I’m writing today in response to the “how do you do it all” emails. I’ll tell you this… I don’t do it all. No one does. When one thing excels, another suffers, no matter how much of a rock star you think you are. BUT, I do find it very helpful to learn how other women manoeuvre through their day so I thought I might shed some light on to some changes I’ve made in the last couple of months….
Summer is over and Fall has arrived. For the first time in my life, I’m thankful for that. Though dreaded winter looms on the horizon, I welcome fall with open arms. The humidity and heat has been so oppressive here these last couple months that a break will be very welcome. Truth be told, it stole a bit of my joy of the outdoors. It’s practically impossible to enjoy the outdoors with a tiny newborn when it’s 92 degrees with one hundred percent humidity.
So vive l’automne, short-lived as it is.
As I welcome in fall, I am making some minor adjustments to the way I approach life. I suppose by now I get to say that I am old enough to admit when things need to change. I’m an ornery one though, and so I am a little surprised that I’ve been able to admit it. But it was becoming apparent that I had no time to kill and I desperately needed some.
I am a more is more kind of girl. More mascara? Check! More wine? Check! More time?
Not so much.
And so…I’ve put myself on a schedule. Me. Little miss, free spirit, rebellious, don’t tell me what to do, is on a schedule. But I had to.
The fact of the matter is, I’ve got a cookbook to sell, 6 children to raise AND educate, a group of women that I mentor in their businesses, customers, blogs to write, dresses to sew, food to grow…. the list goes on and on. AND I’m a workaholic. I love to work. And I suppose that’s because it doesn’t really work for me. So let me rephrase that:
I love to be productive.
I love to contribute.
You can sit still when you’re 90 and you can sleep when you’re dead. There are not enough hours in the day. And not enough time to kill doing the things I really love to do.
We resumed school in the middle of last month. I’m thrilled out of my mind over this. This year I’m taking an even stronger Charlotte Mason approach and employing the use of Ambleside Online and some Classical Conversations concepts and tools. After last years revelation that I had gotten off track with how I was educating my chickens, I’ve started off the school year truly enjoying the process. Now, don’t get me wrong. Homeschooling is as hard as all get out, but at least this year I have total peace about what we are doing, more specifically, how we are doing it.
But back to that schedule….
I knew that if I was going to accomplish my personal and business goals this fall I was going to have to ratchet up the intent on all levels. So, I did it.
I began by writing out what every day of our week looks like. I wrote down everything. Every bit of chaos. And then I began to organize what I saw. I asked myself, “Where are we wasting time?”, “Where are we ineffective?” and “Where are we missing out on time to relax or pursue hobbies?”.
And then I rewrote the schedule accordingly. I added things like the occasional date night, mother’s helper afternoons and plenty of time for me to read because books are so very important to me. After a summer of free-for-all, I got us back on track to be productive and effective with plenty of free time for hobbies and passions. I also wrote out the rest of the year for myself personally. When I will sew when I will teach doTERRA classes when I will blog. It may sound rather strict, and no, I won’t live and die by it, but this schedule has already afforded us more peace of mind and free time than I could have imagined.
NOTHING drives me as crazy as waste. Ask my husband. Wasted time, wasted money, wasted effort rubs against everything I stand for.
And for someone who has many interests and so many things she wants to accomplish each week, putting the family on a schedule is preventing me from waste. I’m no longer quadruple tasking all the time. I can focus on one or two things at a time and move confidently, knowing that time for the other things is right around the corner. I know, I know…. maybe you do this already but this is revolutionary for me. I’ve always fought the “schedule thing” because I didn’t want to be tied down. But even just a week into it I saw that the lack of structure, especially with a family this size. was actually tying me down more than a schedule.
Here are a couple things… I won’t bore you with the details… But I’ll tell you this, as much as I am willing to give to my family…. I suppose I’m pretty selfish too. Momma’s HAVE to fight for their own time. No one else is going to give that to us. I’m a much better wife and mother when I treat myself as though I matter too.
6:15-6:30 I’m up, making coffee, and heating the breakfast I hopefully made the evening before. This is my time. The kids have to stay in their rooms until 7. Otherwise, it’s just totally ape$&!# around here and I can’t handle that so early in the morning. After seven they are doing chores, playing, eating, practising their piano and getting done any schoolwork they want to get a jump start on with the computer (like math and typing lessons). By about 6:50 I cut out for my workout. That’s my time. I will not give that workout up. It keeps me sane.
It’s the sane in my crazy.
It can be really intense or a three-mile walk in the woods. Whatever, but I gotta have it. It’s just a time for me to decide what I think about. I’ll listen to my favourite preacher, talk with my doTERRA leaders on the phone or simply be quiet while I run. It’s incredible. (After all, the rest of the day is spent fighting for my own thoughts) 🙂
After that, It’s my time to get ready for the day. This also is very important to me. As a woman, it is important for me to look and feel good and so keeping up with my appearance and wearing makeup is part of that. Yes. I wear makeup around the farm. I think that too many moms let themselves go with the excuse that “they do not have time”. But if you don’t have seven minutes to put your makeup on then something is out of balance. Let’s just call it.
We begin school officially at 10 o’clock in the morning. Which means that I have had the entire morning to do housework, take care of myself, write a blog post, return any essential oil correspondence that’s needed, etc. I have finally figured out after 11 years of motherhood that snack time is a child’s love language. I call it “shut up food”. Can I get an “amen”?
And so I keep their attention by offering a little snack at 11 o’clock and then we break at noon for lunch. We then continue school until two or two-thirty in afternoon. The children do one more music lesson practice of violin and then we have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy ourselves. Or do work on the farm run, errands etc…
There are variations throughout the week, here and there, considering we have piano teachers coming to the house and French tutors coming to the house and violin lessons, friends that come over for coffee… but that also means there are also variations in our free time. This new schedule has allowed me time to simply enjoy whatever I am doing at a particular time. Guilt-free.
This is a crazy new chapter in my life. I love it. Don’t ask me “how do you do it all” Cause I don’t. And I don’t know. I’ve fought tooth and nail to get where I am today and by the Grace of God, He saw fit to bless my efforts. Stay with me on this analogy… I chose these photos from last month, before the leaves turned, to remind me that a good life doesn’t just happen. It takes planning… I have to be intentional. And just like lugging your bedding out to the line to dry… a good life takes more work. It takes intention.
But there’s nothing like the smell of line dried sheets.
And time afforded to read a good book.