Mothering with an Anxiety Disorder.

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I’ve mentioned in past posts that I suffer from anxiety. There are so many things that I seem to not be able to do because of this illness but how has it affected my mothering? In some ways it has made me a better mother because of how deeply I think about everything. I think deep deep thoughts much of the day and take my role of mothering very seriously. Yet I fall short. As most people do.

There are many illnesses that mothers can go through. Anxiety is just one of the many. Parenting with an illness or handicap is quite common. Life is unpredictable and suffering can be around any corner. We live in a fallen world, tainted by sin and sicknesses. I’ve met mothers with vertigo, some with depression, some in a wheelchair, some with hormonal issues, autoimmune diseases, I even know one young mother with cancer.

So why is it that I feel so ashamed about this anxiety? Maybe because it is a silent illness that from looking at me you cannot tell. Most people who know me closely say I have a calm demeanor, an easy going personality and am bubbly and joyful.  Which I am all of those things. The effect of anxiety on me is completely internal and mostly, cannot be seen with your eyes.

A racing, pounding heart, shaking (skin crawling) feeling inside my legs, arms and hands, racing thoughts, panic, painful shoulders when under stress, headaches, a tight chest and feeling like I can’t breathe, picking away at the skin on my thumbs and feet, clenched jaw, fatigue, insomnia, foggy brain, overeating, itchy skin, stomach in knots, nausea, diarrhea, (IBS), stomach aches, OCD compulsions (hand washing, checking things), feelings of guilt, shame and inadequacy usually follow.

Phew…that was a long list of crazy things going on inside my body.  I don’t feel all of these things all of the time. They come and go. Some never completely go. And I never can tell when I’m going to have a panic episode but I do know that I when I get overloaded with stress, even just normal everyday stress, this is when the symptoms worsen. I have chosen to live a simple, gentle life with not too many other activities going on besides the primary care of my family.

This was never meant to be a ‘woe is me’ type blog post but I thought that there may be other mothers and fathers out there with anxiety who could benefit from somebody taking about it.

If you are misunderstood I know exactly how you feel. Anxiety has been my ‘Achilles heel’, in which I can only seem to get so far in life before anxiety pulls me back like a chain upon my legs. Impatient people cannot handle me, as I pull out of things at the last minute. All. The. Time. I have been given labels like ‘unreliable’ and ‘full of excuses.’ (mostly by myself).

The Lord may heal and deliver me from this one day and I have grown stronger as I’ve gotten older. I no longer have the phobias and fears as extremely as I did as a child. But until that day I will fight this battle called anxiety.

Of course, there are many things that anxiety has not stopped me from doing and I am determined to keep going, keep trying, keep dreaming big, keep praising my saviour and keep on trying to be the best wife and mother I can be. Thankfully the Lord is full of grace and compassion and my sweet husband is too.

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Thankfully the Lord gave me the most gentle and patient man on earth to be my husband!

I always appreciate it when bloggers and YouTubers are honest and share from their hearts so I thought I would be honest with my readers about my struggles as well as the things in my life that I’m super proud of.

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to leave a comment, I read each one and reply when I can. Let me know if you would like more blog post chats about anxiety or hear about my current natural remedies to heal my nervous system.

Blessings, Peta xo

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Saturday Morning Routine. With 5 Children ages 8, 7, 5, 3, & 23 months.

Here is our current Saturday Morning routine. Every second Saturday Luke works. So I’m on my own with the children one Saturday and on the Saturday Luke has off we often go out on a day trip somewhere.

Right now we wash all the children’s hair on a Saturday morning and I also like to have a slow morning and cook pancakes for a bit of fun.

I also included what the children get up to and how I keep them busy while I get all the morning jobs done.

7am – My alarm goes off – I like to sleep in more, but…those kiddos need supervision or I wake up to all sorts of ‘fun’ that they got up to while I was asleep…anyhow, I turn off my alarm and fall back asleep!

7:38am – I’m awoken by Savannah (5) who wants me to help put her dressing gown on.

I get up and get Willow out of her cot, she has spilled a bit of milk on the carpet left over from her overnight sippy cup. We clean that together.

8am – I serve Willow and Holly a little bowl of strawberry yoghurt to distract them so I can have a shower. They sit up at the table and eat and I get a shower in and wash my hair.

