Since bringing Bobby home, keeping up with my usual tasks has been a challenge to say the least. I had had a particularly tough day with the kids and was pleading with my husband Jason to help me figure out how I can do everything I am suppose to be doing. I ran through my basic list of homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, excising, laundry, and baby explaining all of the challenges of each. Okay, I was unloading!
His advice? Have everyone wear the same clothes for at least five days straight. Eww! No really, he is still defending this! The problem is that I’m the one that would be left in the house to smell everyone. Ha ha!
Thankfully the next day went much smoother though there was still a lot left undone. I am coming to terms with the fact that our homeschooling routine that used to work so well needs some tweaking only I’m not sure how or what or where. How in the world does one do it all? How do you know what to leave out? Prayer and wisdom welcome!
I’m linked with Women Living Well and Homemaking Link-Up.
Kim Speed says
Just have them change their undies Esther. How about…hmmm…I don’t know what to tell you except – this too shall pass. 🙂
HEATHER LEACH says
I too have recently discovered I am NOT supermom! (I know, it surprised me too!) With homeschooling 4 kids and my church work – and house work…I barely have time for myself. What I have found to help is
1.) getting up and having quiet time with the Lord. Totally helps the day go better. Sometimes I only get 5min, but it is quality time spent in prayer.
2.) I have a 10,8,6,and 4 year old – Old enough to help with the house! I have sanctioned off areas for them. An older with a younger. They have 2 – 15min pick up times during the day.
3.) Giving myself a break. Not physically, but emotionally. Learn to let go. The kids are only young once and the house will be perfectly clean when they are gone. I am ocd about cleaning, but now I am getting to the point where as long as things are picked up and the floor swept, than I can relax with the kids.
4.) Wash, Dry and attempt to fold clothes. Now my husband is happy just to have a clean whites and darks basket. He can pull out what he needs until I get around to doing it.
I am not lazy by any means, but I do have my plate full. As long as my husband and kids are happy then the little things can wait. You have a newborn – in a few months you will have a schedule down and life will get back to normal! Be Blessed! Sounds like your husband is happy when you are! you’ll be fine!
I don’t! I have to adjust all the time!
No advice. Just the sympathy and the knowledge that when the baby gets a little older, it’ll get a little easier. Hang in there Esther!
dr momi says
Typical guy advise on the kids wearing the same clothes for 5 days LOL! …..my house was a disaster when the 5 kids were little Esther. 🙂 … and I didn’t homeschool! My perfectionism was soundly challenged. 🙂
shelly Ford says
I. can’t. imagine.
Hugz and prayers that you’ll figure out what works for your family.
Sounds like the kind of advice my husband gives. I’ve learned not to even bother asking him for mothering advice anymore. I too have a fairly newborn. She’s 2 1/2 months and is our third. I’ve learned to not put too much presure on my self as a mother of a newborn. Life eventual settles down and my kids will survive if they have to go a day without any underwater because I forgot to do laundry. The house will eventually be clean and tidy again, but my baby will only be little once.
Gwen T says
It never stops… I joke that now that we have 8 kids I’m highly qualified to be a triage nurse. I’m a professional at diagnosing whose problem is most serious, who can wait a little while, who can wait a long while, etc.
The GOOD thing, Esther, is that our children are learning to be patient and that life doesn’t revolve around them. It’s also good for them to see how we deal with stress and conflict.
It really helps me to decide what is absolutely most important both for our homeschool day and just the day in general — for school, math; I also do a ton of reading with the kids one-on-one. This is a priority to me and one I never regret. I also want them to see that everything gets set aside for our time in the Word.
Hopefully we’re reflecting Christ in all of this and they’re learning Christ-like character (just like the moms are 🙂
Susan Evans says
I cancel everything except for what God gives me peace about doing. (That cuts out almost everything.) As far as homeschooling, as long as they are advancing in their math each day, you can catch up with all the other subjects later. (That’s what I do when I hit a wall and have no energy left.)
When we had a baby in the house, most weeks I was happy to do school 3 times a week (and everybody in our homeschool turned out just fine). You want permission from me to just do schoolwork 3 days a week? Permission granted.
You know that you are teaching them things – even when you are not doing homeschooling. Pick your lessons.
