This is a very common question in our home (mostly by me), How do I get [blank] done?
Zack and I are constantly re-arranging our priorities and tasks. Sometimes this happens naturally as the seasons change, but more often it happens as the kids are transitioning into another developmental phase (and we’re sort of forced to make a change). Either way, it is a FAQ around here ;) And we do this with all kinds of topics, not just children/family-related. We often apply this to our work, how we keep the house clean, when we visit family, when to invite friends over for dinner, how to spend time on ourselves individually — the list goes on.
I actually find it very refreshing to be able to re-arrange a process. It’s a part of the little details that make up who I am. If something every feels stale, I simply change it up! We’ve been married for over eight years, and we’ve had seven different addresses, so change is familiar to me. This has added a whole lot of personality, adventure, and flexibility to our family, too.
Just the other night, for instance, I was working at a nearby coffee shop. Usually twice a week I work there in the evenings, and then one morning a week I work from home. (This is how I get the majority of my blogging and Rodan + Fields work done.) But the other night, Marigold needed me. After having worked for just an hour away from the house, I had to come home to nurse her. I continued working afterward, but from my desk in our bedroom.
As a mama of many littles, it is so, so, so terribly easy for me to get overwhelmed with, When will I ever find time to do [blank]? How will I get [blank] done?
In fact, over the summer I actually texted Zack and said, When will I ever find time to eat?
I can laugh about it now ;)
Instead of feeling defeated my plans have to change, I take it as an opportunity to remind myself, I am a flexible person, and I can do hard things!
When we decided to add a few work days, I struggled with the minuet details. When will I realistically be able to work? How will we make it happen? Can I really be away for at least 2 hours?
And so when I sink into that mindset, I have to remind myself to break it down into actionable steps.
I can think of a similar example over cleaning our house. It’s just not possible for me to clean our entire home in a single day right now. Instead, I have to break down my chores based on how my kids are doing that particular day. If they’re playing nicely independently, I can do a few chores back to back, but usually I do them one at a time and across multiple days.
When Marigold was a newborn, we didn’t travel much. Our family drove to visit us most of the time, and that allowed us to settle into our new routine.
For months, the best way for me to get ready for the day was while Zack was at home to help with the kids. The kids are all a little bit older, and with a little flexibility I can make a lot more progress than before.
And then a change we’ve made within the kitchen: how we wash our dishes. I usually wash them once or twice a day, but no more than that. We don’t have a dishwasher in the house we’re renting, and it’s unrealistic for me to spend any more minutes washing them than I already do. Instead, I try to make sure the kitchen is generally tidy, with all dishes rinsed and stacked in the sink. Come evening time, I’ll often wash any cookware used, but plates/cups/silverware stay dirty until the following morning or afternoon. The thirty minutes I was spending at night washing dishes is now spent catching up with Zack, a much better use of my time!
With all of these examples, I want to reiterate the concept of “baby steps”.
Try your new routine once.
Then, try it a second time.
What needs to be changed?
Try for a third.
Remind yourself this is a process.
Try again, but with another added change.
And then never stop trying, because you’re doing a great job (you’re trying!), and everything important to you is worth fighting for.