I’m super excited to get dressed this morning because I picked up some new comfy clothes last night from late night shopping at Myer. I took a photo to show you. I love this short gray tee by Princess Highway with flower embroidery near the shoulder and these black leggings from Miss Shop basics. Yeah, I’m aware that leggings are actually underwear – I even wrote a song about it back in my punk days with my electric guitar! But I love wearing leggings at home. Sooo comfy and stretchy and much less frumpy than tracky pants – which I used to wear way too much!

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Hmm I need to clean that mirror!

I also drink at least two large glasses of water when I first wake up. It helps me to feel refreshed and gives me energy.

8:30am – I head to the kitchen and get started on making pancakes. I make two batches of pancakes one from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook for me and one recipe that I love from Taste.com for everyone else. I use half white flour and half wholemeal spelt and I reduce the sugar. The kids love these.

It’s challenging getting anything done this morning because Willow is tired from our late night last night shopping and is being cranky. I make myself a green tea and have this while I cook.

9.45am – All the kids are done eating and I finally sit down with my own pancakes. I have a little coconut yoghurt on mine and a smear of fig jam. It’s SO good!

10am – Bath time! I run the bath and wash Holly and Willow’s hair. The two older boys (8 & 7) have showers all by themselves and wash their own hair – I finally taught them how to do their own showers the other week. And it has really been a load off me!

10:15am – Savannah is in the bath now and I wash her hair. I remember the meat and get out some chicken thighs to thaw out for a casserole I’m planning on cooking for tea.

10:20am – I begin what I call my ‘morning routine’ which is just a list of jobs that I need to get done every morning. I put on a load of washing, take my supplements and wipe down the benches. Savannah wipes down and cleans the table, with a bit of help.

The boys work on their chores enthusiastically because when they are done they can have a screen turn.

Arrow does Transformers app on the tablet for 30 minutes and Francis watches a LEGO making YouTube channel and builds LEGO with the tutorials. Savannah and Holly watch My Little Pony on Netflix and Willow heads out into the backyard to play.

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11am – I notice that the dishes are still piled high and floors desperately need sweeping. But I’ve been running around after Willow for a while now washing her hands and arms three times because she kept finding left over wet paint outside from the other day. And I changed her nappy once.

I decide to call the morning work done and head to my room with a cup of white tea. I spend some time in prayer (something I try to do before the children wake up but this does not usually happen on Saturdays) and I put on some basic makeup.

11:40am – both boys are finished their screen turns and are looking for something to do. I set out a find a word activity for them.

My eldest son enjoys academics and will happily do things that resemble school at anytime. He has a go at it. This find a word activity was supplied to us from Education.com.

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Learning reading skills will be a blast with this word search while pretending to kayak down the river. For more fun, visit Education.com’s activities, worksheets and more!

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The worksheets all look really well done. I’m planning on printing out some preschool worksheets for Holly (3) next week.

There it is, our Saturday morning routine.

Thanks for reading,

Please leave a question or comment. Would you be interested in me doing a routine type blog post on my own health routines that I use to keep feeling fit and healthy? I’m thinking of a video or written blog post…or both? Let me know what you prefer, reading or watching. Thanks!!

Blessings, Peta

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Holy Spirit Led Problem Solving.

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My mind is not the mathematical type. However at times I see life as a wife and mother as one large puzzle. A puzzle filled with many different shaped pieces and facets. Each area of being a wife and mother needs to fit together in some sort of organised manner, clipped in place like a 1000 piece puzzle.

Meal planning and preparation being one piece of the puzzle, keeping up with dishes being another,  then there is the laundry piece, finances piece, quality time with the family piece, showering piece, hair cuts piece, homework piece and even little things become puzzle pieces like the getting out the door on Sunday mornings piece.

There are many problems that need to be solved when you have a family – and even when you are single! Just the problems to be solved seem to multiply when you have a family.

How can I organise my life so all the puzzle pieces fit together and my life runs smoothly in an orderly way and not in chaos?

