Moms need Montessori too
Setting your home up to reflect the ideals of Montessori is not only beneficial for children, it also goes a long way towards simplifying the 22,378 things a Mom must do every day.
Before Alfie was born I was a little (ok very) unorganised. My wardrobe looked like a car boot sale, our kitchen cupboards were full to over flowing and my car rattled with empty water bottles, despite this I wore the same few items, ate the same few foods and drank only one bottle of water at a time. Since I began our Montessori journey our home life has been transformed. I firmly believe that Montessori offers the same calming sense of security and order to an adult as it does to a child. We organised our home the way I would organise a work environment. In high use spaces we put nothing but essential items that were frequently used and we grouped them according to task. We also arranged everything very neatly and made most items instantly visible wherever they are stored. I can say with confidence and without any exaggeration that this has been the most stress relieving thing I have ever done! Making your own adult work space Montessori helps in umpteen ways, the main ones being;
- Speed – having everything visible and in one space saves more time than you’d imagine!
- Efficiency – I know exactly when something is running low and can top it up before we run out.
- Shared responsibility – with everything so neatly organised it’s easier for Fred and I to share the parenting responsibilities. It frees us up to be independent parents without relying on the other too much. Any sitters also know exactly where to find everything.
- Stress relieving – there’s never a scramble to find anything, if Alfie is hungry, sick or dirty, everything is immediately within reach.
I can sense the disapproval of how I’m controlling these spaces so here’s a disclaimer; this post is not about Alfie’s spaces it’s about the spaces that I as a Mom ‘work’ in to take care of him. He’s not yet mobile or engaging in practical life activities so has no independent access to these areas, at the moment they are arranged for my ease of use, they will be adapted as he develops.
Here’s a break down of my Montessori Mom spaces. In defiance of BLOGGER RULE NUMBER 1 I haven’t edited these pictures once (even to align the edges) because I wanted them to be completely honest, in the past I felt very unworthy of Montessori Home tours!
These are the kitchen shelves where we store all of Alfie’s food (top) and the personal care items (bottom) he uses on a daily basis. This shelf hasn’t been tidied it looks like this every day! We keep only the essentials in our kitchen cupboards and everything has a spot on the shelf where it lives. The bibs, bottles and milk live in a row because that’s the order they are used in, when one item is used it is replaced back on its spot when we’re done. The tub on top of our formula holds Alfie’s daily portion of milk which I measure out the night before, this means no faffing about making bottles with an impatient baby. We can also be ready to leave the house at a moments notice just by grabbing that tub! The basket on the bottom shelf is a mini changing station, it contains a mat, 4 nappies, wipes, travel sized creams, a thermometer and his teething gel. This basket is ESSENTIAL in our house and saves so much time! This layout may sound slightly up tight but it keeps everything ticking over easily. (Most of his food is also our food, so for the moment his shelves are pretty bare. In time this shelf will hold a fruit bowl, some healthy bars, his glassware etc and be accessible to him for making his own snacks.)
In his bedroom we have a similar system which has been in place with very few adaptations since he was born. His top drawer is for hygiene and personal care, so it’s filled with nappies, wipes etc as well as his bath basket which has his creams and clippers etc in it. These stay in their own caddy so we can easily bring them in and out at bath time. His top drawer is also home to ‘grab and go’ items like his ‘dressy bibs’ (yes we have two types of bib), his soothers and his beanie.
His second drawer is for clothes. On the right are body suits and on the left are baby grows with a small (and ever dwindling) containers of socks and casual bibs in the middle. We fold everything vertically so there is never any rooting around.
His hanging wardrobe is for outer clothes only. I hang everything as outfits which greatly reduces how long dressing takes and makes laundry much quicker. It’s also divided into sizes using size disks. The bottom shelf is for toys currently in rotation and occasional season wear. Seasonal wear in Ireland means a snow suit and a sun hat because we really never know what we’ll need – sometimes both in one day! With his room arranged like this his dad never needs to ask what fits, what’s clean, what matches etc. This may seem like a lot of clothes but this is everything he has until he’s 18 months old (1 year away).
Like the filling the milk tub in the evening, prepping the nappy bag is another great routine to add to your home. We prep the nappy bag every night meaning we can breeze out the door with only 10 minutes notice should the mood take us. It always contains the same items which is usually enough for a full day. They are; 1 clean body suit, 1 pack wipes, 1 travel pack of lotions, 4 nappies, 1 fruit purée snack, 2 bibs and a small toy or book. Every night we top up the nappies and replace any snacks or used clothes.
Most of the adult parts of our home are now laid out in the same way as a Montessori Children’s room would be and we are so grateful! In fact the only room that isn’t almost causes me shortness of breath so if anyone wants to help me address my utility room then please get in touch!
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