Over the course of my blogging career, I have shared countless tips, tricks, ideas, tactics, and suggestions that will hopefully help you simplify some aspect of your home, your life, your meal plan, your family, your job, etc.
Most of these tips and suggestions stem from my own personal, real life experience — so I know they work (at least for me!)
I feel that I’m fairly careful to acknowledge the fact that what works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone else. I also try to use phrases like “almost always”, “most of the time”, “usually”, “rarely”, “more often than not”, etc. instead of saying “always” or “never”.
Even still, I know how easy it can be to compare our own real-life realities with someone else’s online portrayal of a perfectly organized, gloriously simplified life.
Although I am probably more organized, more energetic, and more scheduled than the average mother of 4, I feel the need to mention that in my life, there are ALMOST ALWAYS exceptions to the rule!
Yes, Dave and I ALMOST ALWAYS wake up at 4am (even on the weekends now) but there are definitely mornings when we plan to sleep in a bit because we were up later than we wanted to be and know we should get a little extra sleep.
Yes, our kids are ALMOST ALWAYS in bed by 7pm, but there are occasionally nights when we let them stay up a little later because friends or grandparents are over, or simply because they are playing well and we know they’ll be able to sleep in a little longer the next morning.
Yes, we ALMOST ALWAYS eat some sort of vegetable for breakfast every single day and I ALMOST ALWAYS make a hot breakfast for my entire family every single morning, but there have been mornings when we eat muffins, fruit, and yogurt and call that “good enough”.
Yes, we truly do ALMOST ALWAYS buy used for everything whenever we can, but there are times when we actually need something and can’t find it used, so we find the best deal we can on a new item and carry on with the rest of our life.
Yes, we ALMOST ALWAYS do a quick-clean of the van every time we get home again, but there are instances when we are in a rush and don’t take 2 minutes to clean out the trash and other goodies we brought into the van.
Yes, I ALMOST ALWAYS start the dishwasher every night after dinner, and I ALMOST ALWAYS do laundry on Tuesday mornings and Friday nights, but again, there are times when, for whatever reason, these very helpful cleaning routines don’t work for me, so I mix things up for that day/week.
In all areas of my life, there are “exceptions to the rule”.
I think this is NORMAL!
Just because a system or routine or course of action doesn’t work 100% of the time does NOT mean it’s not a great system or routine. It does not necessarily mean I need to change or tweak anything, it doesn’t mean I’m lying, and it doesn’t mean I failed!
It just means I’m living life!
Plans change, we experience unexpected delays, time gaps, wasted time, and overly busy times, we have messes and spills to clean up, we have tantrums to pacify… the list goes on!
Of course, if I start to notice a certain system, routine, tip, or trick no longer works well on a consistent basis, then it might be worth revisiting the situation to see if we can come up with a better, more functional plan for our family.
However, more often than not, these instances are simply “exceptions to the rule” and not something for me to get too worried or bent out of shape about.
The next time you feel frustrated because your plans or routine fell through, stop and consider if it was just an exception to the rule or if you actually need to tweak (or overhaul) your current system or routine.
Exceptions are just that… “exceptions”. They don’t happen often, but just enough to keep us humble!