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Help me get it done...Family of 7 with babies


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I have a Moth schedule. Stuff isn't getting done. Some of this is character issues. I am working on that. My dh and I are having marriage issues do to long term unemployment. Our kids are 14, 11, 8, 2, and 8 months.

 

My oldest is a high functioning Aspie. He is smart and cocky. I need more time to teach him how to work like a HS.

 

My 11 yo is getting lost because he isn't asking for help.

 

My 8 yo has speech/learning difficulties. He isn't in therapy currently, although he should be doing online ST soon. He has ETC online and TT that he does alone. I help him for another hour a day on his other work.

 

My 2yo is the only girl and she draws on everything.

 

The baby has had some feeding problems. he is doing better.

 

Any suggestions? I cannot let school go. We are finally caught up from when we let go in the past when I thought US was a good fit. I am tired. I do have a lot to deal with. HOW do I do it?

 

We school 6 days a week. I have to keep on the kids all day long. Help me get my big girl panties on and get my home in order. I need to be a better leader. I need to be stronger.

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I haven't BTDT, so my view may be worthless, but I would burn the MOTH schedule. That thing made me feel like a piece of dirt just considering filling it out, let alone trying to carry out any semblance of implementing it.

 

I would plan time to help the 11 yo with whatever is of premium importance - is he struggling with Math? Is it Grammar that's the trouble?

 

I'm not sure if the 2yo is drawing on things that are not for drawing or just if she likes to draw. Is there any possibility of getting a mother's helper?

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Wow. That's a lot to deal with! I had a horrible time when DH was unemployed. I wish I had great answers, but I wanted to tell you not to be so hard on yourself. I've had to do the self-start thing, and I did well for a long time. But after awhile I just ran out of energy. I just couldn't get started.

 

Long term unemployment was hard on our marriage too. I kept reminding myself why I married DH (honest, kind, hard-worker, always gives to help others). I tried to remind myself to be encouraging to him. I assumed that, like me, he would blame himself for any failure (when there were many other issues out of his control). And I imagined what it would feel like if he was critical of me when I couldn't get done what I needed. (He is never critical of me, my failures, or my weird ideas.)

 

Concentrate on the most important things for the home and kids. I'd rotate kids to watch the 2 year old - I'd probably have them play in a different, safe room so she couldn't find things to draw on. (I forgot how fun 2 year olds are!) Could you just do a rotation schedule? 30 minutes with the 14 yo while the 11 yo is doing independent work and the 8 yo plays with the baby, then rotate kids so you work with another child? I've found that multi-tasking does NOT work for me with kids. I get frustrated, and my 2yo will find fun, messy things to do!

 

There was a thread or two on the elementary boards about having your kids do math then letting them read all day. One poster said in difficult times her children did one math lesson, one grammar lesson, then read for two hours every day.

 

Anyway, hang in there! One step at a time.

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Instead of going full-blown super organized, it might be better to do something new each week until you get there.

 

For instance, this week you could pre-plan your meals and put them on a menu on the refrigerator. Make a shopping list to go along side it.

 

Next week, it could be implementing a chore schedule just for the livingroom along with that week's pre-planned menu and shopping list.

 

Each week add one more organizational task to the rest. It is challenging to adopt a rigid program when no program was used previously - especially when you have your hands full anyway.

 

Be sure to simplify things around the house. Donate, sell, toss-out anything you do not use or haven't used or won't use in the immediate future. This includes clothing. Store away out-of-season clothes for next season.

 

Maybe your curriculum, schedule, etc. could be tweaked as well.

 

:grouphug:

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Instead of going full-blown super organized, it might be better to do something new each week until you get there.

 

For instance, this week you could pre-plan your meals and put them on a menu on the refrigerator. Make a shopping list to go along side it.

 

Next week, it could be implementing a chore schedule just for the livingroom along with that week's pre-planned menu and shopping list.

 

Each week add one more organizational task to the rest. It is challenging to adopt a rigid program when no program was used previously - especially when you have your hands full anyway.

