Anyone who knows me knows a few certain things. 1: I am super detailed. For instance, this summer I threw my best friend a bachelorette party. I color-coded an Excel spreadsheet so beautifully even a stranger could discern what each person was supposed to do. 2: I love to plan things out. I may drive my husband (friends, family, what have you!) up a wall when I do this, but I don’t enjoy flying by the seat of my pants anymore. With two kids who are little and require constant supervision, I need the stability of creating a schedule. 3: I thrive on organization. My closets and cupboards are neatly organized with baskets and bins to keep things easy to access. The last thing I need in the middle of the night is to know where the extra thermometer ear lenses are. Ok. I get it. This sounds so lame! But really, I think I take my kids’ temps multiple times a week in the winter.
And… I would say this to his face, so it’s ok to say that my husband is one of those guys who’s like…
“Linds? Where did you put my fishing mask?”
Me: “It’s in the closet in the basket on the right.”
Ross: “You’re always moving my stuff. It’s not there.”
Me: [walking upstairs to point it out because it might not be in plain site, but rather, underneath an item in that very basket.] “It is here. Right here, in this basket. You just had to lift this other mask. Clean. Washed. Right where it should be when laundry is put away…” Maybe not in those exact words, but have you recalled a conversation like this with someone in your home? Being organized helps me manage everyone else’s belongings in my house, too 🙂
There are a few things that Type A behavior supports.
First, my kids are predictable. They have the same routine in the morning, afternoon, and evening/bedtime. They both sleep for 11-12+ hours every night and very seldom do they deter from this. On the weekends I am more flexible with bedtime and nap-time for our toddler, but I try my hardest to stay close to it. No one likes a child who is exhausted,
including themselves! Because they are so predictable, it’s very easy for me to recognize when they are sick. This is helpful to me!
Second, being a scheduler also helps our after work/end of day transition period more manageable. When I get home from work, our meals are already planned so we aren’t scrambling around trying to get dinner ready while the kids are experiencing their end of day crash. *Stay tuned for a post dedicated to “End of Day Kid Crash” in a few weeks!* I typically try and do most of my grocery pickup on a weekend morning and meal prep for the week on Sunday afternoons. This saves incredible amounts of time.
Third, planning ahead of time also makes me feel grounded. This life we live, in 2018… is fast. My kids are young, and we haven’t even hit “Sports Age” yet. Just two, full-time working parents raising young children is busy enough. Throw in extended family time, date nights, or playdates, and time flies. When I have a schedule planned out, I can see what our time looks like and make sure we have downtime to just Be. To just relax and watch a movie. Catch up on sleep. Snuggle on the couch. Cramming too much into our lives causes time to fly by too fast. I recently saw this meme and thought… Has there ever been a truer statement?
Kids thrive on routines, so why shouldn’t adults? I’ve shared a few things if you’re looking for more organization in your life. Some of these things have helped me manage my time!
- Plan out your meals by the month. By doing this I not only have variety in our meals, I can ensure I stick within a financial budget and don’t end up at the store twice a week. On Sunday I go to the store and buy what we need–either for one week or two, depending on how many fresh items we need. I usually end up going once a week, but the off week is a quick trip for milk or bananas, not a full cart of food. I recently discovered the app Mindful Menu. If you’re looking for a way to maximize your grocery cart and time, check this out!
- Use online shopping and delivery or pickup services. This saves exponential amounts of time! There are two that I use frequently and have found to be amazing: HyVee (my favorite!) and Walmart. They both have an online app where you pre-select your groceries. They shop, bag, and put them in your car– all you have to do is drive up. Walmart is always free for standard grocery pickup, and if you spend $100 or more, HyVee is free. By doing this, I save myself hours of shopping and hauling.
- Create a routine that works for your family. It honestly doesn’t matter what you choose. You will pick the best “times” for everything according to your family’s needs. We fell into a nice routine with Julia and then when Brooks was born we naturally followed the same steps. The kids know exactly what’s coming and expect it. There are no surprises and then on a night when we are up later (with cousins, at the cabin, for example), the kids can handle it and enjoy a special treat.
- Create Clear Expectations for your kids in terms of bedtime and sleep–pick a bedtime and keep it. My kids go to bed every night, with very little from Ross or me. They don’t get out of their bed, they don’t cry, and bedtime doesn’t take long. I tuck Julia in, we read a book, say our prayers, and it’s hug and kiss goodnight. Since Brooks has been 6 weeks, he’s been sleeping through the night with nothing other than a hug and kiss, his sleep sack, and his pacifier. I’ll share my secrets about sleep training in a blog to come!
- Determine Spousal Roles as early as possible when kids are born. Figure out what it is you can’t live without doing yourself, and do those things without resentment. I owned all the bottle washing and pump parts since day one. It was hard for me because I really would have liked to put down the bottle brush, but I didn’t trust Ross to get them clean enough! So instead, while I do the dishes, he tends to the kids after dinner so that I can finish cleaning up uninterrupted! When Brooks started his nighttime routine, Ross and I talked and decided I’d tackle Brooks while he tackled Julia’s routine. Win Win for all! Each kid gets one on one time, which is an added bonus.
People thrive on predictability and are generally more successful when we aren’t throwing curve balls on the daily. Keep it simple for yourself and your family. You will thank yourself later for keeping your kids on a schedule.
I will probably write more about my crazy Type A organizational habits and scheduling in many blogs to come! I am happy to help people in need, as well. So if there’s something in your life you’d like help with, please reach out!
This post contains advertisements and by clicking the link, I may receive a commission but at no cost to you. See my full disclosure form HERE