So in my last post I talked about working through a book as part of my New Years resolutions. The book, "One Bite at a Time: 52 projects for making life simpler" Now the neat, and very useful thing about this book is that you don't have to work through it in any order. There isn't one right way to read it, you just choose a project and start it. When you feel like you've got that first one down, then start another one. There is a table in the front of the book that list the projects by type: living green, living well, money management, organize your mind, organize your space, etc. So you can use this list to focus on what you want to work on first. Need organization in your home? Great, work on those projects first. Me, I'm working on me first so my first project is #3: Establish a morning routine.
Why is this important for me? Some (most) mornings I feel like I am playing catch up, just reacting to the kids' needs as they come up and trying to fit in my stuff in between. Some days I haven't brushed my teeth or washed my face until after lunch. True story, happens more than I feel comfortable admitting. So by doing this project I hope to make mornings, and therefore the day, more calm and manageable. And also to be washed up before dinner. Seriously.
The first thing I learned about establishing a morning routine is don't do it when you have little kids. I mean, come on, they change their sleep schedule daily. Some days Harper sleeps in till 9am, some days, when I'm in the middle of a nice relaxing routine she wakes up at 7:30. Connor almost always sleeps till 9am, but then there is the once or twice a week where he still wakes up in the night, meaning I am up with him. Waking up early to have some time to myself is a whole different ball game when the babies don't have a set wake up time yet, or don't always sleep through the night. Still, that is the first task: wake up before the kids.
The second task is to come up with a list of 5 things to do just for myself, no email checking, cleaning up the kitchen, starting a load of laundry, I need 5 things just for myself. This is actually harder than it sounds. My current list looks like this:
1) Wash up (wash my face, brush teeth, nasal rinse (a necessary thing for me, it really helps my sinuses stay clear and keeps me healthier. This system here is my absolute favorite. I am a firm believer in the nasal rinse.)
2) Drink a glass of water
3) Put tea on to brew
4) Stretch (while tea brews, since I am currently using a pot on the stove this gives me a good 5 minutes of stretching)
5) Not quite sure yet, but I am thinking journaling, which today is me updating my blog, but some days may be just simply writing in a journal.
It is surprisingly hard not to start cleaning, get something out of the freezer for dinner, get a head start on breakfast, and other things that are technically for the family. I am trying to resist but some days chores win out.
I have been working on this for two weeks now, and while it hasn't happened every day it is happening more often than not. On the days I get up early and get through my full morning routine I find that I feel better, calmer and happier. While the whole day doesn't always go smoother, it at least starts with me in a happier place.
The reason I chose this project first is because I am starting out focusing on me. Like a lot of moms out there I swore I'd never fall into the cliche of 'losing myself', losing Jenny and just becoming Mom. But of course, like a lot of moms that is exactly what happened. Three years and two babies later I hardly read anything longer than a magazine article, I don't keep current on any TV shows or news any more, the only hobby I can claim is this blog and you can see how often I get to update. I just moved several states away from any friends I could go have a girls night out with. So really, the start of these projects are going to be about me, finding some balance in my life where I don't feel so overwhelmingly buried under kids. Eventually I will get to the organize and simplify your home projects, but only after I have organized and simplified me.
If this post interestes you, hop over and check out the book's author: Tsh Oxenreider's site: Simple Mom. I am not getting anything to endorse her or anything, I have just found her site to be very helpful and inspiring.