Busy seasons come and go from our life. I know that with three (soon to be four) little ones, it seems like some days just get away from me. I start the morning with a list of tasks to accomplish and then suddenly the day is over. It’s easy to put off our homemaking tasks especially when we are busy. At times, I lack the motivation to get things done.
When I had my third child, I was tired and exhausted but I learned to find joy in having a (more) put together home during that chaotic time. As we wait the arrival of our fourth, I plan to stay on top of certain tasks without feeling overwhelmed with housework.
The key to doing this is being content with the amount of work you can accomplish. Give yourself enough grace to get through this time but don’t make your excuses leave you feeling more overwhelmed.
Finding what you are comfortable with is essential to finding joy in your home. I can long for a perfectly spotless home like the ones in the magazines or on Pinterest, but I know that it’s just not possible with small children. I clean one room while they destroy another. That’s just how it works.
Yes, I put my children to work too and give them the opportunity to learn those skills but I still realize that kids will be kids.
Focus on what you can do each day instead of daydreaming about a spotless living space.
Here are five tasks to stay on top of during a busy time:
Right now we only do laundry once a week but I know it will probably increase once the baby is born. We will be cloth diapering and newborns tend to go through lots more clothing than older kids and adults.
My husband washes the clothes and puts them in the dryer while I’m in charge of folding/putting away. We have learned to work together as a team because laundry can easily pile up. I know that may not work for everyone but communicate with you husband about how you need his help during busy times.
I try to fold the clothes while the older kids are having their morning screen time and the baby is napping. Having a newborn motivates me a little more to fold laundry because their clothes are so tiny and cute! I also love having everything put away where I know I (or my husband) can find it.
Now, no reason to over complicate this one. Simply having a rough idea written down in a notebook of what everyone will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can help keep you sane during busy seasons. My kids eat the same breakfasts each week. For example, every Monday they have oatmeal and on Tuesday they have eggs and toast. I’ve already prepared freezer meals (baked oatmeal and egg cups, etc.) for when the baby arrives. Making freezer meals, prepping veggies and fruits, and having a few convenience foods ready to go makes feeding everyone a little easier.
Once the baby is born, I usually complete my meal plan while nursing or during nap time. I try to keep meals super simple and somewhat healthy. We do eat out occasionally if it’s been a rough night and/or day.
We do not have a dishwasher and thankfully my husband washes all of our dishes. Our sink is rarely empty but I’ve learned to be okay with it. His routine is to wash after breakfast and after dinner. We do use paper plates and paper towels to cut down on dishes. Not exactly what I would prefer but he asks that we do this to cut back on dishes and I understand.
Make the bed:
After baby, a shower and fresh clothes (by clothes I mean different yoga pants and nursing tanks) can feel amazing for a stay-at-home mom like myself. I also try to put on a tiny bit of makeup and brush my hair just to feel a little more put together.
During this time, I always try to make my bed. I use waterproof pads when changing baby in the night so that I can try to get by with only changing the sheets once a week. But, if you have ever breastfed or had a newborn then you know other messes can happen. I feel like it’s much easier for me to keep our bedroom under control when the bed is made. Sundays are the only day that I usually don’t make my bed. Mainly, because I’m running around trying to get everyone fed and ready for church.
10 minute pick-up:
If you come by my home in the middle of the day, then you would probably think we are slobs. Just keeping it real here. I do try to make sure breakfast is cleaned up, the tables/counters are wiped down and school work is put away. But, I have a very creative four-year-old that loves to make creations out of cardboard, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, etc. My three-year-old loves puzzles, stickers, and play dough.
Yes, these things make a mess and I can’t expect them to throw away their creations, so I’ve learned to overlook these messes until the end of the day. We have a family clean up time after dinner every night.
The girls pick up their toys, put shoes in the shoe bin, and help their brother clean up his toys. During this time, I clean off the table (and hide those projects until I can throw them away) and wipe down the kitchen while my husband washes the dishes and prepares coffee for the next morning.
Now, I will be honest, we have hard days or days outside of home that throws us off our routine which makes it hard to get everything done. Although, we always do our 10 minute pick-up so that we can start with a somewhat put together home the next day. As a mom and homemaker, I’m learning to be content with just getting something done each day.
Remember that God is more concerned with our hearts then how clean our homes are. Enjoy your family and embrace the busy seasons.
You never know what God will teach you through these times.
Keep in mind that we are honoring Christ when we are serving our families. As homemakers, this is our ministry and how we show the love of Jesus to our families.
Also, make sure that you sign-up for the Homemaking Online Conference. The conference includes 20 video sessions from 17 encouraging speakers.
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