My Life has gotten pretty busy since baby number five was born six months ago. Actually things have been super busy since baby three was born, really. Every morning I get up and write a to do list like I usually do. But ‘extra’ things just aren’t getting done. (By extra I mean cleaning something or baking a cake or …having a shower.) I realised that I needed to get real about how long it takes me to do the important and urgent things in my job as home schooling mum of five. It is time-consuming caring for a baby, even a super placid and happy baby like Willow.
Learning to work out how long it takes me to get things done and accepting how long it must take has been a saver to my sanity. I have had to say no to many other activities I could be involved with inside and outside the home so I can completely focus my time and energy on these five. And still have energy left for my best friend and hubby Luke. This is a full on time in my life and I take my job seriously. I’m raising future leaders for Christ and it’s taking a lot of sacrifice and prayer and choosing to have a good attitude. There are lovely happy moments in each day that I treasure and there are other moments where I feel like running away or hiding: or both. God gives me grace as I continue to learn how to do this parenting-thing. And he gives me the strength to begin each morning and get through the day again and again.
This is everything I must do on my home school days and how long I have worked out it takes; give or take a few minutes.
- Feed Willow – 30 mins
- Serve and eat breakfast – 30 mins
- Change and dress Holly and Willow and help the children with their morning routines – 30 mins
- My own personal grooming (shower, dressed, moisturiser etc) – 30 mins
- Clean up from breakfast – 30 mins
- Sort and put on a load of laundry – 30 mins
- Hang out laundry – 20 mins
This brings me to 10:30am and we sit around the table and do school work. – 1 hour to 90 mins.
- I often feed Willow again while we’re doing school and change a stinky nappy or two, fix 100 snacks for starving children and deal with a meltdown or two.
The afternoon goes much like this:
- prepare lunch including baby food – 45 mins
- Eat lunch – 20 mins
- Quiet time and devotions – 45 mins
- Home school session 2 – 45 minutes
- Clean up from lunch – 30 mins
- Feed Willow – 30 mins
- Give Willow solids – 20 mins
- Hang out laundry/fold and sort – 45 mins
- Cook/prepare tea/ set table etc – 1.5 hours
- (Bath/shower children – Luke usually does this when he gets home while I’m cooking)- 1 hour (3x a week, more if someone is extra dirty or stinky)
We eat tea around 5:30 – 6pm
- After tea I feed Willow again – 30 mins
- Tea clean up (Luke usually does this) – 30 mins
- Bedtime routine including listening to my two sons reading and family worship – 45 mins to 1 hour
We put the children to bed around 7:30pm, lights out for my 7-year-old at 8pm. Our 5-year-old goes to bed at the moment at 8:30pm because he doesn’t get to sleep very well and is noisy and disturbs his older brother that he shares a room with. He is asked to sit quietly on the couch with books or a quiet toy.
There you have it – my day is full! I’m accepting it and acceptance gives me peace and contentedness. I am no longer trying to fit too much in anymore after having an honest look at how long everything takes in my day.
If I need to do something extra I need to pray about it and get wisdom about how to go about it. For example I really want to get in a little exercise so I often pop tea in the oven, put my shoes on and leave the children with Luke and dash out for a 20 minute power walk or bike ride around 3 times a week. We do our cleaning, too, in small bursts here and there.
I’m learning to not get upset anymore if certain things aren’t getting done. I choose to ignore mess on the floor as I feed my bub her life-giving milk.
Don’t be shy to have a chat in the comments. Do you have a new baby? How are you going with getting stuff done around the house while caring for little ones?