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What is your schedule? how do you fit it all in?


hmschoolmom22
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I know it's my hormones...and I'm having a super duper tough aunt flow this month so I'm feeling exhausted and overwhelmed....BUT....how do you do it? keep the house clean? get dinner on the table? homeschool the kids? take care of the animals? have time with dh? take a shower? keep up with the laundry? keep food in the house? pay the bills? AND have time for YOU?????? I feel like I'm drowning lately!!!!!:confused:

 

I know I need a schedule for myself, my kids and our school....I always start off well, but I never STICK TO IT! I get so frustrated with myself and with my kids!

 

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

 

Thanks for any words of advice, encouragement or just a hug - I need all of the above!

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Well, when we are getting it all done everday it's because we eat out 3 meals a day! The full-time maid cleans the house and does the laundry!! Hmmm...a shower, time with dh?? Not really sure what those are, can you be more specific?? LOL

 

Okay...

 

:grouphug:

 

Really, I know there are some really organized, scheduled, motivated people in this group but I am not one of them.

 

I do my best to follow flylady but often my house is a mess. As the kids are getting older and doing more chores it is really helping.

 

I make a priority for myself everyday. Something for me. Maybe it's reading, watching something on tv, or working out, but it is totally mine.

 

As far as school. I like the idea of loop scheduling but I'm not that organized. I have set in my head what subjects must be done as a bare minimum (math, language arts, and latin) everday and then I get to things when I can. My kids are still young and if we don't do history for 3 weeks the ceiling isn't going to fall in and they will still go to college.

 

You must set aside some time with your dh. Talk with him and see what his needs are. This can't slide. The kids will be grown and gone and yous till have the rest of your life with him.. Son't loose the connection, but it can be so hard to find the time...and energy.

 

Most important. I think there are times that it is just going to feel like this. Homeschooling is not the easy choice in most cases and it is exhausting on a good day. Hormones are to be respected and feared and they will pass and the sun will shine.

 

:grouphug:

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I know it's my hormones...and I'm having a super duper tough aunt flow this month so I'm feeling exhausted and overwhelmed....BUT....how do you do it? keep the house clean? get dinner on the table? homeschool the kids? take care of the animals? have time with dh? take a shower? keep up with the laundry? keep food in the house? pay the bills? AND have time for YOU?????? I feel like I'm drowning lately!!!!!:confused:

 

I know I need a schedule for myself, my kids and our school....I always start off well, but I never STICK TO IT! I get so frustrated with myself and with my kids!

 

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

 

Thanks for any words of advice, encouragement or just a hug - I need all of the above!

Please don't get me started on this month's hormones!:001_huh: I'm going to skip that and go straight to schedules.(BTW, I'm folding laundry as I type)

 

We are not getting everything done around the house. We try very hard, but we just keep things "presentable"(don't open the closets though).

 

I have to print a homeschool schedule that I can look at and go. Otherwise, I forget entire subjects. If I've forgotten to prepare something, I'll substitute with something that's already prepped. We might do two math lessons one day and two science the next.(Not often) I just try to make sure I have everything covered by the end of the week.

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I have 3 jobs: keeping the house clean, cooking meals, and educating the children.

 

The problem is that, on any given day, I can only do two of those jobs. So, I told dh that if the house is clean and the kids are working hard on school, his job is to order take-out.

 

If there is a great meal on the table and the kids are doing school, he should just step cheerfully over the piles of laundry.

 

You get the idea.

 

Some days, I don't get even two jobs done!

 

I would carefully assess how home responsibilities lie. Can you kids be taught to wash dishes or start laundry? My dh cheerfully does the laundry because it is near the computer and he can play computer games between loads! LOL. My theory is that all six of us live in the house and it's not my job to do it alone! That's why I had kids--so they could do the housework. At least, that's what my kids tell me!

 

 

Hugs, girl! And a heavy hormone day means that NO jobs get done in our house. Cause when momma ain't happy, ain't no body happy!

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It's been really hard but I've found that for me, the more I can schedule and plan, the better. I follow a schedule for school and most days we are done by noon-ish. I plan my meals a week at a time and shop off of that list. I have a list of possible breakfast and lunch ideas (most of which we usually have around) so I don't need to put any thought into that. I have learned to live with a bit of a messy house. It's still really irritating to me, but I realized something had to give since I am not only homeschooling, but working from home. I try to keep it somewhat neat and clean when I see it needs it. Other than that, when I "find" free time I focus on laundry, cleaning and shopping. I make sure my kids are in bed before 8 which usually leaves some time for DH and I, school planning, emails/phone calls and entertainment (TV, books, computer, etc.)

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I jsut created a new routine/schedule for our family on Friday night when my kids were gone for the night. A couple things i have figured out along the way for my particular kids our routine must be the same 7 days a week, weekends can not have their own routine or we take 2 days to get back to business come Monday. Here is what I have come up with

 

I am to be up by 7 in order to have my shower, get dressed, check the computer etc. This part takes the most discipline, when I get up earlier than the kids I have a chance to set the mood for the day, if I don't it's like chaos from the minute I open my eyes and I play catch up all day.

 

8am Kids up, and dressed

8:30am breakfast, and brush teeth/hair

9am school starts

10:30 am snack/break

10:45 am school back in session

12:00pm lunch

12:30pm break

1pm Izzy nap, Hunter quiet time(t.v., reading etc), Austin and Ceilidh school

3pm Izzy and Hunter up, snack time

3:30pm playtime for kids, tidy up, think about dinner etc for me

5pm dinner then family time(play a game etc)

6pm chores

6:30pm playtime

7:30pm bathtime for littles, bedtime snack

8:00pm littles in bed, baths for big kids and bedtime snack

8:30pm big kids in bed, reading, I finish up evening clean up

9pm lights out, time for me to veg, watch t.v., read, or talk with a spouse if I had one

11pm at the latest me to bed, or I won't be able to get up at 7

 

Once the littles are older I won't need it to be so regimented. I plan on starting a loop schedule with it for school, my previous way was not working. Also there is some days with schedule variations, for example until early Dec Wednesdays I have morning bible study at church, HUnter has swimming lessons at 1:30 and the big kids have it at 4:30 so we are pretty much never home on Wednesdays, Thursday nights at 7pm is music lessons, so the little's baths are pushed back, and Friday nights Austin has cadets until 9pm so everything pushed back big time, so simply skip baths on Friday nights and head straight for bed. Now if I had a spouse these changes would not occur because I would not have to pile everyone in the car for everything like picking up Austin from cadets on Friday nights etc.

 

ETA as for school itself I also have my lesson plans for each subject written up for the entire year, each night I go over what I am covering the next day and get materials ready, photocopy pages I need etc. This cuts down on wasted time during school time. Also while the kids have playtime and school time I can do some cleaning, such as folding laundry while they do school work, I clean the mainfloor while they school since they school in the kitchen. They also have chores to do each day, those include cleaning their rooms, taking the trash out, taking the dirty clothes to the laundry room, vacuuming the area rug in the livingroom etc. Previously I asked them to do them when ever I remembered during the day, now they are scheduled each night from 6-6:30 so that when I start baths the house is pretty much already back in order, and it is getting done daily. With everyone pitching in 30 minutes at the end of the night to put it all back in order helps set things for a more relaxing evening once everyone is in bed for the night.

Edited by swellmomma
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Now that I have to manage the house at the same time as teaching (I used to have full-time help) I have a to-do list for each day, and I fit in household tasks between times.

 

If you click on the blog link in my siggy, you'll find an entry about a day in our home educating life, which might give a flavour. I don't know how many children you have - I only have two, so it might not be relevant.

 

Laura

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I know it's my hormones...and I'm having a super duper tough aunt flow this month so I'm feeling exhausted and overwhelmed....BUT....how do you do it? keep the house clean? get dinner on the table? homeschool the kids? take care of the animals? have time with dh? take a shower? keep up with the laundry? keep food in the house? pay the bills? AND have time for YOU?????? I feel like I'm drowning lately!!!!!:confused:

 

I know I need a schedule for myself, my kids and our school....I always start off well, but I never STICK TO IT! I get so frustrated with myself and with my kids!