I pray. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed with a certain area in my life I try to remember to bring it before the Lord. The Holy Spirit gently leads and guides me on my path. For example, our bath times used to be very chaotic and exhausting. For years we tried to give all the children a shower or bath 3 nights a week. It was always right at the end of the day after tea when Luke and I were tired. The tea dishes often didn’t get cleaned because it took so long to bath every one. It would take a good hour or so to get everyone bathed and dressed for bed. Often Luke did this completely on his own because I have been either pregnant and feeding babies for so much of the last several years. Bedtimes were often pushed back later then we would like and it was getting to the point were ‘bath nights’ were causing us a great deal of stress.

I prayed to the Lord about it. I was instantly reminded of how during my childhood I only had a bath once a week. This may sound gross to some but it was just the way my parents used to do it. The only time I bathed more often was when I had been out with my dad doing sheep work on the farm or if I had gone to the beach. I showered more often when I reached puberty but throughout most of my childhood – one bath a week was it.

With this in mind Luke and I decided that we would do the same. We also decided to change their wash time to the morning so not to upset our already busy evenings anymore. In the morning (not too early) is when I’m feeling most energetic and bright and fresh.

So now every Saturday morning I give all five children a shower or bath and shampoo their hair. I will also check their toenails and clip any that are getting a bit long. During the week our two youngest daughters get sticky hair so we often give them a midweek bath – but I now do it in the morning after breakfast when I have the most energy.

Making a little change like this can really lift the organisation of our household and make it run smoother with less stress.

Beating the overwhelmed feeling all comes down to prayer and problem solving. If I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed by my day, I need to try to relax, take a step back and look at my problem from a strategic perspective.

What is it exactly that is causing me stress? It could just be the dishes that were left from the night before that is causing me so much work and setting my mornings back. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your life or job at home as a mum then just tackle one problem at a time. Lean on the Holy Spirit and ask the Lord for wisdom. He cares about the small details of our day and if you take time to listen, He will reveal to you the solutions to your challenges. No problem is too big or too small for our Lord Jesus.

Here are some areas which I’m feeling aren’t working as well as they could be and need some work and orgainisation in our house.

  1. Dishes being left overnight
  2. School lunches
  3. Snacks
  4. Dining table mess left overnight
  5. Clutter on the kitchen floor and under the table left overnight
  6. Mornings (I keep sleeping in!)
  7. My Bedtime
  8. After school (homework, chores AND piano practice AND tired children…)
  9. Breakfasts
  10. Gardening/watering plants and lawn
  11. Car cleaning
  12. Compost
  13. Sunday mornings/little ones during church

Slowly slowing I WILL become organised!!

Are there any areas in your life and homemaking/mothering that are bothering you and causing you stress at the moment?

I pray that you can leave overwhelmed behind and find the organisation and peace you are looking for.

Blessings, Peta xo

Get my new ebook Yes You Can Lose Your Pregnancy Weight HERE. 87 Pages of tips, tricks and encouragement. Also included is 10 nourishing recipes and a copy of a whole week of exactly what I ate to lose weight.

2 week Grocery shop (haul) video.

Hi lovely readers! Here is a short video of what I bought last time I went out shopping including what I spent at the fruit and veg shop and at Woolworths. If you are enjoying these videos please let me know and I’ll love to hear feedback and to interact with my readers. I might alternate videos with written blog posts, so there will always be something coming out weekly.

Blessings, Peta.

How I Afford Clothes and Shoes For My Family of Seven on A Tight Budget -Video!

 

Hi all! I’m excited to be sharing another Youtube video with you!

In this video:

  • How I afford all the clothing and shoes we need for our family each season.
  • Which shops I buy our clothes from – including my favourite place to buy clothes for myself!
  • What clothes shops I don’t like anymore.
  • Why I don’t buy ebay clothes anymore.
  • A walk through of my summer clothing rotation with two of my little girls.
  • How the Lord has always provided for us everything we need as our family has grown in numbers.

 

Let me know what you thought of my video in the comments here on the blog or on Youtube comments. I’m new to this vlogging thing and hopefully will get better at it with each new video. This one went for a long time! Extra points for you if you actually watch it all the way to the end!

Blessings, Peta

My non perfect weekly laundry routine that actually works! – Vlog!

Here’s some exciting news – I have begun a Youtube channel! You can now watch 2 Punks Had a Bunch Of Kids on Youtube! After being inspired by some other fellow mum Youtube vloggers – I decided to give it a go myself. And thankfully my husband is a Tech nerd and also has a Youtube channel Beard Tech, and has been teaching me how to edit videos and helped me set up my channel. It’s a work in progress, but I’m having so much fun!