 

Be sure to simplify things around the house. Donate, sell, toss-out anything you do not use or haven't used or won't use in the immediate future. This includes clothing. Store away out-of-season clothes for next season.

 

Maybe your curriculum, schedule, etc. could be tweaked as well.

 

:grouphug:

:iagree: This is pretty much my advice, as well.

 

Can you post more about what IS working and the biggest struggle points? Is your DH home to help?

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I would burn the MOTH schedule.

 

The MOTH schedule changed me from an organized, normal person to one who could never keep up. It took me a long time to figure out why (like two or more years). We trashed it years ago & in many ways I haven't recovered my previously natural household organization.

 

This is just my experience, but the MOTH book messed us up!

I think this is because the MOTH book encourages that when the time allotted for a task expires, you should leave it and move on to the next thing, even if it isn't complete. You just go back to it the next time it comes around in the schedule. We still have trouble getting things done around here - so much is left undone that would really take just a few more minutes to finish off. It was so against my work ethic of "Any job worth doing is worth doing well." To me, part of doing well is getting the job done.

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The MOTH schedule changed me from an organized, normal person to one who could never keep up. It took me a long time to figure out why (like two or more years). We trashed it years ago & in many ways I haven't recovered my previously natural household organization.

 

This is just my experience, but the MOTH book messed us up!

I think this is because the MOTH book encourages that when the time allotted for a task expires, you should leave it and move on to the next thing, even if it isn't complete. You just go back to it the next time it comes around in the schedule. We still have trouble getting things done around here - so much is left undone that would really take just a few more minutes to finish off. It was so against my work ethic of "Any job worth doing is worth doing well." To me, part of doing well is getting the job done.

 

I agree. I didn't follow it for more than a couple of weeks, but it affected me similarly. I also have a natural rhythm of cleaning and home management. It just doesn't work for a piece of paper to rule over what I do every second of the day. It made me feel like I was accomplishing nothing.

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I think you may need to be realistic with the schedule. I LOVE MOTH. It makes it so we get most things done most days. I don't think there is a week we get EVERYTHING done, but most. I would make sure I worked in the older kids first. That may seem counter intuitive, but they are the closest to college and will have to finish their work. The younger kids have more time and could "catch up" if they needed.

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Large Family Logistics help me trmendously. The book suggests ordering your day's focus. Monday's focus might be laundry, Tuesday the kitchen, and so on. Not that you only do laundry on Monday, but it is your heavy day. This method is much more doable, IMHO.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Large-Family-Logistics-Kim-Brenneman/dp/1934554499

 

http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com/

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I have a Moth schedule. Stuff isn't getting done. Some of this is character issues. I am working on that. My dh and I are having marriage issues do to long term unemployment. Our kids are 14, 11, 8, 2, and 8 months.

 

My oldest is a high functioning Aspie. He is smart and cocky. I need more time to teach him how to work like a HS.

 

My 11 yo is getting lost because he isn't asking for help.

 

My 8 yo has speech/learning difficulties. He isn't in therapy currently, although he should be doing online ST soon. He has ETC online and TT that he does alone. I help him for another hour a day on his other work.

 

My 2yo is the only girl and she draws on everything.

 

The baby has had some feeding problems. he is doing better.

 

Any suggestions? I cannot let school go. We are finally caught up from when we let go in the past when I thought US was a good fit. I am tired. I do have a lot to deal with. HOW do I do it?

 

We school 6 days a week. I have to keep on the kids all day long. Help me get my big girl panties on and get my home in order. I need to be a better leader. I need to be stronger.

I would start with majorly implementing the older 3 in helping with laundry, cooking, and cleaning. It will take a bit of time if they are not a part of this already but they can and imo, should be helping a great deal. You can assign certain daily/weekly/monthly jobs to each, do a bit of teaching and then over see.