After my fourth was born we spent a year learning Flexibility. Flexibility was in the curriculum everyday. And Godly Character. The Character that they developed had to be more important than the subjects we studied. Godliness involves thinking of others more highly than yourself, serving others, not making more work for others, not whining and complaining. And the lessons were not just for the kids!! I had to think of others, serve others, stop whining, quit complaining.
One goal you can always hit – everybody has to LAUGH at least once each day. Love your blog!!
Ginny Marie says
There’s already a lot of good advice in the comments above! My philosophy is that it’ll all get done, some day!
I am hungrily reading all of your comments! I think I put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to the homeschooling. First of all I really do not want to school through the summer for many reasons, so I feel the need to push all of us to “get it done.” You’re right, character is so much more important and that begins with me! I think my priority has shifted from what we are learning to crossing off our to do list. The list is so much easier isn’t it? Sigh.
I only have three but I know there is no way I can do it all. There are days (weeks that have on occasion turned into 1-2 months), where everyone’s clothes lived on the laundry room table and socks in a basket. At the time it was easier to just leave the clothes there.
I make a list of what’s important. Those things at the top, get done. The things at the bottom, get done when I have time or a babysitter! 🙂
I also make a list of what’s important but is taking me too long and then look at those tasks and decide how to make them more efficient.
It’s always a struggle and I’m usually changing as our life changes and the kids get older or activities change with the season.
You’re not alone, I wrote a similar post the other day. It is overwhelming, just remember most of us are in the same boat. Although that doesn’t make it any easier on your day, I know 🙁 Try not to put too much pressure on yourself.
we do “long days” and “short days” in our homeschool week. a long day is all 5 subjects. a short day is math and language and thats it. I try to do more of my house chores on the short days. laundry rarely ever gets put away around here, let alone folded before it gets worn, and i dust like twice a month. (maybe!)i had to adjust to homeschool (not as round the clock demanding as a newborn, but a time-zapper nonetheless) and alot of my household standards had to adapt to it. the kiddos are worth it, as i am sure you feel Bobby is more than worth the business of this time! 🙂 newborns are newborn for a blink of an eye.. this year will fly by. One year of “light” work for HS isn’t gonna do much to the kids’ education in the long run. lay aside the duster, dig out the clean undies from the dryer in the morning, and cuddle that sweet baby, while you take turns reading pages of a storybook with your kiddos.
For whatever reason, a reason we never attempt to question or understand, we have not been blessed with kids so I will not attempt to give you any advice whatsoever. But I will encourage you because I’ve now been reading your blog consistently for several months and you’re a wonderful mom and even if you simply cut back just a bit to allow yourself to rest, you’ll still be a mom in rockstar status.
I don’t homeschool (we afterschool) but the ideas to cut back to minimal subjects or do half days sound good to me. After all, your kids are for sure covering more than they would be in a traditional school,that’s for sure.
As for the clothing idea, believe it or not, where I live it is quite common for kids to wear the same clothing 2 days in a row, and then put it in the dirty clothes. At first I argued with my daughter about this (when she was little), but then I realized it just doesn’t matter.
Also, when I was little we had play clothes and school clothes (because we wore uniforms). If you plan on being in the house, why not let your kids wear the same clothing until it is actually dirty? When you leave the house they can change to something nicer.
It’s not like you care if they’re wearing the same clothing,as long as they’re fairly clean.
Also, now is the time to let your kids help you!! I used to be the one doing everything, till in my old age I finally had enough and said, “Hey! This is not a hotel! You want it – YOU do it.”
My younger bunch (8,6,4,3) all get their own breakfasts and snacks, wash out their own utensils, sort their own laundry, fold it (except the 3 year old) and put it away with supervision.
You can sit and nurse the baby, or rock a crying baby, and supervise all of the above. Your kids will get the attention you feel guilty about not giving them, and you’ll get a break.”
I did this even though we hadn’t always done things this way. I simply said, “Here kids, let’s …” And that was it. It takes a bit of supervision, but not a lot. And the important thing is that I don’t have to do it.
It really works!!
Also for cooking, you can cook double portions of what you’re cooking already, and voila, you have a meal you can stick in your freezer and pull out when things get bad.
Once again your post raises many questions that I would consider.
What does your husband want for his family? It was, after all, him that wanted you to homeschool to begin with, correct? Does he want homeschool kids that only change their clothes every five days?
