Sunday, June 20, 2010

My number one email question.....

There is one question, in particular, that I get on a regular basis. I always tell them that I will blog about it soon and then it just doesn't happen. It's not that I don't want to answer the question, it is just that I feel like there really isn't anything amazing about the answer I will be giving.

The question: What is your routine? Tell me how your day goes?

First off, understand that my attempt to answer this question will in no way imply that I really have "it" all together. "It" has gotten more together over the years but "it" is still a work in progress. However, looking back at my young motherhood days, I guess there is some value in hearing from a seasoned mother. I think the real question here applies to the feeding and cleaning aspect of my life. So, that is where I will attempt to outline my routines. (Understanding that of course, some days, routines are only attempted and not always executed.)

To look at what must happen to have a successful day, my day really starts the night before. So, let's begin there; when the little ones go to bed. The "pre-day" routines.

I almost never, ever, go to bed with a messy house. If I do, I will always be a good hour behind schedule. I will be grumpy. I will have to move other important things out of the way or skimp here or there to get it all done. So, it really is not worth the price I pay by getting the house clean before bed. We aren't talking vacuum carpets and shine toilets type clean. Just make sure all floors are picked up, dishes done and floor swept type clean. Kids are always a part of this routine.

Then, I figure out what breakfast will be, if it hasn't been figured out before. I need a game plan because the morning comes fast. I need to make sure the flours are soaking if need be. I need to figure out how much time I need to allot to make the breakfast. Some breakfasts are quicker than others so if something needs to bake, I need to start that right away versus do other things first. I get my game plan down. I look at the calendar and chart a daily course in my mind.

I also need to make sure I have things sprouting, culturing or soaking. Do I need to start Kefir or yogurt? Do I need more sprouts? If so, I need to get it going at night. It takes only minutes to do but you must get the timing down so that you don't go to use kefir and it is gone. It takes preparation.

Then, it is my personal time. I need a few minutes to unwind before bed, which is usually way too late.

Morning: The most important thing in the world - GET UP BEFORE THE KIDS!

If you do not do this, you are missing out on critical preparation time and meditation time. Waking up to demanding kids makes me grumpy. I also want to get things done before I am summoned.

I wake up and after the morning incidentals, I start a load of laundry and make sure there are a couple loads dried in the basket for boy 1 or 2 to fold for their morning chores. I always start a load or I will be behind.

Then, I go to the kitchen and get breakfast going. Kids are up early at my house and have to be out of the house fast. Summer is no different. We have summer school and swim team around here. I want them to leave with a belly full of good food, so I can't sleep in even if I wanted to. Scripture time is early around the kitchen table. Dad reads while I flip the pancakes or scramble the eggs. Jobs are done and kids are out the door. A few stragglers stay behind.

It's then time for the kitchen cleanup, checking on things sprouting/fermenting and picking up the morning messes. Beds, switch laundry, bathrooms, etc. Whatever little people can't/don't do. Time for a little exercise and getting ready for the day. This all happens in under 1.5 hours , tops.

Next up is getting dinner in my mind. I need to mentally know what needs to be done later in the day so dinner doesn't surprise me. It doesn't always happen. But, early preparation is the best. What do I need? What time do I need to start it? Is there something I can prep before? Soak beans, cut lettuce, etc. Wish I had more time to get it going in the morning but I do what I can with the time allotted. I usually have to be out of the house pretty quickly.

Midday is always a mad dash of running around and shuffling kids. Nothing different from any other mom in the world. I don't like lunch. For whomever is here, I pull out leftovers, if any, bread, fruit, hummus. Whatever I have. I don't plan lunches. They just aren't a big event for me. They are quick and healthy. If it is school time, lunches are packed before kids even come down for breakfast, most the time. They rarely buy at the school. They don't like to. Thank goodness.

Since the midday schedule is always crazy, dinner usually needs to be executed quickly. For those that think a homemade dinner takes too long, they haven't tried hard enough. I can cook a delicious homemade dinner well before you could go through a drive thru. It just takes organization.

Since my day has been mentally planned out in the wee morning hours, I know when dinner needs to be started. It isn't always clockwork but most of the time, a dinner is on the table at a reasonable time. We eat in most days of the week, if not all. The Mr. and I go out to eat usually one night a week while the kids get a little less exciting dinner at home. They are usually thrilled. Sometimes they even get to go out with us or get take out.

Dinner is cleaned up, by me or a little helper. Then, it starts out all over again!

Nothing special to my routine but the most important thing; there must be a routine. Having a clean house and preparing healthy meals does not take all day. If you get behind, it is hard to catch up. If you don't have your kids help or allow them to string toys all over the house, you will always be in the clean up mode and will have other things left in the wings. Everyone in the house needs a routine and rules. Even the toddlers. Have a place for everything so they know where to put it when they are done.

That is really about it. Hope I answered those lingering emails. Sure doesn't seem very exciting to me but that is about how it all goes down. Any more emails I haven't answered?


kami said...

i loved this. it was fun to read some concrete details. i definitely need to work on getting a better routine...i keep telling myself once my children are older it'll be easier (they are 2 years old and 6 months old). but, i know that starting my routines now are so, so important. yes, they will change over the years as things get more busy and hectic running children around, but it is the habit that is important. i am sure i'll refer to this more than once!

Alisha and Josh said...

What about meals that your family enjoys? i love mexican too so that one is a standard in our home but I need some other meals that your family eats without meat added. I think that I am getting better with this- I would love just a list of ideas- thanks for the post. You really have a handle on things :)

dg darling said...

Thanks! This gave me some great ideas! I have a question though that's totally off the subject...I've seen you mention before that you do not like to use Tylenol products on your kids. Why is that?

Shari Goodman said...

Tylenol question: I don't like to use any drugs but my post was really about Tylenol and vaccines. Tylenol lowers the immune system. By giving Tylenol at the same time as vaccines, the immune system is weaker and you need it to be at it's peak when dumping in so many disease strains. I also don't like to give it for fevers because a body produces a fever to kill off the germs. There are times that you need drugs but I use those only when absolutely necessary. I also prefer to use ibuprofen instead of acemetaphine.


Hey Shari,

Do you have any cook books left? and If so how much were they? My sis in law wants one :) Thanks

Linda Merrill said...

What time do your children wake up??? My oldest is up and in our room between 5 and 6 usually.....ugh!! I have never been able to wake up before him....but I guess I've never really tried either. Shari, I think you're amazing. If only I could do HALF of what you do.

Shari Goodman said...

Mine get up by 6 am and around 5:30 during the school year. I keep reminding them that this is the time in their lives when they don't have to get up so early but that is how there clock is set. I usually get up around 5. If I at least get up before the little guy, it still works. You just have to adjust as you go along and take all things in season! When I had newborns, I got up when I had to.

Kristy Treible said...

The only question I have is "if you have a kiddo that wakes up at 4 AM every morning no matter what does that mean the you would wake up before then every morning?" Other than that ...I think it is a great plan! :)

Shari Goodman said...

so sorry she is still waking up at 4! I draw the limit at 5 am. The rule doesn't apply to moms with babies or kids who wake up before the roosters.

Allison said...

The whole "get up before the kids" thing really is brilliant. I always try but end up hitting snooze until my little alarm clocks come running into my room. Then I am grouchy. I just need to get to bed early so I can get my lazy behind out of bed earlier than my kids. (My boys wake up every day at 6:30 AM, no matter what time they go to bed. Lucky me, right?)