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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Scheduling the Week

As I have often related to friends and family when we talk, "mommy brain" is a REAL thing!  This is one reason why I am so thankful for the Women's study several of my friends and I have been doing on a book entitled "Large Family Logistics" by Kim Brenneman (find it here).  This book has been great in providing me with realistic solutions to every day problems, especially as our number of children continues to rise, and more tasks are added to my to-do list until my older children grow in their capabilities (it is happening, but not as lightning speeds!)  One of the most significant areas discussed in this book that has been the most helpful to me is the concept of having specific purposes for each day of the week.  This is a lost art from previous generations, but Kim really helps to fulfill a Titus 2 calling by teaching us younger women some of these techniques.  This is what I will be sharing today.

The way my household runs, we basically do a lot of the same things most days.  Children really love predictability and routine.  We wake up, do chores, eat breakfast, do devotions, have school time, and usually have a little time between school and lunch.  This was my open time for which I needed to find a constructive purpose if possible for myself and the kids to do.  But, since my mommy brain is in full effect, many times when I had this open opportunity to "get things done" my brain would take a vacation and I'd sit there, staring blankly at the computer screen or staring off into space in the kitchen, because I could not, for the life of me, remember what it was that I wanted to accomplish when I went in there or sat down!  It was VERY frustrating (still is when it happens!)  The biggest problem was trying to narrow down the mounds of things that I see every day that "need" to get done to the ones that really NEED to get done and I have time to do realistically.  We all have them: wash dished, scrub floors, bathe kids, iron pants, clean up icky spot on floor, wash windows, sweep, paint hallway, etc.  Some of these are pressing, many are not, so prioritizing this list is very important.  But, I would find myself essentially attempting to do the entire household of items during this "free" time and always feeling like nothing was really getting done.

So, this simple weekly purpose rotation has been a brain-saver for me because it provided me the necessary focus to prioritize my tasks.  In my home (and this is really ever-evolving as seasons change), right now, my week looks like this: Monday- Kitchen Day, Tuesday- Cleaning Day, Wednesday- Laundry Day, Thursday- Office Day, Friday- Town Day, Saturday- Gardening Day, and Sunday- Lord's Day.  Once in a while I need to swap these days because of the needs of the week, but I try to keep them pretty predictable as much as possible.  In each of these days, I try to make the focus of the day on the determined theme, and this has really helped me to get more done in more areas of our life than I thought I could do.  I will likely elaborate more on the purpose of each of these days in coming posts, but I will provide some basic info to maybe inspire you to get your own schedule together.  Kitchen Day is where the focus is in the kitchen.  I try to bake most of my baked goods for the week, clean one part of the kitchen, and really give the counters and sink a good scrub.  On Cleaning Day, obviously, the focus is cleaning, where the kids and I all help clean the house (Lily does the upstairs bathroom, Nadya cleans the play room and vacuums (one of them dusts), Anaya "helps" as needed, I try to task Zack as much as possible with little things, and I clean my bathroom, sweep, and do whatever else needs to be done in my priorities).  Laundry Day attacks the laundry monster.  Thursday I balance the checkbook, pay any needed bills, clean out all the piling papers at the desk, and file away needed files.  Friday is where we food shop, make small errands, and anything else needed out of the home.  Saturday is when we really focus on tended the growing garden (planning the garden or actually working it, depending on the season of the year).  And, Sunday, which is our day to relax, refrain from as much work as possible and enjoy focusing of fellowship with friends and family.  As much as possible, I try to prepare ahead for Sunday (baking or cooking ahead, or making simple meals) to keep the work load as light as possible, but I am still learning this skill.

I hope that this explanation is a help to you!  If you have anything that has worked great for you, please comment below!  God bless!

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