Want to know how implementing daily routines has drastically improved my current #MomLife?
Keep reading for all the details on how using a weekly activity schedule has been a game-changer with my kids. I’m also sharing how I went about formulating a cleaning routine (that is NOT overwhelming) into my daily life…
This summer started out rough.
The adjustment from having the oldest niñoin school full-time back to having both boys home with me 24/7 was a big one. The boys behavior felt out of control to me and so did keeping up with our home and my business. I shared this on my Instagram story a bit, but I was struggling with some symptoms of depression (I wouldn’t say I was fully “depressed” because it was short-term and not a deep, dark plunge). Nonetheless, the chaos around me was definitely triggering my mental health and I knew change was needed.
Once I made it through a few days of feeling totally incapacitated, I got to work figuring out how to bring more organization and structure into my daily life as a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom. I developed a weekly activity schedule and a cleaning routine. Through trial and error, I am happy to report we are doing about 100x better with the consistency and flexible structure.
I know I can’t be the only parent that has been feeling at their whit’s end with their kids behavior and keeping up with all the daily minutia of the home/work/life balance. So, I though I’d share a bit about what has been working for us so far, in hopes that this might be helpful for you!
I’ve known for years now that my kids thrive on structure and routine, but this has been a challenge for me because my natural tendency is toward spontaneity. I do not want to be bound by a routine or schedule. I don’t like committing to plans; I guess because I want to just see where each day takes me.
While some spontaneity is great in parenting (and I never want to be extremely rigid with our schedule), I knew I had to figure out a flexible routine for our weeks to help my boys know what to expect during our days. I also know that it is absolutely essential for us to get out of our home at least once each day. My kids are both high-energy and have a strong physical need for movement and activity. We literally go stir crazy if we are home all day.
I review our daily schedule with the boys in the morning and at various times throughout the day. This has really helped them and me–I find they complain A LOT less about the flow of our day (like taking an hour rest time after lunch) when they know what is coming next.
I’ve tried making really specific schedules for my kids in the past (like a break down of hour-by-hour among other things), but that has been too rigid/specific for us. What seems to be working well this summer is a visual chart that shows the boys where we will be heading each day. Then, we verbally discuss the more minute details of our schedule like, “After breakfast, we’ll go upstairs and brush teeth and get dressed” or “When we get back home, we’ll sit down and eat lunch, then after lunch–just like everyday–we’ll do one hour of quiet time before you watch some cartoons.”
Here is the visual schedule I made for the boys (which they love looking at):
Not to sound redundant, but again, we do not actually follow this schedule perfectly. For example, if a friend invites us to come over and play on Thursday mornings when we normally do library storytime, I wouldn’t think twice about switching up our plans. We have a Kroc Center and GRCM membership, so it works well for me to utilize our memberships as much as I can. Plus, getting to the gym three times a week is great for my mental and physical health and gives me a two-hour break (thanks to the awesome childcare workers!). The only scheduled activity in our weekly routine that costs any additional money is the trip to Altitude Trampoline Park, which is pretty affordable, and SO good for my boys to jump all over for an hour or two!
If you want to create a plan like this and are on a budget, definitely think about all the free resources out there–parks, splash pads, libraries, etc. GRKIDS.COM is a GREAT local resource for parents. I love checking their events calendar to see what activities, festivals, events, etc. are happening around West Michigan when we need an idea for something to do.
Now, onto my cleaning routine….
I’ve gotten quite a few questions about what I’ve been doing in terms of a cleaning schedule/routine, so I thought I’d also share that here.
You can see my “schedule” below:
- Sunday: Sabbath rest
- Monday: Change/launder bedding & towels, dust upstairs floor
- Tuesday: Vacuum and mop upstairs floor
- Wednesday: Clean upstairs bathrooms & main floor bathroom
- Thursday: Dust, vacuum, mop main floor
- Friday: Deep clean kitchen
- Saturday: Work on miscellaneous house projects, deep cleaning and/or yard work
- (Daily tasks also include: one load of laundry, picking up the house before bed, dishes, tidying up the kitchen after dinner)
You might be wondering how I came up with this cleaning routine?
If you go to Pinterest, you can find a billion daily/weekly cleaning schedules and routines. There are printables and graphics galore. However, every home is different. Every family is different. It’s unlikely (in my opinion) that you’ll find a cleaning schedule that will work perfectly for your schedule/family/home. I don’t suggest you copy my cleaning routine above, unless perhaps you have a two-story home, you like the idea of practicing the Sabbath on Sundays, etc.
I stressed about how to nail down a workable cleaning routine for a long time. I even paid for this online course geared toward women, helping them develop their own cleaning routine. All of my google searches, Pinterest browsing and even the online course just overwhelmed me.These bloggers and cleaning pros are trying to be helpful, yet I felt overwhelmed and stressed out after reading their lists of every cleaning task that you “should” do to keep your home in perfect order 365 days a year.
I took a step back and said to myself the wise adage that “done is better than perfect” and reminded myself that it’s completely okay if my baseboards are not cleaned bimonthly or whatever I was seeing recommended online. In fact, I’ve never “kept up” with cleaning my baseboards on a regular basis, so why should I start worrying about that now? If my home is generally clean and in order, then that’s an A+ in my book.
I know a lot of cleaning professionals always clean houses from top to bottom, so I thought “OK, I’ll start with the upstairs floor and work my way down during the week. I’ll try to divvy tasks up so each day involves only about an hour or so of cleaning.” I knew I had six days to divvy up the household tasks between since it is important to our family to have one day of rest each week–when at all possible. Then, with a paper and pen, I worked out the schedule listed above.
There you have it–an inside look into how I developed my daily cleaning system! I hope that by sharing how I developed this plan, it is helpful to those of you who are desperately trying to figure out how to keep your home clean. Send me a comment or message me on Instagram if you have any additional questions about this or if you have helpful tips to share with me!
Cheering you on,
*featured image via canva.com and images within article are from pixabay.com