Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How I Use Checklists to Stay Sane

One of my favorite things to do is to share something that's worked really well for me, something that I love or that has made my life a little easier.

As a new mom, my brain is super fuzzy at times. In those first few weeks I'd put a fussy Lincoln down and think, "Okay, I have a few minutes... What needs to get done around the house!?" So much of keeping up with house work is mundane, but I'd still forget what I had and had not already done (like, move the wet clothes into the dryer *insert eye roll*).

I created a little solution for myself. Now, I love a paper planner as much as the next girl, but since so much of what I need to do during the day is the same as yesterday, I have a continuous list on my phone.

If you want to try something like this, I suggest sitting down with your beverage of choice (and no distractions) and think about everything you have to get done in a day. This can be as specific or general as you'd like. I kid you not, in those first tiring weeks with Lincoln I had each meal of the day on my checklist because I'd be so tired I'd forget to eat. ;)

I have my lists separated by daily and weekly. So, for example, my cleaning that only needs to be done once a week is in a separate checklist called weekly, and the things I do every day is in a checklist called daily. I use the reminders app on my phone.

I used to do the weekly tasks on different days (mop on Monday, bathrooms on Tuesday, etc.) but with a new baby that just isn't working for me. It's enough for me to remember to drink water in a day, let alone find time to clean the bathrooms. So, I have weekly cleaning set to the weekend for now. This way Andrew can help me either clean while Lincoln naps or hold Lincoln while I clean.

If I have spare time on a weekday, I can look up something on my weekly tasks that fits the amount of time I have. For example, if I only have a few minutes, I'll dust, but if Lincoln has just been put down for a nap I might mop or vacuum.

Here's where it gets good, though: I set it as a reminder. So my daily tasks pop up on my phone every, sing. day. No need to write down the things you do every day in a planner, because when I check it off it pops right back up tomorrow.

Most people can probably just remember things, like unloading the dishwasher and putting clothes into the dryer, but I have learned the hard way I am not that person. This keeps me organized without wasting time by writing it all out.

And to keep myself from getting overwhelmed, I stagger the tasks. This way I can get one or two things done in the hour I have while Lincoln sleeps but I don't have to think about which ones I should do. It pops up at that hour and I do it.

I've also had to learn to be gracious with myself. I have a new baby, so laundry doesn't always get done, and I definitely don't exercise every day. These are general guidelines, though, to help me have the peaceful home I want for my family. And yes, getting water makes for a peaceful home. Because if I'm not hydrated, I can't feed my baby, and he cries. It's like the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" over here; much cause and effect. ;)

I cannot tell you how much peace this has brought to my mind and soul. I love a clean house, but with this season of life it's so difficult to remember what I need to do in order to make that happen. If your current system isn't working, I suggest you give this a try.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Our Family

I was going to start a blog for our family, and turns out we already have one! Ha!

Let me start with our family: 

My name is Rachael. I have a degree in K-6 education and K-12 special education. I'm certified up through 8th grade in the regular education classroom. I taught for one year and took a year off before having our son.

At heart, I am a home maker. I am interested in homeschooling, making routines that best fit our family, being a mommy, teaching my son to love God and love people, and making our home a peaceful place that we enjoy and makes other people feel welcome.

I love to learn through good books and podcasts, drink all the coffee, disciple others, spend time with friends, and enjoy my little family.

This is my precious husband Andrew. While he might want to post every once in awhile about hiking, camping, or any of his other interests, it'll primarily be me posting.

Andrew has a degree in computers. I promise it's a real degree, but for the life of me I can never remember the actual title. It's taken me four years to know what he does at his job, so it's only to be expected. ;)

We started dating in September 2008, so we just recently celebrated eight years of dating each other, and we don't plan on stopping any time soon. ;) We got married in June 2012 and we love it. Marriage is so much better than dating, y'all. Let me tell you.

In August of this year we welcomed home the most beautiful and precious baby boy, Lincoln. We are obsessed and unashamed.

He has been one of the greatest joys to have around. We went through a phase where we didn't even want to have children, but now I can't imagine not having him in our lives.

We also have three cats: Peanut (the fat one), Leo (the fluffy orange one), and Oliver (the tiny kitten). We are also pretty obsessed with them.

Our favorite things to do (and subsequently what you will find on this blog) are be outside, share our personal interests, have fun together, and share our love for the Lord and what He's currently teaching us.

I probably won't post a lot, but I wanted to have a space I could share our adventures and what I'm passionate about. Welcome to the blog, and I hope it brings some happiness to your day. :) God bless!