In this vlog I demonstrate my weekly laundry routine.

This is the plan:

Monday: Wash dirty clothes from basket in boys room

Tuesday: Wash basket in Mine and Luke’s bedroom

Wednesday: Wash basket in girls room

Thursday: Washing basket in laundry room

Friday: Wash sheets and other linen.

Saturday: Wash boys school uniform.

I hang out the washing outside after lunch and fold the previous days dry washing straight off the line.

I then sort the washing into tubs – one tub for each child and one for me and Luke.

The older 3 children put away their own washing into their drawers and I put away the two little girls washing and mine and Luke’s.

It’s doesn’t always work out when I have a few busy days in a row where I have to do lots of running around to appointments and other errands. You’ll see in the video what happened on that particular week that threw me off course and why I needed to spend Saturday bringing it all back together again.  I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse into our home. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the video and leave me a comment below if you would like to see more videos and what you are interested in seeing/hearing about.

Blessings, Peta

A day in the life of a mum with 5 children ages 8, 6, 5, 3 and 16 months.

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Once again I am doing a day in the life post! I love writing these because it’s so fun looking back and reading my old posts and seeing how much my family changes every 6 months. Children do a LOT of growing in 6 months! I hope you enjoy getting just a little taste of what a typical day is for me caring for my family. Every day is so different yet seems to always follow the same pattern.

7am – My alarm goes off. You know that playschool song that goes

“I jump out of bed in the morning

I jump out of bed in the morning

I jump out of bed in the morning

I hope it’s a very nice day.”

That was NOT me this morning. Actually it’s not me any morning. I do struggle with getting out of bed and always have. I was particularly tired this morning because of a little middle of the night visitor in our bed who then got a blood nose, which went all over our bed!

I roll out of bed and do my morning routine which consists of;

Packing the boys school lunches (I’m not quite organised enough yet to do this the night before). Getting all the children their breakfasts. Getting dressed. Helping the children dress and supervising their morning chores.

Willow has a blow out nappy! Luke hadn’t left for work yet and he dealt with that! Phew

I make myself a green smoothie for breakfast and sip it as I head out the door with all the kids to drop the boys off at school.

I drive the wrong way home even though it’s been several weeks since we moved to our new house. I must be tired!

Once home I head to my room with a green tea and spend some time in prayer. The Lord will give me everything I need to get through each new day!

9.20am – I begin my morning chores which consists of putting a load of washing on, doing all the dishes, clearing and wiping the table and benches and sweeping the kitchen and dining room floors. Sometimes I am not finished this until 11 in the morning or later. I have no idea why it takes that long. It just does.  I guess I have lots of people to clean up for by myself and during this time I also get the little girls some morning tea, take my supplements and maybe deal with a cranky toddler. Or a change poopy nappy or two.

10:30am – My parents in law drop in and give us two boxes of yummy oranges from their tree and a birthday present for Francis. We chat for a while.

11am – I settle Willow for her nap, then make myself another green tea. I continue the breakfast dishes which are still not done yet. Savannah has come down with a fever and is now asleep on the couch.

11.30am – I head outside with Holly. It’s a beautiful spring day and I spend an hour digging and pulling out weeds where I plan on planting some summer veggies. Holly loves finding worms and is having a great time in the dirt.

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12.45pm – Holly and I have lunch. Holly has a peanut butter sandwich and I eat butter chicken, baby spinach and brown rice leftover from last nights tea.

1.20pm – I have an oat straw tea and sit down to have my quiet time of Bible reading and devotions. I get out my journal and write a little. I read Holly a book about colours in bed and try to get her to have a nap but she just quietly plays in her room for a while.

2pm – Savannah wakes up and wants to watch a movie. She appears to be coming down with the flu that we all have had in the last few weeks. I put on Tarzan for her on the laptop then head outside to hang out the washing.

2:05pm – Willow wakes from her nap. I give her lunch and she eats it sitting outside watching me hang up washing.

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2:15 – Holly is knocking on her door and wants to come out. She had a ‘play nap.’

2:25pm – I put on a second load of washing and whip up a marinade for the chicken wings I’m planning on cooking for tea.

