The questions I am asked most frequently are about how I get everything done. I tend to shy away from this question because I don't have it all together, or figured out, and don't want to appear that I do. I keep it real with you girls when writing this blog. I'm not going to pretend it's easy to keep a house full of people organized and clean. Most days, if you dropped in, you would find our dining room to be a mess with a table full of school books and pencils and paper. You would find dishes in my sink and piles of laundry to be sorted and washed. You would find toys all. over. the. place. Things are not perfect here.
When I started this blog I decided I would write about home and as I found a way to do things that works for me, I would share it. I'm sharing my cleaning schedule, which is reformed often, to help answer that dreaded question, "How do you do it all?". I don't do it all perfectly. Some days I don't even do it and many days I do it all wrong. So there. If you are looking for perfect homemaking you've come to the wrong blog. I will give you some dos and don'ts today and a look at my schedule and you can take it from there.
The first DON'T.
Don't compare yourself with other mamas. Do your best. If I compare myself with another mom who has fewer children I am going to experience frustration. If I look at all she is able to accomplish and then get down on myself when I can't do that I will develop a spirit of discontentment. A mother of six cannot compare herself to a mother of three. For that matter, you shouldn't compare yourself with any mother regardless of the number of children. We should share ideas, and pass on recipes, and alert our friends when there is a killer deal on say, detergent, but we shouldn't compare. Every mom is in a different season and situation. Mothers of two have a different home life than mothers of ten. Mothers of teens have quite a different schedule than mothers of littles. Mothers of teens AND littles have an entirely different thing going on all together. Comparing with other mamas profits nothing. Learning from other mamas - yes. Comparing - no.
Don't try to be like anyone else. Be you. God created you and chose you to be the mother of your children. Don't try to imitate another mama. Pray and study scripture and seek to be a godly mama (and wife) to your own peeps. Picking up ideas, seeking advice, finding tips and ideas is all good but trying to be just like so-and-so is not.
One last DON'T.
Don't skip your time with God.
Okay, assuming you are still with me, here are some dos.
Do start each day in prayer. The prayer of a righteous man (or woman) accomplishes much.
Do make yourself a schedule. This is, of course, my opinion but I feel strongly about schedules. I have found I can accomplish much more with a schedule as opposed to without.
Do let go of perfectionism. I am a recovering perfectionist and it is not easy, but here's the deal - things are not going to be perfect and you will wear yourself out trying to get them that way.
Do get all family members on board. Instead of you doing it all, train the children to help. Kids as young as two can do chores. Make sure all family members help out around the house. The more children you have the more essential this is. Perhaps with one child you could do everything (although I don't recommend it) but certainly with many children you cannot. Everyone eats food - everyone helps with clean-up. Everyone wears clothes - everyone helps with laundry.
I will leave you with my most recent cleaning schedule. As always, I'm happy to answer your questions just send them to my inbox or leave them in a comment.
Monday - Clean bathrooms. Our bathrooms require a daily light clean and a weekly deep clean. Remember there are eight people here, five of which are male.
Tuesday - Clean kitchen. I do a deep clean of the kitchen each week, including cleaning the refrigerator. If you do this weekly it never gets too bad.
Wednesday - Clean Glass. This is my day to work on couponing and to clean the glass (doors, windows and mirrors). Our front and back doors have lots of glass and are usually covered with little hand prints and doggy nose prints. I try to keep up with the windows but they get dirty so fast!
Thursday - Dust and vacuum. I get everyone on board for this, otherwise it would take forever. Little ones do the baseboards, the rest of us divide up and conquer the rooms. Many hands make light work.
Friday - Change bedsheets. We have seven beds and I do four one week and three the next. Every bed is getting clean sheets every other Friday.
Saturday - Catch-up (garage, yard, etc.) Depending on what's going on I sometimes use Saturdays to catch up on extra work I need to do. During warm months we often use Saturdays to clean out the garage, wash the cars, or work in our yard.
Daily (except Sunday) - Laundry (everyone), Swiffer (Ethan), Empty trash cans (Colin), Sweep steps (Eli), Feed pets (Nic), Sweep porch (Colin), pick up toys (Clare and Olivia), make beds (everyone), straighten rooms (everyone), take out recycling (Olivia), clean-up breakfast (Ethan), clean-up lunch (everyone), clean-up dinner (Nic).
I have a feeling I know what your next question is going to be. How do we do this cleaning while homeschooling, right? It's not as hard as you might think. I will answer that question in the next post. :)