This is the sixth step of the series How to Beat Motherhood Overwhelm In 7 Easy Steps.
If you haven’t seen the rest of series, the earlier steps deal with heart work, getting your body in a good place, but this one is a bit more practical; something you can do right here, right now and feel a little pick-me-up.
There’s an unexpected knock at the door. In the minute or so between the knock and opening the door, your whole current situation flashes before your eyes from the perspective of a stranger. It’s not pretty. You need a shower, you’ve got a toddler with no pants on, a pre-schooler who is dressed like a mad man, there are toys and cast off clothes everywhere.
And there may or may not be a smell. You aren’t entirely sure, as you haven’t thought about it in a few days. Which means, with this kind of life, there probably is a smell, and it could be coming from the kitchen, the bathroom or the laundry room. But, there’s a person at the door – it must be answered!
Oh Lordy, that’s been me! Way too many times!
Before kids, I used to keep myself and my stuff looking nice, and anytime the door rang I was thinking much more about who was on the other side of it than myself. But motherhood! Taking care of tiny tornadoes on no sleep has a way of changing our plans!
I went from wanting everything to be just so, to realizing I couldn’t do it all – and eventually I ended up at the idea of small steps. Getting some things done and then letting that be enough.
Below is what I call my Morning Routine. But, it’s more of an anytime routine. It’s what I do when I need to feel human again. If I haven’t done it in a few days it’ll take me longer, but if I do it daily I can knock this out within an hour.
Ann’s Morning Routine
- Make my Bed
- Get Dressed – do something with my hair, a little make-up, and brush my teeth – my goal here is to be comfortable with how I look if someone drops by unexpectedly or if I need to run to the store.
- Swish and Swipe – this is a Flylady term. She taught me how to clean and be organized, so you’ll see her name pop up from time to time. A Swish and Swipe is to swish the inside of the toilet, swipe clean the toilet, bathroom counter and mirror. It’s a quick thing, aimed to just make a positive difference. Some days that doesn’t do a whole lot for the bathroom, some days with just that the bathroom is pristine!
- Change diapers/clothes – I still have little ones in diapers. This helps me remember to check their diapers and change their clothes if I haven’t done that yet today.
- My Breakfast – I will completely forget to eat! This helps 🙂
- Empty Dishwasher – on a good day one of my kids is emptying the dishwasher as their morning chore, on a not so good day I’m loading it because it didn’t get done the day before. The main goal: put a dent in the dish situation.
- Reboot Laundry – get the washer going. We have 8 people in our house, some of them are prone to accidents or greatly attracted to mud! We should probably do at least 2 loads a day, everyday, forever… lol. But, this reminds me to keep that going!
- Make Snacks – some days this means, count the granola bars to see if we have enough, other days it means make hard boiled eggs and veggies for morning snack and home made muffins for afternoon snack. The goal here: think about snacks before there are six kids crying that they’re starving!
- Brighten the Corner – there’s an old hymn I love by this name. I use this as a reminder to tidy something up. Usually it’s the catchall space in our dining room or kitchen, sometimes it’s a dirty spot that’s been bugging me for a while but I hadn’t gotten to yet. Whatever it is, I try to take 5 minutes to make the world a little more beautiful.
- Music – put on some tunes! Pandora is my favorite. I’ve got a bunch of stations, I chose whatever I’m in the mood for and play it through a blue tooth speaker in the kitchen or dining room.
- Smells – it used to be scented candles, but we upgraded to Essential Oils (you can see why here) which I can tailor to fit our mood or health needs on a daily basis!
- Words of Affirmation – I look over a handful of these a day and use this as a reminder to use life giving words with my kids. I want to be pouring in affirming words because the world tears people down, but I want our home to build people up!
And that’s it! Some take just 30 seconds, some take longer, but oh when I’m done, I feel like I accomplished something instead of taking care of nothing but emergencies or being in survival mode!
What kind of things do you do when you need a place to begin – daily or otherwise?
Leave a comment to let me know, I’d love to hear what you do!