Do you remember that time when you could do whatever you wanted to do (within reason of course), your house was kept clean with minimal effort, and you actually went out to eat…and enjoyed it?! Yeah, I barely remember it myself. Those were the days though, right? Well, sort of. I really did enjoy having a clean house and having fancy meals all the time. To tell you the truth, I think we spent way more money on things we really didn’t need pre-baby. Now, with a little one, we spend less money, we definitely eat out less (I mean, who really wants to take a toddler out to eat), and we have a messier house. It was a long and hard road for adjustment for this former OCD personality. While I am still getting over some of my OCD tendencies, I am learning to cope with life with a little life form in my care. Don’t worry, it only took me 2.5 years to figure it out!
Routines are king!
I have figured out that in my household I need to go grocery shopping once weekly, go to Costco once monthly, and go to Target once monthly. This has helped me drastically improve my organization of thought and time too! For Target and Costco, I have a running list posted up of items that we need to purchase. Actually, for groceries as well. This really helps me so that I don’t forget anything. I also make a meal plan every week so that I know exactly what items I need for meals.
We know that we clean the house every weekend. Since this is on a schedule, it is easy to know when it was last done and when we will do it again.
Little Mister has a set bedtime and a…you guessed it, routine. We brush teeth, read books, say prayers, get in bed by 8 pm. He doesn’t fight with bedtime since we have always been very consistent with it.
Mama gets some quiet time.
This one took me a long time to figure out. I was stressed in the morning and felt like I could accomplish nothing. It wasn’t until I read a pretty life changing book called “Money Making Mom” by Crystal Paine that I broke this cycle. She makes it very clear that waking early is the best thing to do in order to get a good start to the day. I started waking up early just so I could drink coffee (while it was still hot mind you) and read the bible a bit before Little Mister woke up. This has since evolved over time to me waking up at 5:30 am so that I can drink hot coffee, read the scriptures and pray, make a to-do list for the week/day, and work on work stuff (my side hustles not my actual job). She also has a great course called “Make Over Your Mornings” if you are struggling to make a morning routine work for you.
I worked night shift, 12 hours 3 times a week, if I can do it, you can too! Words can’t even describe how much this improves my mood in the morning. I am ready for the energetic toddler to wake up and start running circles around me. My to-do list usually gets at least 1 thing crossed off before he wakes up. It is blissful!
Have a place or two in the house where toys are not kept.
I don’t know about you, but I do not like toys! They multiply, don’t get put away, and they are constantly in the way. I do, however, understand the importance of toys so we have them. We do not have many, compared to a lot, but we have more than some I am sure of it. Because of my passionate dislike for toys, I have decided that there will be no toys in two rooms of our home (this is for storage, not playing), the living room and my bedroom. If Little Mister is playing in the living room, he must clean up said toy when he is done with it. When I arise in the morning, I do not see toys in here and that gives me great pleasure. Unfortunately, where I do most of my writing is in the “library” which has been called the “toy room” by many children.
Certain spaces are clean and tidy every night before bed.
When I wake up, they are still clean and tidy. I have come to realize that there were two rooms that absolutely need to be clean when I wake up or it just bothers me to no end. My living room and my kitchen. I disdain waking up (or even coming home from a night shift) and my kitchen is full of dirty dishes, stuff all over the counters, pillows not on the couch, etc. Yes, I understand that this is a bit OCD. I told you that I am a work in progress. Even still, I think the kitchen will ALWAYS need to be clean every night.
Incorporate fun time with errands and exercise.
I tend to like to do all my errands 1 day of the week. Running around every day is just not my forte. If we have to go to several places that day, I will try to do a fun thing in between or after. Generally it is the park or going outside, but Florida is a sauna during the um, well, from March to November, so we will have to change it up and do an outside thing in the morning then go run errands.
Exercising is a bit of a challenge. I have tried to do videos and Little Mister just ends up crawling all over me thinking that we are playing on the floor. Not effective or enjoyable. I found that running/walking is much more effective with a little and I can do lunges with the stroller too. Once I get done running, I get him out, stretch outside, then lay down a blanket on the grass and do some exercises. Little Mister is busy playing (and sometimes exercising too) so I don’t get a little body crawling all over me. Win Win!
some a lot of grace.
There are many changes that we have to make as parents to make life a bit more manageable when we have a little human to contend with. My situation is very different from most as I work full time, night shift, Mr. Hubster goes to school full time, and Little Mister doesn’t go to daycare. Because of that, Little Mister is constantly at home. If you don’t get a small break or have some kind of boundaries in place, you will go crazy. It is not worth it, so find out what will make life easier or less stressful and figure out a way to do it.
One other thing as a side note, I use to use nap time as my “getting stuff done time” like cleaning, cooking, etc. Now, I have realized that I need time to grow as an individual so I use that precious time as my sewing time. Sewing is my stress reliever and a side hustle so I need to dedicate time to do it.
So, I am curious, what do you wish you had more time to do? What things, if they were done a different way, do you think would help relieve some stress?
***Update: Little Mister has started preschool and is now gone for 4 days out of the week for 4.5 hours each of those days. It has been such a blessing to us to be able to do this. Along with that, though, we have taken on more challenges with our schedule such as a part time job for Mr. Hubster and an extra side hustle for myself. We actually may be busier now even with Little Mister gone for that time each week. ***