Notebook and the New Year
Friday, January 04, 2008
All over the mommy blogosphere, it seems women are revisiting their household notebook. (Don't know what that is? It's a binder that has your to-do list, routines, household information. Flylady calls it a control journal. Here's a good example, and look at her right sidebar for a complete collection of links to all of her sections)

I've seen lots of good links and inspiring ideas, but since our move to SC, my notebook just...hasn't ... worked.

I think Jennifer F. has perfectly described my problem. Her post is a great read - hop on over there, I'll wait.

I've set up my notebook with tons of lists and routines... but assuming that taking care of the home is my only job. There is no room for sick days with the children, teething babies, potty training interventions, or rabbit trails in the homeschool.

I always do those things, however. Mr P brings me an interesting seed pod from the backyard, and we go online together, research the tree, gather leaves, make a poster and I leave him creating a shelter a la Survivorman - and suddenly I'm two hours behind schedule, again. The oven broke, the crockpot broke, and suddenly I needed a lot more dinner prep time - time that was not available according to the schedule, but time that must be taken. Those issues are solved, but our dishwasher finally suffered an unhappy death so we wash everything by hand - again, not on the schedule, but something that must get done. And so at the end of the day I am exhausted, but only have one or two things marked off my list which is depressing. I also find myself getting defensive about it, and husband dear ends up hearing a long list of why I couldn't do what I what I thought I should have done, and I would have done, if Real Life hadn't gotten in the way. Oh yes, in my mind I'm not Martha's equal, I'm her superior! (BTW - poor husband dear really doesn't care as much as I think he does so those diatribes are really, really boring for him.)

I am going to take Jen's idea and create my new notebook with a peaceful home and domestic church as the new priority. Time to develop spiritually and creatively will get top billing.. I will have a list of tasks that should get done, so if I happen to have time I will have a guideline, but I'm no longer going to have "empty all trash", "weekly fridge and microwave cleanouts", or "cupboard reorganization" staring at me everyday. Those things will be done as needed, because that is what I need at this season of my life. Instead of a schedule, we will clean under the couches occasionally or when the keys are lost. My bed probably won't be made everyday (no change there), and I won't have the task mocking me from my book and giving me a reason to tell Mr S "no, I can't play Snakes and Ladders with you". My baking day will be whichever day is is cool outside and nobody needs me to help them make the Nile river or hold them because they have a cough and can't breathe lying down. And it might not be Thursdays.

My triage notebook will include:
  • Lots of time for schooling - more than just cramming in the basics, it will be such a luxury to have built in time for noodling around with the fun subjects. No more guilt over using Google Earth to check out the layout of the Nile Delta and location of the pyramids and getting sidetracked into viewing other sites of interest!
  • A lot more time set aside for my bible study, and preparing my Sunday School class - instead of the half hour the night before currently scheduled.
  • Time set aside, more than once per week, for a liturgical tea. I already do Open Wednesdays, which I LOVE, but this will make it more exciting and I can include Mr R, who is at school when we usually read the week's Scripture. Also, I want to include a Saint of the Week, and perhaps a craft. I have several books with liturgical crafts that I really want to get going with.
  • Gardening -growing healthful, organic food and flowers to liven up the house. Bonus, this goes with schooling, as it is an extremely useful skill that can be applied at all age levels. Another blogger I read this week (I'm so sorry, I can't remember who, but if it was YOU let me know and I'll link!) mentioned this, and that gardening should not be a hobby but should be as important as shopping for the food and planning the meals. She's right! Now, if only I can make my black thumb a little greener and actually produce some... you know, produce.
  • Training the children and working with them, instead of nagging-nagging-nagging about their chores. (This will probably be the hardest thing for me to work on. I'm not very patient with watching others do things that I know I can do better and faster.)
  • Writing, especially now that I'll be getting paid for it (more on that, later!)
  • Cleaning the house.
I'll let you know how it goes!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 1/04/2008 12:49:00 PM | Permalink | |