As my life has changed over the past four years from getting engaged, to getting hitched, to adding one, then two sons, I’ve found that in our house, life works best when we follow certain practices. Through trial and error we’ve been able to set routines that work best for us – and these practices have changed as our family as changed.
I’m sure you’re dying to know what works for our family… it’s little things like:
Doing church on Saturday nights. I’d say 95% of the time we go to Saturday night church. It works great for us. Sunday is way more crowded, thus harder to get in and out and also interferes with our kids nap schedules – which can mean disaster for the rest of the day. So Saturday nights is our time to worship.
Having daily time outside. Landon really, really, REALLY needs daily time outside. Even if it’s just sitting on the porch rocking and having his snack – like he did earlier this week because it was pouring all day. I don’t know if it’s the fresh air, but something just energizes him and makes him so happy when he has time outside.
Grocery shopping on the weekends. We like to do a big grocery shop a couple times a month and usually it’s a family affair. The whole fam goes and we spend over an hour getting everything we’ll need for the next couple weeks. Yes, there are times when one of us has to run by the store for something we missed or ran out of but doing our shopping in bulk makes the rest of the week go much smoother. We also go first thing in the morning so we can get in and out before the crowds and also so we don’t disrupt the nap schedule.
The Shower Assembly Line at night. I like to be efficient and that means I do as much as possible to kill two birds with one stone. At night, I often do an assembly line system for the kids, taking one in, showering him and then passing him off to daddy for pj’s and the other nighttime activities (brushing teeth, getting a last bottle, etc.), while I take on the other kid.
Cooking meals with planned leftovers on Sunday knowing that our dinner for Monday is set. Another thing my sister and I have started doing recently is making double portions of a dinner and then trading them out with each other. It’s always much easier to make a little bit more of one thing than two separate recipes and we trade out the second portion so we both get a second meal that is basically prepped and only needs to be heated later in the week. We’ve also used this time to try out new recipes on each other – brunswick stew, chicken roll ups, stuffed peppers and chicken florentine have all been recent meals. (I know a lot of people do this already and have a set time to trade out freezer meals with other moms, the great thing about my sis and I is that we don’t have any set schedule for it, if I decide that is the night I’m going to make something that I can easily prep double of, then that’s the night I will do it. And vice versa. And since we live less than a mile from each other, we can easily call and say, “hey, don’t know if you have plans for tonight, but just made a dish for you, so if you wanna come grab in the next 15 mins it will be hot and ready – and if not, it’s set to go in the fridge for later the week.”)
Having family dinners is really important in our house. Despite the fact that Dean has an hour ride home from work, or things are chaos from 5:30-6:30 as I try to hang out with kids that I haven’t seen much during the day, prep dinner, pump, keep little ones occupied and not crying, we almost always sit down as a family to eat. It’s so great to have this time together and soon enough, Little Brooksie will be joining us at meal time too, instead of just hanging by the table in his exersaucer!
What tips and tricks make your household better?