I take my roles as wife and mother very seriously. I feel like this is where God has called me to live right now: as a stay at home wife and mother. So I feel this immense pressure to “do it right.”
Now I realize that “right” is what is right for my family – not necessarily yours or hers or anyone else’s. But what is right for me is that I welcome my husband home every evening in a fairly decent mood with a fairly clean house with a fairly healthy meal in the works.
It doesn’t always work that way, of course. But I feel like if he is going to get up at the ungodly hour of 5 am and go do hard manual work for 14 or 16 hours, the least I can do is make him feel welcome in his own home. Besides, he’s working those crazy hours precisely so I can be a full time wife and mother.
But this has caused me no small amount of stress in the past 8 1/2 months. After much prayer and some research, I devised a solution – a schedule, if you will.
It’s loose…there aren’t really times attached to anything (except meetings; leaders usually assign times for meetings, but whatever). And I thought it might help others to see someone else’s goals (namely, mine). So I’ve combined a bunch of stuff I’ve learned with stuff revealed to me during prayer, and have come up with this:
Each day is roughly divided: morning, afternoon, evening
There are three meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Breakfast is pretty easy, since I’m not usually awake for K’s breakfast
Lunch is packed for K and easy stuff at home for me
Dinner has a theme each night
So here’s my goal schedule (and here is where I wish I could import a spreadsheet!).
Monday – Friday: granola bars, cereal, english muffins, etc
Saturday: eggs, pancakes, etc.
Monday – Friday: sandwiches, salads, leftovers, etc
Saturday: depends on our schedule
Sunday: small group (no dinner)
Tuesday: Crock Pot
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Soup or Casserole
**Each dinner “theme” has four or five meals attached to it – we don’t eat the same thing every week**
Now, the other big thing is housekeeping. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have terribly high housekeeping standards. Plus, with 2 big dogs, a cat and an infant-almost-toddler, clutter and some degree of “mess” is pretty regular. But I want my house to be fairly clean, even if there are toys all over the floor and such. But I’m overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning my whole house every day, or every other day, or even once a week. So….
Monday: Vaccum, dust and nap
Wednesday: Vaccum, dust and nap
Thursday: Library, grocery shopping & the bank run
Friday: Vaccum, dust and nap
Sunday: Nap, watch football, etc.
Monday: Clean (“deep” clean) the living/front/family room
Tuesday: Laundry, accountability meeting
Wednesday: Clean the bedrooms
Thursday: Laundry & clean the bathroom
Friday: Clean the dining room/study
Saturday: big projects (the garage, the yard, windows, fix stuff, etc.)
Every evening I clean the kitchen & put away the toys (pick up Little Man’s clutter)
Tuesdays are trash night, so we also change the cat box & gather trash
Tuesdays are also laundry night, as I have a meeting every Tuesday afternoon
Sundays are very precious to me; I very much view them as a Sabbath. I try to avoid spending money on Sundays, and I try to avoid doing major housekeeping, because I feel like it’s a time to rest. I know some families do big family meals on Sundays, and I’m good with that if I can chuck stuff in the crock-pot before church. But I’m just as happy having leftovers from Saturday and sort of doing “you’re on your own” for food on Sundays. Keith seems to be good with it, too!
Now…will this work? I don’t know. But already this week I feel like I can breathe and the house is cleaner than normal. So we’ll see. And granted, I had do the grocery shopping on Monday, and I have two meetings this afternoon and had a meeting last night, so things have been switched around. But still…I feel more peaceful and Keith has even commented on how nice the house looks.
Do you have a schedule? A routine for cooking and cleaning that helps maintain your sanity?