Cathy H writes about her homeschool family. Is her homeschool family your homeschool family? Are her kids created the same way academically speaking, with the same educational needs? Upon what basis is she deciding, for your family mind you, that it is only best to school the kids three days a week? And from where does she get the authority to decide that for your kids? Also, as a parent who did homeschool I agree with her when she says that we are always learning things that don’t pertain to academics. For instance, one of the things that bothered me eventually about our homeschool was that we were not structured in the day-to-day activities of getting up and getting busy. When life got tough my kids would fall into what I considered was leading them into a bad work ethic mindset in the long run. We actually welcomed the structure of getting up and out the door on those days that we were scheduled to do so. Working hard at homework, housework, being on time, learning character along the way, working while we work, playing while we play, resting at rest time, etc. etc.
One more thing…I don’t think you put alot of pressure on yourself when it comes to homeschool. If the decision your husband made is to homeschool, then that is what you should do. But to ignore that your kids might not be getting what they need academically just because pro-homeschoolers keep reassuring you that it is the “right way” “God’s way” is not wise.
You’re doing a good job, Esther! Just don’t ever forget that YOU are the perfect mom for those sweet kiddos of yours. I’m horrible at giving advice, because I never want to sound “preachy.” But…
Have you asked Jason what’s most important to him? If it’s homeschooling, than just focus on that and eat frozen pizza and let the house be messy. If he doesn’t care about how the house looks, than just let it go! If he *does* care about the house, and good meals, than remind him again (sweetness is implied…) that you CAN NOT do it all, and you need his help. Maybe he’d do a science experiment in the evenings? Or a history lesson?
Homeschooling with a baby is hard. I KNOW! I planned on this year being a light school year for my kids. I end up doing school all day long, off and on, because with the baby and toddlers, there are just too many interruptions to have a 9:00-12:00 school day! I agree with Susan about just doing the basics. I make sure they do math and reading first, and then anything else that gets done makes me feel like SUPERMOM!
Well, I try to feel like supermom, because I am to my kids. And you are too! Supermoms don’t do it all, they just do everything they can and LOVE on ther kids. *Hugs!*
Thanks so much for lots of great ideas and varying perspectives! I know that I am not alone in my struggles in this area and I hope that others will come and read your comments as well.
Yes consulting my husband is top priority and that was (ahem) actually what I was doing here. Basically what he told me was that laundry and cleanliness was at the bottom–which I already knew. And no, he was not mandating that I make the kids wear their clothes for five days–thankfully! I would have a hard time with that one!
I am in the process of trying different things with the homeschooling day. Eventually, I think I’ll find what works again…for a while!
Having raised and homeschooled 5 kids (now down to three as the oldest is 20, the second oldest transferred to PS at his request and is an honor student), I can say this, my house is often messy (especially when the kids are older).
You aren’t doing one job, you’re doing three. At least.
Expect less on the home front. IF hubby wants a cleaner house, he helps. A lot.
Priorities for me were:
Husband, then children, then cleaning.
This meant that sometimes I chose to cuddle up with my hubby instead of cleaning up… 18 years later, we STILL choose to shut our bedroom door and cuddle:) That is *our* priority, not everyone’s.
Homeschooling doesn’t need to take long. It doesn’t need to take all of your time and energy for 7 hours a day. We never did school for more than 3-4 hours until the kids were in middle school and capable of doing a LOT themselves. Even then, 5 hours a day is plenty. They don’t need to run somewhere between classes, get organized and get 30 kids settled in a classroom. (My oldest son being in public school this year is REALLY opening my eyes!)
Most important? Be training your kids to clean up after themselves, or give them chores to help out.
Oops, That first part was supposed to say “especially when the kids were younger:)” Its Cleaner now that they’re able to help more consistently:)
Byn writes that her husband should help with housework if he wants cleaner house. I wonder if he is one of those dads that helps with a lot of the homeschooling as well? Does Jason help a lot with the homeschooling? Just curious. My husband would admit that although he wanted us to,and we did, homeschool at one time, he really wasn’t able to help out or be as involved as some dads are.
sandra tyler says
just amazed at moms who can home school and keep their sanity. I need those hours when they’re AWAY at school. Even then, I barely keep up with al lthat needs to get done.