3 Things I’ve stopped doing:
Washing the dishes before going to bed
Listening to Podcasts.
Starting over my Bible reading plan when I haven’t kept up.
I have started doing a LOT of things in the past 2 months since I had my baby… nursing multiple times per day, nursing multiple times per night, changing diapers, acquiring baby wraps, chairs, and blankets… there’s just a lot of new things to do that come with having a newborn.
But there are also some things that I’ve totally stopped doing. And maybe you should stop doing them too. Here they are in no particular order.
Washing the dishes at night.
Ooh, the biggest, most constant chore in my house is dish washing. I do not own a dishwasher, nor would I want to (but that’s beside the point). So, up until I recently taught my 5-year-old to wash plates, I have washed and will wash all our dirty dishes by hand.
Believe it or not, this is actually one of my favorite chores (are we allowed to have favorites?). I actually look forward to washing up after a meal or a day of baking. And even though I’m not a night-owl, I love a good washing up before bed. Something about making dirty things clean and redeeming dish after dish.
But in the last year or so I have totally changed my dishwashing routine. Instead of waiting till the end of the day to wash up everything, I wait even longer! Yes, that’s right, I leave it all in the sink or on the counter and wash it the next day.
It’s crazy, I know! But here’s why: the last year of my life humbled me in many ways. I was very nauseous for 9 months while pregnant with my son, and now I have had a newborn for 2 months and it’s a lot! I would put so much pressure on myself to wake up to a clean house and kitchen. No one else cared but me. .
Now I’ve learned that if I don’t wash up the dishes before going to sleep at night, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s a helpful thing to let that pressure go… I sleep better at night and then have more energy to actually do the chore in the morning.
Maybe there’ll be another season in my life where I wake up to a clean kitchen every single day, it’s just not right now and that’s okay.
Listening to podcasts.
Speaking of washing the dishes, I usually like to pair a mindless chore like that with a mindful activity like listening to a podcast. However, that is the 2nd thing I’ve stopped doing: listening to podcasts.
To be honest, I just don’t have enough brain power to listen to all the podcasts that I used to. By the time I spend all day talking with my 5-year-old and reading my Kindle when I can, my brain is full.
I really noticed this when I started tuning out podcasts that I really like as they played. Then I thought, “Well, no reason to play it if I’m not even listening!”
But I do hope that this is only a phase, I really enjoy listening to podcasts (I mean, I even made my own!).
Now when I am doing those mindless chores like washing dishes or finding clothes, I try to just be quiet and think. It actually takes a lot of effort to not have input for a long stretch of time (or, at least, what seems to be a long time). But it’s really helped me to have those quiet moments to think about life and what I’m doing and learning in it.
Trying to catch up on my Bible reading plan when I’ve fallen behind.
This one feels more like a confession… but I’ve stopped trying to catch up when I fall behind in my Bible reading plan.
I am always touting the wonderful blessings that Bible reading plans are for your time studying the Word. They keep you focused and help you know exactly what to read each day; no hemming and hawing over where to start.
But I, and maybe you do this too, sometimes still get lost even with a solid Bible reading plan. I fall behind or miss a whole week of reading and then what is there to do? Well, my answer has always been: “I’ll just read more today in order to catch up.”
And, friends, I’m here to say that that is not a good solution!
Every time I did this I found myself more overwhelmed and discouraged. So I stopped doing it.
Instead, I take my Bible reading one day at a time and read whatever the plan has alloted for that day. So I still use a plan every day that I read, but if a day or two or a week’s worth are not read, I’ll leave them be and only read what is for today.
This made me think of those verses in the sermon on the Mount, “Don’t worry about tomorrow for each day had enough trouble of it’s own.” Except that in she’s trying to catch up on my reading plan I was actually worrying about my yesterdays and what I didn’t read in them. Now I’m only worrying about today by reading what the Lord has for me today.
So, I’m so thankful for all of the exciting, new things that I am doing and will get to do with my new baby. But I’m also so thankful to not do a few things too. It has changed my routine and made me more aware of what I’m thinking as I work as a mom each day.
What will you stop doing to change up your routine? Let me know in the comments below!