This morning when I rolled out of bed I was soooo tired. I figured after my walk I would feel more energized, but that was just not the case. If I had my way, I would have put on my flannel pajama pants, wrapped up in my favorite patchwork quilt, and watched a chick flick or read a book – or both. Instead I got Emily out of bed and got breakfast going.
After breakfast Emily I put away dishes and washed breakfast bowls and then headed over to our routine chart. I had zero motivation, so I pulled down all of the options for our morning schedule and asked Emily what she wanted to do first. “Make bed!”. “Mommy’s or Emily’s”. “Emily’s!”. And so the morning went as we got dressed, brushed our teeth, did our hair, cleaned the table, swept the floor, and vacuumed downstairs. My almost two year old got us ready for the day and our cleaning done and I was feeling so much more awake at the end of our morning routine. A true success!
A few months ago I was trying to figure out how to balance getting our house cleaned, getting each of us ready for the day, and leaving time for errands and play throughout the week with Emily. As I was walking I had the idea to create a morning routine that included each of getting dressed, reading scriptures, washing the dishes, cleaning the table, sweeping the kitchen, brushing our teeth and hair, and making the beds. I also wanted to do one extra cleaning job every day (vacuuming, laundry, cleaning the bathroom) and leave one day for grocery shopping and another for attending institute which takes all morning. We try to do the morning routine plus one cleaning job by 9am so that we are free to do school together, run errands, play with friends, go to the library, or work on projects.
Once we figured out a schedule and routine that worked for us, I decided to create a chart for three reasons: 1) Emily and I could have better communication about what needs to be done in the morning because we can both see the schedule; 2) Emily could help take control of the morning and make choices about what to do when and have the satisfaction of “checking” it off – because all three of us Jacksons are serious list people; and 3) Emily will help keep me on track when I’m tired and after we have a newborn baby and I am really really tired. I’ve already decided that while we will keep our morning schedule, the by 9am goal will be significantly relaxed for awhile after our little boy arrives.
I grabbed a cookie sheet for $.88 and Andrew spray painted it for me (I couldn’t bend over enough to get it done correctly). Because this is all subject to change, I just used tape to section off a To-Do and Done area as well as a Monday thru Friday section. We hung it up just slightly higher than would be perfectly comfortable for Emily so that it is something that we do together. I designed little icons (with help from the noun project) with each task and put them on a 1″ magnetic strip and cut them out. Each one has a sun or moon on it, based on whether we do it at night or in the morning.
Emily loves looking at the pictures and talking about each one.
If you are interested in using our pictured tasks you can download them here for free as a PDF. Please link back to the post if you use them or share them online :)