Do you ever think about how much stuff you have to get done as a mom?
IT IS A LOT! (biggest understatement of the century)
What you want to get done and what you have to get done, not only in the long term, but even just today can be plain overwhelming.
If all of this leaves you feeling like your life is spinning out of control, I invite you to intentionally create a routine for yourself and your family. It can save you from the madness.
How Busy Moms Create Balance with Weekly and Daily Routines
Why Create Routines?
With children, life can get chaotic, but when they get into a rhythm and know what to expect, they are happier and things just run smoother.
I also love to have routines so all of the little things that need to get done aren’t forgotten, and it’s an easy way to implement bigger goals into my life and actually achieve them.
What is a Routine?
I like to think of habits as the building blocks to good routines, and good routines are the building blocks to peace of mind, better sleep, happier family life, and reaching any big goal.
If you’ve read my post about creating habit loops, you know that every habit we have is triggered by a certain cue, and is performed to receive a certain reward.
Once you have a good habit built into a habit loop, it’s easy to build off the first habit making it a trigger for another habit, and then another, until you have a whole routine down.
For example, I have a habit of waking up at 5 am when my husband’s alarm goes off and he nudges me until I grunt. He gets up to get ready. I sit up and stretch and try to wake up more fully. This triggers a cue for me to use the bathroom. And when I wash my hands, it is a cue to put my contacts in and brush my teeth.
Creating Daily Routines
When I was first trying to implement new good habits into my routine, I built off of my morning routine I had already established.
I turned brushing my teeth into a cue to pray and read scriptures. Closing my scriptures is a cue to fire up the computer, open the google document I was working on last, and start writing for this blog.
Now, I do this every weekday morning. As I work, I chat a little with my husband as he gets ready. Then, I walk him to the door to kiss him goodbye, then I sit back down to write more. When my kids start waking up, I hop onto my Facebook group and post the daily thread. Then we make breakfast, clean up the table, and get started on home-school.
Each habit on the routine is a trigger or a reminder to do the next thing, and it works like this for me all day long, every day.
It’s the only way I am able to get anything done. Yes, sometimes the baby wakes up early or I’ve had a particularly long night and don’t wake up when I need to, but this routine is the goal. When I do it, my day runs really well and I’m happier and more productive.
Please note, I have not scheduled every last second of our day. Every afternoon I save a couple of hours for flexible time so I can go to appointments, do any weekly meal prep, grocery shopping, reading, or napping- depending on the day of the week.
And what I have created is a routine- not a schedule. I can’t be late for anything or penalized if I change something around. It’s just a loose idea to keep me spending my time in intentional ways- instead of wasting it because I think I have nothing pressing to do.
And I also am not so rigid that a beautiful day can’t spark abandoning our routine and going to the park to play. It just might mean missing out on doing a load of dishes or folding the laundry. I will happily let that wait in exchange for a beautiful day out making memories with my kids.
How I Created My Routines
I made a list of all my recurring activities and to-dos and I plugged them into a daily and weekly calendar where it made the most sense to me, while keeping in mind the rhythm of our life already.
I was mainly tweaking our routine to help me remember to do things that had been slipping through the cracks.
I keep my routines in my bullet journal. Now that I’ve been doing the routines for awhile I don’t reference this page as much because my daily and weekly habits are, well… routine. 😉
And as with any family that changes and grows, so will the routines. Slight tweaks have to happen- especially because my daily routine, as you can see, is very heavily dependent on my baby’s sleeping schedule. As he gets older this will change significantly.
This routine doesn’t show that I’ve been adding in little gems to my daily routine so I can dedicate small chunks of time to bigger goals so they don’t overwhelm me. I’ve switched my morning routine to home-school my older kids after breakfast now, and I no longer need to do dinner prep in the a.m. because we are eating super simple whole foods.
Daily Routine Examples
When you google “mom routines” you get a ton of results for cleaning routines. Like that’s all we do?!
I dug around a bit to find some better examples that encompass ALL that moms juggle.
If you are wondering how moms of all walks of life are able to use routines to help them find balance, check out the links below:
Work From Home Mom
FLYing as a Single Parent (40 Reader’s tips sent in from single parents on how they have used routines to create peaceful homes and stay organized)
Stay at Home Mom
The Secrets of successful moms: Managing a super-organized home and schedule (with some kids at school and some little ones at home)
Homeschooling Working Mom
Homeschooling Working Single Mom (total props to these ladies!)
Seeing what other moms can accomplish (and finding balance along the way) is truly inspirational to me, and I hope it is to you too.
If you are looking at the routines of these moms and telling yourself “I can’t do that because…” remember, it may not be a perfect reflection of their real life. These are their planned routines- their goals of what they are striving to do.
Think about what YOU can do. Don’t rely on your excuses and limit yourself to thinking only of what you can’t do.
When you take the time to be intentional about how you are spending your time and creating a routine to match your goals, you will be able to find balance.
No mom is perfect. No routine is perfect. And it takes near constant tweaking, but if you are trying your best, and doing what works for you, you will find more balance in your life. I promise.
This Post is Part of the Habits that Last Series:
Create a new life for yourself with less stress.
- Habits that Last: Less Mom Stress is Possible (Series Beginning)
- 7 Tips on How to Make New Habits Last (and Change Your Life)
- 4 Steps to Breaking a Bad Habit For Good
- How a Habit Tracker Can Keep You Motivated to Reach Your Goals (Free Printable)
- 5 Stress-Causing Habits No Mom Has Time For (and How to Stop Doing Them)
- Keystone Habits: Transforming Your Life by Changing the Way you Define Yourself
- 7 Simple Habits for a Tidy, Less Stressful Home
- How to Find Time for New, Good Habits (and Finally Reach your Goals)
- How I Changed My Unhealthy Habits as an Overwhelmed Mom (and You Can Too)
- How Busy Moms Create Balance with Weekly and Daily Routines
- A Morning and Evening Routine that Will Change Your Life
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