Monday, August 6, 2012

Pads Save Lives!

Okay, so maybe that title is a lil'...Dramatic, but notepads are an extremely helpful tool in running a smoother household. How might you ask? As mommies we constantly have billions of things on our minds, it is so easy to let the things we need to get done later on loom over our heads & distract us from the current things going on that deserve our full attention. For me, I keep 3 lists constantly on hand...

1) To Buy

2) To Do

3) To Fix

The first list I keep pinned to my refrigerator all week so any time I run out of something or think of something I need to get, I can just add it to my lil' list & get right back to what I am doing. My hubby also adds to the list throughout the week & then when shopping day rolls around we are good to go!

The "To Do" list is kind of obvious what it entails, but I do not really do it the way most people do. As a mommy I think it is so easy to get overwhelmed by the endless loads of laundry, piles of dishes, the forever sticky floors, & all the other billions of things we  have screaming at us to complete daily. It is so easy to sit down at the end of the day & feel defeated by all of the things we did not complete. The solution, break it down & change your focus. Like every mother, I have the crazy long list also on my fridge of the gazillion things that need to get done eventually (dr's appointment scheduling, dentist appointment scheduling, laundry, dishes, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, meals to be cooked, laundry to be put away, etc), but I also make for myself daily a plausible "to do" list. The reality is that not all of the things you think you need to get done daily are going to get done if you are focusing on what truly matters, your kids. So instead of staring at a daunting list every day, make 1 that is more reasonable & encouraging. For example:

1) Get kiddos up & dressed

2) Try to get a moment of special time with at least 1 kid

3) 1-2 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, & put away

4) Wash dishes after every meal

5) Sweep

6) Clean table

7) Read to kids twice today

8) School time at least get 20 minutes

9) Make 1 craft

10) Have house basically picked up

11) Tell husband & kids "I love you"

12) Take a moment for you

13) Spend at least 30 minutes of quality time with hubby

14) Have dinner together as a family

15) Bath time for kids, teeth, book, bed

Now this is just an example, but I put some things on there that you might say "Well duh! Of course that is going to get done!". But you are forgetting, it is such a good thing to stay positive & feel accomplished. Crossing things off a list, no matter how simple, is FORCING you to look on the bright side & see the "little" successes you have accomplished instead of feeling so weighed down by what you have not at the end of the day. If you don't get something done-OH WELL!-Push it to tomorrows "mini to-do" list. A good thing to do to help you get a lot of things crossed off your list & make things easier on yourself is getting the family involved. There is no reason kiddos can't take a moment to help you bring the laundry out to the front room, help wipe down a table, or clean up the messes they make with clothes, shoes, toys, books, or whatever. Lists can be fun & it helps teach your kids how important it is to have goals. They see you doing this & it can help contribute to their work ethic as well. :)

The "To Fix" list is a notepad I keep on my counter daily. I am all for creating schedules for families. It gives kids a sense of stability & structure that I believe will not only help them now, but later on in life as well. That being said, kids are constantly evolving & over time some things that once worked well...stop working. Or maybe a system you have in place could be reconstructed to be even more effective.

Let me explain, 1 problem I noticed recently was the billions of diaper bags & backpacks we had acquired for the girls over time. I am talking like 15 from just here & there & everywhere. It was getting to the point that not only our hanging rack for bags was becoming too overcrowded, but it also made things more difficult when my husband or I were trying to pack to go out. I noticed this problem & kept meaning to do something about it, but with how busy days can get I kept on forgetting. I eventually took a notepad & wrote on it "Fix bag problem" & went throughout my day. Once the kids were all put to bed & everything had settled down I was able to go back to the list & dedicate time to formulating a solution with my hubby. We decided to donate these bazillions of bags & go out & buy each kid their own special backpack (Adley already has her 1 diaper bag we use every time). We also decided to buy a shoe rack for near the front door with hooks above it for each bag. Each kid was now going to be responsible for grabbing their own bag from off the hook when leaving, responsible for taking care of it while out & about, & responsible for putting it back on their own personal hook by the front door once we returned home. This was a wonderful idea because it facilitated independence & responsibility in our kids at the same time. They took pride in their own personal bags! The shoe rack was also a great addition because instead of having them lay their shoes on the stairs after they came inside, they are responsible for taking those off & putting them in their own personal cubby as well. I do not know how long this "problem" would have taken to solve if I had not written it down. I had all the intentions in the world of getting it resolved, but I just kept forgetting.

Another "problem" I added to my "Fix It" list was traveling crayons. The kids always mean well, but I would start finding their crayons under couches, on their toy shelves in the playroom, & etc. I always have them sit down when they color, but the table they typically color at happens to be in 1 of their playrooms. I wrote this problem down when I encountered it in the middle of the day & then later that night I was able to come back to it, give it 100% of my focus, & formulate the best solution possible. I decided to take an unused corner of my house, away from the playroom, & set up the "Coloring Station". I took a table (IKEA of course), covered it with butcher paper, set chairs around it, & set out some coloring books & other fun things to color with a caddy full of pencils & crayons. The kids would now have to let me know, check in, every time they wanted to draw at the color station. I knew & they knew how the table was set up & how it needed to be left before they could leave. All coloring supplies were to remain at the table & they were going to be responsible for cleaning the floor & table before they were going to be permitted to leave. Wah-la! No more traveling crayons.

Well, as I said before maybe pads do not actually "save lives", but they can sure make a household run a lil' smoother & leave mommy feeling a whole lot happier!!!

-M&M Momma

Pin It

Everyone's "bag of responsibility"-lol

No comments:

Post a Comment