I don't have the number of dc but I think the one posters suggestion of rotation the 3 olders in watching the 2 yr old is great. I am not sure why you are schooling 6 days a wk but that would be very difficult for us. We school yr around but only 4 days a wk. My kids love it and it has been a life saver for me.

If your dh isn't working can he help in some of the areas. My dh is semi retired working 3 days a wk. He helps with some of the time consumning things like putting bulk food in handlable containers etc. Last week he put 10 gal of honey in 1 and 2 qt. jars. It saved me hrs of standing doing this.

I totally understand just getting caught up and not wanting school to slide but possibly you could go to just the basics with all but one child on a 1 or 2 wk schedule and rotate them through. We do science and history together. Possibly this would work with your 8 and 10 yr old.

Oh, I agree with burning the MOTH schedule. I bought one and that thing drove me crazy. I need a routine but not strictly scheduled out in 30 min. increments.

 

:grouphug:

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Large Family Logistics help me trmendously. The book suggests ordering your day's focus. Monday's focus might be laundry, Tuesday the kitchen, and so on. Not that you only do laundry on Monday, but it is your heavy day. This method is much more doable, IMHO.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Large-Family-Logistics-Kim-Brenneman/dp/1934554499

 

http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com/

 

 

Amen! :)

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I haven't BTDT, so my view may be worthless, but I would burn the MOTH schedule. That thing made me feel like a piece of dirt just considering filling it out, let alone trying to carry out any semblance of implementing it.

 

I would plan time to help the 11 yo with whatever is of premium importance - is he struggling with Math? Is it Grammar that's the trouble?

 

I'm not sure if the 2yo is drawing on things that are not for drawing or just if she likes to draw. Is there any possibility of getting a mother's helper?

:iagree::iagree:

 

It killed me when I was trying it and I have 12 kids. Children need moms to be flexible, not sworn to some piece of paper.

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I *hear* exhaustion in your post- well, "duh", you think!

First of all unemployment and subsequently having one's livelihood threatened is a huge stress factor. I would find an easy-to-implement curriculum and NOT stress about gaps right now. They can be filled later. You have time. None of your crew is on the verge of college applications.

 

Do you have the support of at least one or more other woman/women, friends, church, people you trust? Any chance of getting sliding scale counseling for marriage / unemployment issues?

 

Can you / are you taking care of yourself with some supplements like immune strengthening supps or at least some Vitamin D?

 

Get some rest time, even if it's just for a walk. Anyone available to stay with the kiddos for an hour here and there?

 

I know it's a lot to throw out there but I always find a multi-pronged approach to woes like this are most helpful.

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You say you are tired-- are you prioritizing your own sleep? I find if I sleep as much as I can, I'm more productive in the long run, even if that means a 2 hour nap during the day. If you need to sleep during the day, schedule it.

 

I have some similarities to you-- smart a@@ 14 year old who is on the spectrum, child with speech issues but no services, 12 y.o. who is lost because I can't marshal myself to get my act together. Add 2 very defiant kids (in terms of academics) to the mix and we are really limping along here. Right now my solution is to take a solid week of thanksgiving vacation to mull over what to do next. I've even considered putting them in school which I dearly don't want to do.

 

So I guess my advice is to sleep, limp, and pray ... :grouphug:

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The first thing I would do if I were you is the meal planning. For me, having to think about what to eat every day - I mean really think and wonder and decide about what I have on hand, etc. - is very stressful. It helps me very, very much to make out a two week schedule of what we are going to eat every day for dinner at least. That way I know what to shop for and don't overspend at the grocery store, I know what to take out of the freezer the night before, and I feel calm heading into the afternoon knowing early on what I plan to prepare for dinner. After doing this for several weeks, I just rotate the meals. Often, I will look at the plan and decide I don't feel like making what I planned so If switch out the meals, but I eventually end up making all the ones on my two-week plan.

 

I tried to use MOTH, too and it left me feeling more stressed. Not sure why, but I just couldn't keep up with it.

