Now that we are through the holidays and back into school full swing, do you find it difficult to get things going again? I know with our children, they have enjoyed sleeping in more, and having more free time to entertain themselves on tablets, games, videos, etc. I myself have to admit, I have quite enjoyed having more free time to get things done. It sure is nice to devote most of my “extra” time to getting things done. But then reality sets in and I know that I must get back into routine, how do we go about doing that?
Well I started planning. I started writing down the things that I was finding were not working in our home. This was my stresses: (well not really stresses but things that I needed to change.)
- too much alone time among my children—they were spending way too much time away from each other and then when they would come together it was bickering–needed to change that.
- not enough exercise–I myself can get out and walk each day, but they are not as quick to do something on their own.
- getting lapsed on school work–just doing enough to get by.
- waking up late–if there is a job I do not enjoy—it is waking everyone out of bed:) Thank goodness I get lots of practice:)
- feeling out of control, with my personal time getting things I wanted to accomplish finished
- feeling I was doing most of the work–because children did not have enough time to get it done.
Then I took what was bothering me and decided that I needed to make the change. Yes my children, especially my older ones should be responsible and get up on their own, but it is going to take mom helping them get to that point.
I started with a wake up time, I get everyone up at the same time each day. We started last week and made 5 out of 7 days on time—not bad. We will continue to work on that.
Then the camaraderie among my children, especially among the older ones was when they “had” to do something together it was full of bickering and being “in control” of each other. I did not like that. I want them to learn to get along and play nicely. What I did was I planned on having each of the older four children, take 1/2 hour two times per day and play with a different person. I scheduled it out so that by the end of the week they will have spent 1/2 hour with every person in the home. This has been going on for two weeks now and it is working. My younger ones are enjoying spending time with older brothers and older sisters. They look forward to it. To see the smiles on my older children’s faces when a younger one says, “This was the best time today!” is priceless. The only rules I have for this time slot is that it does not involve any multi media type playing:) Since we have 7 children participating in this, I planned it Monday through Thursday, that way if they forget or don’t have time due to schedules, they still have a day to catch up on play time with someone.
Then came exercise. It is harder to get out and do something when it is cooler outside. I get that. Last week it was a little chilly here, so we did not get outdoors and I was not motivated enough to do things indoors. But I have checked the weather this week and we are having 45-55 degrees with sunshine so I am not allowed to have excuses. I am making it a goal this week to get out with the children everyday and going for a walk up the mountain. Yesterday we had them in pajamas and coats and we went. It worked, we walked up to the church at the top of the mountain and back down. It was still chilly, but not enough to do not do it. It took us 15 minutes and it was something rather than nothing. I am going to keep doing this for my own well being as well as my children’s health.
I changed up our cleaning schedule again. As children get older, they can do things better but at times it just takes practice. I divided up chores and am having some of the children start doing new ones. This is harder for me as I know that when you have someone do the sweeping, if they do not do it just right, I do not like that feeling of dirt on my feet all day long. But what I did was I scheduled that one day during the week, where I do the sweeping and floor washing and then another day I have my oldest daughter do the floor sweeping and washing. This ensures that at least two times during the week, the floors get thoroughly swept. It will also help teach the younger one how to do it effectively by practicing. I also implemented more helpers washing dishes. I was stuck doing that for most of the meals, but now I have the younger ones help was for lunch or breakfast, when there are not so many. Rationing out helps the sanity of mom, plus it gives them responsibility and teaches them to help out in the home.
If there are any other areas that I feel that have to be done thoroughly, I just make sure to have an older one do at least one time during the week and then have a younger one do the other time. Then I also put down some expectations. My towels aren’t folded properly each week, but they are getting put away so that is a good thing.
School work was getting lapsed as well. I started implementing my oldest daughter to help with the schooling. She is out of school and instead of having her do “nothing” I am having her do school with the kindergartner which takes about 1/2 hour of the day. This ensures that it gets done, because by the time I am finished with the older ones, I am more apt to just hurry through the papers. Now it is allowing my oldest to learn some teaching skills and removes that extra stress from me. She is also taking over our reading time. We read about 45 minutes through our nature study and read aloud book everyday. I gave this task to her as well. It helps build confidence as well as public speaking skills in her life. By not including her and just doing it myself was not giving her skill sets to learn. Yes, I could do this all myself, but I am responsible for training and teaching her. Since she is home, I have to look at opportunities to give her a chance to be confident in doing skills.
My own personal endeavors such as blogging, book writing, and the such, I am finding more time by keeping a better schedule. Even though as I write this, I could have everyone sleep in for an extra hour and get so much more done, but I know that if I wake up everyone, they will go to bed and then I can get up early the next day and have some quiet for writing. Keeping a consistent schedule is what is going to get things done. I set lower expectations for things like blogging. Instead of writing each day, I am aiming for twice per week. This is allowing me time to finish my Home Economics book which I should have out hopefully by the end of this week. Normally I would engross my time into that and stop blogging, but I am trying to find that balance as to not leave something to sit. I am a work in progress.
Now that we are back on track, we will work at keeping it going. It is going to have to start with me. I am going to be the one that is going to have to initiate it. The moment I allow things to be lapsed, then they are going to be as well. I can easily say, no I am going to sit and write you guys go get some exercise. But how much better to say, “okay let’s all get dressed and run up the mountain together.” Even though they do not want to do it, it helps to have everyone go. I am finding that I have more free time and happier mood children by sticking with this schedule. It works.
Are you finding your home in a rut this time of year? Any tips for readers?
Be blessed as you endeavor to find what works in your home.