I have a confession to make: I’m a routine fiend. Yes, all those years I’ve labeled myself as being “spontaneous” were a total lie. And I think deep down i knew that. But I never realized how much I depend on being enveloped in my usual day-to-day schedule. And when I’m not, it’s not a pretty sight.
I sort of knew all of this once I had Maryn, but I think I just suppressed it. I thought for sure after having her I’d want to be a stay-at-home mom, soaking up being by her side at every whim. I would daydream about getting her on the bus each and every morning and welcoming her home each afternoon with a different homemade snack and craft project to tackle, all while of course having my cleaning, shopping and cooking done by 5 p.m. I WANTED to want to stay home, but I quickly found out it just wasn’t me. By week 4 I was ready for re-entry. I wanted my desk, I wanted my computer, I wanted my co-workers.
For some of you, I know you’re wondering what kind of delusional world I’m living in, why anyone would want to be confined by any sort of regiment. What about the feeling of liberation? It’s kind of an oxy moron, but having a routine MAKES me feel liberated… uhh…
This all became blatantly obvious when Maryn got sick a few weeks ago. My husband and I had to juggle our work schedules, take turns bringing her to the doctor (she was there three times in one week,) finding babysitting arrangements when we really, really couldn’t miss work and staying up with her all night when her fever would get unbearable (for all of us!)
Everything was totally thrown off, sending me into a complete tailspin. I felt like I’d never gain control again. I kept thinking, “This is NOT what I planned to do today. I should be… doing the laundry, running, working, etc. etc.” I know it sounds like I’m being ridiculously overdramatic, but it’s exactly how I felt.
This is probably what’s led me to have a cleaning calendar (thank you, Pinterest!) I’m not sure if I was excited to see a plethora of cleaning calendars posted because I wanted to steal someone’s format or because I was relieved to see I wasn’t the ONLY crazy person out there that needed one. But it keeps me on track. 2-3 tasks a night, and I’m golden. And yes, for some of you this is a total eye roller. For those of you who are as equally excited as I was, I’ve posted the one I use in case you’d like to use it as a guide.
Let me be clear: I’m not one of those people who eats the same thing depending on the day of the week (i.e. Monday is chicken night, Tuesday is pasta night, ya da ya da ya da.) And no, I’m not making that up to make myself feel better– I know people who do that. But in order to keep myself half sane, I do have to plan my post-work strategy accordingly. And being someone who revels in a neat, clean and clutter-free house, a cleaning calendar is a must.
For all of you out there who think I’m insane, good for you! I wish I could just roll with it. But for those of you who have been nodding your heads all the way through this post, you’re not alone. Fellow routiners, let’s keep on routining!