How do you keep up with everything? What is your secret? How do you stay so organized? Where do you get your energy?
No matter how your phrase it, the question is pretty much the same. The answer is “I don’t.” I promise I am not “Super Mom”.
My friends will say I am lying. Most of them only ever see my house picked up, vacuumed, bathroom clean and so on. What they may not consciously realize is if I know they are coming, then I spend the time making sure the house is clean. My husband can attest to the fact that I do keep things tidy. We are a “clean up as we go” family. Nothing drives my crazier than walking into the living room (or any room for that matter) and see stuff all over the floor, the couch, or stacked on the bar and not a soul in sight!
I do have a few tips to share though. I am a list person. Even if the list is just in my head, I still make a list. One of the things that got me started on the “list” bandwagon was an AWESOME Mom’s chore list that was introduced to me a fellow provider—check it out at www.motivatedmoms.com. The author of this awesome planner is a homeschooler, too!
What I like about her chore planner is that she has so many options. Want to read the Bible in a year? You can choose a planner with it broken down for you in daily chunks.There are some chores you do every day (make beds, do the dishes and the typical stuff most people do every day already) that if you do it all (took me about an hour or so if I did everything on the list for the day) then you not only keep your house looking neat, but thanks to a rotating schedule of additional chores (some are a few times a week, some are once a week, some are one a month), you get yourself a little more organized too.
This planner came in super handy when my husband was deployed and I had 6-7 kids in my house 8-10 hours per day. I have gotten out of the habit a little, but I realized when I sat down to write this that, over time, some of the things I did from the chore planner have become habit.
Some of the things I try to do every day that help me keep the house from getting out of hand:
- At some point in the day I try to do at least one load of laundry. At the very least, washed, dried, and sorted into each person’s room. This way I don’t have to spend my weekend catching up on laundry!
- Wipe down my bathroom counters and sinks. (This is one of my son’s chores actually).
- Clean a different shelf in the fridge.
- Clean out one drawer in the kitchen or bathroom.
- Before bed, check my schedule for the next day to remind myself what I have to do. Also ask my son if he has what he needs for the following day. If possible I have backpacks, diaper bag (for daycare kids), my purse and such all packed and ready to go.
- I make sure to turn on the dishwasher before I go to bed (sometimes I throw another load of laundry as well).
- Clean up messes as we go. Not just toys, books and that sort of stuff, but also sweeping up after snacks as well as meals.
- Enlist kids and hubby to help!
- Everyone has chores. Yes, even my 4 yr old gets to help. Of course she only has quick and easy, usually one step “jobs”, but this helps her learn to help, take some responsibility, and helps build up her self-esteem a little because “Mom, I did it by myself!” says it all.
My “method” of doing certain little things every single day doesn’t work for everyone. I have had friends that have tried the Motivated Mom planner and it just doesn’t work for them and then I have other friends who tell me “it is the best tool” they have.
Now you may be wondering, “What does this have to do with home schooling?” Well, I will tell you. At the end of our day (between school work, daycare, errands, and extra-curricular activities), if I walked into the house from the latest “Mom Taxi” run and realized that on top of everything I had done that day and everything else I may have to do that evening, that my house was a disaster, then I think I would just explode into tears. It is a major stress reliever for me personally that after dinner is done and cleaned up, assuming we are done with “Mom Taxi” for the night, that I can sit down for even 10 minutes without feeling like I HAVE to get up and clean, fold laundry, or whatever . It may not seem like much, but most of us know that “if Mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” So this is my way of trying to make sure I have less stress which makes me just a little happier.
I promise to get back to more “on the point” home schooling topics next time. Another question I get asked a lot “ Aren’t you worried your kids are too sheltered and won’t get socialized if they are at home with you all day?” I will talk about this popular misconception and others soon!