A Reality check on my to do list.

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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?

Blessings, Peta

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6 thoughts on “A Reality check on my to do list.

  1. Hi Peta,
    I have eight children and my youngest is now almost four years old. It was nice to read over your post and remember how busy I was when I had babies/toddlers in the house and homeschooling on top. You are right about that! But it does change and life does slow down (a little) as the youngest grows and the older ones help. Expect to be constantly busy then you wont be surprised when it is 🙂 I found the Maxwell’s books: “Managers of their Chores” & “Managers of their Homes” (titus2.com) very helpful. They showed me how to schedule my day and also see the importance of training my children to help with the housework and how to watch a younger child. We often underestimate how much our older children can do. “What Every Child Should Know Along the Way” was great also with chore lists for age groups. But most of all I found Elizabeth Elliots book “Keep a Quiet Heart” very uplifting 😉 especially for homeschool mum’s.
    God bless! Amanda
    (P.s. You are welcome to borrow any of these books if you like 🙂

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    • Hi Amanda ! Thanks for leaving a comment. I’ve heard of those books but haven’t read them before – sounds like they are worth a read! Yes our life is pretty crazy busy right now with our eldest 7 years old and youngest 6 months. We have started our 5 and 7 year old boys on simple chores like changing the bins, tidying the shoe rack and putting away their clean washing. I’m just not sure what I can expect of them yet at the ages they’re at. It definitely would be nice to be getting some more help around the house! Thanks for the offer of the book loan – are you in Australia?
      Blessings, Peta

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  2. Hi, I just found your blog. I have an 8 month old right now, we aren’t sure if we’ll be able to have more children but we’ll see what happens. I was reading your exchange in the comments, please do let me know what you think of the Managers of their Homes book once you’ve read it (I just ordered a copy).

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    • Hi Shellie! I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of Managers of their Homes. I’ve had a quick flick through and I’m planning on reading it slowly in the next few weeks. It’s very structured, but some people thrive off ridged structure. I am a little more relaxed, I have a schedule that I use but it doesn’t have times written on it (except meal times). I’m excited about reading their book on chores too.
      Blessings, Peta

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