Monday, October 15, 2007

Time: friend or foe?

The equalizer. Everyone has the same amount no matter how much money you make or where you live. It's daunting at times and a gift at others. It can seem falsely full for me sometimes. As a SAHM, I feel like it's not working as my teammate but as my opponent. Errrr. It's such an enormous blessing to be able to be at home and I want to be a good steward of that gift but I'm struggling!

Here's my frustration: I am a teacher by nature. I'm used to Monday mornings jumping right into a cemented schedule until Friday afternoon. I thrive in that. Now that it's just Eliot and I, I've been all willy-nilly about our time. Eliot's on a great schedule with sleeping and eating but the rest of the day is up in the air! Sometimes there's a spontaneous trip to the bank, sometimes a overdue trip to the post office, etc. The laundry is done when it's piled too high to see anything else and then of course, it takes ALL DAY to complete. I am pretty sure I spend more time thinking about what I should do or want to do than actually doing it. Not knowing what to do with my time sometimes turns into not doing anything with my time and then it's gone. The next day, I'm overwhelmed with all that I have to do and can't believe that I don't have time to accomplish it all. It's as though I live in a place of reacting to daily life rather than being proactive. I do dishes because the sink is full. I do laundry because I don't have my favorite jeans to wear that day. A trip to the grocery store happens because I've squeezed the last drop of milk from the carton last night. I was the opposite as a teacher. Everything was proactive or else it didn't work.

While listening to an Arbonne training by author Donna Otto she was teaching on how to do more in less time. Something she said struck me. When people ask her what a practical way to save time and money was she said it's meal/ menu planning. I thought that was odd until she explained. For families that regularly spend a few minutes planning a menu for the week, including a shopping list, save at least an hour each week and 30% over what they would normally spend on food. She listed a few statistics like for every trip to the store to get one $2.50 item, the average persons spends $14.27. Hmmm. The next one killed me: for every minute in the grocery store over 30, you spend an average of an extra $4.85. My thoughts go back to the trip to the store on Saturday that took an hour and how I was surprised at the amount of our bill from that day.

So, my rough draft has begun. Tuesday is laundry day, officially. Wednesday is grocery store, Thursday is vacuuming and dusting. The daily schedule is in it's rough stage also. Yes, showering is on the list since that doesn't always happen! When to do Arbonne trainings, when to clear out my inbox, when to mop, alongside meeting with people and going to meetings. I probably need to add writing and reading blogs into that schedule, too, as sometimes I spend way too much time on that! Anyone already have a schedule I can steal? Any other moms have a well-oiled machine they want to share? I feel like I did my first year teaching: survival. By year 7, I had most of the day/week figured out efficiently and effectively. I really don't want Eliot to be 7 years old by the time I figure all this out!

Maybe I should start with less time playing with Eliot on the iPhotoBooth...


Hmmm...don't count on it.

17 comments:

Melissa Scott said...

Hey I have a great schedule to share with you...it goes like this, get up and then run like crazy until it is time to drop, get up the next morning and do it all over again...oh and brush your teeth!!!
Good huh?!

Amanda said...

Seriously...I do think that less time on the Photobooth might help!! Poor Eliot...Aunt Manda will come save you in 3 weeks!!!

Anonymous said...

hey, so, your kid looks like a veggie from veggie tales in that first picture. can't wait to see you guys!

allie

Erin Miller said...

my co-worker Nancy says your son looks like he has hydrocephalus!

(but you do make me laugh out loud at work, and that's always fun)

Heather S. said...

Before Lucy was born I had a good schedule. Monday and Friday I did laundry and cleaned bathrooms. Tuesday cleaned bedrooms, Wednesday cleaned kitchen, Thursday went to grocery store (shop 'n save has their $10 off Thursdays almost every other week) and cleaned living room and playroom. Ever since Lucy was born - I feel exactly like you described!!! I need to get back into the groove!!

jodie said...

I've been trying on and off for over 2 years to figure out a schedule, but as soon as I felt like I had it, something would come up (family in town, holidays, sick kids, etc.) that would screw it up. if you find something SIMPLE that works, PLEASE SHARE!

Josh and Deb said...

It is SO crazy that you blogged about this because I have been wrestling with the same thing! As a teacher, I love structure and schedule and since I have been home with Noah, neither seems to exist. Noah doesn't even have a nap schedule solidified yet, so no day is the same. It is driving me batty...as Jodie said, if you find a solution, please share!