 

What I suggest is to just make a general outline of what you want to do and in what order. I like the idea at Large Family Logistics of picking a day to concentrate on one area of the house/your life. Monday, do the laundry. Tuesday, focus on the kitchen. Here, my daughter teaches piano to a few students on Thursday afternoons, so Thursday mornings are for straightening the front rooms and cleaning the bathrooms. We vacuum then too. Once a week is all we can manage right now. If someone else comes over on another day, we do a quick clean up, run the vacuum and wipe down the bathroom sink.

 

I have also designated chores to specific children. I was listening to Michelle Duggar on this topic (Tea with Michelle Duggar DVD that a friend gave me) and she uses the word jurisdictions, not chores. That seemed odd to me and I bristled at it, but I like it now. It means that each child is responsible for certain area or task and it is more like being in charge of it than having to do work. Does that make sense? It gives the children the idea that they are being depended on, they are needed. Your 14yo can do the heavy work - stuff like taking out trash, vacuuming, mopping floors. Your 11yo and 8yo can sort laundry and get it through the cycles of washing and drying. Everyone can help fold.

 

You have a toddler and an infant. Please know that you are in the trenches. These are the most difficult years. Do not expect much more than what I've already mentioned as far as housework goes. Don't worry about changing the sheets every single week or making sure the beds are made or having all the toys put away in the bedrooms. Every once in a while set the timer and have your 3 oldest race to see how much they do in their rooms for say 15 minutes. Then sit down and just be glad for what got done and maybe enjoy a few minutes with a snack and a read-aloud. It will get easier, the older they get.

 

When your meals and your house are somewhat in order and you've established a flow of sorts, then you can turn your attention to the schoolwork. Again, plan a very simple schedule and just work on doing one thing after the other - not necessarily on a timed schedule. Do math first, then writing, then reading. Take a break for lunch and then do history and science. If you don't get to history or science or art or p.e. don't stress about it. The main thing (for me, anyway) is that my children are learning to be obedient, dependable, kind, caring individuals. Of course, I want all the academic stuff too, but not at the expense of relationships. I've always thought of homeschooling as family-centered education. I want to build up my family and build strong relationships with each one. I want them to learn to be patient with each other, kind and forgiving. I want them to learn that they need God's grace to do these things and to depend on Him and ask Him for His grace to be the kind of person He wants them to be. Academics have always been secondary.

 

I just read an article in the HSLDA magazine by Mike Farris (he has a very large family, too) and he stressed that math and language were the main areas to concentrate on. They are two different kind of languages that should be mastered (as much as you can) by the time they finish high school. Anything other than that is icing on the cake. History and Science can be just reading for now. I'm guessing you are concerned for your 14yo as he is in high school and you probably feel like now it really counts and you need to be more demanding and hold him more accountable. I understand that because I have a 15yo and I feel like that myself. I have gotten my son to plan his own schoolwork, do it fairly independently and check his own work. He is weak in math and science so I monitor those pretty closely. I also have him write as often as I can.

 

Focus on your 11yo for now and just try to keep him up to speed on math and language. I know grammar is big here on these boards and that many use what I would call rigorous grammar programs, but in your situation I might skip grammar for now (save it for middle school) and just concentrate on writing a clear sentence and then work up to a paragraph. Susan Bradrick, in Understanding Writing, recommends spending the 7th or 8th grade year just on the study of grammar. If I were you, I would just have your 11yo write letters to friends and family, write description paragraphs and process paragraphs. The thought that goes into any of those three things is plenty for an 11yo to be doing.

 

I also heard (not sure where) that when your children are not the most obedient, focus on the younger ones. Train them to obey (I spanked and I know you're not keen on that), but it can be done lovingly and redemptively and does not need to include anger in any way. It can be done very calmly as a way of teaching and training a child to listen to you and obey you. If spanking is out of the question, you must find a way to make sure your word is obeyed. In any case, put your energies into your youngest children and hopefully the olders will catch on. It is easier to train younger children so you will gain a sense of accomplishment if you can get them on the right track.

