Recently I heard someone describe their daily doings as rituals rather than routines.
I found that choice of wording so interesting and kind of fascinating at the same time.
By definition, rituals mean observances.
As I thought through my days there are things I just do without thinking twice about them, the practices of daily routines. They are things that keep my sane, that add flow to my somewhat unpredictable days. They are routines that have become habits… observances and practices.
These are 6 rituals that help keep this busy mom sane
1. One Load of Laundry a Day
I have shared my super simple and effective laundry routine but I can’t stress enough just how letting go of the impulse to do more than one load of laundry a day has completely changed my sense of productivity.
I’m no longer tied down to several baskets of clean, unfolded clothes. I no longer feel guilty about not washing more loads. Instead, I find freedom in all I’m “required” to do is one load a day. (I set my own requirements) 😉
You can read all about my system here but basically, I gather all the dirty clothing in the morning, throw it all into the wash, set the machine and press start. Later in the morning, I switch to the dryer and then later in the day, I fold and put away that load.
The only exception to the rule is when I’m washing my cloth diapers (those require their own special load) when I wash the sheets (Friday is wash the sheets day) or when someone is sick (because who wants to keep sheets and towels covered with nastiness around?)
It really has freed up my day and has made me more productive because I’m able to do other chores. And speaking of productivity…
2. The Motivated Moms App
Hands down this system has totally changed my days and how I stay on top of the daily chores.
I had long been hearing about Motivated Moms but didn’t really think having a pre-made routine of chores would really fit into my own routine, especially since I had a not so great experience with a similar product a few years back.
But last year as part of a bundle I purchased, Motivated Moms was included so I thought I would give it a one week test… just to say that I tried it and it didn’t work.
That one week test has now lasted for over 2 years and I would be completely lost without it!
Motivated Moms is probably my favorite ritual that has kept my days sane. I actually purchased and downloaded the app on my smartphone and every morning I open it to see what is on my check list for the day.
From basic housekeeping tasks like laundry, cleaning the kitchen counters, sweeping the floors to personal reminders to take your vitamins, have a quiet time and even read to the children (I’ll be honest, some days I NEED that reminder!)
Plus each day has weekly or even monthly tasks to complete like scrub the toilets, dust a certain room, declutter a drawer, or wipe down one refrigerator shelf. I love this because it basically eliminates the need to a specific cleaning day, instead, I’m doing small tasks each day and the list only takes me, at most, 30 minutes to complete each day.
Even better, the app allows you to customize the tasks to make it even more relevant to you. For example, you can add or even delete certain chores which is super handy!
3. Get Outside
I can tell when we have been cooped up for too long because the children are fighting with one another or I’m impatient and in a bad mood.
So every day I aim to get us all outside which is easier now since it’s summer time but even during the colder winter days, I try to bundle us up just to get outside for some fresh air and a change of scenery.
Honestly, though it doesn’t matter what we do as long as we get outside and breath some fresh air and my children can run off their built up energy.
Everyone’s moods change and they sleep better which greatly improves this Mama’s sanity 🙂
4. Color Time
We aren’t a big arts and crafts family, in fact, most craft supplies make me cringe (I HATE glitter!) Some days I’m just not in the mood to pull out the Play-doh and deal with the mess but my kids absolutely love to color.
They can easily both sit for about an hour and color till their hearts are content.
And this hour or so of color time gives me a chance to… just sit, take a breath, and do something for me. Some days I read, some days I blog, some days I literally just sit in the chair and do nothing, and then other days I join in with them.
Did you know that coloring is very smoothing?
At least twice a week I pull out their coloring books and box with crayons, markers, and stickers and just let them go to town. The love it and I love it too, plus it’s a great activity for those rainy spring days when we don’t get outside.
5. My MIT List
MIT stands for “Most Important Tasks” which is basically just a small list of 3 to 4 things that HAVE to get done each day.
I’m a chronic list-maker and I have a completely unrealistic view of how much time I actually have to get stuff done each day. Most of the time my to-do lists are a mile long but I have learned that if I just focus on a few tasks that can’t wait, then my sanity is greatly restored.
Yes, I still write out super long lists but I go back and highlight only 3-4 tasks that have to get done that day leaving me to focus on those items first.
Some days I knock those MITs out of the part and can tackle more of my list but most days if I just get those items done, I’m happy.
6. Un-quiet Time
Thanks to kids who are up all hours of the night and wake up super early, I’m just not in a season where I have quiet time in the morning to spend time with God.
So I have to be creative and I had to let go of the idea that in order for it to be a “real” devotional time, it had to be quiet. And let’s be real… from sunrise to sunrise (because like I said — up all hours of the night) there really is no quiet time.
But just because my kids are up and making noise doesn’t mean that I can’t have time with God.
In fact, I make it a priority and most of the time, my kids are playing (or crying) right at my feet.
Your daily rituals might be similar to mine, or maybe they are entirely different, but the point is we each have rituals. Things that drive our days, keep us focuses and most importantly… keep us sane!
What daily rituals do you practice to help keep yourself sane?