3:05pm – Shoes on for everyone and I buckle 3 girls in the car to pick up the boys from school.

3:30pm – Luke is home from his work training day. We have a quick chat, cup of tea and ‘handover’ as I prepare to leave the house.

3:50pm – I take the boys to their cooking class. They’ve had a block of 5 cooking classes and this is the last one. Savannah is upset about being sick and missing out, poor thing! Holly tags along with us and Luke stays home with Willow and Savannah.

5pm – We arrive home from the cooking class. I put the chicken wings in the oven. Savannah is in her bed now feeling very sick. I read her a book and try to cheer her up a bit.

6:15pm – We eat tea. Chinese chicken wings with brussels sprouts, cucumber slices and brown rice. I let the boys eat their pizzas that they made at the cooking class.

6:40pm – I sit with Francis and Arrow and help with their homework. Luke puts the little girls to bed and does some dishes.

7:15pm – I give the boys their supplements. Francis practices piano. He does a bit but he’s so tired he’s beginning to lose the plot and act loopy. Piano can wait for tomorrow – it’s bedtime.

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I brush my teeth with Francis. He’s really excited about some toothpaste and a teeth cleaning chart that he got at school today. He loves charts and orderly things.

Luke sits with the boys in their room and does a Bible story with them on his phone. He’s been using ‘The Bible App for Kids.’ By Youversion. They are really enjoying it.

I do a few more things in the kitchen like get out some meat for tomorrow’s tea and some chicken carcasses for some chicken stock I’m planning on making. We say our good-nights and pray for the boys.

8pm – Blogging and writing time and checking emails and replying to text and facebook messages that I haven’t been able to check yet because of our full evening and afternoon so far.

Luke and I have a cup of tea and usually head to bed between 10 – 10:30pm.

Our life with our family is busy and full and I love being a mum so much! It really brings me so much joy! I do hope to home school our children again in the future but for now I am enjoying this season and it’s restful simplicity.

You may also be interested in A day in the life with 5 children ages 6, 5, 4, 2 and 3.5 months

A day in the life of us: Homeschooling with my four under 6 while pregnant.

Blessings, Peta

Make sure you check out the I Quit Sugar Kids cook book. It’s full of great kids recipes and are all sugar free. I took my children to the dentist this week and the dentist gave us a handout pamphlet about how much hidden sugars are in our foods. It’s scary and so unnecessary! As soon as Luke got home Savannah ran up to him with the pamphlet and says “look how much sugar is in your iced coffee dad, you can’t drink that anymore!” Haha he was totally busted!

Kids Cookbook

How I plan meals for my family of seven.

When there are seven hungry people in your house wanting to know what’s for tea in half an hour, replying with “I don’t know” would be a disaster!

That’s why I started meal planning. Meal planning reduces my stress massively. It reduces the amount of money we spend on food. It helps us to eat healthier. It helps our days to flow smoothly because the huge task of preparing every one a satisfying meal has been dealt with.

I used to do meal plans weekly. But since term 4 last year I have been trying something different and it’s working really well. I was finding that I wasn’t able to keep up with meal planning every single week and some weeks I wouldn’t get around to planning and would fall back to ‘winging it’. I find it stressful not knowing at least the day before what we are going to eat for the following days evening meal. When I have a meal plan I feel better prepared because I can just check and see what we are eating tomorrow before bed and get out any meat to defrost overnight.

My new and improved way of planning our meals involves sitting down with a pile of cookbooks and my laptop every school holidays and typing out the whole next terms worth of meals. I usually plan for the next 12 weeks so that I can still follow it during the school holidays while I’m planing the next 12 weeks.

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I only plan the evening meal because we like to keep lunches, breakfast, snacks and sides very simple and repeat the same foods over and over.

For Breakfast depending on the season the children can choose eggs, porridge, muesli, yoghurt, smoothie, fruit, Vitabritz or toast. Sometimes we have other cereals for a treat but not all the time as they are too sugary and expensive.

For lunch we eat things like sandwiches, salads, soup, wraps, baked sweet potatoes or leftovers.

I always keep snacks like Saladas, rice crackers, cheese, yoghurt, nuts and fresh and dried fruit on hand for the children. I like to bake up large batches of biscuits too and try to always have some available in the house for them to eat but if life gets busy this doesn’t always happen. The home made biscuits that I usually have on rotation are chocolate chip, Anzacs, ginger bread and vanilla cockals.

