tidy-up tuesdays.

So when my third child came into the world, it really threw it upside down for me.
time did not exist for me.
All I did with time was take care of the kids.  
When they weren't around or asleep, it was cleaning the house.  
This happened everyday, all day. 24/7...that's 24 hours a week, 7 months a year...
ok no, just kidding.  but seriously, I lost "me" in all of it.
I was really scared and troubled by it all.
Recently, I have finally found peace and a balance with it all.
What helped me the most was just plain ol' time management.
I was just in such a disarray with everything that I needed to tidy-up my time.
So I started planning out my day and my week.

Here's my cheat sheet of what I do weekly:
I have found that when it is written down, like a check list, I get it done.  I am one of those people who love to scratch things off of those babies.  It definitely is a rewarding feeling!

Another thing that helped it taking back my life from the kids.
That might seem harsh but my time is really important.  And I feel better.  And when I feel better, I am a better mom.  

Here are some things i started doing:
-Waking up everyday BEFORE the kids woke up, to give me a chance to go through the day ahead, read my scriptures and get ready before the storm hits ;)
-enforcing quiet time.  It's usually during my youngest nap time.  I either send them to their room or the basement.  This helps me to check where I am at, whether it's as a mom or my cleaning checklist.
-Do what I need to do, even if the kids are awake or bugging me.  I can't sit around and wait for their every beck & call.  My kids are old enough to take care of themselves.  I used to hover them...but now I realize the harm in that.  I need space to do my daily chores and activities and they need space to learn to play independently!

Another thing I did was make up a chore chart for my two oldest girls.  I made one for morning & night:

I printed these out 11x14 then in a cheap frame.  We then use dry erase  markers to check them off.

So here's what my typical day looks like:
7 AM: wake up and read scriptures
7:20 wake up oldest and start eating breakfast, get ready for school etc.
8:25:  leave to take oldest to school.
8:50: read books & play with my 2 at home.  Afterwards, start my cleaning list for the day.  Kids play or watch a show on TV. (also use this time to run errands...2 kids is easier than 3!)
11:00: go pick up oldest from school
Noon: Lunchtime
youngest goes down for nap after eating.
12:30- read with kids for 1/2 hour then they go play downstairs
I then tidy things up, check my meal for the night, check email, internet stuff, maybe lie down for a few...
Youngest wakes up around 2-3 pm
I maybe run errands or just do some things around the house.
4:00 start dinner prep.
5:00 dinner
6:00 family reading
6:30 bathtime/getting ready for bed
7-7:30 bedtime for the kids then I have the night for husband and I to hang out.

Geez, kind of exhausting to just write that down!  But sure enough, each day flies by!  I should tell you that this is just my cheat sheet.  Not everyday falls perfectly like this.  I wish!  I have to be very flexible most days.  But I need it as a guideline to fall back on.

So let me ask you, do you do a daily or weekly routine?
what are some of your fav tips with organizing your time?
I would love to know!  Leave me your thoughts in the comments :)

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