As a mother of 4 young children (3 under age 4), I often hear the following: “How do you do it?” “You must be the most patient person.” “You’ve got to have more patience than I do. I could never do what you do!” “How in the world do you take care of 4 kids and homeschool too?”
The answer is simple…“Opri calls it multi-tasking.” Not only is this one of my favorite lines from the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, its’ also my mantra if you will. I quote it to the Hubster quite frequently in fact! Usually in response to his surprise look that says, “How in the world do you get anything done with all this chaos going on too?” For one, that’s the difference between Mom’s and most Dad’s (I know a few who are great at keeping things up around the house when mom’s away.) We mom’s multi-task all day long. It’s just what we do.
I am no Super Mom by any means. I do not always have my temper under control – I hate to admit that publicly, but it’s true. But, I am a mom who loves her kids with every fiber of her being. But seriously, let’s face it…there are days they can drive me completely insane. And I too need a break! Just because I stay-at-home with my kids does not make me better than a Mom who works (part- or full-time). I am simply doing what God has called me to do. And I have to remember daily that He is the one who gives me strength to keep going. If I rely on my on abilities, I fail miserably!!
So, how do I do it? How do I keep up with laundry, four busy kids, fold clothes, make dinner and keep the house clean (mostly)? It truly is all about the multi-tasking.
I am a night owl, therefore early mornings are not my forte. Okay, that may be the understatement of the year! I am rarely out of bed and doing anything productive before8am. But, when I do get up I hit the ground running and don’t usually stop until dinner time, with a brief pause for lunch.
I also enlist the help of my 2, 3 and 7 year olds. Here’s how their “jobs” breakdown:
Mister Bull (7yr) helps unload the dishwasher every morning (we run it at night). Mister Mouse (3yr) helps unload the dryer and puts the clothes on the couch to be folded. And Miss Priss (2yr) helps pick up the toys in the living room, helps take the baby her lunch plate and anything else she wants to help “Momma” do. She’s my little Mother Hen (and I love it)!!
Here’s what a typical day in our house looks:
6:45a – Mister Bull gets up (on his own!)
8:00-9:00– Mom gets up and gets her bearings
9:15– first load of laundry goes in the wash, Mister Bull unloads the dishwasher
9:30– Calendar Notebooks for Mister Bull, Mister Mouse and Miss Priss
10:00– Snack time for kids (fresh fruit), move laundry to dryer
10:30– Mister Bull starts his papers, play on the floor with the Littles
11:00– start lunch prep, turn dryer on for 2nd run (our dryer is old) & put a load in the washer
11:30ish – lunch is served
Noon– dryer unloaded and washer load moved to dryer; kids have free time to play, watch tv or read until 1pm. This is usually when I take the time for dinner prep if it’s not an all day slow cooker recipe.
1pm– Punkin (13mos old) is put down for afternoon nap; dryer turned on for 2nd time & washer loaded (if 3rd load is needed)
1:30p – The 3 older kids usually play Wii Fit for a couple hours. They take turns doing different activities and getting their exercise. (Plus, it wears them out!)
2p-3p – Mommi folds laundry, switch wash to dryer, load dishes into dishwasher from lunch & dinner prep, squeeze in some computer work if time.
3:30p – Punkin gets up from her nap, Wii goes off.
4:00p – Daddy wakes up as the kids pounce on him; turn dryer on 2nd time for 3rd load
4:30p – quick sweep of house to pick up toys that have gone astray, put away folded laundry not in our central closet
5:00p – final dinner preps (veggies, salad, etc), laundry removed from the dryer
5:30– 6:00p – Family dinner
6:45p – dinner clean-up, dishwasher loaded
7:00p – bath time begins for kids
8:00p – Bedtime for kiddos, Hubster showers for work and I work on blog posts, emails, other computer work, start the dishwasher.
8:45p – time with the Hubster before he leaves for work
9:45p – Relaxing time for Mommi
11:30–midnight– Bedtime for Mommi (told you I was a night owl!)
Now somedays are busier than others and somedays are slower. But for the most part this is my day – give or take a few diaper changes. Yes I am on the move most of the day, but I wouldn’t change it for anything!
Now, I’m not trying to insinuate other mothers do nothing. Quite the contrary, in fact!! It has taken me nearly 8 years of being a mom to figure out a routine that works for me and my kids. When a new baby is added in the mix things are a bit jumbled for a bit, but usually within the first month – 6 weeks things regulate and get back to a “normal” routine.
I, quite frankly, don’t have a clue how mothers with a full-time job keep things running!! You are the real Super Moms!!
I simply wanted to share with you, my readers, how I do things. This is a schedule and routine that works for me. Everyone has to find what works for them and their household. Start with a list of your daily and weekly “chores” and work from there. That’s how I got started and how I found what works for us.
How do you keep your house running smoothly?
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