I shared with you all a few weeks ago that I was deep into the book Large Family Logistics. I am still slowly going through and gleaning nuggets of wisdom and applying them where I think the fit is right. I wasn't my normal self trying, to change a million things at once or going all or nothing (can you believe it??). I slowly started adding changes and let me tell you... WOW! Our home has changed for the better and it is VERY noticeable in my attitude and stress level. It's also noticeable in the laundry room, yard and really all over our house.
What I'm coming to realize is there really IS an "art" to homemaking. If done well, it IS hard work but it is also very fulfilling. I'm also seeing that there is ministry in homemaking. I am serving my family and loving them intentionally. With a plan I am less likely to push them aside to finish something or yell. You see pushing kids aside and yelling, at least in my home, came when I was overwhelmed or stressed. I was trying to cook or catch up on laundry or the house was in ruins. Now, for one, I'm not really "behind" in anything because it's all planned out. Two, when I see something I don't stress and add it to my mental running task list, I know it's already planned for. Three, I am working less in some areas. And four... did I mention I have a plan?? Sometimes I'll start picking up and think, no wait, this will be getting taken care of in about an hour, enjoy your family until them.
This book, instead of giving you a plan, helps you make your own plan. I have tailored ours to our family so finely that it would probably not work for anyone else. BUT that's why it's working! I think I mentioned before that even though it's for large families it would be great for small ones too. Hey, I plan on using some of these ideas even as an empty nester someday!!
Here's some things that have changed in our home:
The washer is always empty when unexpected messes come. Laundry is always caught up including sheets and beach towels (this is a minor miracle in and of itself over here!). I am up early with my husband on the days he works. I make him breakfast and we sit and talk and eat in quiet enjoying each others company before he leaves. By the way check out this study-
GETTING A PROPER GOODBYE: Studies by insurance companies have found that if a husband gets a goodbye kiss from his wife, he's less likely to crash his car and more likely to live five years longer than men without the affectionate smooch.
I sit and talk and read with my kids at breakfast. They are learning to sit and have conversation and enjoy each others company instead of wolfing down food and running. They are wolfing down pancakes and homemade granola and tasty egg dishes instead of toast, pop-tarts or cereal. We are finding more natural times to read the Bible and talk about it. We are working like a team to clean and the house is much more tidy than ever before (well maybe it was this tidy when I only had 2 children). I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done! Not only are dinners planned but so are lunches and breakfasts. No more PB & J four times a week! We are getting ready to go camping and I am not feeling overwhelmed and crazy because, I have a plan! It's all written out. I know what I need to cook and pack today. I know what needs to be purchased and finished packing tomorrow. All our clothes are clean and ready to go. The best part, if I have a day that falls apart or I just don't have it in me, it's OK! I'm caught up enough and if I hop back on the plan/schedule as soon as I can it's no big deal. BUT even though there will be those days, part of my plan includes planned days every week that I sleep a bit more and do a bit less. I am not trying to be super woman everyday and because of that I'm actually having better results than when I tried to do it all everyday!
I'll share with you later this week some of the things we are doing and what's working for us. I'll tell you now and remind you then one of her best tips for me was to watch your family for a few days. What's working? What's not working? What's stressing you? What's not getting done? Now, take a few days and sit and think on it. What could you change? How do the children fit into that change? If it's going to add a lot more work for you or you will need to wake earlier/stay up later, how will you handle that change? How will you get more rest if needed? When will you relax and play? How can your children help you? And the biggest for me was asking my husband what he wanted to see. Truly I didn't think he cared how I ran things! And really, neither did he until I asked the questions a bit differently. For example instead of how do you want me to handle meals, I asked him when he pictured our family eating together, what did he see? After some questions like these the ideas started pouring out. In fact it started making me feel a little uneasy! But when I stepped back I realized for most of them it was my vision as well and where it wasn't, I could see the good in it regardless. I want to be my husband's helper. I want to help with his vision and goals. The funny thing was, he didn't know what those were until I helped him start thinking about them! I didn't lead him or direct him, just helped him start thinking. Now he comments everyday I'm up with him in the morning how happy it makes him. I asked him why he never asked me to do that before and when I even offered in years past he said no. His answer, "I didn't know I wanted it or liked it until you started doing it!"
Ok, this is waaay too long sorry!! I'm done now!