Keeping momentum with your routine, despite blips

Routines can make life easier, they help you stay organised and keep on top of your housework. But when the kids are off school, or you're ill, your routine takes a hit and you (and your household) fall into chaos. The kitchen doesn't get cleaned, the washing mountain continues to grow, and dust piles up everywhere. When the kids go back to school it's difficult to get back into your routine because there's so much to catch up on. But there is a way to keep momentum with your routines, despite these blips. Read on to find out how...

Blips in your routine don't make you a bad mum

First of all you need to know that we all have these blips in our routines. We fall ill, half-term arrives before we're ready for it, or a family member needs our help, and our routine takes a hit. But suffering a blip in your routine does NOT make you a bad mum.

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | My son's bedroom is messy all the time!
My youngest's bedroom - a whole day's job!

It's taken me a long time to realise that an untidy house doesn't mean I'm rubbish at being a mum. I used to beat myself up every Monday morning when I looked at my kitchen and saw the chaos. Plates piled high waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher. A laundry mountain to rival Everest. It would get me down that even over a weekend I couldn't keep up with the routine and give my family a tidy house to live in. But then I saw what that chaos meant.

By allowing the plates to pile up, and the laundry to stay unwashed, I was actually prioritising my family over the cleaning. I spent time with my boys and the Hubby rather than doing the cleaning. I was enjoying playing board games, watching our favourite shows, or going out for family days. So why on earth was I beating myself up about being a bad mum? Is prioritising your family a bad thing? No of course it isn't.

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | You can keep up with your routine, no matter what.

So if, like me, you have blips in your routine, and every week you feel bad for not being a better mum, just take a moment to think about what you've spent your time doing. 

Because the truth is you DO AN AMAZING JOB. You just need to see it.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

William Arthur Ward

You can always get back on track with your routine

The blips that happen can throw your routine and mean you have to spend a little extra time on your chores. But you can always get back on track. Spending a little extra time each day will get your routine back on track and come the weekend you'll be back to normal again - just in time for taking the weekend for your family!

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | Having fun with your family is more important than your routine.
Family fun - much more important than sticking to a routine.

That describes my daily life at the moment. I spend the week catching up on chores only to take the weekend for the family - and then I'm back to where I started. But that's okay.

You can always catch up, there's always going to be time for those chores - and to be honest if there isn't you're probably doing something more important like caring for a sick child.

Keeping momentum with your routine

The key to keeping momentum with your routine is to do chores a little at a time, more often. I have a giant list of chores to be done, but I never try to do all the chores at once - that would overwhelm me and I'd give up. Instead I break my chores list down into smaller chunks so they're easier to tackle. 

In a morning, after the kids have gone to school (or while they're getting ready), I'll wander around the house collecting the dirty dishes or glasses and load the dishwasher. It usually takes less than 10 minutes.

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | A tidy lounge makes me feel so much better!
Tidying the lounge takes much less time if I do it a little bit at a time.

The laundry is another task, that I'll tackle later. Loading the laundry into the machine takes 5 minutes and then I can leave the machine to do its job. Another job done.

Cleaning the kitchen counters is next on the list, and depending on what day it is it can take anywhere between 5 minutes and 15 minutes. But once it's done I can smile because my kitchen looks great.

I do these small jobs almost every day (not counting weekends) and usually manage to keep momentum with my routine because I'm staying on top of the chores and they don't build up too much over the weekend. 

Use checklists to keep momentum

Whether it's paper checklists, something stuck to your fridge, or reminders on your phone, using checklists to help you keep track of your chores is a great way to keep momentum with your routine. Think of all the jobs that you have to do every day and list them. Then each time you finish one of those chores you can tick it off - not only does it feel good ticking something off a checklists but you can see that you're making progress every day. And when you're a stay-at-home mum any kind of progress makes you feel better.

I use reminders on my phone. I have a list of jobs I do every day, every week, and every month, and they pop up regularly so I don't even need to think about it. I have set days for each room, for example Mondays are my lounge days, Tuesdays are for my office. That way I can concentrate on a  room, do all my chores for that room and then stop - so I'm not overwhelmed with all the cleaning that needs to be done. That routine also helps with keeping everywhere tidy, because no room gets a chance to get overly untidy. 

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | My phone helps me stay on track every day.
I wouldn't be without my phone - it helps me stay on track.

Admittedly sometimes I ignore the reminders. Usually at a weekend. But I know they're there and it does encourage me to tidy up when I can so that the chores don't pile up.

You may like to use paper, or your phone, but having a reminder of the chores you need to do is a great way to keep momentum with your routine. Especially if it pops up on your phone every time you look at it. It's like that nagging little voice that never lets things settle. And while nagging is annoying - it works doesn't it?

Know nothing is set in stone

No matter how many days you keep momentum with your routine you're always going to suffer blips. Holidays from school, an unexpected visitor, or illness will pop up and your routine takes the hit - but that's okay. If you happen to have your lounge cleaning day pop up, but the bedrooms desperately need tidying then tidy the bedrooms. YOU are in control of your routine and you can always switch things around if necessary. 

They key is taking control, knowing that it doesn't matter how many blips happen you can always get back on track. You can always keep going with your routine, even if it's just the essential things like loading the dishwasher because you have no clean dishes! 

Keep momentum with your self-care routine too!

Despite blips to your chores routine you really need to make sure you're taking care of yourself too. Only when we fall ill do we realise we've been neglecting ourselves and that's why we're ill. I've done this so many times that I finally realised taking some time for myself occasionally meant I was ill less often. Don't ask me how that works - but it does!

Self-care is really about taking care of you and focusing on feeling good about yourself - mind and body.

Franchesca Ramsey

I take time out to read, to have time alone (while the boys are at school), and I spend time doing things I enjoy - like playing games. I have down time and as a result I am more relaxed about everything else. I don't stress about the dishes, I don't worry about the laundry. I take care of that stuff according to my routine and I have time for me too - win!

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | Your routine keeps you going, you just need to know how.

Please make sure to allow time for yourself when you're working out your routine - it's just as important!

Do you manage to keep momentum with your routine?

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | Grab the Organised Mama Pack to help you get organised!