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Get It All Done (or Die Trying) – The Life of a Mom

November 9, 2011

 When I woke this morning, I didn’t want to go to the gym, teach school, or clean the house. I wanted to read a book, work on a sewing project, and make some coffee cake. In short, I didn’t want to do anything just because it had to be done; I wanted to do things because I love doing them.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t like to teach school, or that there isn’t a certain satisfaction in having a clean house, or a fit body. I am just tired of the tyranny of the urgent.

This is always how I feel those first few weeks after Jake and Carl start youth wrestling and David starts high school wrestling  and Grace hasn’t finished her soccer season yet. This is the season when there is something to do every night of the week, except Monday. It’s enough to make you love Mondays. 🙂

Besides church, practices, and cheering on my little competitors, there are the extra Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations that take my time. And now, everyday, I make at least one 24 mile round trip to the high school for practice.  (And it is only one trip, if I fill the  2 hour practice time with some shopping or errands, instead of coming home.)

That doesn’t give me a lot of time to do things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, or managing the household budget.

Oh, I groan and complain a lot at the beginning, until I realize that this is my life and God has given me the strength to get it done.

There are 3 specific things that help me stay on top of things (or at least close) at home.

1. Meal Planning –  I make out a menu of the meals for two weeks at a time, taking into account, what is on the calendar – need a crock pot meal or one I can make ahead and reheat. Then I do all the grocery shopping for those meals. Presto – now I have a plan and the ingredients. Works like a charm. Sure I will have to go to the store to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables at least once, but this is a stress and time saver.

2. Chorebuster.net – This is a free program available on the web to help you assign chores to family members. You set up profiles for all your “workers” which designate which days they do/do not work and whether they do a full load or less. (Ideal for those younger children who need to be included, but are not able to do some jobs.)

You will also set up each of the chores based on what days or how often they are done and the degree of difficulty (or how much they are disliked). You can even set up so a certain person always does a specific chore or so a certain person never does that chore.

There are other parameters that can be opened by donating to the site too. When you are done, you generate the chart and print  it out.

3. Six Things – (I got this from Sarah Mae’s 31 Days to Clean – find it on her website sidebar.) This is just a list of the six most important things for me to do each day. I list the complete job, not just a part of it, and give it a number according to the priority.

I used to have a habit of breaking down my work into small parts, but I tended to do just a few of those parts (the ones I liked) then ended everyday feeling that I had not accomplished anything, even though there were many items crossed off my to-do list. This is because I wasn’t doing anything to completion. So, learn from my mistake, and start and finish the job; you will feel much better.

Start with job 1 and go down the list. When the day ends you will have the most important things done and then move the unfinished tasks to the next day.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Rosie P:otter permalink
    November 9, 2011 9:41 pm

    Good for you, Candy!
    I used to make chore charts for my six, and it certainly helped! I even made a chart for a friend whose wife was killed in a car accident and left him with 5, the oldest being 13.
    He was so appreciative! “It really works!” was his comment.

    Now that we’ve been empty-nesters for a long time, I build my mental chart around weekly responsibilities at church, and enforce it with sticky notes.

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