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Tell me how do you organize your days? - Page 2

post #21 of 42
Great thread. Lots of good ideas here that I need so I'm subscribing for inspiration.
post #22 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
Best wishes in finding what works for you!!!
thank you. i appreciate the detail. it is a bit different with the kid differences, but i can see the things that would work for us, take away the things that don't and plug in what we need..........i'll try to see what it will look like.

did it take you time to figure out what works or are you just that sort of person?
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppermint Leaf View Post

I think sometimes it would be easier to do housework in the evening -- I no longer seem to be a Morning Person - which certainly adds frustration to my day - trying to motivate myself
I am sooooo not a morning person, never have been. I stay up until at least 3 am so I get a ton of stuff done. Plus, the kids are in school all day so I can sleep then.

Ugh, it's backwards but it works for us.

I guess it's just about finding what works for you, OP.

I do like the idea of getting the kids involved, that helps a lot. Not only do you get a little extra cleaning help, it keeps them busy and you're spending time together.

Personally, I like eating early, no later than 5:30 (5 is ideal) so the kids will be done with eating (dessert included) by 6 because our bedtime stuff starts at 7. That way, it's lights out by 8.

Oh, the crock pot is a mother's best friend.

I'd have more info but our situations are quite different.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
thank you. i appreciate the detail. it is a bit different with the kid differences, but i can see the things that would work for us, take away the things that don't and plug in what we need..........i'll try to see what it will look like.

did it take you time to figure out what works or are you just that sort of person?
It took me quite awhile to figure it out! The key for me was figuring out when my "best" time frames were during the day and when my "worst" time frames were and adjusting activities to fit those. Paying attention to the same things in my child was even more important. Finding the overlapping times when we were both at our best and both at our worst and plugging in appropriate activities from there was when our days really started to hum along smoothly.

Before DD started school, things were really smooth because I had more control of when we started our day. It took me quite awhile to adjust to her EARLY school start time. (She has to be at school in line at 7:35 am.) I still have a hard time with the early morning waking times. That is why I don't interact with DH & DD in the early morning. None of us need my crankiness! LOL I stay in my own little world and work my way towards socialness (not a word, but you get the idea) gently and then I am not cranky. Forcing me to interact before I am fully awake is counterproductive. I did have to adjust my sleeping and waking times and get used to the new waking time slowly.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by akwifeandmomma View Post
I used an MDC mama's (knittinintheshade, I think) "brain files" as a template to make my own daily routine lists.

Here:
http://s110.photobucket.com/albums/n...rent=DAILY.jpg

http://s110.photobucket.com/albums/n...ent=Friday.jpg

http://s110.photobucket.com/albums/n...t=Thursday.jpg

http://s110.photobucket.com/albums/n...nt=Tuesday.jpg

http://s110.photobucket.com/albums/n...=Wednesday.jpg

http://s110.photobucket.com/albums/n...ent=Monday.jpg


I also use a Google Calendar to stay on track. We HS, so I keep my DS' schedule in one color, mine in another, DH's another, etc.

Wow thanks for sharing!!
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
Ok, I have 3 kids now, 4.5; 2.5; and 1mo. i have no rhyme or reason to my day. i know i am not nearly as productive as i should/could be and i find myself stressing over housework instead of spending time with my kids. i know there are those of you out there who enjoy the best of both of these worlds.

i want to schedule my days with daily maintenance to keep on top of the house, plus mealplan-cook-craft with my kids-read/learn with them-and have outside/excersice time-pay bills..........well everything that goes on in a mommy/wife world.

i am having a time getting a grip here. thanks in advance.
I haven't read any of the other posts yet. My children are 14 and 9 1/2 years old.

Days of no rhyme or reason are necessary for a little while for a mom of three children under five, one only a month old! But it can't be sustained for long and, yes, a flexible, loose schedule can help reduce anxiety.

Don't make the mistake of looking at a daily planner broken down by hours and thinking that you should or could fill up every empty block of time. Don't make the mistake of looking at other moms thinking that they've got everything covered. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. It doesn't matter. Take this time to get to know yourself, what YOU want, what you are comfortable with, what you need to be happy.

I suffer severely from second-guessing myself at the end of the day. I tend to look back and think, There was that half hour after I went grocery shopping and before it was time to go to the doctor appointment when I could have been doing something! I picture the fourteen-hour day stretched out behind me, all those blocks of time and think, I only managed to do this and this??!

But I'm learning to make goals for myself, carefully planned, based upon what I know I'm capable of. Then when I get to the end of the day (or whenever I'm contemplating my self worth ) I can be satisfied with myself.