Chrissy said...

As a mom of 4 boys, I would like to suggest that you simply enjoy not having to be scheduled right now! It is certainly fine to have a loose schedule (like shopping on a certain day)just don't stress out if things don't get done the way you would like. I know this saying is so old, but they really are only little once. My oldest is 8 now and I would give about anything to go back to the freedom of jammies till bedtime!
That said, this is what works for me: I try to always shower before Johnny leaves for work. I may not look beautiful before he leaves (or before he gets home for that matter) but at least I'm clean! We do "quick clean up" of the house right after breakfast. This entails picking up stuff of the floor, making sure our beds are made and the dishes are in the dishwasher. The boys have certain chores they do, like feed the animals, vacuum, dust, sweep and so on. We try to get that all done first thing, get home-schooling done, and then we have freedom for the rest of the day. Whenever I don't get started on the day first thing, I tend to not accomplish anything. Does that make sense? I feel like I've rambled on. I would be happy to answer any other questions if you have any! Not that I'm an expert....

Rebecca and Shannon said...

While I totally support having a schedule for yourself (I went through that 'what-do-I-do-today?' sort of aimmlessness w/Owen!), I also strongly urge you to continue to play with the webcam. Please.

Gabriela said...

It feels as though you were writing about my life. At the end of the day I have to ask myself is my Daughter happy? the answer is usually yes! Today we faked hysterical laughing at the top of our voices in the car, I don't know what i'm teaching her along the way but screw laundry we are just having a blast!!!! Your classroom is smaller but you have the most important pupil of your life. I vote stay on the iphotobooth :)

Nikki & Gab Gab

Ferris Family said...

Pajamas hold super powers! Seriously, if I want to be productive, I start first thing in the morning (right after my first cup of coffee). I use showering and real clothes as a reward for all the things I got accomplished in the day.

Dan said...

For us Monday is laundry day and I work cleaning and grocery shopping in on any other day that's not incredibly busy. I've had a schedule for everything in the past and for me, no week is the same. Between kids getting sick, play dates, dr. appointments., friends/family stopping by... I would just end up getting frustrated that my schedule wasn't working out. My advice is just get things done when you can. Maddy is in Kindergarten now and gone are the days of just hanging out in our pj's as long as we want. Now I'm getting her clothes on, hair fixed, lunch made, backpack ready with folder, homework, library book, permissions slip and $4 for the orchard! Then racing out the door walking about a mile to the bus stop pushing Mallory in the stroller praying we haven't missed the bus. :) WHEW! I'm tired.
Amanda

ashleigh said...

Hi, Katie! Boy can I relate to that same feeling of "Okay, how do I get this all done?" I think "willy-nilly" describes it nicely.
If you want a serious schedule, you might check out www.flylady.net. Warning: there is much cheese! However, there are some very useful tips on how to use routines to stay on top of things like laundry, shopping, etc. I need to revisit those routines now, as a matter of fact.
I am a big believer in personal intertia--the biggest effort is required to actually get going, and, once you do get going, the battle is half-won!
That little guy is too cute, even with his face all mushed and stretched :)

ashleigh said...

ps. John Mark sends a big hug your way :)

dreamingBIGdreams said...

Hey girl - i just recently found your blog and have enjoyed reading it.

For a schedule ... ha! At one point I had a schedule for all five days figured out and it never worked so I threw it away.

I do have a cleaning schedule and although I don't always stick to it, I can tell a difference when I do. Not only is hte house cleaner, but I am never running around trying to do everything at once!

Your little boy is a doll. We have two boys a nd are in the process of adopting a little boy from Haiti.

:)jamie

Anonymous said...

Katie,
I used to love having a schedule, now I love being able to pick up and go as I need. I will say this though, I hate grocery shopping on the weekends! Every crack-pot is there with their carts left in the aisle while they search for the perfect lemon. (I suffer from grocery cart rage!) And, I find that it's amazing how much you can get done in 5 minutes, I spend 5 minutes cleaning in each room and it works! Then I do a crazy clean/pick up when Mark calls to say he's on his way home:) But really, just enjoy the time while you can. Maggie goes off to kindergarten every day and I wonder where the time went.

Kellie

dana said...

i peed. in the library. those pics are freakin insane.