Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What's normal? What's a routine?

I have fond memories of the days when we had a great routine going. There were very few days when I had to yell at everyone multiple times to "get to the car NOW or you're going to miss the bus," I didn't have to hunt down backpacks and coats because they were always where they belonged and I cooked dinner--and special treats--on a regular basis. After the kids went to school I came home and did the daily chores because I had specific chores that I did on specific days. Sure, there were sometimes dishes in the sink and sometimes a basket of laundry I let wait until after the kids went to bed and I could watch TV uninterrupted while I folded it, but things generally ran smoothly. The house was clean. I loved it. Now? I always feel rushed in the mornings. The house is in desperate need of a thorough cleaning--I'm talking everything down to walls washed and woodwork scrubbed--and I have no idea when or if that's going to happen. It embarrasses me to admit that I can't remember the last time the bathroom was thoroughly cleaned. I clean up messes as they happen and the toilet does get cleaned once a week or so, but scrubbing the tile in the shower? Washing the shower curtain? Washing the blinds? Distant memories. For dinner I manage to cook maybe a third of the time. The rest of the time it's pasta, PBJ or fast food.

There are several reasons our routine is so nearly nonexistent these days. This, obviously, is the biggest one, both before and after her birth. Moving to a new house and having to redo all the systems I had in place at the old house is definitely a close second.

The last time we had the routine really down was before we moved. Yes, I know that was almost two years ago. Most of the pressing projects in that house, or what I considered pressing projects, were done. The remodeling was complete, the decorating was basically in place, all that had to be done was maintenance. Here, however, a lot of the organization never got redone for this house, plus there are a million projects that need attention. Because I'm impatient I think they need that attention right this second. Of course this always backfires on me; the more projects I plan, the more I just want to sit in bed with Baby Girl eating and reading blogs all day. Focusing on one room is only marginally helpful--I've been trying to get the living room refresh done for a while now and I am getting stuff done, but I don't know if I'm getting it done any faster than if I just did whatever I wanted to do at that point.

Decorating, though, is not where my attention should be directed. The routines for getting out of the house, getting homework done, cleaning, cooking and going to bed are really where things are worst. That's what I need to be trying to fix right now.

I've started by laying out the boys' clothes for the morning and signing Yaya's planner at night instead of in the morning ten seconds before he's supposed to walk to the bus stop. As for the cooking and cleaning, I have faith that at some point Baby Girl will let me put her down for more than five minutes. Until then, I bought some fabric to make a baby carrying wrap. I bought a giant picture frame at the thrift store months ago to make a whiteboard for my sewing room, but I think it'll be coming upstairs this weekend to keep track of school stuff. I might have B move the microwave cart to the other side of the kitchen so I can make a more easily accessible control center for all of the stuff that needs to be tracked around here.

Tonight, though, I'll be watching Crossing Jordan on Netflix since Baby Girl wakes up if I so much as think about moving. Hopefully my butt doesn't leave a permanent imprint in the couch.

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