 

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

 

Thanks for any words of advice, encouragement or just a hug - I need all of the above!

 

:grouphug: I tend to get overwhelmed when I feel like I have too much on my plate, hormones or not. I tend to delegate and prioritize. I also know some things just are not going to get done on a busy day. My laundry basket full of clean clothes sat in the laundry room for 3 days. DH finally took it to the bedroom today. :001_huh:

 

I have given myself permission to quit on some days. My dh and ds cook on Thursdays and we get take out at least one night a week. I take an hour to myself after school, it's my sanity time.

 

We clean on Saturdays, I start laundry on Monday, and we pick up every day. that's about as much schedule as I can handle.

 

I don't know how old your dc are but I put my ds in charge of many of his own things. I don't pick up his toys, I put his laundry on my bed and he has to put it away. He has a list of chores he does on a weekly basis.

 

There are days when school takes more of my attention and the house gets forgotten. We are in our 5th year of homeschooling and dh realizes that there are days that wear me out, even with one. He has learned this phrase "Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape." :001_smile:

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BUT....how do you do it? keep the house clean? keep up with the laundry?

 

It's a mess. The laundry is in various piles of clean and dirty, which is actually a large part of the aforementioned mess. I am supposedly bartering with another hs mom for her to fold my laundry while I teach her and my kids Spanish, but I find I actually have to do a few loads of laundry in time for her to come for it to actually happen... :tongue_smilie:

 

get dinner on the table? keep food in the house?

 

Well, if I meal plan before my weekly food shop, then I plan to make about 3-4 meals a week, planning to cook extra for leftovers the other days. If I do not meal plan, then we end up eating spaghetti, frozen spinach pies, and resorting to take-out.

 

take care of the animals?

 

We have delegated this almost entirely to the children. Bwa-ha-ha.

 

pay the bills?

 

dh is in charge of the bills. That probably takes a lot more off my plate than I realize.

 

have time with dh?

 

Does collapsing in front of the tv after the kids are in bed count??

 

AND have time for YOU??????

 

See collapsing in front of tv. Also, I tend to stay up too late which I think is actually counterproductive. And a few times a month I need to escape to either hang with girlfriends or just go to a book store and browse and veg in the cafe. I am also a member of a few small hs coops which allow me to chit-chat with other moms in the course of the week, which I think really helps.

 

take a shower?

 

Get up early or stay up late. Ugh.

 

homeschool the kids?

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

 

 

I have a "routine". A schedule sounds much more precise, and I can't do precise. However, winging it has been shown to be a recipe for disaster. It's like the meal planning. If I don't have at least a good idea what should happen when, it all falls apart.

 

Mornings, the kids are supposed to be up by 8, get dressed and eat breakfast by 9.

9-10 is instrument practice

10-12:30 or 1 we theoretically get in math, spelling, grammar, writing.

 

Many afternoons we have classes or coops. If we don't, we spend into the afternoon catching up on the aforementioned "morning" academic stuff. We have special assigned times for homework for language classes (Weds and Fri afternoons). Sunday afternoons we also frequently do catch-up.

 

It is definitely *much* easier when everything has an assigned slot or area in the day or week - the kids will much more easily go along with doing it because "it's time to do this", and if we don't get to it, they don't fuss much about making it up, as it's easily recognized that we didn't get it done in it's assigned spot. There is no screen time allowed before 5:30, which is also an assigned slot and is self-limiting as dinner and bedtime hit.

 

History's slot is mostly at bedtime - both read-alouds and assigned reading.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
how do you do it? keep the house clean? get dinner on the table? homeschool the kids? take care of the animals? have time with dh? take a shower? keep up with the laundry? keep food in the house? pay the bills? AND have time for YOU?????? I feel like I'm drowning lately!!!!!:confused:

 

I know I need a schedule for myself, my kids and our school....I always start off well, but I never STICK TO IT! I get so frustrated with myself and with my kids!

 

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

 

This could have been me a few months ago. I was exasperated every day trying to keep up with it all. I recognize myself in this post but if you don't recognize yourself in my answer, feel free to disregard.

 

One day it occurred to me that if I was hiring someone to do my job, I would fire her if she did it as poorly as I was. It was a reality check, to say the least. My problem was that I was having such a pity-party about not having any me time that I was stealing bits of me time all day long. That wasn't good for the house, the kids, the homeschooling...it wasn't even good for me! Quality me time can't really be found in tiny snippets stolen during the day. So, I finally took some advice I thought I could never follow and got up in the morning 30 minutes to one hour before the kids. (It helps to go to bed at a reasonable hour. The importance of enough sleep cannot be underestimated.) Ah, a shower, coffee, the news, and e-mail all by myself. Then that was it for the morning. Me time over.

 

Time to get to work. I make my bed. It's a big priority for me to make the master bedroom a haven for my husband and me so I keep it neat as a pin. (It helps that my husband is a very neat and tidy guy.) I put a load of laundry in the washer. Every morning I wash all the dirty clothes in the house in one load using a Shout Color Catcher with mixed colors because I only want to do the one load. Those Color Catchers have never failed me (but don't try with brand new darks or brights) and with only one load a day, laundry isn't piling up. I make breakfast. Eat with kids. Clean up kitchen. Move laundry. School with kids. And here is the most important change for me... During the parts of school where the kids are doing something independently or when they are given a break, I do NOT steal me time. I make short trips to put away the laundry, feed the cat, scoop the litter, or I start lunch and dinner, prepare the coffee maker for the next day (we school in the dining room so I'm still right there)...you get the picture. I accomplish smallish tasks as I'm able but otherwise, I consider this time of day to be the homeschool mom portion of my job description.

 

After school is over (lunchtime for now, my kids are young), we eat lunch and I clean up. The kids go play in their rooms or outside.

 

Then I take two solid hours of me time. Yep, a big chunk. That can be working out while calling a friend (3x a week), quilting, playing around online, reading, pedicure, manicure, or whatever else I want.

 

When the two hours are over, that's it. I take care of the house again. I seek out anything and everything that needs to be done, prioritize the importance and get cracking. This is the housekeeper part of my job description.

 

Some other things that have helped...

 

Three times a day (before lunch, before dinner, and before bed) the whole family speed cleans (to super fast music, my kids' favorite is the Lion King Stampede...it's a race!) the common areas. It is all very dramatic and efficient, never more than 10 minutes.

 

Once a week, I deep clean the kids' bathroom while they're taking a bath. Once a week, I let the kids have a play bath in our big tub in the master bath and deep clean that bathroom.

 

Each kid has a chore chart...small stuff because they're young but they're being taught that everyone has to pitch in. And here is another big one for me--I'm teaching them that when they leave a room (for good), they need to leave it like they found it. They did not find the bathroom littered with towels and dirty clothes, toothpaste smeared on the counter, or--oh, my--an unflushed toilet. They need to leave it like they found it, so I'm driving that message home. It's work, hard work--repetitive, annoying work--but it will sink in. It's much easier to be attentive with reminders now that I'm not trying to steal me time throughout the day. I am present, not a future victim to something they were doing, some mess they were making that I didn't even know about because I was checking my e-mail "really quickly." Nothing is ever really quick in the black hole of the internet.

 

First House Rule of the Day: No one eats breakfast until their room is straightened. I thought this would go over like a lead balloon but they're freakishly lovely about it. Their rooms don't get ridiculously messy anymore because they're being maintained on a daily basis--by THEM, not ME. Before this rule, I seemed to watch helplessly as the kids' rooms became disaster areas, while I made some feeble comment every day about how they needed to clean their rooms. Kids don't respond to feeble comments. (I do help the 2 year old.)

