Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Importance of Routine

Routines are so desperately important when you have kids, and even more so when you have children who must remain on schedules. Things have been much less hectic in our house since I went back to the adopted FlyLady routines. I have always done well when I do the flylady thing, but I " fall off the wagon " too often to have adopted them in earnest.

I adore having my sink clean and shiny, and my stove certainly belongs in that category as well. A dirty stove collects dirty dishes, as does the dirty sink. Having it extra sparkly means that I hesitate to put a dirty dish into the clean sink. That means I WASH the dish... And then I don't have a sinkful of dirty dishes! I have a dishwasher full of dirty dishes - and part of my routine is running the dishwasher.

Except that I run the dishwasher waaaaaaaayyyy late at night - usually around midnight when M's last feed is running. No one is eating at midnight - so the sink stays clean till morning. And it gets unloaded during breakfast ( Robby helps ). And so on goes the cycle that leaves me clean dishes!

And all the routines work like this in our house. This morning, I had clothes laid out for myself, and went from the bed into said clothes.... and I was ready for my day. I grabbed M's clothes ( folded! in her drawer! ) when I grabbed her, and she was ready for her day. I will work on Robby!! Today he used his stool to pick his clothes out of the closet - he even ALMOST matches! So proud!
These are where my routines live. They are color coded index cards - one per routine, and the index card on the side is the diaper bag checklist. The top routine is the morning routine, and if you'd like to know what I do in the morning, feel free to zoom in by clicking on the picture.

After the morning routine, I have a " naptime tackle " - this I do only while Mila is asleep. Mopping, Vacuuming, and cleaning her highchair is part of this. If she doesn't nap, I try to do them later, but for the most part, skipping a day on these is not the end of the world.

The afternoon routines - loading the dishwasher, pulling out dinner, etc, are very important, and often the hardest to accomplish. Its also one of the longer routines. However, it keeps me on track throughout the day and I'm not left trying to do it all at night.

Obviously, the night time routine is the one I enjoy the most. Its hard to tell from the photo, but the entire list is enclosed in plastic, and the small plastic bag to the side holds a dry erase marker. As I finish a task, I cross it off of the list. This keeps me motivated - I love seeing the entire list crossed off, because I know I've DONE it. I was able to do it!

Its really been wonderful for me to feel so accomplished. Mila is getting all her meds, on time, everytime. The diaper bag is fully stocked - I am never at a loss for wipes. Dinner is not a rushed, ohshitnothingsdefrostedmaybeweshouldorderapizza.

Robby cleaned up his room today after a playdate. I've worked really hard to get his room put together in a way that he can keep it clean and clean it up by himself if it is not kept clean. I went to Ikea yesterday and bought him a second hanging shelf organizer. He is sooo happy that he has a spot for everything! When he is happy, I am happy!!!

Today is day 11 of 12 eating salad. I missed a day. But my sink was still shined!

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