How to Find (and Stay) in a Homemaking Routine with Kids
As a mom, it can be difficult to find (and stay) in a homemaking routine with kids. Here’s how to do it!
Based on other people’s life stories, I’ve always felt mine has been fairly ordinary. I accepted Christ when I was a young girl, so I don’t have a huge life transformation story. As a firstborn people pleaser with a desire to achieve, I went to high school, college, then got a job right after graduation. When I married my best friend, we both were older and never experienced any major growing pains or butting of heads; we wanted to be together and enjoyed marriage.
For the most part, I felt like the first 32 years of my life were very steady. While they were filled with some adventure and surprises, through it all I was reliably myself.
And then I became a mom. And for the first time in my life, I felt different. Really different.
Motherhood was the biggest transformation in my life:
- It blew my mind to know that someone else was depending on me for every single thing.
- Thinking that I was an actual mom baffled me. (I mean, who do children call for in the middle of the night? Mama. I was my child’s standard of comfort.)
- I couldn’t believe I had nurtured this little being inside of me, and once he was born it was oh so very real. My baby was an actual person, and I was forever changed.
Just like I personally changed once I had a baby, my housekeeping took a radically different turn, too. By the time I became a mom, I already was used to keeping house for ten years. I had my favorite routines. I knew what worked well.
But once babies entered the picture, my homemaking routines really floundered.
Creating a long-term solution
For several years, my daily schedule – including homemaking – revolved around my children’s sleep schedules. In the midst of this season, I discovered the beauty of Non-Negotiable Daily Chores, but that was the extent of my cleaning. Deep cleaning just didn’t make it into my daily (or weekly or monthly) schedule.
By the time my babies were ready to start school, I realized that my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach to homemaking – and our days – never would work as a long-term solution.
I knew I had to create some sort of routine. But I also knew by plenty of trial and error that trying to follow someone else’s suggested routine never would work for me.
As I was reminded by Anna Andrews:
“You will encounter dozens of mom systems (chore charts, reward systems, schedules) that seem like The Answer. Please remember every system requires a system manager. The system only works because the manager is managing. No system works on its own.”
Finding a daily routine
My first step was finding an actual daily routine – and a homemaking routine – that would realistically work for my family. This took time, because we needed to try different methods and figure out what worked well for our personalities, our home, and our schedule.
Once I figured out what worked well for us, I wrote it down. Keeping a planner and a daily to-do list is essential in my home. (Personally, I so appreciate the Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner. Created by a homemaker and mom, it’s filled with handy sections that makes planning and scheduling easy.)
Since my family’s days (and moods) always seem to change in some way, I’ve found that keeping a very loose schedule works best for us.
I’ve tried scheduling away every hour, but frankly, that’s a little too rigid for my personality. Whenever I didn’t get something accomplished “on time,” I felt like my whole day’s plans were ruined. Since I try to avoid feeling like I’m living in defeat every day, I’ve found a better approach that helps me feel productive.
Simply by keeping a rough list of what I know I need to accomplish every morning, afternoon, and evening, I’ve found I can actually complete most of my tasks.
Instilling automatic daily routines
As I continually try to teach my children how to live responsible lives, I know that instilling certain routines should be an essential part to their days, too:
- In the morning, they know their morning routines are getting dressed, making their beds, brushing their teeth and their hair.
- Before every meal they help set the table, and sometimes help prepare the meals. After every meal, they help clear the table.
- And once their schoolwork is done for the day, they help me do a late-afternoon clean up. We pick up the house, put everything away in our homeschool room, and try to pick up their bedrooms, unless they’re in the middle of playing or working on a big, creative project. (For example, my son loves creating stop motion movies out of LEGO. I hate disrupting his creative process and his set design with an command to clean.)
While we’ve tried many varieties of chore charts over the years, they’ve been another mom’s system. They simply don’t work for us. My kids end up forgetting to look at the chore charts and I end up forgetting to remind them.
I do know families that love following chore charts – and they’ve found much success with them. If you’re wondering what to do with your own children, make sure to try chore charts – and life without chore charts. You’ll quickly discover what works best for your family.
What has worked for my family is getting all of us into automatic daily routines. As we repeat the same chores at generally the same time each day, we wrap up whatever we’re doing and work on our chores.
By taking the time to work at the same time together and repeat the same daily chores, we’ve finally found a way to stay in a homemaking routine.
I always love to hear what works for other families. Please tell me … what works best for you? How do YOU stay in a homemaking routine?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Homemaker’s Friend. All opinions and experiences are my own. Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that, at no added cost to you, I may make a commission on products purchased through these links. Thank you for supporting this website!
All images courtesy of Unsplash.
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