Also, it just plain takes longer to do anything when you've got children that little and dependent on you. Accept that, schedule that in to you day and then feel free to be satisfied and pleased with yourself. If you planned to have lunch from noon to 1:00 and go to the park from 1:00 to 2:00, but lunch ended up taking a lot longer than you scheduled, just don't worry about it. Don't even think twice about it. If it took that long it's because that's how much time was required that day.

If you stayed an extra 5 minutes in the shower more than you had scheduled, don't think twice about it. That's how much time you needed that day.

I don't know how much of this applies to you. But it's some stuff I wish I'd known when I had really little kids. Think about it when you are creating your own schedule.
post #27 of 42
I went through this recently with a group of mom's and we did find a way to make it work for all of us. We took 2 weeks and just let life happened, noting it down on paper all the while.

Note when people get hungry, when kids get needy, when they have downtime, when people ask to go outside etc. etc. Just watch the rhythm of your family. Now start to look at yourself as the rhythm coordinator. You see the needs before they arise. You know your 2.5 year old get sleepy everyday between 12-1 so what do you want done before that? Lunch before nap? Well, what time do you need to start lunch in order for it to be ready for 11:15 ish so your 2.5 year old will be ready for nap. Okay so you start lunch at 10:45 and need the kids to chill out during that time so you can get food made and kitchen cleaned up so maybe plan on spending some focused one on one time with them from 10 am til time to make lunch. Then when you get up and say it's time for you to make lunch they will probably be able to chill for a bit while you do it.

See what I am saying? Take the major components of your day (naps, mealtimes and things that need to happen) and then work in things around them with you being the ever so wise mama over seeing everything. the biggest trick I have is understanding that if I need time to do something on my own I need to spend some focused time with them before hand.

For me, a schedule never works, but finding a rhythm allows us to be flexible but still gives me something to lean on day to day.

Good luck mama!
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
It took me quite awhile to figure it out! The key for me was figuring out when my "best" time frames were during the day and when my "worst" time frames were and adjusting activities to fit those. Paying attention to the same things in my child was even more important. Finding the overlapping times when we were both at our best and both at our worst and plugging in appropriate activities from there was when our days really started to hum along smoothly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flowers View Post
Note when people get hungry, when kids get needy, when they have downtime, when people ask to go outside etc. etc. Just watch the rhythm of your family. Now start to look at yourself as the rhythm coordinator. You see the needs before they arise.
This is really it in a nutshell. When I follow my kids' ( and my own) daily rhythms and make routines that accentuate the positive and alleviate the negative, then things are much more calm and productive. Meals, housework, schoolwork, and other necessities of life like paying the bills are easier to get done. It just takes some time and attention to get into the natural flow of things.

My kids, I've noticed, have really taken to having daily routines that we follow. (I've even caught my 12yo reading my Home Binder with interest. ) I do look at the clock, though, and try to keep to a set schedule around dinner/bedtime. My 5yo needs to be in bed by 7:00 or she is a bear to wake up for school in the morning. Knowing this, I plan to start dinner by 5 and have bath-time directly after we eat since my 2yo is always covered in food from dinner. In the morning, we also have to pay attention to the clock so that the girls are on time to school. Other times are more flexible, though. And I know that it's going to be so much harder to follow a schedule with a newborn, so I'm probably going to have to allot more time to tasks that need to be done by a certain time.
post #29 of 42
From looking at the Motivated Mom planner, this seems to be very similar, and is FREE to boot:

This first post explains the concept, and allows you to view it:
http://simplemom.net/daily-docket/

And you can download it (along with her other home management notebook stuff) here:
http://simplemom.net/home-management...-a-great-idea/

(PS-besides the daily docket, Simple Mom has a ton of other great organizing tips!)

I'm NMY , but I use the "generic" version of her Daily Docket as an organizer at work, because my schedule and tasks (while repetitious) vary hugely day to day. I think it is a great tool, and worth checking out.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by flowers View Post

Note when people get hungry, when kids get needy, when they have downtime, when people ask to go outside etc. etc. Just watch the rhythm of your family. Now start to look at yourself as the rhythm coordinator. You see the needs before they arise.

See what I am saying? Take the major components of your day (naps, mealtimes and things that need to happen) and then work in things around them with you being the ever so wise mama over seeing everything. the biggest trick I have is understanding that if I need time to do something on my own I need to spend some focused time with them before hand.

For me, a schedule never works, but finding a rhythm allows us to be flexible but still gives me something to lean on day to day.

Good luck mama!

This is what I do too. It has changed over the years as needs and other variables have changed. Take everything that I say with a grain of salt though because my house is often messy - I am a work in progress!

Roughly, my new routine is looking like:

Morning routine: get dressed, breakfast, off to school, etc
I am going to use the morning when the oldest two are at school to focus on exercise for me/errands.

