As much as I prefer a 5-5:30a.m. start time for myself, it just isn't happening with fitful pregnancy sleep. I'm needing to attain as much sleep as absolutely possible these days, and so I've determined that our daily homemaking schedule needed some adjustment to reflect the activities of a later start.
Without a schedule guiding how our time and attention is spent, the house stays a mess, children are fussy and I struggle with finding deep joy in home and family. My desire is for the house to be maintained to a point of providing us calm and comfort, for children to be assured they are/will receive adequate stimulation and individualized attention, and for my heart to be completely lost within this role of wife, mama and homemaker (and my husband to see and be delighted in that). I've learned that in order to achieve, or at the least be working towards this direction, I must be proactive. I must consider in advance what is needed by everyone or everything and when the best opportunities to complete that work is in each day. It's a daily effort in diligence in which I'm striving each day. It makes a huge difference!
Posted below is our newest daily homemaking schedule. Below that are a few elaborations on certain areas. Any questions, just ask! :)
- I have allowed myself a later waking time of 6:30a.m. I have just enough time to get myself ready before Annelise wakes. I've moved my personal devotional time to be as the opportunity arises, which is often while the children are outside playing or during naptime. Naptime and bedtime are my least successful times because I tend to fall asleep quickly at those moments. ;)
- I've learned that the children must be dressed before breakfast or any other activity. Otherwise, the task will take twice as long for whatever reason.
- After meals we have "playpen time." This one strategy has been huge in providing me an opportunity to get the kitchen and dining room cleaned back up. I had been struggling with keeping these rooms clean, which is important as we don't want dirty dishes and food bits accumulating in these areas creating unpleasant smells and tempting a little one to eat off the floor. I highly recommend utilizing these tools so that the kitchen and dining room can be cleaned up after every meal and thereby kept clean throughout the day!
- "tot school" & "tiny tot school"- I will further detail these activities in future posts. Essentially, they're not academic schooling sessions, but activities intentionally planned for spending one-on-one time with each of my children. Without such, there tends to be more fussing, clinging and poor behaviors that go against our family rules. To a child any attention, even negative, is still attention. So, I made sure to incorporate a "together time" with each child during the first part of our day. We sing songs, play with play dough, read books, play with toys specifically for this time etc. It's just a way for me to pause in the day to make sure each child gets my undivided attention, and we do something out of the ordinary and fun!
- Naptime personal interest activity- This is the only time I have to myself each day. Getting up early or staying up late typically doesn't permit me the amount of rest that I need. So, naptime is the best opportunity for me to pursue my own interests. It's been helpful to me to divide my personal interests among these opportunities during the week so that I'm continuing to invest in myself. It's important to be "all there" as a mama, but it's also important to continue to invest in oneself. It's all about balance. If time for oneself is difficult to find (as it is for me), then I recommend scheduling the naptime activity for yourself so that that time can be used the wisest.
- Cleaning routine & playpen time- If David is home early, then he plays with the children while I complete my tasks for the day. If not, then the children must spend a little time in a more structured play environment. I simply can't keep a close eye on or have a little one underfoot when I'm trying to clean, especially deep cleaning tasks. Not only would they be creating as much mess as I would be cleaning, but it isn't safe for them to be around any kind of cleaning products or walking on slick floors after mopping. Also, to keep cleaning tasks manageable I created a weekly cleaning schedule for myself. I only deep clean one area and tidy two rooms each day (outside of my day to day cleaning). This is as much as I can accomplish in a day, but our home still stays relatively clean.
I imagine we'll remain with this schedule for quite a while (at least until baby #3 arrives). So far, it has been working wonderfully for us! It's so very nice for there to be greater predictability and productivity! It truly bring so much peacefulness to our home and days.