If there is one thing that has really changed in my life after adding my forth wonderful bundle of boy-joy, it is in the realm of time-management. I do have so much that MUST happen in a week(feeding the family, throwing laundry into machines, etc.), and so much that SHOULD get done (list appears below), and so much that I DESIRE to do (read to the kids, blog, etc.).
Maybe it is the same at your house as it is in mine: you get your "must's" done and you get your "desires" done, but the "shoulds" fall to the way-side - unless you are really on top of things. A short list of my Shoulds: mopping the floor, cleaning out the car, decluttering "that one spot" in the kitchen, mailing an encouraging note, putting laundry away, meal planning for next week, scrubbing the shower... you know... stuff that you can get away with not doing, but feels great to do (or at least feels great once its done).
So to fit it all in I have made three modifications to my life. And believe it or not, I love every one of them (even the first one!).
1. I wake up most mornings at 5:15AM. I know. I can't believe it myself. But what I REALLY can't believe is that I LIKE IT. I get a workout in, spend some time with the Lord, and shower all before my kids are up. I have tried on many occasions to get up before the kids so that I can have an uninterrupted quiet time. It has been seven years of intermittent trying and giving up. And this time - IT IS WORKING! It is a major victory for me. I will save you the details going on in my brain about this subject, but suffice it to say I have Joy to thank for making me see that getting up early is something you can learn. And it is a learned skill. For some reason, that clicked for me. Maybe I will blog about that some other day.
2. I created a two-week cleaning chart. If my boys and I do the 15-25 minutes of cleaning listed for that day and we do it every day for two weeks, the house stays clean and relatively clutter-free. This is a very new addition to our lives (we are finishing up our first two-week cycle this weekend), but so far it has been great. I have the kind of personality when it comes to cleaning that is best described as "all or nothing." If I don't think I can do it perfectly, I don't have any motivation to do it. And when was the last time I had 5 hours of uninterrupted time to clean the house top to bottom (ugh - that sounds dreadful!)? About 7.5 years ago. And way back then I had a list of other excuses as to why I couldn't keep a clean house. Anywho, this little chart breaks it down so that I don't feel defeated or overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning the entire house because I don't have to clean the whole house today...I just need to sweep and mop the floors.
3. I have a little list in my kitchen that reminds me to do a few things every night before I go to bed, like take tomorrow's meat out of the freezer and make school and work lunches. The list also reminds me to fold laundry on Wednesday nights and meal plan/make my grocery list on Monday nights. And it is on that little list that it says for Friday nights, "BLOG!!"
So, if you are looking for a good excuse to increase your neurosis and want to polish up on your ability to make an astute list, increase the number of children you are raising. It worked for me! But honestly, I am really enjoying increasing my homemaking skills. I like being (or attempting to become) excellent at my job!