Pick up ds at 11:00 ish. Outside play (already in snowsuit), lunch, quiet time (Mon, Thursdays, Fridays. On Tues we go right from school to gymnastics, Wed. we have a playgroup.). He needs it after school - independant playing with toys, reading, crafts, TV on occasion. I'm hoping that baby will pick up on this groove and start a long afternoon nap at this time, too. I would like my afternoons to be focused on housework and 1 on 1 time w/ ds.

3:00 ish - pick up DD. Weather permitting we all play outside again (already dressed). Snack at home. HAng out with DD (and everyone, of course) talk about day, etc. 4-4:30 start dinner prep - Kids are usually at kitchen table doing a craft/playdough at this time.

Supper-family time together, if we have time - bath-books-bed.

Before any of my kids were in school, my high level routine was

Get up - lounge around/quiet play-have breakfast - morning activity (park, playgroup, crafts if staying home) - home for lunch - any napping kids nap - after nap activity, ideally backyard play - start supper prep around 4:00ish (to leave wiggle room for incidental stuff that would happen) I'd often let them watch a show around 5:00 or so to mitigate the witching hour - supper-bath(sometimes)-bed(always ). My house always seemed to be a mess though and looking back, I can see that I never scheduled cleaning time in
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemongrass View Post
This is really it in a nutshell. When I follow my kids' ( and my own) daily rhythms and make routines that accentuate the positive and alleviate the negative, then things are much more calm and productive. Meals, housework, schoolwork, and other necessities of life like paying the bills are easier to get done. It just takes some time and attention to get into the natural flow of things.
Exactly! It does take some time and effort to find but once you do everything is easier. Well, as easy as life gets with kids and a home.
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadlibrarian View Post
From looking at the Motivated Mom planner, this seems to be very similar, and is FREE to boot:

This first post explains the concept, and allows you to view it:
http://simplemom.net/daily-docket/

And you can download it (along with her other home management notebook stuff) here:
http://simplemom.net/home-management...-a-great-idea/
Thank you for the links.
post #33 of 42
Thread Starter 
the rythms and the ebbs & flows of each family/person make alot of sense to me. it clicks.

you all who do this are very in tune to narrow it down to that.......or is there a book out there that i need to read that i obviously don't know about.
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellid View Post
the rythms and the ebbs & flows of each family/person make alot of sense to me. it clicks.

you all who do this are very in tune to narrow it down to that.......or is there a book out there that i need to read that i obviously don't know about.
I don't know of any book, but I'd love to know if there was one, too! For me, mealtimes were the starting point, then naptimes fit in there. Overall, it was trial and error and talking with friends about what works for them. I don't think that there is only one right solution. When my house is becoming messier, then I try to focus on it more, and when my kids are fighting too much, or becoming unruly, I take that as a cue that I have erred too much on side of housework.

Honestly though, I am constantly struggling with trying to find a balance with housework and kids. I am not a very rigid person and so schedules don't last long for me. I did look at the links that nomadlibrarian posted - they are helpful. I am always looking for suggestions though, so I'll be lurking here....
post #35 of 42
No book that I know of (but what a great idea!). I found this way by brainstorming and discussing it with a group of moms who I met through mdc and were all having similar challenges of keeping home and finding rhythm with young kids.

Actually, you know what did start the idea of "rhythm" for me was reading through the Enki homeschooling guides that a friend has-they focus on it a lot.
post #36 of 42
If anyone knows of a book, I'm all ears!
post #37 of 42
I just started using something similar to motivated moms. I took all the chores listed in the 2002 free book and added some of my own and took away those of hers that don't apply to us. I also got rid of cleaning baseboards, etc because as far as I am concerned that is low low priority with a newborn on the way - I figure if I remember to do it while dusting the room or vacuuming the room - then great. The thing I love about it is that you just do what is on the list for the day. It has totally helped with me not feeling overwhelmed. The daily chore list is also great. I took some things off - like cleaning the bathroom sinks I do every 3 or 4 days so it is on my other list instead of on the daily list. I basically set it up in excel and have it tweaked it as I have gotten into doing it. For instance, I had vacuum 2nd floor - and during the 2nd week I realized that it just wasn't going to happen - the only thing on the 2nd floor is bedrooms - so I moved it to every other week. I try to get most things done first thing in the morning but sometimes some of them have to wait until dh gets home and I have some help. This has opened so much more time for me to spend with dd - quality time.
post #38 of 42
Replying to the message you sent me earlier ...

First, life with children the ages of yours is harder than it is with the ages of mine. Accepting that fact will help you. I wasn't this organized when my oldest was 4.5. I wanted to be, but I was exhausted, just trying to get through the day most of the time! So, give yourself some slack.

