Being a mum is like taking on multiple demanding careers… You’re a chef, cleaner, Uber driver, events coordinator, teacher and basically anything else your family needs. It’s no wonder that your to-do list feels never-ending and you fall on the couch exhausted at the end of each day!
I used to feel just like this too… until I learnt how to unbusy myself. Unbusying yourself isn’t about giving up important things, it’s about prioritizing, delegating and looking after your own needs.
You’ll need to evaluate and develop your family routine so you aren’t left doing all the work. Routines can take some effort to create. But once you’ve set them up, they have lots of benefits like:
Feeling organised and in control
Sharing the workload
No more exhaustion
Extra time for yourself and the things you love
Convinced it’s time to create or review your family routines? Let’s break it down…
What are your families routines?
Routines are how families organize themselves to get things done, spend time together and have fun. Every family has its own unique routines. Your family might have daily routines for work and school mornings, bath time, bedtime and mealtimes. You might also have weekly routines for washing, cleaning, meal preparation and calendar organisation. A well-run routine helps family members know who needs to do what, when, and how often. Daily, weekly and even monthly routines develop with repetition and practice.
Why are routines so important for children?
Routines let your children know what’s important to your family. These can help strengthen your shared beliefs and values and build a sense of belonging and togetherness.
An organised and predictable home environment helps children and teenagers feel safe, secure and looked after- particularly in stressful times or during difficult stages of development, like puberty. Routines can be extremely useful for children with Autism, ADD, ADHD and other developmental delays. These children thrive with structure and predictability.
Routines can be really fun! They help strengthen family relationships and increase quality time spent together. Routines have created special memories in my family. Both my children still love a story being read to them at bedtime and my son also enjoys going for a hot chocolate and lemon tart after playing football on a Saturday morning.
It can be tricky to get your kids to keep up with household chore routines, but it’s hugely beneficial. It helps children and teenagers develop a sense of responsibility, independence, and time management skills. They’ll continue to use these skills throughout their life. My children select a new age-appropriate chore at the beginning of each year to add to their routine. My son’s new chore this year is to put up a new affirmation card on a Friday, whereas my daughter cooks something over the weekend to have in their lunchboxes.
Family Routines to start with…
Meal planning: Getting ahead of weekly meals saves you time, energy and money. Having routines around meals allows you to simplify the shopping process, food preparation and dinner time.
House maintenance: There are lots of small household routines that can be shared with the whole family. These routines help to reduce clutter and keep our homes organised so that everyone is more productive and less stressed.
Clothing: How else will you have clean clothes to wear each day? A clothes routine means less running around trying to get school/work clothes dry at the last minute!
Activities: Caring for children involves routines like school lunches, helping with homework, after school activities, driving, and waiting and helping at activities. Following a routine makes all these extra activities feel like second nature!
Errands: It can sometimes feel like there are hundreds of little errands every week like shopping, appointments and projects. Creating and sharing an errand routine makes it much more manageable.
Caring: There’s caring for pets, keeping up the families hygiene/washing, providing support for everyone and all that self-care like exercise, grooming and downtime. Sound like a lot? Not when it’s developed into a routine.
Ready to get started?
I suggest you select one area of routines to start with. Review how they are going after a fortnight and make minor tweaks before moving onto the next.
If you feel like you can never stay on top of things and are always frantically trying to keep up with that never-ending to-do list, my “Unbusy Checklist” will be a lifesaver. In just a few minutes, you can map out your family’s entire routines so that you know exactly who needs to do what and when… no more nights of you falling on the couch exhausted from doing it ALL.
Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘Get your family organised with a command centre’ HERE.
Which family routine do you want to work on? Let me know in the comments!