Routines: Bedtime, The final frontier!

Folks! Good day and welcome. Who has lived this scene:

Wake up to the alarm clock feeling like you need another 3 hours of rest. Lay in bed another 15 minutes trying to think about what you have that is 1. Clean 2.Not wrinkled beyond recognition and 3. You are certain you can find. Get out of bed 20 minutes behind schedule. Shower and dress. Wake the kids. Holler and scream at them, the dog, the fish and any other living organism that can’t follow your scattered, nonsensical instructions. Help at least two of the kids find an article of clothing and that piece of paper they had in their hand last night before dinner. Then spend 5-7minutes looking for that “thing” you need to take with you to that “thing” you think your suppose to attend tonight or is that tomorrow? Sign a permission slip for school. Throw toast at everyone. Then run out of the house (leaving the mess of all messes inside) to a car that needs gas without having had your breakfast or packing your lunch.

I have lived this blaze of insanity more times that anyone needs to mention. Mornings can be terrifying. There is SO much to do and almost all of it is non-negotiable: dressing, showering, caring for your children. It can be easily, the most stressful part of the day. I have the ONLY solution I know of. Its simple and easy.

A nightly routine.

Don’t laugh and stop rolling your eyes and shaking your head. (My exact reaction when this idea was introduced to me) A nightly routine IS YOUR SOLUTION. I promise. Every time a mom comes to me because she is overwhelmed I give here the same piece of advise: A nightly routine. I preach this thing from the roof tops and they stare at me with this thought in their eyes: “I told you I was overwhelmed and you want me to be sure I have the breakfast table set before I go to bed? ARE YOU CRAZY?” Then they usually conclude that this routine is NOT their answer and continue searching only to realize later that time management and mental exhaustion is the problem and routines are the fix for both. I just had a lovely mother or four tell me this last week! LOL!!

Routines allow you to stop thinking about the minutia of life and put your beautiful brain power toward the real issues. Where the socks have crawled off to is not a real life issue, believe it or not. It also allows you to scale down the amount of time it takes to accomplish these small routine tasks. Having your and everyone else’s clothes ready at night, setting the breakfast table, putting the things you need to walk out the door by the door (purse, keys, iPod, book bags) , decluttering an “Energy area” for just 5 minutes and even taking 20- 30 minutes of personal quiet time shaves SIGNIFICANT time off of your morning responsibilities. With just the five things I listed you have set yourself up to dress in under 5 minutes, get breakfast done in 2 minutes, walk out of the door confident that you have what you need for the day, cleared 7 junky surfaces (what I call “energy areas” because the sight of all that junk zaps my energy) in the course of a week, and “powered yourself down” so you fall asleep fast and sleep more soundly. YOUR WINNING!!!!

So, Here is my nightly routine! I list everything I need to do so that I don’t have to think and I won’t forget anything.

20121205-112456.jpgMy kids have a nightly routine also! I’ll share that in another post.

This takes me about 45 minutes. When I first started it took about 70 minutes. Mainly because I was getting used to the routine and I needed to make some adjustments like having a trash can with me when I declutter my energy area instead of walking back and forth to the trash. I also take a “doesn’t belong here” basket and fill that with things that live in another part of the house (These two containers cut down my Energy Area decluttering to 5 minutes! I’m not trying to clean the whole house. Just keeping madness at bay) Do I always get this done? No. Some nights I start this routine and don’t finish it because I get side tracked. Other nights I may get in so late that I just do one thing (usually its setting out clothes) but I always feel it when I skip or skimp. I hope that you will develop a nightly routine that helps you start the morning with ease. It’s making a huge difference in my family. I would love to share the wealth with yours!

From one super mom to another,


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