While I'm waiting for our rice to cook and watching Jane the Virgin (do you watch it? I kind of love it. Waaaay different than what I thought it was going to be!), I figure I might as well squeeze in a quick blog post. It's amazing how when you start doing something everyday, that something gets so much easier. About a month before Ellie turned one, I was reading The Happiness Project blog she had the most simple blog post about how if you want to develop a habit plan on doing it every day, like exercising, tidying up, etc. At the moment I was on a little weight loss journey and really took it to heart. It resulted in a 20+ lbs. weight loss so after it proved it's worth I decided to start implementing it into other aspects of our lives.
As hard as I try, I've never been able to nail down a solid routine with Ellie and before it would drive me insane. Our days were always unpredictable and we could have no activities going on and I would still end the day feeling like I got nothing done. I was just overwhelmed with life in general. Instead of a set routine, which at least in our reality will never be, I've tried to do certain things every day, and it's totally worked. I can even remember the days when I give Ellie a bath. Sometimes, I seriously couldn't remember. Haha oh I fall short in so many areas. Stinky cute babies are one of them.
One of my favorite things, that I've actually just been doing for about a week, is getting up early, around 6:30, to get a few things done before Ellie wakes up. I had read another blog post (bless you blogs and internet ideas) written by a mother of a toddler and twins (!!). She wakes up every morning at 6 to get what she calls her "farm chores" done. She talked about how her day went so much more smoothly by doing these few things before her kids started their day. So of course, I'm obsessed with the idea. I'm still working on getting up at 6, it's rough, and I used to do it every day!
Since I only have about 25-35 minutes before Ellie wakes up I'm a little rushed but so far every morning I've been able to get the bed made, dishwasher unloaded, start a load of laundry, start breakfast, and get my workout clothes on or shower for the day if it's an off day for the gym. When I can finally get my booty out of bed at 6 I plan on getting in some good prayer and scripture time in, baby steps. Ever since I've started doing this my house stays cleaner. Since I'm keeping up on the basics I'm more motivated to do the heavier cleaning, like mopping the floors every Monday (ugh). I'm also able to get more packing and purging done each day because I' able to spend less time cleaning up little messes that had been accumulating since the night before. I'm staying up on my laundry better than ever before because I can totally handle folding and putting away one load of clothes a day, and it usually gets done by noon! I'm making it to the gym almost everyday again just because I'm already dressed and ready to go. Plus, weekends are much more enjoyable.
Luckily enough, having a solid list of morning "farm chores" has lead to an easy list of evening "farm chores". These include a 10 minute tidy up, taking meat to defrost for the next day's dinner, loading and running the dishwasher, taking a load of laundry down to the laundry room, laying out mind and Ellie's clothes, and then lots of time for guilt free relaxing. I also take about 10 minutes to make a to-do list for the next day and updating my planner, which brings me way more joy that I'd like to admit. I'm a list girl to the core.
Another thing that has helped my life organization is weekly tasks that give my week a route. On Mondays I don't plan on going anywhere, no one seems to be doing anything anyway. That's when I get my bigger maintenance cleaning done (so nice to have that done at the beginning of the week!), Tuesday I focus on a specific room or area of the house and spend 15-30 minutes on a few deep cleaning projects, Wednesdays are for grocery shopping and errand running, this is also a day off from the gym that I kind of love a little too much. Thursday is a clean out day; car, fridge, purse, etc., with any maintenance or random projects that need to be done. We make it light towards the end of the week. On Friday, again, no specific cleaning besides the farm chores, and a lovely day it is! Through out the week we make it out for fun outings like playgroup, lots and lots of park time, or other outings with friends, I need my friends as much as Ellie needs to be outside. I'm lucky to have such good ones.
Because of these simple everyday habits I've been able to take some "me" time during Ellie's naps and after she gets to bed, which I never felt okay about before. I'm reading, blogging, watching studio 5, napping, and painting my nails more than I eve have been able to before. There always will be some things to do, but since so much has already been done I can justify it, and easily at that. And while Ellie is awake, we're playing and reading so much more, which feeds my mama soul to no end. I make dinner almost every night and know what I'm making a week in advance. I'm also driving J.rue less insane because I don't have a running list of things that I need to do instead of hanging out with him in the evenings. You guys, I'm happy. So happy!
As I'm reading through this, it's probably the most boring blog post in all blog posts history and I almost hope that no one made it through to the end. But, I love having a record of this, of a time in my life when I feel good about myself, my mothering, my home, and my life in general. I don't get (as) caught up in the comparison game, I feel like I am & have enough. Isn't it crazy how much doing a few things every day can make such a difference?
Tomorrow I'll get back to the regularly scheduled Ellie photos, but today, this needed to happen. And here's one of Ellie just because I have to.