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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've gotten pretty good at decluttering and organizing. Cleaning I'm OK at, but I don't have a schedule for anything and it's not working for me. Each day is like, OK a million things to do, what am I going to do today? It's OK, I do accomplish things, but not at the deprivation of time spent with my boys. That's a problem. It's not like I have a ton of things to do and not much time to do it, it's just that I'm not being effiecient, and I really, really struggle with this. I don't know what activities I'm gonna do with the boys (2 & 4 & a girl on the way). I don't know what we are eating from day to day, I don't know how to make a grocery list (don't flame me) because I don't know what we are eating. I don't clean regularly, AND I WANT TO. Sounds weird I know. I just know there is a way to be more efficient, and I can't think. I'm pregnang btw.......i have moosh brain. I want to know what my days have in store for me, I want to spend time with my kids AND have a clean house. oh and meals and grocery eaze. I know I'm on the computer too much, so I would like to set aside designated time for that too.<br><br>
Please help me formulate a "routine" of sort. I know this is not going to get easier with a 3rd on the way, and I want to make it a habit before she gets here. 4-5 more months. How do you all do it? I would love your help!!!! Please and Thank You in advance!!!
 

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I've been where you are and I only have 1 kiddo, so I commend you for wanting to have balance between an orderly, well run house and happy, content kids.<br><br>
I would recommend that you start with what I call DMR's or Daily Minimum Requirements. When my daughter was an infant, I had my day divided into 3 basic time slots - morning, afternoon, evening. Each time slot had 3 to 5 things that I had to do. Anything else done was nice but not necessary. It helped me get rid of a lot of guilt.<br><br>
Morning<br>
1.Make beds & pick up bedrooms<br>
2.One load laundry – washed & hung on clothesline/tossed in dryer<br>
3.Unload/Load/Run dishwasher<br>
4.Kitchen counters wiped down after breakfast<br><br><br>
Afternoon<br>
1.Fold and put away morning laundry<br>
<a href="http://2.Walk/Read/Hobby/Organization" target="_blank">2.Walk/Read/Hobby/Organization</a> Project Time<br>
3.Meal preparations<br><br><br>
Evening<br>
1.Pick up magazines, newspaper, books, etc.<br>
2.Pick up kitchen – vacuum up crumbs<br>
3.Put away shoes<br>
4.Go through papers – dump or file<br>
5.Quiet time<br><br>
I hope I've been a help and not a hinderence!
 

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ooh, i love the DMRs! great idea, and it's nice to have it split up into periods of the day and get a routine going. personally, after the babies go to bed, that's when i pick up the house and clean up from dinner . . . during the commercials or between magazine articles, that is. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> i'm still learning, but building tasks into what i already do (like wiping down the bathroom during the babes' bath) has been my best strategy.<br><br>
as far as menu/meal planning and a grocery list, this is what works for me. i have a basic one-week menu. it's not super specific, to allow for variation and what's in season or on sale.<br>
sunday - pizza/stromboli<br>
monday - mexican<br>
tuesday - stir-fry/curry<br>
wednesday - soup/stew<br>
thursday - pasta<br>
friday - lentils<br>
saturday - anything!<br>
lunches are leftovers, sandwiches, egg scramblers, baked potato, salads; snacks are hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, chopped veggies, nuts, dried fruit, cheese & crackers. saturday nights might be a hotdish, appetizers, take-out or a dinner at someone else's home. there is a lot of variation except pizza is pretty much always pizza and lentils are always lentils. breakfast is generally oatmeal or toast & fruit, bagels/muffins on saturdays and pancakes on sundays.<br><br>
i have a master grocery list based on pretty much everything i ever buy. it's split up into fruits, veggies, cold (dairy, eggs, olives, hummus, tofu, seitan), grains (bread, bagels, tortillas, etc), bulk foods, canned/boxed, and household. in some ways it's not very detailed - like "spices" falls under bulk and i don't have a never-ending list of each spice i might buy over the course of the year, lol. but i do list out the veggies; some specific fruits and some fruit categories like berries and citrus.<br><br>
i just print this out, high-light what i want to remember for sure, write notes if needed, and take it with me. often i just use an old copy in my purse, but if there's something special i really want to get, i'll do my marked-up list (like for my saturday night meal). otherwise, i just get what's cheap and looks good, using the list to remind me of everything else i need to round out the week. the menu, notes and list are all on one side of a sheet of paper. i do one major trip, and usually stop once or twice to pick up a couple of items . . . bread (so it's fresh), cheese if we run out, etc. this system is pretty go-with-the-flow and doesn't require much time after initally setting it up.
 

