When running errands during the day with my kids in tow, I often hear comments like, “Youmust have your hands full!” or “How do you get anything done?” or, my personal favorite “WOW! You must be exhausted at the end of the day!” Really all three of these are true! But, I wouldn’t change it for the WORLD!!!! And, I absolutely mean that! Now, don’t get me wrong, there are days that I literally want to pull my hair out or that I go outside and scream just a little to get it out, but I can’t imagine working all day long and missing these precious moments in my children’s lives! I am truly blessed to be able to stay at home and see these steps and strides they are taking in their development and in their education! What an honor!!!
But, seriously – it can be difficult getting things done around the house. After my 3rd was born, there were many days I was just completely overwhelmed! I didn’t know which way was up and if I was coming or going!! It took me a lot longer to get into a routine with her than it did when I had my second child. But, now that I’ve found what works – IT’S GREAT!!! So, I thought I’d share with you some tactics I use to get things done in a busy house with a FULL schedule!!
First, let me share with you a typical week’s schedule:
Our regular weekly events
Wednesday – church activities (6:30 – 7:45)
Thursday – Bible Study (6:15 – 9)
Sunday – morning church (9a)
Husband’s work schedule
Friday & Saturday 10:30p – 8a
Sunday – Tuesday 11p – 8a
(He sleeps from about 9a – 4:30p each day, but gets up around noon on Wednesday to spend 1/2 of his 1st day off with us & then sleeps a “normal” overnight Wed, up with us on Thursday but then sleeps until about 2pm on Fridays to help him for his Friday overnight shift.)
Most days he is at our house around 7am and leaves around 5pm
He is in preschool Tu, Wed & Thurs from 9:30a – 2:30p
This is our week! Then, we work in Homeschooling, naps, baby feedings, laundry, dishes, other housework, playtime and MORE!!!! It’s a challenge to say the least! But, I have found a few things that help me! Now, keep in mind I am a list-maker, Type-A personality!!! This may not work for everyone. But, it’s important to find what does!
FIRST – I created a laundry schedule!! Yep, that’s right a laundry schedule! Too often I found myself doing 5-6 loads of laundry a DAY and then depressed by the piles that just laid there unfolded for days! So, I made a schedule in a Word document like this one below.
This may look like overkill to some of you, but strangely enough it puts this already exhausted, worn-out momma’s mind at ease! I have this posted on the wall between my washer & dryer. I can look at it first thing in the morning and know what 2 loads of laundry I have scheduled for that day! Then, suddenly I don’t feel so overwhelmed!! Two loads is completely doable!!! You may wonder why I have a third column. With 3 kids and 2 under the age of two, you NEVER know what might happen during the day! Someone may get sick, someone may have an overnight accident, a child may get a little carried away outside in the mud! This leaves me open to do an “emergency load” should the need arise!!
Something else I created that helps me immensely is my Weekly Meal Plan. You will notice this looks strikingly similar to my laundry schedule. That’s because IT IS!!! It is also made in a Word Document.
Ours starts on Thursdays because payday is Wednesday (unless its a holiday week). I also start it on Thursdays because most ads begin on Wednesday, so I can look through them on Tuesday after they come in the mail!! That way I can plan my meals around what’s on sale (beef, chicken, steak, veggies, fruit for snacks, etc.). It has worked VERY well in our house! In fact, it has cut our grocery bill by at least 30%!!!! Why?? Well, with an organized meal plan I only make (or try to only make) ONE trip to the store, which cuts down on those extra items you get when you’re rushing through trying to find something for dinner. It has also cut down the number of times we eat out, since I’ve planned the meal ahead of time…by golly THEY BETTER EAT IT!!! I can also more easily plan for company dropping by at a moment’s notice without the frantic running around trying to figure out what’s to make for dinner! Now, sometimes I might move things around in a week, especially if we leftovers for a lunch, but most of the time we stick to the original schedule. And, as a treat, once a month I allow my husband and oldest child to choose a meal for one day that week. It also allows my son to have at least one meal he likes (or so he says).
Well, these are just a couple tips for those of you feeling overwhelmed and overloaded!! I hope they get your brain thinking about what might work for you!! I would love to hear from you all about how you organize your house, chores and lives!!!
Until next time~
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Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet all her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating fun and engaging printables, unit studies and curriculum for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about marriage, parenting, and homeschooling all while maintaining her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers, where she shares free printables and resources from around the web as well as deals on curriculum and homeschooling resources. You can also keep up with her via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.