 

I'm a nut about the kitchen and maintain as I go. I'm not a naturally tidy person so this is a flaw in my messy gene that I'm grateful for. I will say that if you timed yourself unloading the dishwasher (my husband's Kryptonite for cleaning the kitchen...or whatever your mental obstacle may be for cleaning up...everyone has one, I think), you would be shocked at how little time it actually takes relative to how much you dread it. I read on someone's blog recently about a new rule she made for herself where if she thinks about it, she has to do it. That's kind of how I'm trying to operate these days.

 

Cleaning: Clean throughout the day, making the kids help and straightening as we go.

 

Dinner: I make it at lunch or immediately after my two hour block of me time. The kids set the table and get everyone drinks while I'm making plates. The kids clear their own place at the table after the meal, for all meals, not just dinner. When they're old enough to reach the sink, they're old enough to rinse their own plate and put it in the dishwasher. (I keep sharp knives out until I run it.) Also, we eat leftovers at least a couple of times a week. I also keep healthy but quick options in the freezer for frantic days when there are only a few minutes to put dinner together.

 

Bills: Paid electronically through my bank. All are scheduled. Two times a month, I sit down to manually input those bills that fluctuate.

 

Time for husband: After dinner, I do dishes and clean the kitchen while my husband plays with the kids. Family time. Baths. Bedtime for kids. Then I've made it a priority to be present with my husband, even if it just means sitting next to him and reading while he watches tv. He got me a laptop last Christmas because he just wants us to physically be together, not with me so often in another room doing homeschool research and planning. If that works for you too, all the better. We go to bed at the same time...always. I might stay up a little later reading but we always go together.

 

I'm sorry if this has been a disorganized response. I know it's full of typos and bad grammar and punctuation but I just wanted to get it "on paper." I hope some of this helps. I'd say the biggest help to me was my shift in thinking and no longer looking for a break all darn day.

 

Good luck! It is a tough business we're in!

 

Kristina

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wow Kristina!!!!yes, you were me and I see myself finding so many answers in your post! thank you so much!!!!

 

I also steal moments all day long and they add up to feeling like I had no time for me at all!

 

I'm going to read your post again and make my new plan with it!

 

Thanks everyone! you make a girl smile, I think God for this site!!

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I know it's my hormones...and I'm having a super duper tough aunt flow this month so I'm feeling exhausted and overwhelmed....BUT....how do you do it? keep the house clean? get dinner on the table? homeschool the kids? take care of the animals? have time with dh? take a shower? keep up with the laundry? keep food in the house? pay the bills? AND have time for YOU??????

Cleaning - I have chores scheduled for me and the kids. If we get behind during the week, we play catch up on Saturday.

 

Dinner - We keep it to simple meals without a lot of prep time. I try to have a meal plan for the week made before I go shopping and we stick to it as best we can.

 

Time with dh - maybe in another month or so when I'm not so tired...

 

Shower - First thing in the morning. I try to get up before the kids. If the baby's awake, I put him in his bouncy chair in the bathroom.

 

Laundry - I start one load first thing in the morning. If I oversleep, it gets started while I listen to memory work. I have a scehduled time to hang the laundry ot put it in the dryer. If I need a second load, I start it then too. We usually fold laundry after dinner and the three older kids all do their own.

 

Pay the bills - on the 10th and 20th of each month.

 

Time for me - Doesn't always happen, but I usually manage to squeeze in at least 15 minutes in the afternoon when the kids are sleeping or reading.

 

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

 

 

 

Most days we do a good job of following the schedule through the end of school. It's a bit harder to stick to this year with the baby because he takes such short naps, but we come as close as we can each day. The biggest advantage to me in having a schedule is that is helps me priortize what we do so that the most important things get done. It also helps me keep track of my 4yo so that he has something constructive to do. Here's a link to our schedule. Even the best schedules break down occasionally. Right now I'm behind in cleaning because I've been changing out seasonal clothes. Hopefully, we'll be back on track by the end of the week. HTH

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Can you share tips on how to tell children to always clean their rooms ?

 

 

 

I stumbled on something the other day. My kids' rooms were atrocious but we started school work instead of cleaning rooms first. At break time I told them I was setting the timer for 20 mins break but they had to start with cleaning their rooms first. Whatever time was left over was for 'break' but if they used all their time on cleaning rooms, well, bad luck!!

 

You have NEVER seen kids clean their rooms so fast, and STILL have time to play outside. I'm really not sure how they did it. But I'll defintely do THAT again. :001_smile: I'm sure once they realize that they are losing their own free time they might actually work on keeping it a little cleaner.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
Kristina,

 

Can you share tips on how to tell children to always clean their rooms ?

 

Thanks

 

Before I ever enforced this rule, I made sure that I was in the habit of cleaning my room every morning.

 

Also, I was a complete slob of a child who used to be sent to my room and told to not come out until it was clean. I will never forget looking at the mess and being completely overwhelmed to the point of tears thinking there was no way I could possibly do it. I did, and it always took me all day. And I do mean ALL. DAY.

 

So, with that in the back of my head, I really wanted to teach my kids the habit of maintaining instead of passing on my bad habit of making a mess to the point of being overwhelmed by it. Before I enforced this rule for the first time, I sat down with my two oldest (son, 5 and daughter, 4) and talked to them about how hard it is to play in a messy room (there's no room, you step on things and hurt your feet or break your toys, toys get mixed up, it just doesn't feel as calm, etc.), how we can't find our things when they're not put back where they belong and, the worst part, how we eventually have to clean up a giant mess and get so cranky about it.

 

After this discussion, we made a big to-do, spending an afternoon cleaning each of the three kids' rooms and making sure everyone knew where everything was supposed to go. This includes making sure that all books are put away appropriately, spines out and not over the tops of the other books...so unattractive. So, we all did the first clean together. Then we basked in the glory of it. We moms know that feeling of "wow! The house is so much nicer when it's clean!" and I wanted my kids to bask in that with their rooms. We talked about how much floor space there was to play, how beautiful their rooms looked, how their special items that they have out for display (special stuffed animals, daughter's music box collection, son's wooden toy collection) actually look so, so special because you can see them instead of them mixing in with all the other clutter. So, basically, I taught them to take pride in that feeling of a sparkling, straightened, clean space. We took a picture of each kid's room. I went to Wal-Mart and did the instant print thing and those pictures were laminated for their chore chart. The chore chart itself is on the wall of the hallway for their bedrooms. Before bed that night, we talked again about their beautifully clean rooms and how good it felt to go to sleep in a clean room and how we were going to maintain that every day to keep that good feeling. So they all were told that, just like Mommy, they needed to make their bed and tidy their room before coming to breakfast. They just did it. They were proud. They've kept it up for a few months now. I have stayed on top of it, taking to heart Charlotte Mason's emphasis on habit formation and not letting it go. For the few times that my daughter has been a little whiny about it, I've had my best success by just telling her, "The sooner you get it done, the sooner you can eat. MMMMM. Pancakes! Hurry! Hurry!" Hunger is a pretty good motivator and breakfast is my kids' favorite meal of the day. We do a big hot breakfast almost every morning. Honestly, my two sons seem to have their dad's neat gene so I'm beyond lucky there.

 

As the mom, you need to be satisfied with the four year old's attempt to make the bed. As long as it is sincerely a best effort, they get praise.

 

For my son, a puzzle fanatic, it helped to point out to him how several of his puzzles have had pieces lost or put in the wrong box because of having too many toys out and messy at the same time. He responded well to that because that particular toy was the most important to him.

 

For both, if the two year old is playing with them in their rooms, I make a point of going in to ensure that he helps clean up. He's two so he thinks cleaning is fun. Maybe it will last since we're working so hard on the habit.

 

A while back I learned this one from a fellow mom. She used to play a cleaning game as a child and now she does it with her kids. Every time a room needs to be cleaned, a "Queen of Clean" sits on her throne and points her wand at an item that needs to be picked up and says something like, "I command thee to put thy doll clothes in the pink bin post haste!" So, that was tons of fun and they all cleaned happily ever after. They alternated who got to be the queen. We have a queen and two kings. I never get to be the queen--boo! hiss!--but the kids are enjoying it and cleaning up so I don't care. We alternate this game with the fast-paced cleaning with dramatic music and the timer set.

