Thursday, February 16, 2017

my 7 daily must-dos

Off the bat I am letting every potential reader know that this is in NO WAY WHATSOEVER a "how I do it all"-ish post. No way no how. I just never thought that I would be in this place: a mom of 5 little, dependent children and (cue dramatic "dun, dun, dun...") homeschooling.  I never thought I would homeschool, I don't plan to do it forever, and I will admit that some days it really brings me to my knees. Ok, all the days it does.

Honestly I always pictured myself in the school drop-off line, then while the big kids were in school I'd be out running errands with little kids, or at home cleaning toilets, doing laundry and keeping the house under control. However, these days the house stuff waits until the weekend and phonics, math, language arts, history and wiping butts takes precedent all day, all week. Seriously, you should see my house right now. Here, I'll show you.
You gotta wait for that mac and cheese to dry before you sweep it up anyways.

Enough. This is a positive post! There are a few things - really stupid, little things-  that even with a newborn, I have kept up doing almost every day that make it possible for me to stay alive, and give the illusion of keeping my ish together. Don't be fooled though, it's all an illusion.

1: Fix my hair. 
 I'm so vain, I know, but there is something heartening having fixed hair, and even though most days we aren't planning on seeing other people, it makes it easier to see myself. When I walk past a mirror and glance at a woman who doesn't look like she just rolled out of bed, I feel like I can take myself more seriously as a mom and "teacher". I would venture to say that it doesn't matter at all to the kids, but you never know. This means either straightening, curling, or at the very least grooming the front and putting it in a nice looking pony tail.

2: Mascara, mascara, mascara. 
But just once each day. I know this is so ridiculous, but I am telling you it is key for me. I can forget all the rest of the makeup but as long as I've applied a liberal amount of my favorite drug store pick, I feel 100% less zombie-ish.

3: Get dressed. 
Like really dressed, in clothes that could be worn to the store or the library (kidding, never the library) but clothes I could wear out. It makes life a lot easier if we do need to go out somewhere, and again, I take myself more seriously teaching in jeans and target tee shirts than my jammie pants. I am a huge fan of these pont pants- I have a Calvin Klein pair (only a legging fit) and an old pair from target- they are basically just thick black leggings -- but not athletic-- that go with everything, can be worn out and about, but feel like yoga pants.

4: Use social media! 
It gets a bad rap for being a time suck, and I know it totally can be, but if you are a super-extrovert such as myself and you don't get to leave the house and converse with humans your own age much, connecting with e-friends and real life friends via the interwebs throughout the day gives you your dose of interaction and makes it easier. I favor Instagram and Facebook, but also texting friends throughout the day because while phone calls are nice and more personal, my kids get all 28 Days Later undead crazy people on me as soon as they see me on the phone.

5: I kick my kids to the curb and DO NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. This currently takes the following form: It's around 1 o'clock (sometimes 1:30 or 2) and since I have had nothing but face time with all the kids since 7:30, the 2 nappers go down and I send the 3 older ones down stairs to the basement toy room/school room to play, color, trash everything to their hearts' delight until 3 p.m. I choose as many of the following as I can during Fred's pathetic nap-- I workout (first choice because it's my fave), I shower, I do dinner prep, I read, I pray, I clean up around the house, I blog, whatever the heck I want and the girls know they do their own thing until 3. It is the biggest sanity saver and I am finally at a point where I feel no guilt about it. I've had people advise me to wait until the boys nap to do homeschooling with the girls, but that would mean giving up this absolutely vital nap time and I am absolutely not willing to do that. Naps are not an option in our house so it works out but even if Joe stops napping in the next year ( please God, no) I will just turn to screen time to get that little space for a breather, because I have tried not having it and I am not a pleasant person to be around.

This is where I would insert a angelic picture of one of my slumbering cherubs but I avoid their sleeping chambers like the plague so as to not wake them. 

6: I keep my kitchen clean (ish). 
Obviously this is not the case currently (see above pictures) but a valuable lesson I have learned about myself is that if my kitchen is "clean" i.e. stuff put away, counters wiped down, floors swept, the universe feels a little less like it is spinning out of control.

