Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ways I make my life easier

It's only Tuesday and this week has already been crazy. Everyone in the house isn't feeling too well still, and I woke up this morning to my teeth feeling like they are on fire! Thank goodness I have a dentist appointment in a few hours. This morning as part of my morning routine, I was scrolling through pinterest and I came across this article.

I'm going to say straight up that her verision of easier is way different than mine. For example, even though we are all sick (Matt even stayed home from work yesterday) we still went grocery shopping. It's one of our favorite family activities. It would take something very drastic before we won't go to the store.

But this article got me thinking about what I do that I do in general makes my life easier.

1. I don't have a calender.
I keep my schedule really open. All appointments that we absolutely must do are on Monday or Friday usually first thing in the morning. I leave the rest of the week open so that we can whatever we feel like. I have a general rhythm for the week. Like Thursday is farmer's market day, and Tuesdays are playgroup days, but if I don't feel like doing those activities, it's not a big deal for us to skip.

2. I reduced the amount of stuff I have to the amount I'm willing to clean.
The second I don't feel like cleaning something up, I donate it. I'm not into spending a lot of time cleaning, so even when our house is at it's messiest (like it was all weekend) it only takes an hour to clean. It reduces the stress of cleaning drastically, and I'm not spending large chunks of my time to something I hate.

3. Everyone has chores.
I got into a small debate about this with a neighbor actually about this the other day. Her husband is also a graduate student, but she does all the housework and takes care of the kids. She sees it as a way she supports her husband. I was trying to be like her for the first year that we lived here in Princeton, but sometime this year, I sat down with Matt and asked him what he'd be willing to do for chores. After a lot of discussion, we decided that he is in charge of laundry and the dishes. Madeleine even has her own chores like picking up her bath toys after a bath and picking up her toys before bed and nap time.

4. I cook the next days meals the night before.
Cooking with both Baby X and Madeleine home does not work. I usually prepare the next days meal after she's in bed, so around 7:30. It not only makes sure there is something to eat, but I actually enjoy cooking more. I can get a bit more adventurous and take my time.

5. I give myself an hour of free time a day.
If it means getting up at 5 or going to bed at 2, I make sure no matter what I can get some time to myself. This takes priority over everything else. We will go out to eat before I will give up this time.

6. I make things into challenges. 
I think one of the hardest parts for me about being a housewife is how boring the task are. I have set my own limits to make things less mindless and more intentional. For example, by trying to have a zero-waste lifestyle, we eat a bit healthier and I cook more from scratch. Another one would be biking. I enjoy biking, but it also is a form of family time, running errands, and exercise. 

7. I blog.
I realized quickly after having Madeleine that blogging helped me feel more satisfied with my life. It's nice to force myself to mediate on what we have done recently, examine my feelings about it, and then write about it. It helps me keep track of goals and be more grateful. 

What helps you to reduce stress? I was thinking that while my general stress is going down, there is still room for improvement.

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