 

Hope this helps. I'm still learning but these are some things that have made huge improvements here. Um, my me time is almost up for the day. When the two year old wakes up, we have to go buy some fruit or there is going to be a mutiny. Someone help me with grocery shopping with three young kids in tow. That's my Achilles heel.

 

Kristina

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
wow Kristina!!!!yes, you were me and I see myself finding so many answers in your post! thank you so much!!!!

 

I also steal moments all day long and they add up to feeling like I had no time for me at all!

 

I'm going to read your post again and make my new plan with it!

 

Thanks everyone! you make a girl smile, I think God for this site!!

 

I am seriously so glad to help! I know what it's like to be there and it's so, so good not to feel so anxious and frustrated on a day-to-day basis. That doesn't mean that everything is perfect but I rarely feel like I've lost control anymore.

 

Good luck!

 

Kristina

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Kristina,

 

You've hit the nail squarely on on the head for me. My sense of entitlement (to "me" time and for things to run smoothly) has stolen the joy from the very thing I said I always wanted--to be at home with my kids. Having "me" time and having things go smoothly are important, but I let them become idols. I began to see my children as inconveniences and blockades to my happiness. UGH!!! The ugly truth is that it IS "all about me". I have to be the one to set the tone in my home, to make family priorities and stick to them (the priorities) like glue with JOY in my heart. If I don't.......it all falls apart. If I'm honest, I can tell you that right now this does not sit well with me. (I've got a long road ahead of making good habits.) I've got a major princess complex, that was very lovingly and unknowingly cultivated by my parents in childhood. I don't want that for my girls (I have 3) and, even knowing that, I struggle to keep my priorities in the right order and the tone of how I facilitate those in check.

 

Thank you for your very specific response to the OP. It has very much encouraged ME as well. I am grateful for the reminder and I suspect others are as well.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
My sense of entitlement (to "me" time and for things to run smoothly) has stolen the joy from the very thing I said I always wanted--to be at home with my kids. Having "me" time and having things go smoothly are important, but I let them become idols. I began to see my children as inconveniences and blockades to my happiness. UGH!!!

 

The ugly truth is that it IS "all about me". I have to be the one to set the tone in my home, to make family priorities and stick to them (the priorities) like glue with JOY in my heart. If I don't.......it all falls apart.

 

The first part where I put your words in bold is about where I was several months ago, before I started making the changes I outlined before. If you asked me what my priorities were, I would have told you that they were staying at home and making memories with my kids, homeschooling, and taking good care of my family emotionally and physically BUT that wasn't how I was behaving. I am so proud to say I am now. It's almost like it's just this great side effect (and great irony) that I also have more time for myself this way.

 

Everyone who wants to work on setting a beautiful tone in your home, I can't help but recommend Mrs. Sharp's Traditions. I LOVE this book and have been incorporating its ideas with much success lately.

http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Breathnachs-Mrs-Sharps-Traditions/dp/074321076X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225050047&sr=8-1

Aside from this, I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying scented candles and some nice soft music as a means of relaxing when I'm stressed. I'm a goober but my two favorite singers are Harry Connick Jr and Josh Groban. I can listen to them during the day (my favorite is when I'm making dinner and cleaning up) because they're mild enough for the kids. Plus we love classical music. I can't tell you how much a clean, nice smelling house and lovely music make you do a 180 as a wife and mother.

 

Now my me time is definitely up! I'm off. :)

 

Kristina

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I couldn't live without a schedule, and I only have two children.

 

Start with the obvious, bedtimes and waketimes. Get those consistent for all family members including yourself. Then work on "peg" times. Daily activites that usually come at the same time and you can plan for: meals, classes, sports. Next fill in with school time and chore time.

 

Start out with a more generic schedule and tighten it as you find out what works and what doesn't. I find that schedules are an individual thing. What works for one person would be a disaster for another. Really, it's about setting down and outlining meal plans and bedtime, chore time and school time routines. It's just work.

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One day it occurred to me that if I was hiring someone to do my job, I would fire her if she did it as poorly as I was. It was a reality check, to say the least.

 

Kristina

 

I had this same realization when we moved to a new house, my second started 1st and my two youngest needed scheduled PK time for puzzles, letters and such. I figured that my husband takes about 30 minutes - 1 hour of chit chat and coffee breaks at work each day, but other than that he is working non-stop from 8 to 6. It is wrong for me to not put forth the same effort. But at the same time, I was getting overwhelmed with multi tasking and stress. I would burn out, give up and sit down to watch TV for the rest of the day. So I figured out what I can do reasonably in one day: cook 3 meals, 2 snacks, give baths, do 1 load of laundry and teach the kids. Everything else is now split equally between my hubby and me.

 

Every night I throw 1 load in the washer. First thing in the morning, I throw it in the dryer. At 8 am I take a shower, get ready and fold and put away the laundry while the kids make themselves breakfast, clean all their areas and get dressed. If the kids are done before 9 am, they get to play (incentive) and we start school at 9. I don't try to multi task so much anymore. My computer is the only thing I multi task with while the kids are doing school. When they are done with school, I take a 45 minute break, exercise a bit and then back to work cooking, cleaning and organizing until hubby gets home. After dinner, we both chip in and complete anything that did not get done during the day. On Saturdays I clean the bathrooms while hubby deep cleans the kitchen, and floors.

 

The kids have two times every day where they need to pick up their areas. I have the entire house, including the master bedroom, divided into three areas, sized according to their age. They each have to make sure every stray item or toy is put away. If we miss one time a day due to a late night, it is fine because they have done it another time. It takes them no more than 30 minutes to do this, because they do it so regularly. Usually it only takes 10 minutes and the lack of clutter is a load of my shoulders!

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keep the house clean?

We pick up once or twice a day. The rest of the time we live here:001_smile: so there are frequently homeschool supplies and other evidences of our living here lying around. We live in the country and never have people just stop by but clutter really gets to me. We don't have lots of nick-nacks and while we have a lot of the types of toys we have (brio, playmobile, lego) we don't have 40 different kinds of toys laying around so it's easy to clean up-kwim? We also do a LOT of gardening when it's nice out- the kids participate. They basically do whatever grunt work we do- we're democratic like that;) As a family we've cleaned up our acerage and done lots of projects together; painting, gardening, laying brick, remodeling, etc.

 

get dinner on the table?

I have a list in my head of what I know is available to make. I have several recipies memorized. We have soup/breakfast for dinner often. My older dd's know how to make everything that I do (and more) so they will cook if asked. My dh is home late frequently so we often eat dinner w/o him.

 

homeschool the kids?

I see this as my job so it gets done.every.day. I have spent years reading, researching education and am a committed classical educator. This limits choices and defines our homeschooling time, and is an auto-selection process for curriculum as well. We do memory work 1-2 hrs a day 4 days a week. I set yearly goals for each student. This is the bulk of what we do each day.

 

take care of the animals?

The kids take care of the dog and cats. We did have sheep, goats and a horse, chickens until a year ago. They took care of all animal care-including hauling water in SD winters- an ugly job!

 

have time with dh?

He'll call from work, we email. We talk at night with lights out and in the a.m. Frequently we are interrupted by kids. We enjoy their company and want to create a home where we all speak and are listened to, but for those times when we need to talk, we let them know to go away. :)

 

take a shower?

I don't take one every day- but did when I worked out more diligently. I alternate between a.m. and p.m. I'm usually up before my kids.

 

keep up with the laundry? Once a kid can walk, they help put away laundry. My older kids (age 12 and up) start, switch around and fold. My older kids help iron.

 

keep food in the house? we shop once a week. I buy mainly the same list each time. We have a large garden and bake a lot of our own bread but our menu doesn't change around that much. Simple dinners are salad based, or breakfast for dinner.