 

I'm sorry about your marriage troubles. I've been married 25 years and one thing I can tell you is that marriage is difficult no matter what anyone tells you. It's just a hard thing to put two people together, with their quirks and differences and sin natures, and not have to put up with some grief and sorrow and disappointment along the way. When I'm feeling like things are stressed between my dh and myself, after I get over the feeling of injustice and get past my pouting, I get out my Bible and read I Cor. 13. It's very tempting to then think of how dh should be loving me this way, lol, but I try to push those thoughts out of my mind and just consider that my dh needs to be loved too. Love transforms people. Just keep loving him, overlook his faults, be patient, and most of all forgiving. We spend most of our lives just forgiving others and being forgiven by them. None of us can escape it. If we do not forgive, we become bitter, angry people and that spills out on others (our children most especially) and so any feelings of being ill used or not appreciated or whatever need to be laid aside. I think marriage is where we learn best how to die to ourselves and where God shapes us into the image of Christ the best. It is very hard - sometimes it feels unbearable, but God will give you the grace. Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

Edited by Kathleen in VA
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:grouphug:

 

Simplify as much as possible and declutter majorly. My home just does not function properly if I allow clutter. Just looking at extra stuff clutters the mind. Plus, the less you have, the easier it is to keep clean and tidy. : ) Could you have a yard sale?

 

About the 2 year old...tack or tape some long strips of paper on one wall (like in a hallway). Allow her to draw on that wall only. When her artwork is finished, you can flip over the paper to re-use. If she draws on anything but that one wall with paper on it, all drawing/coloring supplies get confiscated for the day.

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First off, let me say I feel your pain. There are many days when I look around and see all that needs to be done and I just want to cry. A couple of my kids have sleep issues, so I am one tired mama. Being tired makes it hard to find the strength to do anything. (I have only had one 6 hour stretch of sleep in the past year and a half.:tongue_smilie:) The exhaustion is such a resilience-stealer. From what I have seen in the lives of some of my friends, unemployment is the same way, it just sucks the life out of you. I am so sorry you are going through that.

 

A couple of things that make things better for me: finding the right balance between going places and staying home, as outings tend to create disorder, but staying home too much makes me feel listless; and the other thing is creating a zone system for chores.

 

We divide our house up like this: pet chores/laudry helper/living room, kitchen, bathrooms. Bedrooms...well, those are the things that make me want to cry! I just don't have time, energy, or the will to make those perfect right now, so I just concentrate on the trunk of the house. Sometimes we catch the bedrooms up on weekends.

 

Anyway, every morning we "zap our zones," which just means that everyone has to tidy up their area of responsibility. We do it again around 4 in the afternoon, usually when I am prepping dinner. One of my daughters takes the pet + chores, the other takes the kitchen, I usually am on a team with my 7yo for the bathrooms, and my 15 yo son does the mudroom, garbage, the beds in the boys room and a couple of other tweener chores. My 5 yo empties the little garbage cans and wipes doorknobs (silly make-work chore, but he really needs to be working!)

 

So, our house is not immaculate, but it's livable this way. I have run out of time...so I can't write about school....I can hear mayhem in the next room!

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

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I just want ro thank everyone for their comments. my husband made me a good strong cup of coffee this morning. I feel a bit better. We had a good day yesterday, got a suprise visit from friends who brought a thanksgiving turkey and all the fixings from our church.

 

On Wednesday night my 8yo had a horrible time getting off to church and I was ill tempered with him. We finally got him there and we both said we were sorry. I went shopping and I hear him say hi. They youth all went shopping to put together Thanksgiving meals for families in our church. They were so cute shopping together. So, when he saw that box I asked him if it was familiar. He was very surprised when he figured out we were one of the families he had been shopping for:)

 

I have decluttered quite a bit. We only have three rooms really. An open living/kitchen area where we have our desks, school stuff, and little toys like the kitchen set. Two bedrooms which the three boys share the master and the master bath. We share ours with the babies and we have a bath. There is a little laundry room, too. So, we still feel a bit cluttered at times. But, we are on 5 acres.

