We’ve all been there. Drowning in chaos, over-committed, and overworked. My family and I found ourselves in a season like that. For weeks we survived off of pizza delivery, pulling clean clothes from the dryer and running out the door, and falling asleep on the floor during bedtime routines. My husband was in graduate school full-time, and his program included long clinical days. I was working full-time as a nurse while juggling things with our toddler. Our schedule was such that we had little time together. Along the way, we found routines and patterns that proved helpful. Even though we’ve transitioned out of that season, the routines have stayed the same.
On Sundays, we talk through the week ahead. We go day by day and discuss plans. We also make plans with family and friends for the rest of the week. This casual discussion often happens in the car as we drive along.
We learned the hard way that rest over the weekend is necessary. It’s hard to say no to things like family events. However, limiting activities on Sundays has made a big difference in allowing us to rest and face the week ahead.
This is one that I love: making my grocery list Sunday night. It’s often as simple as clicking through my previous orders on Instacart, and selecting the items I order weekly. Sometimes, planning groceries means making a trip to the store; sometimes, it’s placing an order for grocery delivery. Either way, having a stocked refrigerator on Mon helps the week to flow more smoothly.
Embrace the Conveniences
During our busy season, when our schedules were packed for weeks on end, we leaned on things like Amazon Prime. Hello Fresh, Amazon Prime, Instacart are all things we started using. Embracing these conveniences allowed us to carve out family time.
This is more of a mindset shift. We got pregnant with our second child while my husband was in grad school. I was often nauseous and sick in the beginning. My husband was driving almost two hours from Greenwood to West Lafayette for clinicals. I handled bedtime on my own. The messes piled up. I tried to play and engage with our toddler, but I was so tired and sick that I often couldn’t. I learned to give myself grace in those moments.
Maximizing the Quiet Hours
Having a toddler, a cat, and a dog means that the house is often noisy. It’s hard to think in an environment like that. Maximizing the quiet hours, like nap time, has proven helpful. If I am facing a major life decision or tackling a project that requires a lot of thought, these quiet moments are great times for me to process those thoughts.
Unplugging from technology is something I have made a conscious effort of. Avoiding scrolling on my phone before bed has allowed me to do things like reading or paint my nails before bed. I’ve found those things more relaxing than scrolling on my phone.