The life of a working, single mom of an infant and toddler is the most optimal when routines can be followed without much disturbance. I think I've posted about this before, but I cannot stress this enough. If you are not a working mom, routines are still important. Even if you are not a single mom, routines are pivotal. Routines are just important. Period.
I like to think that my day begins actually the minute I reach home in the evening. No, not in the morning when I wake up, but the night before. The first 30-60 minutes upon reaching home are the most important. The moment I delay a certain task that is meant to take place in the first 40 minutes, then I'm doomed. Literally. The consequences of a delay could be very drastic, depending. But I'll get to that later. In the first 30 minutes upon reaching home, I must, in this order:
1) Store expressed milk in the freezer
2) Soak used baby bottles in soapy water in the sink
3) Put whatever laundry there is in the washing machine (and wash them of course)
4) Cook rice
5) Take shower & solat
6) Give kids a bath or change diapers
Then usually it's past 30 mins. And I continue with the 2nd part of the routine:
7) Cook dinner
8) Rinse and sterilize bottles
9) Eat dinner
10) Hang wet laundry
11) Read books to kids before bedtime
12) Put kids to bed or go to bed myself
The iffy part is the "pack kids bags" part. Sometimes if I have enough time or energy, I will pack the kids bags the night before. Sometimes I will do it in the morning after I wake up.
Now that Salma has started going to school wearing a uniform, I am slightly annoyed because my routine has to change to include ironing in the middle of the week. I really do despise ironing, and prefer to put off that task to the weekend. But because for some stupid reason the school does not have enough stock of the uniform, parents were only allowed to buy 1 pair (for now). I have to wash her uniform every other day and then iron it in the morning before she goes to school. Yeah yeah, it's just 1 shirt and 1 pants, but still... I hate ironing. And slows down the routine that I have set. I can't even delay doing the laundry when I get home because the uniform needs sufficient time to dry before she can wear it the next day.
I am only okay with company/family dinners if they take place on Friday night. Otherwise I get ticked off. Even if I have something urgent to do on a weeknight, like maybe going to the grocery store after work, I must must must complete the first 3 things on my routine list before I go do the thing I'm meant to do. I have put off sterilizing the bottles once, and did it in the morning, but it was too much of a rush taking them out when they're still hot from the steam and everything. And if I don't do the laundry that night itself, it will pile up and take a longer time to hang, and the kids'll get cranky waiting for me to finish hanging the laundry. I don't know why they have to wait for me while I do it, but they insist on waiting. I always tell Salma to go watch tv or go color her book or whatever, but for some reason, she still insists on waiting for me to finish hanging the laundry. Weird. And of course, Sophie will be trying to crawl out onto the balcony (the laundry dries on the balcony), asking me to carry her, so I have to get it done fast.... eesh.
Lately, I have this tendency to want to procrastinate though. But it's not a good idea. There were several times when I waited 2-3 days to do the laundry, and it ended up having too much laundry to iron over the weekend, so I ended up having to take a day off on Monday just to iron. I hate that. It was during a time when there were too many "external" functions/events going on that I couldn't do the laundry on time, so it felt like I'd skipped a whole week, and ended up with piles of clothes to iron.... never again. Procrastination is bad.
I am very relieved when it's a Friday (like today). Then I don't have to rush so much, and I can leave off the bottle sterilizing to Sunday. And I can be lazy about cooking dinner, and just buy dinner. Those are the best days... :) And I look forward to watching tv (which, incidentally is not part of my routine... did you notice?? TV is a luxury). Anyway, this is totally unrelated, but Happy #SeungGiDay! (Today is his birthday).