Routines are crucial in simplifying your motherhood! A great family routine will help you not only stay on top of the house but will also help the kids know what is expected of them. It will stop the nagging, as with time, the routines will become habits, and all you’ll have to say to the kids is “get onto the morning routine!” and they’ll know exactly what that means and what to do!
How creating a family routine simplified my motherhood
The combination of minimalism and family routines means that I no longer stress about the state of our house! As long as we all chip in, doing our morning and evening routines (which nowadays take around half an hour with all hands on deck!), I never have to panic when the doorbell rings, and I often get to sit down with a cup of tea and just enjoy being in our home.
Of course, it’s not always perfect! We live here! We homeschool here! But even when it’s a mess, it’s still presentable and I know it will just take another session of a quick family clean up and the house will be back to normal.
As a mum, that is a great relief: to know it’s not all just on me, to know that the house is under control, and to not have to stress about the doorbell ringing unexpectedly! Also, I can afford to have days where not much happens. I can afford to take care of myself and sign off for the day when I’m sick because I know we won’t get too overwhelmed with a backlog of housework.
How to create a great family routine
The first time you create a family routine you will be very specific. You’ll want to put the times in for just about every step of the way, as per the example below. If you’re a visual person, grab a highlighter or a couple of different coloured pens.
- Sit down with a piece of paper and write down all the things that have to be done every morning to keep the family running and the house presentable. Leave some space between each task. In the first picture, that was the list written in black pen.
- Now you’ve started and got a list, keep filling tasks in – what are the kids’ tasks. Add any other things you remember as you’re listing things. That’s the green pen in the image below.
- Now, delegate! Who’s responsible for which task? This is most effective if you involve the kids. “Hey guys, these are the tasks we absolutely have to do each morning, are there any you want to do before I assign them?”. When I said that, the kids pretty much split all the tasks between themselves! Back then they were just 7, 5 and 4. Also, though the example below says ‘mum’ for the adult tasks, I actually had ‘adult’ written on our printed routine as when my husband is home he’s part of the team as well!
- Now that you have your brainstormed routine, you can type it up or write it out on an A4 piece of paper in the right order! Add some time slots to keep you on track. Then put it up on a wall or the fridge where everyone can see it!
- Do the same for the evening routine! Make sure when you split tasks between the morning and evening routines you account for your lifestyle. E.g.: if you have school-aged kids who need their lunchboxes packed, drink bottles filled and uniforms laid out, you may want to prepare that the night before to take some stress out of your morning. Consider when is best for you to put a load of laundry on. If you’re a stay-at-home-mum, putting a load in the morning might work well for you. If you are out at work for most of the day, a habit of putting a delayed-start load on in the evening, so it’s ready to hang in the morning might be best for you!
- Remember, tasks assigned to the kids will vary with their ages, but make sure that from 2-3yo onwards they have age-appropriate tasks, for example picking up toys, wiping the dining table, putting clothes into the laundry basket, etc. This will set them up for the future and create a great habit of contributing to the family!
- When you first establish your family routine, you will need to talk your kids through it for the first couple of weeks. Read it out to them, show them how to do some tasks. If this is new to them, you can’t expect your child to suddenly ‘just know’ how to sweep up or load the dishwasher, even if they are old enough to know!
- Our routines have grown and evolved and taken longer to complete at some stages of our lives and less time to complete at other times. What has remained is that the kids know we have family routines, they know they are expected to do them (part of living in our home!) and it’s now a habit. We wake up, get ready, have breakfast and do our family morning routine before school work begins. In the evening, we have dinner and also do a few tasks before relaxing for the evening.
I hope you gained something from reading this post! If so, please share! Let’s get this message out to as many mums as possible: motherhood does not have to be overwhelming! You can enjoy your kid’s childhoods, instead of feeling like all you do is clean up after them!