I used to get the occasional email or social media message asking about how I plan my days or how I run our homeschool or how I keep my house clean. I have noticed that in the last year or so, as I have been sharing more of my life online, I am getting more messages about this subject and truthfully, it’s not a short answer. It’s not even one answer, really. There are as many answers as there are questions and I can only tell you how I deal with this stuff, it may not work as well for everyone else. I’ve been inspired to write a series on this topic, and I hope you can pull little nuggets of information from it to help you. I made a list of 10 areas, though I may have missed something feel free to let me know! I’ll cover one a week, every Thursday, starting tomorrow.
This list can seem overwhelming, so hopefully talking about one thing at a time will break it down into manageable pieces. The main thing to remember is that yes, there is a lot going on, BUT you do not need to feel overwhelmed about it all, you do not need to be constantly working. You can work on your time management to meet your goals, but having downtime mixed in there is very important. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning yourself out and not wanting to do anything for days!
1. Keeping the house clean – Taking ideas from several organizational plans, I stitched together a system that has worked for me in tiny apartments, large houses and all the living spaces in between.
2. Homeschooling, field trips, navigating the kid’s social lives – Not everyone homeschools, of course, but even if you don’t homeschool, you do likely find yourself helping with homework, teaching life skills, planning family field trips and setting up events for your kids and their friends.
3. Daily cooking and baking / meal planning – Arguably the most important, and one of the most often dismissed, part of running a household. If you ever open the pantry at 5 and have no idea what you’re making for dinner, meal planning will change your life.
4. Taking care of yourself – With so much else to do in a day, adding yourself to the list can seem unreasonable, or like another chore. Really though, once you start taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, you will feel and see the difference in your life (and believe it or not, you’ll see changes in your family as well).
5. Having a fun marriage – Not everyone who is running a household is married, or even in a partnership and I don’t want to make any assumptions here. Having said that, if you are in a relationship it can be your biggest asset or the biggest drain on your emotions. Deal with known issues or nurture an awesome relationship!
6. Having a social life – I admit that I am a natural extrovert and that I have been known to strike up conversations with random people out in the wild and make friends. I know that’s not for everyone, but there are other avenues to meet like minded friends. Just as important as making friends, once you have friends you love and care about you need to make time for them.
7. Squeezing in hobbies – I have met wonderful, dedicated wives and mothers that literally have no hobbies. In some cases they had hobbies before their families and haven’t gotten back into them, and in other situations they just never really developed any. Doing something just 100% for yourself is not a bad thing, and you don’t need to find hours every day, just carve out a little time a few days a week and after a while, you’ll be trying to carve out a little more time!
8. Caring for pets – This is a necessity, technically, the dog needs to go out, the guinea pig cage needs to be cleaned, etc. However, most of the time it’s just the bare minimum. Dogs are put outside but not taken for walks, etc. This is one of those categories children should be a part of. Not just for the help it provides, but for them as well!
9. Planner basics – My planner is the backbone of my daily organization. I’ve said before that I let my planner boss me around and that is how I deal with time management. There is a little more to it than that of course, but we’ll get into that later.
10. Downtime – Orchestrating your days to get it all done can get a little addicting, especially once you start to see what you can accomplish! Make sure you have downtime to recover from your day and be ready for tomorrow!