The joy of motherhood is never fully experienced until the children are in bed.
I love that quote! I began the school year in a state of exhaustion. Not sure why. The long, hot summer taking it's toll? Too many days inside with too many children and too little time alone? The three weeks of camping? Interrupted nights? Late evenings? Early mornings? It doesn't really matter. God gives strength to get through every day.
It's good to be finding new routines now that the older children are at school. Daniel no longer sleeps during the day, so we are working on good 'quiet time' habits. I need that post-lunch quiet time so badly!
And Marcus is finally settling into a good daytime sleep routine, helped greatly by the fact that he doesn't always wake up at 5am anymore. So I'm not feeling quite as exhausted as I was in the first week of the school term.
But as much as we love all of our children, sitting down for a coffee together once they are all tucked in to bed at night is one of my favourite times of the day! And then the quiet of the evening is so lovely that I tend to stay up just a little too late. And the next morning i get up early because that's how I work best… And so it goes on…
Are you ever tempted to stretch out your evenings just because it's so nice and peaceful in the house?
It feels great to be as good as finished on the beach quilt! My fingers are raw from burying threads, hand-stitching the binding, and hand-embroidering into the sky. There is still more than a week till the deadline, but I'm glad it's done. As always, by the end of an artwork, I'm excited about moving on to new work.
To help pass the many quiet evenings of handstitching, I joined Audible and listened to 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen. I learnt a lot and am making changes to how I organise myself. One simple little rule that I love is the 2-minute rule. Basically, if a job is going to take less than 2-minutes do it right away, rather than putting it off for later.
Here are just a few of the two-minute jobs I've tackled right away in the past week or so, instead of procrastinating on them:
Paid a bill
Filed some paperwork
Put away the folded washing
Called the piano tuner
Wrote a thank you card
Emptying the bin
There are always plenty of things 'to do later', so it's great to keep those little jobs from cluttering up that to do list, and my mind.
The most common question people ask me is how I find time to sew.
Here are some previous ‘Make Time for Stitching’ posts:
OK, it’s not my intention to turn this blog into a home organisation blog. However, as I’ve mentioned before, the question I’m most often asked is ‘how do you find the time to sew?‘. Organising and managing our home efficiently is a big factor in making that creative time available. In a recent post I referred to a two-week schedule for housecleaning, where I do a little bit each day before bringing the kids to school. Several people asked for that schedule so here it is…
Monday – clean toilets, restock toilet paper, vacuum carpet (playroom, bedrooms, studio)
Tuesday – clean bathroom basins and benchtops, shine mirrors
Wednesday – dust main area (playroom, dining, kitchen, lounge)
Thursday – sweep and mop main area floors (dining, kitchen, lounge), clean microwave, clean dishwasher door
Friday – water indoor plants, clean oven/cooktop
Saturday – empty all bins (kitchen bin gets emptied most days), ironing
Monday – clean toilets, restock toilet paper, wash bedsheets
Tuesday – clean bathroom basins and benchtops, shine mirrors, clean bath, clean showers
Wednesday – sweep and mop master bedroom floor and bathroom and toilet floors, dust master bedroom
Thursday – sweep and mop main area floors, tidy computer desk, clean coffee machine
Friday – water indoor plants, clean oven/cooktop
Saturday – empty all bins, ironing
To make this work, here’s how we operate in general at our house:
1. Keeping a tidy house makes all the housecleaning jobs much easier!
2. 5 o’clock everyday (right before baths and showers) all the kids help to tidy up the main living area (playroom, dining, lounge).
3. The kids don’t play in their bedrooms, so they stay reasonably tidy. Every Saturday I expect them to make sure they are properly tidy.
4. Dining and kitchen floors get extra cleaning as required – sometimes just a sweep, sometimes a mop as well.
5. I try to limit washing clothes to Monday and Friday, but am not strict about this. I don’t schedule this washing into my calendar for some reason – probably because it happens anyway, in between whatever else is scheduled for the day.
