This post is #3 in a 5 part series titled “Rhythms & Grace of Every Day Mom Life.” You can find all the posts in the series here.
Grab your list/ answers from yesterday’s action items because today we’re hopefully going to solve that issue once and for all.
Read over your answer to yesterday’s action item #3 – why, specifically, is that one thing so stressful or hard for you?
For me, laundry was a major stressor. In the previous post, I shared all the things about laundry that drove me nuts. At the root of all of it, I didn’t want to do laundry every day. It never felt done.
So guess what? I stopped doing laundry every day. I told that laundry “YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME,” and came up with a new laundry rhythm. Ha!
Lo and behold! It worked. I still don’t love folding and putting away laundry. But it has to be done, so I changed how I do it.
Here’s what we changed
At first it was hard for me to leave piles of dirty clothes in the laundry room because I was used to washing a load every day. But now, it’s awesome. Like I said, laundry still isn’t my favorite chore. But now I only have to do it once a week. #winning
Unless someone is sick or wets the bed…
and here’s where the idea of a RHYTHM is more helpful than a “system” or “schedule.”
The old me would be so stressed out if the system got messed up. (Ahem, can you say type-A-OCD?!)
If the laundry system was once a week and I had to do a mid-week load because someone got the stomach flu, I would feel irritated about it.
Now, I just embrace it as a rhythm. Usually, I do it once a week, try to set the timer so I don’t forget to switch it, and fold it all at the end of the day.
But sometimes, kids get sick and our laundry rhythm gets interrupted, and I have to do mid-week loads. Life happens. If you know that you’re coming up with rhythms, not a military-style systems, then it’s easier to roll with it when it gets slightly off track.
ACTION ITEM #1
Make a 2 sided chart like the one above for whatever your biggest stressor was that you listed yesterday. First, fill in the left side of the chart with the specifics… Then, try to address those factors one-by-one and come up with ideas for how you might try a new rhythm.
ACTION ITEM #2
When is the next time you’re going to have to do this thing? I assume it’s relatively frequent, which is why it’s your biggest mom life stressor. Write down your exact plan for trying the new rhythm and go for it!
IT TAKES WORK TO CREATE A NEW RHYTHM
One of my favorite books about changing habits explains that because of the way our habits form, it takes a lot of conscious effort to change them.
I’m working on changing our get-out-the-door rhythm because rushing not to be late with 3 kids 4 and under makes me want to kill someone. (Just being real, y’all.)
But, it takes me a TON of conscious effort to build 15-30 extra minutes into our morning just to get out the door. Because for years, I’ve been able to get ready to leave in less time than that. Slowly, but surely, we are feeling less rushed, and therefore less stressed, (and I’m therefore less likely to commit murder) because I’m changing the rhythm. Consciously replacing the old habits and rhythms with new ones.
Changing your rhythm probably won’t happen overnight. However haphazard your old habits may have felt, habits are habits. And they can be hard to change.
Keep trying your new rhythm for the next few days/ weeks. Alter it as needed until you find what works for you. Once you think you have something that works, stick with it until it’s a new habit.
As always, feel free to comment below and let us know what new rhythm you’re going to try.
Tomorrow, we’ll cover how seasons of motherhood affect rhythms & grace.
You got this, momma! Come on up to the rooftop deck where the coffee is fresh and the laundry is done weekly. Most of the time.
You can read the next part in the series here.