Let me clear things up for you before they get murky from the beginning. This post is more of a question and guide then an answer book. I in no way, shape or form have “it” all together. I have picked up a few tips and frames of mind along the path of schooling the kids over the years. I’m simply passing along personal experience. I also ask myself if I’m on task daily. Is there a more efficient or effective way to do things, ect. In a nut shell, it’s an ever-evolving balance.
Every morning I get up and have personal time with Jesus. Sometimes this happens when everyone is still sleep. Sometimes, I sleep through my alarm (a lot) and this happens while the kids are doing morning chores. This is my best advice to anyone. That’s how I prepare for my day. After this time happens, my day begins. The following is how I function through the rest of the day.
First, you can’t do it all and stay calm. Choose the order of your priorities. This has changed and been a huge struggle for me every year. My biggest quandary is sticking to my own standards. Your list may look different, that’s okay. The concept remains. This is the order I pour my daily energy into. This isn’t necessarily a priority of life. It’s more import that my kids eat that learn. It would be hard to learn if you’ve staved to death right? This is the order I pour out my time and energy to. If I have left over energy after #1, I carry out something in #2. If I did something in #2, I may take longer or do something special for #3. You get where I’m going with this. I do each category everyday on some level.
1. School the kids (This is my number one priority!)
2. Cleaning (I’m putting this as the second because I lose my mind when things get too messy or backed-up)
3. Meals (We all have to eat. I’m talking about whether we’re eating frozen meals or home-cooked)
4. Extracurricular (For me this is knitting, hanging out with friends ect.)
I’ve given up the ghost of being perfect and doing it all. I was losing my mind people. I was also not perfect. I was grumpy. What’s important to me is being a good mom. I want to feel they learned all they could. Was I patient? Do they feel loved and important? If the house is a wreck and we eat frozen pizza at the end of the day, I’m good with that.
I’m not sure how it happened, but I have slowly cared less and less about whole organic food. I haven’t made a pie crust in over a year. I simply don’t have the time or energy to accomplish everything to perfection. To be honest, I was burdening myself with DIY everything. Food, cleaners, projects. I was using every spare moment of my day to do something.
I found a more realistic approach to life freeing.
When the kids are done with school I sneak in a load of laundry. Sometimes I can start dish while they’re reading or busy with an assignment. I am mostly on my feet the entire school time. We do school from about 930-12 noon. The afternoons are when older kids read or finish independent work, and younger ones rest.
I try to relax on some level here. I read or watch a show while folding laundry. I need a bit or a recharge. If I don’t get one, it’s a frozen meal for dinner. If I feel more energetic, I make a more time-consuming meal. I do meal plan, but often re-arrange the planned meals for the week, depending on my energy.
After I have my quiet(er) time, we do afternoon chores. Here’s the link to our schedule. We are doing great with this. I find it to be the least burdening chore chart we’ve tried. Our house always looks generally clean now. If I’m really in the mood to clean that day, I pick an organizing task or other project not on the list. I also will take extra care washing linens and putting clothes away. That’s if I really feel like cleaning that day.
When the day is done, or nearly so, I have extracurricular time. They have free time until 5 pm. While they play outside or entertain themselves I usually read or knit. After they’re in bed, I read or watch TV with Nick. I paint my nails, shower, ect. during this time. The general point of this category is to take care of myself in some way, and RELAX after a long busy and often stress-filled day. I go to bible study in the evening, and try to schedule hangout with friends (the no kids sort) at or around dinner time. Nick can watch the kids, and I don’t feel behind the next day.
How do you organize your time and priorities? Link your blog below, or comment. Have a beautiful productive day!