 

I think I might assign a room or major chore to each day. Just to make sure we keep caught up. Then I am going to find my menu plan and start using that next week. I had it with a shopping list, too. I think I made it after Ocean was born (our youngest) and I was pumping and really not getting any sleep. It did save us quite a bit of time and money.

 

:grouphug: to everyone and to all those other families who are struggling.

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  • 1 month later...

I wanted to share updates. DH will be leaving at the end of this month to move out of state. I have till April to be here in this home. I will either move about 3 hours from him (there is no housing left there), in with SIL, or maybe a place around here.

 

The library has the Large Family Logistics. I have read a few bits.

 

Things are a little better. We dropped some of the stuff that is not working. Added back in things they like and that work.

 

I wish I could edit the title, but maybe some people will still take a peek.

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Large Family Logistics help me trmendously. The book suggests ordering your day's focus. Monday's focus might be laundry, Tuesday the kitchen, and so on. Not that you only do laundry on Monday, but it is your heavy day. This method is much more doable, IMHO.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Large-Family-Logistics-Kim-Brenneman/dp/1934554499

 

http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com/

 

I just got this from our library. I need to see if their are any discussions on it. Thanks!

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What should be priority?

 

For us it's:

 

  1. School
  2. Cleaning main areas (dishes, kitchen, family living areas)
  3. Deeper cleaning as we can (bathrooms, etc.)
  4. Everything else.

 

We try to get at least a few deep cleaning jobs done per week. More can be done on non-school days. Everyone chips in except for babies. I've put chores on the kids' school lists. They have to finish school and those jobs before they have free time. I make the lists each weekend so that I can assign according to what else we've got going on each day.

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For us it's:

 

  1. School
  2. Cleaning main areas (dishes, kitchen, family living areas)
  3. Deeper cleaning as we can (bathrooms, etc.)
  4. Everything else.

 

We try to get at least a few deep cleaning jobs done per week. More can be done on non-school days. Everyone chips in except for babies. I've put chores on the kids' school lists. They have to finish school and those jobs before they have free time. I make the lists each weekend so that I can assign according to what else we've got going on each day.

This is us right now.

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15 points for answering so fast:D

 

For us it's:

 

  1. School
  2. Cleaning main areas (dishes, kitchen, family living areas)
  3. Deeper cleaning as we can (bathrooms, etc.)
  4. Everything else.

 

We try to get at least a few deep cleaning jobs done per week. More can be done on non-school days. Everyone chips in except for babies. I've put chores on the kids' school lists. They have to finish school and those jobs before they have free time. I make the lists each weekend so that I can assign according to what else we've got going on each day.

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There was a thread or two on the elementary boards about having your kids do math then letting them read all day. One poster said in difficult times her children did one math lesson, one grammar lesson, then read for two hours every day.

 

Anyway, hang in there! One step at a time.

 

I totally 2nd this!!

 

I reached the end of my rope some weeks back and decided the only way to keep my sanity and keep on homeschooling was to pare things down quite significantly, and I did. I sold our Latin books and seriously simplified our history/science. We do a bit more than math, English, and reading. But not an outrageous amount. My advice is to pare back to the bare minimum and then add things in as you have the energy. Or don't. Enjoy your energy and invest in other things for a season, home-making or your marriage, friendships, your faith. These things are important too and my inclination is to let homeschool crowd out everything to the detriment of all of us.

 

ETA: :grouphug: I hope your dh finds a job very soon. My dh was laid off 1 week after our last baby was born and was unemployed for almost exactly a year during which time I got a part-time job. Talk about crazy. It's hard to believe that things do turn around. It really is hard when you're sitting in the middle of it. :grouphug:

Edited by silliness7
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My husband is out doing odd jobs or looking for work. He isn't home much. When he is, we struggle to even talk.

 

I need a schedule or I literally forget to feed people, myself, change diapers.

 

Yes, I am depressed. No I can't get help. No money.