 

pay the bills? dh does this.

AND have time for YOU?????? get up early, stay up late or cheat the kids

 

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

We wash and dry clothes Mon and Tues and a couple loads the remainder of the week. I cook daily- frequently make nice breakfasts as we can all eat together. We start school around 8:30 after the kids have eaten and done a.m. jobs. During that time we play ed CD's. Then Memory work, then individual stuff. Latin and Logic DVD's in the afternoon. The older kids are frequently doing school till late afternoon. We cook and clean and do dishes together.

 

I do a ligher week about every 4th week. We do about 1/2 of our normal work-load. Just seems like everyone is ready for a rest at that point. I do a read-aloud a week, usually, read to the littles every bedtime. Frequently we'll have an older "read-aloud" going at night time too.

 

I have a schedule but basically but it's "relaxed." Like Paula, I'm not good at having lots of structure imposed on me! That doesn't mean I don't get a LOT done. I am very focused and goal oriented.

 

Getting it all done: My philosophy- I don't. I know what my vision is and I stick to it. It's a long race so if I push too hard and burn everyone out (including me) it's self defeating. Start with the end in mind.

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Oh I so understand!!! I feel like if I am doing well in one area then another is neglected. The balance is so hard!

 

First, my husband likes a CLEAN home so we are always picking up behind ourselves. It is rare that anything is left lying around. ok, paper piles exist but they are mine, lol! But the kids have to pick up before moving on to the next thing. While I tell them all day long, it's usually half an hour before dad is heading home that they really get on the toys and get it done.

 

I gave up on the cleaning schedule. I try to get all dishes done daily b/c once the sink is clean I can keep it clean...until I cook and use every pot and then it's a 3 days turn around before I get the kitchen back on track. I accept this when I cook large volumes.

 

But I started writing on the monthly calendar when I clean something. It helps for me to see how often the kitchen floor has been mopped. Now that I can see it's been 2 weeks I get on it. Heck, tonight I realized the upstairs bathrooms haven't been done in 2 weeks and got right on it while the kids got ready for bed/put up laundry. It doesn't take long to clean...but doing it for me it the hardest part. once I get started I get it done.

 

so I don't think set schedules work(you can always find an excuse no to start!) but I write down what I do and when it's been too long(You have to decide what is too long) then I do it right then and write it down!

 

So an average for me is :

daily: school, dishes, wiping kitchen counters

every other day: laundry/put up laundry, sweep kitchen,gather trash

weekly: (dh)vacuum and take out trash, wipe down bathrooms, print out school stuff/plan

monthly: change/wash bed sheets, mop, dust, deep clean bathrooms

 

I realized I wasn't going to dust weekly or mop as often as I wanted...and I just make sure I don't fall down on my 'averages'!

 

and when I stay offline I get more done :tongue_smilie:

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I haven't read all the replies yet, but I'll throw in my 2 cents.

 

1. The kids have to clean up their own mess (except the toddler, and we all help with that); we have a quick pick-up party when we finish school and before bed for the "public" parts of the house (dining room-we do school here, kitchen, family room). They clean their rooms on the weekend or before company.

 

2. I keep up with the kitchen as we go (dirty kitchen is a BIG pet peeve with me).

 

3. I throw laundry in whenever I get a spare minute, and the kids are in charge of folding it and putting it away. That said, I did run out of towels and undies last week;) We had a very busy week.

 

4. My dh does nothing, I repeat nothing, to help around the house. But he loves to eat out and only requires clean undies and a clear path to the bed. :D Our weeknight dinners consist of really quick dishes, like tacos, spaghetti, thin cut pork chops, breakfast foods, or eating out. My families new favorite is roast pork loin...this looks so fancy but is so easy and quick to make!

 

5. We have been considering outside help with the housework, because dh likes to have people over on Friday nights, and we have a Bible study once a month at our house with a few friends. But we just can't swing it until after Christmas.

 

6. I get up between 5:30 & 6:00 so I can exercise, read my Bible, and check my email and the boards, and shower before 8:30. Sometimes I forgo the exercise and run to the grocery so I don't have to take all the kids. Getting up early is the best thing I do to keep us on schedule.

 

7. We put the kids to be fairly early, around 8:30 or 9:00, so dh and I can watch a little tv together or talk about issues. During the summer, we go on weekly date nights...my niece can't make it that often during school, but we do try to go out once every couple of months.

 

8. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get on a good cleaning schedule. I clean whenever we are having company or I just can't stand it anymore. That means I sometimes clean bathrooms at 10:00 at night or mop the floor on Sunday afternoon...just whenever I can fit a few minutes in. I just don't have a big block of time to clean the whole house at one time.

 

9. Dh and kids take care of the dog and all the outside chores...we hire someone to mow and the boys pull weeds and rake, my 9dd sweeps porches. My dh will powerwash the house a couple of times a year.

 

10. My main struggle right now is keeping up with grading papers and planning. I hate spending my weekends doing this. Next year we are going with Sonlight, which will take care of the planning, and hopefully I'll be able to grade papers as we go (I do that for the younger two right now, but I'm having trouble keeping up with my oldest).

 

11. I try to have coffee with a friend one night a week to keep me feeling like a real person. We meet around 7:30, so dh only has to watch the baby for about an hour...gives me time to have everyone bathed and fed, so I don't feel like I have to rush. We usually close the place down.

 

12. Schooling the kids is priority number one. I really try not to feel guilty about the house not being perfect and the meals being less than grand. We really live in our house! And a regular menu of simple dishes makes the holidays that much more special! :) My 9dd is really wanting to learn to cook. I can't wait until I can turn that task over to her.

 

I try not to answer the phone during school hours, and make drs appts for later in the afternoon. If we do have to go out during the day, the kids take work with them to do while we wait.

 

HTH. I have a schedule we *try* to follow on my blog. It looks great on paper:tongue_smilie:

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We Americans tend to overload and overschedule just about everything. Our society lives by the minute, not wanting even 60 seconds to pass without being productive. Much of the time we let the clock or the calendar drive us. What would life be like if we remembered to allow the truly important things to take mose of our time and to push the urgent/unimportant things aside?

 

I truly believe that "getting it all done" as I define it is impossible. There is no way that I could check everything off my list every single day, so...

Here's what I do:

 

 

  1. I spend a few minutes in prayer and/or reading The Bible.
  2. I try VERY hard to give myself some time in the early AM by exercising. If I do this I feel refreshed and rejuvinated.
  3. I figure out what MUST be done for the day, and I choose 3 (in addition to schooling the children and preparing meals)

For example: Today I must go to the grocery, take the kids to football practice and do some laundry. This makes for a full day, but there is usually a little time in the evening for free time, time with dh or family time.

 

I think we all beat ourselves up from time to time when we don't accomplish all that we hope to. It's okay. Tomorrow is a new day and it will be ready for another fresh start.

 

Blessings to you!

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It helps me to think of keeping the home and educating ds (notice, only 1 child) as my job. It's the same as if I went out to work. I consider myself accountable to Dh, though my standards are much higher than his. That helps, because the bare minimum for me is perfectly acceptable to him. He, of course, has NEVER, ONCE, EVER asked me to clean, cook, or do laundry. All he has ever asked of me is to love him, be faithful, handle the finances and educate our child. He has easy standards. The point I'm trying to make is that I take my job seriously and hold myself accountable to what I believe Dh deserves, even if that's not what he "requires".

 

That said, even with 1 child sometimes it's difficult to get everything done that I want. Here are my 2 biggest pitfalls:

1. Spending time online while ds is working independently on schoolwork

2. Trying to work alongside ds when he could be (and wants to) work independently.

 

Here's what we do:

We have 2 chore lists hanging on the wall that are laminated so we can mark off what's been completed. One chore list has daily chores, weekly and bi-weekly chores. The other list is monthly, bi-monthly and bi-annual. Ds has certain chores that have to be done everyday before school. He must split the rest of household and animal chores with me for the day, but if he wakes up before me he gets to chose what chores he does (first come, first chose). The bigger weekly chores and such are done after school is completed on a specified day. This system needs re-vamping. I consider Ds's job to be his education and part of that is his need to have free time each and every day. So I plan to take on more of the household chores and focus his chores on his "stuff" with maybe dishes at the end of the day if he's had free time. Free time is so essential for the proper development of their thought processes. I found I was utilizing almost every minute of the poor kids day in some structured activity. Whoa Nellie!