Okay ... as far as schedules and such, I don't have those. I did make a list of what I need to/want to do in the day, and we chip away at it all day long. A big thing for me is keeping the house clean enough that I wouldn't mind someone dropping by. For some reason, when the house is like that, it helps me be much more productive.

I have tried to follow various schedules and they just didn't work for ME. I know they work for others, but it just didn't for me.

Hmmm ... what else ... I guess I would say to give yourself some slack, especially having such a new little one. Evaluate things in a little while and see what you need to do. For me, my "must do" list includes getting dressed, eating, homeschooling, studying for myself, etc".

My 3 year old is helpful, but nowhere near as helpful as my 5.5 year old and 7 year old. It will come for you, though! Feel free to PM me again if you want!
post #39 of 42
subbing so I can absorb a smidgen of this wealth of knowledge being shared...



Theoretica
post #40 of 42
I am not aware of any books that talk about what a few of us are specifically noting. I didn't even realize THAT was the key for anyone besides me. LOL

I am not sure exactly when I figured it out, but I do recall reading a book a LONG time ago that suggested paying attention to when your best working times were (a career-type book) and doing the hardest tasks then and aiming to do the easiest tasks during your worst times of the work day. I vividly recall this REALLY helping me in my career years. I started paying closer attention to the time I started perking up at the office. Start and end times were not flexible at that point, so I had to be at work by 8:30 am. I began figuring out that I really only needed a half-hour of quiet, don't talk to me time. I wasn't exactly able to tell the President to leave me alone LOL, so I spent that first hour listening to voicemails and pulling out certain paperwork (in another room). Both activities lended themselves nicely to not being interrupted. From about 9 am to about 2-3 pm, I could really focus and work on detailed projects and meet with people, etc. That is still to this day my absolute BEST time of every day. Then, I sort of have a mini crash and need a break from brain work. IF I listen to my body and switch gears to a physical task (walking around the building back then, walking to pick up DD from school now) and eat a little and drink a little, then I am often good to go from 4 or 5 to 10 or 11 pm provided I eat dinner and keep up my fluids. In the working world, I switched to monotonous jobs from 2-4 or 3-5 pm (or whenever I felt the call), like returning easy phone calls/emails, printing reports that were already finished and maybe just needed editing or formatting, tidying up my desk from the whirlwind of activity of the rest of the day , etc. Nowadays, this is generally our downtime where DD & I hang out together doing fairly quiet activities (as quiet as child-oriented play gets...LOL). When I worked part-time when I was pregnant and subsequently when DD was a babe-in-arms who came to work with me, I worked 9-2 four days a week. OH, THIS WAS BLISS!!! For me... LOL I sure had to adapt my working habits a lot with an infant in a holistic health office where peace and tranquility reigned.

Anyway, I just tried new things and adapted when things seemed to be good for a repeatable pattern. I learned the hard way when my DD was at her best and worst and all the rest. It was like I had forgotten my own patterns, too, and had to relearn them and adapt them to fit hers. She is a MUCH earlier riser than I am by nature and her best time of the day is MUCH earlier than mine. This seemed to take me an inordinate amount of time to figure out. LOL Oh gee, maybe because I myself was sleep-deprived. LOL

I would suggest carrying around a little notebook or create a document on your computer to take some notes for each member of your family. Start with just one person, perhaps yourself, and think about the following each day for a few days (just a couple minutes a few times a day or maybe 10 minutes once a day):

~ natural waking times (without alarms or other people's alarms)
~ natural sleeping times (this can be very challenging, in my experience, in our society)
~ typical hunger patterns (My DD has ALWAYS been an "every two hours" kid. She has a super high metabolism and MUST eat frequently. I am forever grateful to a friend who told me to breastfeed her first every time she cried when she was about a month old and I was simply freaking out. The child went from 0 to 60 in 30 seconds flat! I had no idea just how hungry she was. I am so different in this regard.)
~ times when the person usually smiles easily, follow directions, can focus on an age-appropriate task, appears to have energy and enthusiasm for most activities - even those that are not favorites, etc.
~ challenging times no matter what you do or say or provide

After you get a feel for one person in the family, do the same for the next. And the next, etc. Include DH for his days off and especially for after work timeframes. You can ask these people questions, too. Obviously really little ones cannot answer, but even little kids know when they are hungry or want to play or snuggle, etc. You know your kids anyway. When are they clingy? When does everyone hang off of you? When can you finally get to the toilet? When do you shower?

Look for clues in your days and fill in the notebook. Then, match your notes to timeframes and fit the pieces of the puzzle together. You have five people in your family, so it may take you awhile to gather your notes, etc. That is okay. Consciously trying to mesh the natural habits of five people into one 10-14 hour day might be a little time-consuming, but I know it has saved my family immeasurable amounts of time and energy. I highly recommend it!

I hope this helps.
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