To help make my meal planning simple I like to choose a theme with for each day of the week on the meal plan. For example Monday = lamb, Tuesday = chicken, Wednesday = vegetarian, Thursday = soup, Friday = pizza, Saturday = fish, Sunday = leftovers.

I also repeat the same meal 3-4 times or more throughout the 12 week meal plan. This helps to make cooking simple and to help me become confident with cooking a new recipe. Plus I’ve noticed children like to eat the same foods they like over and over again and are not keen on trying new recipes.

When choosing the meals I try to finds recipes that I think everyone will enjoy. Even the fussy ones.

I don’t include side dishes on my meal plan because I usually serve every meal with whatever vegetables are in season and were on special when I went shopping. We have vegetables with every meal either in a salad, roasted, fried or boiled. (or steamed, but my steamer is broken and I need a new one!) I serve many meals with rice, white or brown or with quinoa.

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Savannah and Holly enjoyed flicking through cookbooks and pointing out meals that they would like to try this week while I was doing the plan.

I don’t usually get my 12 week meal plan done in one hit. I find I need to work on it in a few 30-60 minute sessions over a week or so. I can’t sit down and concentrate on something longer than this amount of time during the day when I have 5 children to care for who all need me to help them with something.

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Meal plan Spring_Summer-2

 

Above is my latest meal plan for the next 12 weeks. I always put a reference to myself of the cook book a recipe is from and the page number so I can find it quickly when I do my shopping list.

I really like Sarah Wilson’s cookbooks. Two of my favourites are Simplicious and her slow cooker one. I used her slow cooker cook book heaps this winter. Her vegetable korma is really delicious and was a huge hit with my family and friends at Savannah’s 5th birthday party. Click on the pictures below to purchase them for yourself and help me to earn a commission to support this blog.

Simplicious Print

 

Slow Cooker Cookbook - PRINT

Shopping is a huge part of meal preparation and I always go to the shops with a list. I have been using a master shopping list for a few years now. I simply typed up every grocery item I buy and store in my cupboards, fridge and freezers including household and toiletry items and printed out many copies. I then highlight the item that I’m out of with a highlighter texta. This saves me writing out a list from scratch before every grocery trip.

Do you plan your family’s meals? My mum likes to simply shop for similar ingredients every time and plans her meals based around what’s in her house and garden. She usually just decides what she’s cooking the day before.

It’s all about finding something that works for you. If my planning looks too elaborate then try something that suits you better. I believe that it’s a huge responsibility as mothers (and fathers) to provide our family with a healthy, filling meal everyday.  It’s very important to eat meals together as a family with the TV and all electronic gadgets off. We don’t even allow our son to read when we are having a meal because I want him to engage in conversation with his family. A lot of joy and laughter can be shared at mealtimes. Luke, my husband, is especially good at making everyone laugh and we have a great time together while enjoying tasty food. These memories can bring a deep sense of comfort and belonging for our children and will last a lifetime.

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Blessings, Peta

 

 

 

Keeping children motivated to do their chores.

Arrow shoe racks

My three eldest children are now aged 7, 6 and almost 5. I felt at the beginning of this year that they are old enough to be doing chores now. They’ve been helping me out with bits and pieces around the house since they were toddlers (mainly just tidying up toys or carrying groceries in from the car) but I thought it was time to make chores an official part of their days. I have chosen a few chores each based on what I feel like I need help with the most and what I believe would be achievable for them. I want them to be a little challenged but not to the point that they are overwhelmed by their tasks. I really want my children to grow up understanding what it takes to run a household. By giving them chores they are developing character while learning good skills that they’ll need for the rest of their lives.

This is the current chore list and later I’ll share what I do to keep them motivated.

7.5 year old son:

  • Put away all the clean dishes from the drying rack
  • Take the recycling out to the recycling bin
  • Put away clean washing

6 year old son:

  • Tidy up shoe racks
  • Empty and rinse out the compost bucket
  • Put away clean washing

Almost 5 year old daughter:

  • Clear off the breakfast table
  • Put clean washing away

These are their daily chores. They put their own washing away after I deliver it folded and placed in their rooms in plastic tubs a few times a week.