 

Anyway, after morning chores is schoolwork. I've decided how much time to spend on each subject and set a timer at the beginning of the subject. When the timer goes off whatever is left of that lesson is "homework" to be done after school, chores and sports. If he finishes the lesson before the timer goes off he has the rest of that time block as free time. Here are our times:

Monday - Thursday-core subjects

Devotions and reading from Book of Virtues-30 minutes

Saxon Math-1 hour

Latin-30 minutes

Spelling-30 minutes

Grammar-30 minutes

Reading-30 minutes

Friday-History and Science day

Geography-30 minutes

World History-1 hour

American History-1 hour

Science-1 hour

I like have a good chunk of time for history and science, but couldn't work it in with all the other subjects so Dh came up with a history/science day. That gives Ds a break from Saxon since it's so intensive and the other "mundane" subjects.

We take breaks every hour for about 10 minutes. Sometimes ds gets really focused and forgoes a break.

 

We don't have a starting time. We start whenever, take lunch at noon and get back to work if we haven't finished yet.

 

This works well for us, but I have to keep my mindset in "work" mode. I can work on household chores while ds is working independently. I try to hold myself to the same standards I'd be held to in the workplace. That said, frequently there are dishes on the counter and the floors need to be cleaned.:glare: I have high ideals, but I rarely reach them!:o

 

Hope this helps.

 

ETA: I consider all of the housework "my" job. Dh has his job outside the house plus all the hard manual labor and the yucky work that I hate. I feel that it evens out for both of us.

 

As far as time with DH that's hard he works noon to midnight. I'm asleep when he gets home and he's asleep when I start my day. The 3-4 days a week he doesn't work we are still on odd schedules, but I spend time with him while ds is working independently. But, somebody usually has to wake someone up for a Business Meeting. It can get frustrating!

Edited by Cheryl in NM
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every other week. It was great, except that we would have to leave the house for a few hours which would throw off our school plans. I also didn't like how my dc were less willing to clean when asked. They figured it was going to get cleaned by the service anyway.

 

We've come up with a pretty good system. Everyone in the family (except the toddler) has three rooms or areas of our home they are responsible for.

 

Dd10 - her bedroom, her sister's bedroom, family room

Ds9 - his bedroom (shared with brother), living room, powder room

Ds5 - his bedroom (helps brother), basement play room, foyer/stairs/hall

Mom - master bedroom, master bathroom, kitchen/dining area

Dad - main bathroom (his choice), yard, garage

 

Everyone cleans their bedroom on Saturday. The other rooms are cleaned on Friday. It only takes about an hour each day. Also, on Monday and Wednesday everyone does a touch-up job. Dd vacuums the family room, oldest ds wipes down the sink and toilet in the powder room, and youngest ds cleans the glass in the front door. I wipe down the kitchen appliances and clean the kitchen sink. I do grocery shopping on Thursdays and all the dc help put the groceries away. I used to have my dc do their own laundry, but only my dd was doing a good job. I've since changed to doing all the laundry on Monday and Tuesday. My dd is the "laundry helper" on Mondays and my ds's are the laundry helpers on Tuesday. This way I can spend more time training them. They aren't doing the laundry on their own anymore, but they aren't getting out of it either.

 

In addition to weekly cleaning, my dc all have daily chores. Dd takes out the kitchen trash and wipes off the table after each meal. Oldest ds unloads the dishwasher and sweeps the kitchen floor after each meal. Youngest ds sets the table for dinner and wipes off the chairs after each meal (my dc are messy eaters).

 

My dc get their own breakfast and sometimes their own lunch. They like to cook, though and can't wait until they can be responsible for a weekly evening meal.

 

HTH!

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I haven't read anyone else's responses yet, but here's mine.

 

How do I do it all? Keep the house clean, pay the bills, teach the kids? etc. ? I DON'T. LOL.

 

Our "schedule": varies! Dh is a late-nighter, late-riser, which makes me tired. We rise around 8:30 or 9am. Dh is off to work around 9-9:30, I feed kids, and if we're doing really well, we start school promptly at 10am. My goal is to work diligently for 3 hours; whatever isn't finished (as long as we gave it a good effort) we put away for the day & pick up where we left off tomorrow. We do Piano, Math, LA for about 2-2 1/2 hrs, and then either science, history, or art for 1/2 hour. If we started at 10, we finish at 1pm and have lunch. Then I'm fried and who knows what happens! I yell at kids while attempting to zone in front of the computer, or try to take a nap (so I can stay up late with dh), or pay bills, or we go to the library, or run errands. The kids are put to bed around 9:30pm, and we grownups go to bed around 1am (that's dh & his late-night-ness). I really don't clean much, except for odd moments here or there, LOL.

 

Bill paying: I used to handle this 100%, but now ever since online payments, dh & I sort of take turns. I keep a notebook with a list of all the month's bills & their due dates. I check each item off of my notebook as they get paid.

 

Cleaning the house: I'm terrible, horrible, no-good at this! Sometimes I try to clean while kids play. Sometimes I make them help. They don't have regular chores because *I* am not regular enough to have them. So we just pitch in when I think its time. I try to throw in a load of dishes in the a.m. or after dinner. I throw in laundry when it starts piling up, or when dh is out of undies:) I tend to let things get out of control and then attempt to do it in fits & bursts. Yesterday I spent all day washing laundry & now I'm caught up! Usually, our weekends are spent doing whatever dh wants to do - usually odd jobs like working around the yard, or cleaning out weird bins of tools laying in some remote corner of the basement. Weekends belong to dh, so I don't spend much time doing woman-y chores. (Except yesterday, because dh wanted underwear this week).

 

I'm not exactly sure where my time goes, since I'm really not on WTM boards all that much lately. Schedules do not work for us, because then dh comes in and throws off my whole realm of existence, or I stop following it, or something comes up...or all three at once!

 

Me time: Sometimes I nap after lunch so that I am not so exhausted. I try to get together with other homeschool moms for a night out twice a month (support meetings, and our book club that meets). Waking up early & having quiet time/Bible time just is NOT going to happen around here! A kid will wake up early, or dh will hold me tight and say "its too early, you can't get up yet", and then we drift back off to sleep, LOL. He says - what's more important? Getting up and doing chores, or spending time together? If I died tomorrow, wouldn't you rather have stayed in bed? LOL. So its a lost cause:) I just try to fit in some quiet time during the day at some point (while I should be doing chores, but aren't).

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I'll preface by saying I feel overwhelmed all the time and the days I'm able to get it "all" done it's because I ran around like crazy exhausting myself! And even on those days there's still plenty that needs to be done. I take a shower before dh leaves for work, otherwise it would be impossible. I have to get up earlier than him to be able to do this but I normally do anyway. This is also my exercise time.

 

The kids are in charge of feeding the animals (4 cats), making their bed, and doing a chore ( I have a master list they can choose from or I'll name specific things that need to be done).

 

We start lessons at 8:30 and I'm very strict about that, if the kitchen is still a mess so be it- dd can start on something at least. We use a loop plan, like some others here and work for 3 hours only. At 11:30 I stop & read to my 3 yo. This is all subject to the baby and we do have to be very flexible b/c of her but it usually works out.

 

We spend sometime every weekend deciding what to eat for the upcoming week and make a list. Then I know what we're having each night. We do really easy meals and certain days are always the same- Tues. we're out a lot in the afternoon so it's sandwich night for example. I always start prepping dinner at the same time (as long as the kids are cooperative) & they are each assigned a room to tidy up before they can watch a show (their TV time coincides w/dinner prep).

