There are so many moms out there that are able to just accomplish everything, at least it seems that way. When I became a mom, I was sure I was going to be one those… you know have great over the top birthday parties, home cooked meals every day that every one would love, have a house that could be photographed for magazines at a moments notice… you know what I’m talking about right? Then reality hit. And this mom gig is hard, and time consuming. If I don’t have a plan for my day, well it’s not good!
Over the past two years I have discovered that my family is happier when there is some sort of plan or schedule in place every week. And yes that takes some time and effort on my part to figure out on a weekly basis but for the sanity of myself and my family, it is time well spent.
So what do I do? (This is my personal outline, it’s not the details, and it doesn’t always work… but it’s my starting line so to speak)
I start with a daily plan for myself – and this is a must. By creating a plan for my day I’m able to accomplish what has to get done, work on this that will need to get done, and realize what can actually wait to get done. This plan includes any appointments or playdates for my kids, as I am the one that is taking them! My plan always has my Bible reading time scheduled, with an actual time, because I need to have that cemented or it doesn’t happen. Most of the other things on my list, chores, blog work, etc., are just on the list for any time during the day.
I also keep a dinner menu going. Mostly it’s just one week at a time, but sometimes when I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll plan out the month. I know some people have different methods that work for them, but between an extremely tight food budget (the Ramsey method) and a need to plan, I stick very close to my menu every day. Don’t get me wrong, some plans don’t happen – so my backup plan? Pizza!
For the most part that is the end of my planning, it’s the balance I try to keep… I could plan out a ton more, and I’ve tried. But for right now this is what works at my house, you keeping me on the edge of sanity.
And then I have a few other things that keep my family organized.
One, each room in my house that is a “playing” room (the boys bedrooms, the living room, the kitchen, the basement play area) all have specific toys that must remain in each room. And of course each area has boxes or drawers that are used as those toys homes. In the kitchen for instance, there is a drawer that is full of play food prep toys – some wooden, some plastic… all kitchen appropriate. The basement is home to the loudest and “roughest” toys – I have two boys, so you know there are some toys that just lend themselves to “rough” play… it’s easier on my sanity to keep those toys segregated! Another reason for the different toys in different places is that once a kid gets bored we can simply move to a different area of the house to play with brand new toys! (Oh and it is always must to clean up before moving on- period.)
Two, we have two clean up sessions a day (during the week, weekends are different). Before lunch my boys know that they have to clean up all the toys, so we can eat. This way during nap/quiet time I don’t have to use my personal time to pick up toys I didn’t get out. Then we do the same clean up procedure about ten minutes before daddy gets home. I am usually finishing up dinner, and it is great to have something for my littles to do to help prepare for dinner. I know in the future they will be helping set the table and such, but right now putting toys away is only chore they can reliably do on their own.
When I first became a mom, I scoured the internet for the schedules and plans other moms used because I was suddenly overwhelmed with everything and needed a guide. That is why I’m giving you my “outline”. However, I quickly realized that every single plan didn’t really fit my family, and slowly my own weekly plan evolved – and it works well with my family. So if you need a starting point, go ahead and copy mine, but please realize that you know your family best, and you will be able to adapt and create a plan to organize your time in order to run your house well.
And of course, give yourself grace because that plan might just not work some days – that is fine. Maybe you will have to completely come up with a new method, maybe you will just need a “free-for-all week” but know that as you and your family grow and change, so will your plans and methods. You are the mom, part of that means running your household daily, but each day is new – just roll with it. (I have to take my own advice often here…)
And for those of you who are just dying for more on this topic, I’ve included some files for you use if you want to give my method a shot. Just like me on facebook and click on freebie for followers! (Right now it’s my personal plan outline, and my blog posts notes form)