing of it is, that you have to know how much time it actually takes to do it. So start by timing yourself doing each task. It takes less than 5 minutes to make your bed, and just a tad more to empty the dishwasher. Couldn’t you add an extra 15-20 minutes to your morning routine? It goes even faster if you aren’t the only one doing the chores.
The more you practice at it the faster things will go. Start off slow, adding just one thing to your day, and when you’re ready adding something else.
When Do I Deep Clean?
This is up to you and your schedule, but I deep clean when I have kids napping during the day, or in the evening after they’ve gone to bed. Or if your schedule is too hectic you can save it for the weekend, but I’m certain you’d rather not do that. Sometimes my husband’s job keeps him busy with travel or nightly phone calls, or sometimes he does his own thing… like working out. If I haven’t had time during the week, I’ll take a Saturday morning to deep clean half the house.
If you have older kids, teach them to take care of their rooms or their areas before bed. Our kids have to clean up the toy room before they settle in for the night. You can even ask older kids to dust and vacuum their own rooms once a week after school.
If you truly live a busy life, what would it be worth to you to have someone come and deep clean your home? Yes, it’s extra money, but maybe you can eat out less, or give up some other luxury to pay for it. We are not weak when we enlist help. Perhaps having someone come once a week is too much, maybe just once a month would help you tremendously. Consider all your options and you may find a way to make this work. I’m sure you could find a high school or college student who could use a bit of extra cash. Think on it.
You Didn’t Hit on EVERYTHING in Our Busy Life!
No, I didn’t hit on everything, because, well, how long do you want this post to be? I know you all are out there driving kids to games and practices and more! Some of you need time to work on your at home businesses, or maybe working out is needing to be addressed. I’m still here for you! There’s more to life than keeping up with your house! You were probably laughing at the thought of eating dinner together… I get it! I know, because I grew up in a big and busy family. My parents conquered lots of obstacles to get us our opportunities and then some.
So, ask away! Or better yet, join the community. https://www.facebook.com/groups/382056002349916/