Lets face it sometimes children, (AND adults!!) are in a stinky mood or are occupied by something else and really don’t want to do their chores. To attempt to conquer this problem and to make daily chores fun I made up a simple chart. It is just a piece of A4 paper with their names on it.

If they do their chores…

  • Straight away without being distracted
  • Well
  • Without any whining or complaining

They get a tick on the chart. When they get seven ticks I give them a chocolate bar, Freddo Frog or a mini pack of Maltesers!

This is working at the moment! What a blessing it is to have the children helping out! I’m thinking of introducing table chores for everyone to help clean up after our evening meal. I’ve been putting it off because the children (and myself) are usually pretty tired and grumpy by this time of the day but it is usually daddy who cleans the whole kitchen by himself after tea while I get the baby and toddler ready for bed or help the older ones have showers. It might be time to change up our schedule in the evening a bit to share the load of the evening kitchen clean up.

Do your children have chores?

Do you give them any rewards or allowances? Leave a comment and share what’s working …or not working for your household.

Blessings, Peta xo

 

 

Managing your home and using a schedule.

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Miss Savannah

I was first introduced to the concept of scheduling my family a few years back when my first three were all little from reading Erika Shupe’s blog  Large Families On Purpose. Over the past few years I have tried a few different schedules but if they are run by the clock, it hasn’t gone well for me. I have a very loose schedule written up now. Well, it’s more or less a routine than a schedule because it doesn’t have any times on it – except for meals and bedtime. It works somewhat but it’s perhaps a bit too loose. There are moments in my day that aren’t working.  And some things that I consider important are getting missed. I’ve been scratching my head for a while wondering and praying about how to order my home life so every thing works. I love the idea of the home running like a well oiled machine. Everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and when and everyone working to help each other reach a common goal. My home doesn’t look like a well oiled machine…it looks more like 2 parts of the machine (me and Luke) trying our hardest to keep order in the home while the other parts of the machine cause chaos. It’s time to get every thing and everyone running smoothly.

Will you join me on my journey into scheduling? I have almost completed my first day of following my new schedule from start to finish. In fact; the only reason I am even writing this right now is because my schedule said

  • 7:30pm – Blog.

I am amazed at how much I have accomplished today! The best thing about a schedule for me is that it ‘thinks’ for me. My mind is often a jumbled mess as I go about my day – especially in the mornings. This is because I have so much I need to do and all of it is reasonably urgent (change the toddlers nappy before it explodes, feed the baby, shower etc) and I often go running from one thing to the next trying to decide on the fly which thing is more urgent and needs to be done first. My schedule eliminates the stress of making 100 decisions because the decisions I need to make – such as feeding my baby her breakfast and when to put on the first load of laundry – have been made for me ahead of time. It makes me more efficient at getting these things done because I can work on the task at hand more wholeheartedly knowing that all the other things on my mind will get done when my schedule says so.

*Edit – I wrote the above in the last week of term 4 2016 – so around 4 weeks ago. I decided to make a schedule for myself for the summer school holidays too. The schedule has really taken the lethargy out of the holidays that I often feel after Christmas. Often I will sleep in (as long as I can) in the holidays and sluggishly go about my day. My mind would be a jumbled mess, full of things that I knew I needed to get done but I struggled to decide which task was most urgent. My school holiday days are going better and I feel like I’m living with much more intention. I also am making sure that I don’t get so busy with the urgent tasks and I allow time for things I feel are important. Like reading a story to one of my children. And exercising. I haven’t followed my schedule 100% of the time but overall I feel I am achieving more in my days then I was before.

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Making a ginger bread house with all the cousins

We have begun a 10 minute ‘power clean.’ Just before the children’s bed time too. I set the timer on my phone and we all rush around and see how much stuff we can put away before the timer goes. After wards I am amazed at how much tidier the house can look in such a short amount of time!

My eldest two children have been busy this week with swimming lessons, so I tweak the schedule to work around us going out too. A home schedule doesn’t mean I am always home, I work it around our outings. But also I find a happy balance so I am not going out so much that my home responsibilities are not getting done.

Do you run your days with a schedule or do you use a looser routine? Let me know in the comments. Do you follow a schedule during the school holidays?

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Holiday fun – we spent a week on my parents farm before Christmas.

Blessings, Peta