I used to do more than this – I would schedule in to clean the toilets twice a week, for example. Now I give the most used toilet an extra clean before the weekend if necessary. Otherwise not – I know it will always get done on Monday. Baths and showers used to get done every week, but often a bit half-heartedly. Now I do a thorough job every fortnight and find that that is enough. (I know some of you might disagree, but believe me, our house is no pigsty!)
I also have a list of less regular jobs that I’d like to complete throughout the year. Things like dusting light fittings and fans, decluttering the freezer, cleaning the fridge, dusting skirtings, wiping the walls, washing windows. For each school term I have a list of these tasks, and I try to tackle one or two every week.
At the end of last year I bought this housework planner from The Confident Mom in which she assigns a little bit of housework to everyday of the year. I liked the idea but realised I was better off with something customised for myself… Having said that, I put this plan together fairly quickly at the beginning of the year, so it is still quite likely to undergo tweaks and changes as we go through the year.
So that’s how we work here. My apologies to those of you who don’t want to think about housework when you come to this blog. To those of you who do, I hope this is a little bit helpful!
If you’d like to read more tips on housekeeping, I love this article on remodelista. I agree with most of these points, but especially love number 2. I used this article as ‘permission’ to by a new dustpan for the entry (rather than the $2 blue plastic one we currently use). (I’m loving the Redecker range of housekeeping equipment).
… pulled put some satay chicken and fragrant butter rice from the freezer for tonight's dinner (and cut up some cucumber for on the side)…
…prepared for tonight's Bible Study meeting (loving this series by Alistair Begg)…
…prepare for my upcoming workshop (aided by a cup of coffee, of course)…
…cuddled the baby who refused to settle (all the way through my scheduled sewing time)…
…sourced quilt backing fabric for a song at Spotlight (30% off when you finish the roll – includes already discounted fabrics)…
…admired chunky baby knees (and wondered how to keep that big baby tummy covered)…
…enjoyed a rare 'just because i like it' patchwork fabric purchase (a large pack of 'architextures' fat quarters)…
…watched the baby laugh uncontrollably at some silly big-brother-antic (over and over)…
I hope you had a good day, too!
The summer holidays flew by faster than ever (maybe three weeks of camping has something to do with that). I can't believe we're back into school routines already! 6:30am till 8am is such a busy time of day here on a school day.
Caleb is now in preschool – that means compulsory full-time education for him, and only two little boys at home during the week for me. I'm sure it's going to take a bit of adjusting for Daniel again. And for myself.
Despite my best intentions, it's been incredibly difficult to find an uninterrupted hour in the studio in the last month or six. Let alone regular studio time. Hopefully with the new school year starting, I can get back into my sewing – I have so many ideas that I'd like to get out into fabric this year. To make that work out I need to get Marcus into a good daily routine so that his afternoon nap ties in with Daniel's.
Have you got children starting school today? Do you have regular routines, or habits that you miss during the school holidays? How Do you spend the first day of school? Getting the house back in order or going out for a hard-earned coffee?
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I love getting up early in the morning. Nighttime feeds make it a little bit difficult. However, on a good day, I like to get up at 5am for a run (Phil works long days and that's the only chance I have to exercise without pushing two children in the pram). The best start to the day!
Failing that, I still like to get up before the children. If I don't, I feel like I'm running behind after them for the rest of the day. The older children know that they have to stay in bed till 6:30am, but Daniel still tries to get up before 6am. (Aaron was still starting his day at 5am at that age, so we're happy to settle with 6am).
Getting up early gives me a chance to enjoy a coffee, read my Bible, and check the news and my emails before breakfast and the school (or currently, swimming lessons) rush. I also like to review my list of things to do while I have my coffee. Often too much of my early morning time is spent unpacking the dishwasher and setting the table. I would love to get in the habit of doing these jobs before I go to bed!
Once the children are up, I finish breakfast preparation, put washing into the washing machine, and begin dinner preparations. I like to have this done before we head out anywhere. It makes the rest of the day so much more manageable.
Thinking about it now, there was a time when I would get up early and sew for half to one hour before the children got up. I wonder what happened to that? Several extra children perhaps?
What about you? Do you embrace the morning, or fight it?
Playing along with #amonthof moments. Today’s prompt: early