 

Regarding MOTH. I find strict scheduling can work for me as long as I haven't scheduled too tightly. Keep it loose. You want to finish whatever task you put in the allotted time period without having to work at a frantic pace and still have some time left over. Be realistic or a little pessimistic about what you can actually accomplish in a day. Let everything else go. Schedule it. Do it. And feel good at the end of a day where you did everything you set out to do. Enjoy the rhythm of it for a while before adding in something else and add in very slowly if you really feel the need. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

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My husband is out doing odd jobs or looking for work. He isn't home much. When he is, we struggle to even talk.

 

I need a schedule or I literally forget to feed people, myself, change diapers.

 

Yes, I am depressed. No I can't get help. No money.

Praying for you. :grouphug: I am struggling with similar issues.

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I have not read all the replies yet but wanted it chime in right away so forgive me if I repeat anything. I have 4 kids of my own plus the 2 yr old that I watch (and she loves to color on everything and is thoroughly 2 when it comes to destructiveness). Every other wSaturday I also have 1 yr old and a 3 yr old to watch. I am sure you recall some of what I have posted about my family and the LD and other issues of the kids. Add in being a beaver leader, a single parent and dirt poor you get the idea of what is on my plate.

 

I tried MOTH unless the kids sign on or you believe in blanket training young etc I don't think it works. What has worked for me is Flylady. I had signed up back in 2000-2001 and it was going well but then I fell off the wagon and never got back on fully until recently. I still stuck to the 15 minute mantra but didn't do the rest. I am back on it, and have to say my house is almost always clean, dinner is planned, I have time for hobbies/reading and school is getting done. It was not an over night thing but does work.

 

The main things that have helped within the flylady frame work is to make a routine/flow to my day based on the needs of the youngest child here that day, and working around naps etc. and to have meals at the same time everyday (with exceptions for special occasions). To declutter big time, this is an ongoing process for me. To never go to bed before completely doing my evening routine which includes putting the house back in order for the next day.

 

I still have a ways to go to get it all fully balanced. and we still have days that are topsy turvy and the focus is on behaviours and not washing the dishes after lunch etc. But over all the days run smoother. In order to be sure school continued despite therapies, appts, and bad days I cut us down to basics. No foreign languages, minimal art, no music, cut the chances for many extra currics. We do the 4 core subjects and bible study. Art will be the next thing I add back in as we get better at this. But for now the basics are getting done, the house is mostly clean, and I am having time at the end of the night to pick up my old hobbies again and go to bed before 2 am.

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I still have a ways to go to get it all fully balanced. and we still have days that are topsy turvy and the focus is on behaviours and not washing the dishes after lunch etc. But over all the days run smoother. In order to be sure school continued despite therapies, appts, and bad days I cut us down to basics. No foreign languages, minimal art, no music, cut the chances for many extra currics. We do the 4 core subjects and bible study. Art will be the next thing I add back in as we get better at this. But for now the basics are getting done, the house is mostly clean, and I am having time at the end of the night to pick up my old hobbies again and go to bed before 2 am.

 

And *that* is a beautiful thing! I need to check out FlyLady again. It's been a while.

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A simple schedule is great. Take a few days off school and do "home ec" with the kids and teach them to clean, in a fun, not mean way. Then incorporate chores, so they are helping. Or, at MINIMUM, have them watch the littles while you clean. (that is what I do, my son would rather watch his sister than clean).

 

For your marriage, I love the marriage builder's website, it has great info. And can you look into counseling for you through a local church? I know the Episcopal diocese here has a Christian counseling center at low cost/no cost.

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we have done some counseling prior. I am in a pretty healthy place, honestly. He could use the counseling though. But, he is leaving soon anyway. If he wants counseling, that is something he can find there. Having to leave his children and wife is going to be difficult and eye opening. He will be in. good house with good men and BIL.

 

I am going to be moving in with my SIL (his amazing sister) in April. I am going to take one box of stuff per person and store everything else. That should cause enough change and simplicity for awhile.

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