I currently have a constipated teething baby who will. not. nap. I have roughly 6 large loads of laundry to fold, I haven't cleaned my toilets in a month, but if I get this kitchen under control I will feel like this:

Hat, cocktail and all.

7: Get up and pray before they're up. I realize this should be #1 but it would be a lie because I am not doing it right now. Fred's sleeping stats are pretty abysmal right now and I just aim at getting as much sleep as I can but!! I have super high hopes of one day in the not-so-distant future being able to get back to morning coffee and prayer before the kids attack me with needs because I know how key it can be.

Alright I will stop now and since there are seven I am linking with the queen of lists of 7 things, Kelly!


  1. Ok so this might sound really stupid but have you considered buying a vacuum for your hard floors instead of sweeping? I got a cordless vacuum that works on all my floors and literally hung it on the wall in my kitchen. It saves so much time and back pain! (Keeping my floors clean is my version of you keeping your kitchen clean.)

    1. I am so intrigued... What is this the brand of this beautiful sounding contraption?

  2. Nap time 4eva! They will go to their beds/chairs oh yes they will. And I don't work! I sleep or read. It's how I stay sane and I'm not sorry.

  3. Naptime/ quiet time is also non negotiable here but...BUT. my oldest is four and a half and he quiet times like a boss (will stay in his room for over an hour doing his own thing...amazing). But my three year old gave up naps immediately after her birthday and she.will.not. stay quiet and in a room for quiet time if her life depends on it. I have become so so mean about it since she stopped napping, and I don't want to be that way but I seriously need that time while the baby naps... 😳. Kudos to you for making all these things a priority!! Self care FTW

    1. Ugh, that sounds EXACTLY like my now almost-4-year-old when she turned three. Literally started REFUSING to nap or even be remotely quiet during quiet time. With a baby and a 2 year old and a husband in grad school 60 hours a week, I was going craaaaaazay about her ruining the only hope of respite I had all day. I tried everything for probably about 5-6 months and got to the point where I told my husband he needed to put a latch at the top of our bedroom door (she has to do quiet time in there so she wouldn't also wreck the 2 year old's nap). So that weekend he laid down with her in our bed and forced her to stay in there (lots of screaming) and she FELL ASLEEP! And then, after that day, we came to an understanding that she MUST do "quiet time" in Mommy's room until I tell her she can come out (usually 1.5 hours, give or take). I have some quiet boxes for little activities to keep her occupied, and she does nap approx 1/week (sometimes less), but at least she no longer screams and runs out of them room the entire time. She's a very strong-willed child and it needed my husband's intervention on a weekend to get it through to her. And my sanity is slowly returning :) But seriously otherwise, I would have totally put the latch outside the door (and may end up doing it for the 2.5 year old who is entering nap-hating territory. :P

    2. The thing that makes me crazy is that my husband will come home and say "take a nap" and they will do it immediately. What am I, chopped liver?? Might have to try the latch haha

  4. Fist bump! By 2 pm everyday I neeeeeed my children to be either asleep or out of the house. It's like that is the breaking point. We hopefully have gotten school done and I need everyone out! I usually workout too because I've got a lot of impatient/angry energy to burn off, then I don't know?? What do I even do with those precious moments?!?!

  5. Rest time trumps all. For all of us. If it doesn't happen the effects are immediate and horrible. I'm the same way about counters being wiped down.

  6. Minus the extrovert part I think we were separated at birth. I was nodding my head the entire time, even the last point! :)

  7. All of you are confirming why I must be going crazy... Our 4th doesn't nap except in the car (hasn't napped since 15 months and is how 21).. so I never have down time... So I guess I'll use that as my excuse for everything..

    1. I would die. I would be currently dead. You are more amazing than I will ever be! Keep the wine a flowin! πŸ·πŸ‘ΆπŸ·

  8. I do my hair and make up & wear real clothes everyday, too. It has absolutely nothing to do with everyone else, and more to do with me feeling like a human when I do those things.
    I'm with you and look forward to a day when I can wake up before them and enjoy a little quiet time.