 

I have a washer with a timer and I throw in a load the night before so it'll start before we get up. One of the kids usually switches it over and puts in a second load as their morning chore, but I don't usually get around to folding clothes until after dinner...they each have a basket which I put folded clothes in and then they put them away (not neatly, but away!)

 

Oh and we also each pick up 15 things around the house after lunch. There's 4 of us that can do it, it's quick and helps a lot.

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I know it's my hormones...and I'm having a super duper tough aunt flow this month so I'm feeling exhausted and overwhelmed....BUT....how do you do it? keep the house clean? get dinner on the table? homeschool the kids? take care of the animals? have time with dh? take a shower? keep up with the laundry? keep food in the house? pay the bills? AND have time for YOU?????? I feel like I'm drowning lately!!!!!:confused:

 

I know I need a schedule for myself, my kids and our school....I always start off well, but I never STICK TO IT! I get so frustrated with myself and with my kids!

 

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

 

Thanks for any words of advice, encouragement or just a hug - I need all of the above!

 

I talked about my schedule on my blog.

 

I also find that we usually try to do more than is possible in a 24-hour period. The house can only be cleaned for so many hours/week (minutes?), so we need to get help from the kids and live with reality.

 

We also need to work on quick meals that we can put together with in the time we have--a recipe file of meals that can be on the table in 20 minutes is nice.

 

And then there is the need for grace. Grace that allows us to look at the LLBean catalog when the house is dirty, grace that allows us to do a good amount of school instead of the best, grace that lets us be goofy with the kids and take a photo of the sunset even when other things are calling.

 

Life is too short to let all the things we COULD be doing get in the way of doing the IMPORTANT things...like tickling a tummy and giggling together over goofy stories.

 

Yup, I use a schedule, but it is for me--it helps me stay on track. It is not the ruler of the household; I can cross out whatever I want to and do whatever I want to when I need to change it.

 

Allow yourself to balance things with a perspective towards eternity. Someday the house will be undisturbed by little feet and busy hands. Clean houses, fancy meals, perfectly followed schedules will be a lot less important from that perspective.

 

J

Edited by Jean in Wisc
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  • 7 months later...

I wanted to add a trick for getting your kids to (quickly and happily) help with cleaning up a room. Before it's time to clean up, secretly pick one "lucky" item. The child who happens to be the one to put that item away gets a little treat (Hershey kiss, etc.). You'll be amazed how quickly the room gets picked up! :001_smile:

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We keep everything down to the basics. Toy we have the main community toys (Legos, Lincoln Logs etc.).

Clothes, if it has a stain or holes it does not stay. We keep the bare minimum of clothes. Olders help with the laundry.

I don't do the dishes my dc do. Same with the bathrooms. They help a lot with the chores. Taking out the trash, dishes, clean living rooms etc.

We eat cereal, cream of wheat or Oat Meal for dinner at least three times a week :001_huh:.

 

Everything has a home. At night the dc do their act of kindness which is to clean up.

 

School time is from 8:00a.m. to 2:00P.m. From 2-4 is quiet time or nap for the little ones. This gives me time to finish other things.

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I just do it. When I can, how I can, and it all gets done. One day it might be the bills get paid, the next day the vacuuming will get done but it's never all in the same day.

 

Thats pretty much me, too.

I have used Flylady for years, and it helped me go from overwhelmed to basically in control- but I will never be someone who can work to a tight schedule. I use my Flylady schedule when I find myself drowning in chores- it gives me a starting point- but mostly, I just do the next thing as it occurs to me, when I have some moments to do it. I dont follow the Flylady system any more but to some extent it is internalised in a way that works for my rather erratic nature.

Some things that have become routine habits (thankyou Flylady) are doing a load of washing most days- not having a separate washing day; washing dishes after every meal (actually, the kids do it) rather than leaving them; making my bed in the mornings and keeping my bedroom a beautiful sanctuary- no computers in there; giving the kids chores; and regular bursts of decluttering.

I love to declutter, and will often get an urge to do a cupboard, a drawer, my desk, the kids' school things, a surface. I also have learned to value having a few clear surfaces in the house, like the dining room table (it gets filled with stuff easily but I clear it off), and the coffee table in the schoolroom. It makes such a difference to my feeling of overwhelm when I walk into a room, to have a clear surface or two to lay my eyes on.

Another thing Flylady taught me was that I Dont need to do it all at once. Breaking things down to smaller parts- cleaning a bookshelf for 15 minutes can sometimes be more productive than surface cleaning a whole room in the same time if I have the whim to do it.

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Managers of Their Homes by Steve and Terri Maxwell really helped me get a handle on:

 

what I want to do

what I should do

what I was wasting time doing

and what God wants me to do

 

Then I put a schedule together. I usually change my schedule 3 times a year--Aug/Sept, Jan. and May/June.

 

I also rotate chores and assign jobs to my children. We do school in the morning and the child who is not working with me is supposed to be making thier bed and feeding pets. I have some posts on my blog about this as well under time management, organization and schedules.

 

Good luck finding a routine that works for you.:001_smile:

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"Life is too short to let all the things we COULD be doing get in the way of doing the IMPORTANT things...like tickling a tummy and giggling together over goofy stories."

 

The above quote was from Jean in Wisc. You are soooo right!! I have to remind myself all the time that there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done - always dirty laundry, always a messy room etc. Trying to get it all done every day reminds me of a dog chasing his own tail. - I wonder if that is what I look like to God in my efforts to clean out my "in box" each day. When will I learn that my in box will NEVER be empty????!!! I think that is especially hard for homeschool moms. We feel so guilty bc we let the house go in order to educate our children. Whenever I have a spare moment, I'm not playing with my kids, I'm doing all the things I think a good wife/mom/housekeeper/teacher etc. should be doing. Life is too short - seize the day!

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I'm really lousy at succeeding at this but it is the best tip I've got.

 

If one is not disciplined the best thing you can do is pick a time before the kids are up (or if older kids before they need your attention). Shower, dress, make your bed and eat breakfast. Then see to it that all dishes from night before and breakfast etc. are in the washer, put away, and the day is ready to begin. If you need to add exercise, bible study, dog walking/feeding or computer time-get up earlier as required.

 

If you are up, dressed, morning chores done before you begin lessons you will feel ready for the day, for any surprises, to tackle what comes.

 

On a side note-my Aunt who raised 5 kids taught all of them (boys and girls) how to do laundry at age 11. They were trained in use of the machines, laundry sorting, stains, ironing, etc. Then they were fully responsible for their own stuff. She took care of household laundry. I can't remember if each kid had to do their own sheets or not. Following this principle I taught mine to sort laundry by the time they were 6. I would say it was laundry day and they brought their stuff and sorted next to the machine and I washed. Soon I'll have an 11 year old to train with phase 2-use of the machine.

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This conversation came up on an email loop that I am on a couple of weeks ago. This is what I wrote on it:

 

The single most successful scheduling thing that has worked for our family is our school calendar. We school 6-7 weeks on followed by one week off. That is my sanity saver. That week allows me to catch up on everything that I have gotten behind on "life-wise" during our schooling weeks. I run mega-errands, catch up on cleaning, schedule our next 6-7 weeks, and have some down time.

 

I also follow a "pegs" philosophy. (Not a strict schedule, but certain activities that happen at the same time every day are linked to certain activities) For example, my first task when I wake up is to throw in a load of laundry. It means something is getting accomplished first thing. Next, I make whole wheat muffins for breakfast. (They keep them full and I don't hear any "I'm hungry" comments.) Here is a link that describes the "peg philosophy" really well. http://melissawiley.typepad.com/bonnyglen/2006/05/one_quick_quest.html

 

After breakfast, I work with my youngest student. (not pre-schoolers b/c I don't do pre-school. ;) ) Next yr, my rising 2nd grader is my youngest. I work with her until she is completely finished. (While she is working on math or copywork, I fold laundry or clean the kitchen.) While I am working with her, the older kids are reading or doing other work that they don't need me to help with.

