Okay, Moms, let's get REAL for a moment…how many of us were jumping for joy about 2 or 3 weeks ago when our kids went off to school, and you finally got your life back (kind of)? I know I was! Bella and Lorenzo just went back to school on the 9th after being in Eritrea and Ethiopia for the entire summer (with no structure and routine to follow) and boy oh boy was I happy to drop them off! I almost didn't park the car to walk them in on their first day, because I wanted to go home and just dance in my kitchen alone, and then I remembered I still had one more kid in the house. LOL!
Do not get me wrong! I loved every minute of our time together, we created memories that will definitely last all of us a lifetime, and for that, I am sincerely grateful. We took "family time" to a whole new level, and that meant the world to me. However, being the organized and control-freak mom that I am, our routine being replaced by my family who spoils the kids rotten drove me bananas. Every time I attempted to put the kids to sleep at 8:30 pm, my mom would say me, “they're on vacation, let them stay up longer” in front of the kids! It wasn't just bedtime, though, the same theory applied with all our meals and getting them to do school work while we were away. If my mom, aunts and family members weren't spoiling them, then it was something else happening, which put our regular to-do items on the bottom of our lists. We all relaxed way too much and forgot all about the structure we had during the school year.
So once again…OH STRUCTURE, HOW I’VE MISSED YOU!
In the ten weeks that we've been gone, I've realized just how much I need structure! I need set plans, organized calendars, and to-do lists to help me stay on course. Now, the problem I faced when we got back was probably what all you moms faced with that first day of school, “how on earth do I get back into my routine?” After a crazy summer of having NO routine, and minimal boundaries, how do I go back to living a structured life?
It took me a full week to get back into my groove. There was a whole week of jet-lag, slow moves, writing out everything and taking it easy on myself and the kids to ease back into our new routine. That's the beauty of getting structured... it can be done at your own pace. We finally got back into the swing of things this week and I want to share three things that really helped me along the way.
As with everything in life, our routines may shift. Shit happens, and as moms, we still have to be able to go with the flow. Establishing a new routine that worked with my family after we came back from vacation was the first and best thing I did for us. The kids and I talked about our routine and created it together, which held them accountable as the days went by. Once we had a method in place, it was easier to plan tasks out and get things done.
We're moms and have a million and one things to do daily, so of course, it's reasonable to forget things now and then or feel overwhelmed. Writing everything out helps me get organized and clears my head because I know I have a plan to get it done. I love listing my top three to-do items at the very beginning of my list, so I know what has to get done first. This way, I don't just do what's easy or quick and leave the rest for later. Once my tasks are complete, I love crossing them off the lists (makes me feel so accomplished).
Everyone hates it when I mention this part, but yet it's so important. Think of it this way; our brains are at their best when we first wake up, which means, we can get some of our best work done during that time. Plus, it helps that the children are sleeping and will not be calling on you for their every need. This is your time to do what makes you happy, think of it as your ME-TIME which equivalents to self-care, and boy oh boy do we all need that! Waking up early and getting my writing and planning tasks out of the way gives me more time to be present with my family and not stressed.
These three tools combined save me every single day and are the reason why I am still standing strong.
Remember, though, consistency is key! The more you practice, the better you will become. If you fall off the wagon today, it's okay because guess what…tomorrow is a new day, with new possibilities and a chance to get right back on track. Go easy on yourself! I hope this blog helps you or someone you know.
As always, I'd love to hear from you. How are you staying structured in your life?