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My advice is to tackle one thing at a time instead of strictly scheduling your day. It's like telling a small child to clean their room. They'll stand in it for an hour and then just have a meltdown because they don't know where to start. But if you tell them step by step, they're good.<br><br>
Start with a datebook. Simple.<br><br>
Schedule 'opportunities' for things for you to do with your kids. My datebook looks insane because I have two and sometimes three different things scheduled for the kids and I each day. But they are not requirements, they are opportunities if we feel like it or have time.<br><br>
Once you're good and comfortable with that, I'd add in the next important thing you'd like to add. Say, meal planning. I usually only plan one week in advance, but others find it easier to plan monthly. I have a recipe box filled with meals, I grab 7, make a grocery list, and hit the store. (or my pantry, I stockpile) Meal planning literally takes me 10 minutes now, and that includes the grocery list. However, it took many hours setting up my recipe box system.<br><br>
Once you have that done and comfortable, move on to the next thing that is important to you. Let's say it's cleaning. Honestly, I don't have much help for you here. My kids are a lot older now, but the only way I got things clean when they were your kids' ages was to do it while they slept. Being pg, you probably want to sleep as much as they do now, so I don't know what to suggest other than hiring a maid, LOL. With me, the best laid cleaning plans NEVER work.<br><br><br><br>
If you take only one thing from my post...take the date book suggestion. It has changed my life. I use it to schedule everything, even to pencil in washing my car when it gets incredibly filthy. Even if everything is in chaos, I feel organized because the chaos revolves around my well organized book. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your help. It's starts to slow my heart rate when I see that something is working for you all. I have to say, I think so far I will inc. all the ideas in some way or another, I just need help getting started. Isn't amazing how you can give the best advice (or so I think) to other people, but when it comes to myself, I get anxiety instead.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kellid</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11609496"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Isn't amazing how you can give the best advice (or so I think) to other people, but when it comes to myself, I get anxiety instead.</div>
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yes! when someone else asks for advice, you can see solutions for them because you have a different perspective, versus being all tangled up in the thick of your own life, too close and too involved to step back and straighten it all out. we're meant to depend on each other, and i do think that's amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>doubledutch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11611080"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">we're meant to depend on each other</div>
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That's a pretty cool way to look at it.<br><br>
I would love to hear more ideas and suggestions.
 

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I have 5 kiddos. Oldest is out on her own, next 2 are in their 4th week of visiting their dad across the country for 7 weeks, youngest are not-quite-2 years and almost-8 weeks. Boy did my routine and regularity fall to pieces when the older kids (15 & 13 years) left.<br><br>
I totally agree with the DMRs...whatever they may be for you...then I do a MUST DO list...and a Really Like To Accomplish List for the day.<br><br>
Some of my Must Dos seem really pathetic - like e-mail pix of the babies & new truck to the older kids - but as you know, the day can really get away from you. Today my MUST DO list only includes cleaning off the table (it's atrocious since I moved things off my desk <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">), sweeping & mopping the kitchen, doing a load of diapers, and making breakfast, lunch & dinner. (As a mom of older kids, I can TOTALLY vouch for the truth of the fact that babies grow up FAR too fast. Now I keep my home clean enough to cause me minimal stress and embarrassment...but my kids are my priorities. I will have the rest of my life to clean - but babies are gone before you know it!) My Would Really Like To Accomplish List includes finishing up the mess by the front door (pictures I want to hang), cleaning out the tool cabinet, and tidying the backroom/office. Those last 2 things are HUGE jobs and if I keep them in my mind I should be able to break them down into smaller jobs for a later MUST DO list.<br><br>
BTW, when I get on the 'puter I have to set a time limit, or HOURS go by without my realizing it.<br><br>
I also totally agree that life is easier when you know what you'r fixing for meals. I have made the mistake of planning far more extravagent meals than I presently have time to make when I go to the trouble of making a Menu Plan. I HIGHLY recommend making a Menu Plan...just don't fall into the trap of planning something while you're resting on Saturday, that you won't have time to pull off when it comes down to it on Tuesday.<br><br>
Good luck - and good for you!
 
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