 

The rest of the day is spent rotating through the rest of the kids. I work with my elementary and middle school kids every day on all subjects except science. My high schoolers I rotate days of discussion........science might be everyday or every other day. Lit is 1-2 days per week. Same with history. Depends on their reading schedules. Math is everyday. I do not have a set order of whom I work with when among the older kids. It simply sort of flows with whoever is available at whatever time one of them finishes.

 

I do odd tasks in between while everyone might be working independently. I often cook in my crock pot (especially on days when we have outside activities on top of regular academics). My kids are all responsible for putting away their laundry, keeping their rooms clean, and spending about 20 minutes every afternoon where everyone hits a target zone that needs to be cleaned (playroom, family room, kitchen, hall bath, etc)

 

I don't expect to do everything on my own. This is a family endeavor. It takes everyone to make it work. FWIW......I am not very flexible about what makes a school day. Our day isn't over until its done. If something in life takes over, we catch up on the weekend, etc. There are just too many of them in the upper grades to not hold ourselves accountable daily.

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:grouphug: Heavy flow days. Make tea. Watch a movie, listen to music. Eat chocolate. Rest.

Basics: the house isn't always clean. We decorate in 'liveherestyle". We do a thourough pick up a couple of times a week. Other than that it's pick up as you go, put stuff away, everyone pitching in. Homeschooling takes place every school day. We get the morning routine done and jump in- a couple days a week all of us with memory work, a couple days i start with the notsolittles. My dh does math and logic with the older 2. We got rid of most animals- too destructive. we'd like more but need better fencing. The dogs, cats and crabs get taken care of by kids. Dh and I spend time early in the day or late in the day or when we are walking around the garden together. My dh works partly from home so we see each other now more than we ever have.

Showers. I do lots of gardening and yard work so when I need it, a.m. or p.m. -in the winter, when I'm freezing (seriously) or every other day (huper dry skin). I used to shower in afernoon- after I worked out- basically what are you doing that day/week? Plan around that.

Laundry- wash heavily on Mon and Tues- loads changed aroudn by older2, I fold, everyone pitches in to put away as soon as it's folded. Dry laundry does.not.sit.around. Too overwhelming.

Grocery shopping once a week. During the school year on Fridays, in the summer on Thursdays, that's it.

Time for me? I read. I blog. I garden. When I am really on the edge, I let my dh know and he tries to keep the kids at bay and I'll spend time in my room (it's big, we have a couch in there) reading, or blog, etc. Sometimes walk. I used to work out regularly and that makes everything better! attitude, weight, routine.

I don't have a schedule per se but I do have routines- washing dishes- every a.m. School, every a.m., Morning jobs- every a.m., etc. I'm not a big schedule person, I'm more big=picture. I over plan the year, set goals, post them. I start with the end in mind. I tackle things/areas that drive.me.nuts. Right now, we live in a big old farmhouse- no storage, closets on first floor. We are going to build a "closet/shelves, hooks on the front enclosed porch thsi month becasue I cannot take another winter (in the far north) with 6/7 people's winter cr*p thrown all over the living areas. Manage what bugs you, don't let it manage you. Take bite-size chuncks and sort that. You don't have to solve everything at once.

Edited by laughing lioness
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I know it's my hormones...and I'm having a super duper tough aunt flow this month so I'm feeling exhausted and overwhelmed....BUT....how do you do it? keep the house clean? get dinner on the table? homeschool the kids? take care of the animals? have time with dh? take a shower? keep up with the laundry? keep food in the house? pay the bills? AND have time for YOU?????? I feel like I'm drowning lately!!!!!:confused:

 

I know I need a schedule for myself, my kids and our school....I always start off well, but I never STICK TO IT! I get so frustrated with myself and with my kids!

 

what is your schedule like? do you have one? do you stick to it? do you feel life is better when you have one? what's your typical day?

 

Thanks for any words of advice, encouragement or just a hug - I need all of the above!

 

I have an Excel spreadsheet from when I used to get it all done.

 

Now, and here's the truth, you can't do it ALL and do it all WELL. You have to prioritize. What's most important to you? What are you unrealistic about? Let me give you an example. I get up at 5:00AM with my DH. I enjoy this... It's the only time my house is quiet. Kids who get up before 6:00AM better get comfy on the couch and PRETEND to sleep. Or stay in bed. Now here's where the lying to myself comes in. I truly allow myself to believe that IF I go ahead and do my Bible Time and I go ahead and have a cup of coffee while I do computer time that I'll only stay on a short while then go take a shower before the kids get up.

 

And then I don't.

 

And then I'm frustrated. And I get mad. And I say, "How come I NEVER get a shower?" Well, it's because if I told myself - "No coffee & no computer time 'til the shower is done." Then I'd be motivated. OR, likewise if I realize that I will give into this temptation, I should just shower before bed.

 

Because when we set unrealistic expectations and lie to ourselves, we KNOW we're going to fail.

 

It's also about retraining habits. You try to set 100 new habits for yourself all at once, you're also going to fail.

 

Dinner? I have menus, make the grocery list off the menus, do the shopping. I do NOT run out of items 99% (or maybe a little less :tongue_smilie:) of the time. Because when you run out, you have to go to the store. When you go to the store, you're going to cheat. Or worse it'll be two hours later and then supper doesn't get done again and you order pizza.

 

I HAVE to know what we're eating ahead of time and if not a week or two ahead of time, at least by 10AM. Do any prep work at naptime.

 

Homeschooling - how old are your kids? Must they have you sit by them and "direct" them? At about 4th grade, that should be minimized to what they NEED not what they want. And they get more independent from there. If they're younger, are you doing too much?

 

Again, I've had to cut down on some of my wishlist for being realistic.

 

Chores - most of the outdoor chores fall on our 10yo ds and 7yo dd. Taking the time to train them to do it and checking their work occasionally, they water and feed the goats, the cats, the pigs, and the chickens. Ana feeds and exercises her dog. This gets done immediately after breakfast.

 

House Cleaning - it's never done. Ever. My only goal is to keep DH sane. Sometimes I fail. We don't have a dishwasher so my goal is to have dishes done by 4:00-5:00. We really do a huge clean-up right before DH comes home. Because we all know if I did it a lot earlier, it'd be a mess. And I really LIKE him to come home and see that the house got cleaned up at some point in the day. :lol: It proves I did something.

 

Truth is, I don't sit much during the day. This computer time is about it and we're not doing full on school right now. I do not watch ANY television and if a friend calls, then I chat while I pick up or multi-task.

 

Be wary of what you expect as far as "for yourself" time. The reason I say this is because the world REALLY sets us up for discontentment. It tells you all the time "you DESERVE ME time and if you don't get it, well, you're gypped." It's a lie. You can buy into it or not. You NEED time to invest in yourself - that's true. For example if you're pregnant, a nap is an INVESTMENT, not an indulgence. If you're a mommy bible time is an INVESTMENT not an indulgence. We are better people thinking how we can serve others rather than ourselves, so just a caution to not buy into the lie.

 

And if the problem is that you have no authority in your home (children need to be nagged to pick up or to do school, etc.) all your best efforts will go to naught. That will have to be fixed before all else.

 

But the truth is, the Managers of their Homes (while I do NOT do a fixed schedule, we do a flexing routine) taught me something.

Sit down. Write down what you need to do and how much time each thing takes. You'll quickly figure out you only have 24 hours. Something is taking up more time than you can allow it. In some folks' cases, it's debating with their children. For others it's the computer. For other folks they simply have unrealistic expectations - 8 hours sleeping, 8 hours cleaning, 8 hours of school, 2 hours running errands, 2 hours with meal prep.... Um, there are ONLY 24 hours. So, you'll have to cut and prioritize.

 

If it were me, I'd sit down, make the list along with time spent. It's like making a budget......... Where are you going to "spend" that time?

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