These days its so easy to lose track of time ~ we've got IPads, Kindles, laptops, mp3 players, a gazillion tv channels, pinterest, blogs, etc. We can spend too much time on these little goodies and not get anything else done. At the end of the day, do you ever think ~What did I do today? Would you be embarrassed if someone knocked on the door and your den/living room was full off clothes baskets, your kitchen full of dirty dishes, your bed unmade, the bathroom looking like the health dept. needed to condemn it? The solution.....put down the electronics. Seems easy, but its hard.
Self control comes in many forms ~ what do you need to work on? Do you struggle with dinner time, or laundry, or finding time for you, or priorities, or little ones "helping" or needing you, or lack of inspiration, or clutter?
I've posted about my routine a number of times. Lets get down to the nitty gritty. Turn off the distractions.....OFF. Put them down, put them away, don't touch. You won't get anything done, if you are pinning, updating your status on facebook, etc.
What is your priority for that day ~ have a goal. If its laundry ~ get it done...sorted, washed, dried, folded, and put away (I do any ironing on different days). If you can get one or more loads done ~ start to finish, you've accomplished a great deal. If your children are old enough to help, then let them or require them too. They could spray stains with prewash, help load the dryer, fold hand towels or wash cloths, etc. It makes for more chaos in the mornings if everyone is searching for clean undies or a shirt to wear and can't find them ~ either because they are still in the washer or languishing in a laundry basket somewhere in the house. (Confession ~ I did leave a load of laundry at Moms yesterday & we had to turn around and go back!)
If your priority is school ~ have a set time to start and get it done. If your children are in public or private school, the schedule is already set for you. Try to have that much discipline in your home. I am not, nor ever have been an "unschooler" ~ where the children do what they want, learn when they want, etc. While that could work for others ~ to me its laziness. Get it done and get on with your day. And a boss/job would not allow that whatever/whenever attitude. There are lessons that are drudgery ~ math would be one for me, but is essential to life, so you have to know it. Biology was fun, History was fun, Art was fun. We always did the "dreaded" subject/s first, then moved onto the fun stuff.
What are your husbands expectations? Does he want dinner cooking when he gets home? Does he want clothes hung up or put up? Does he want a clean living room or den to sit down in? Find out and then try to accomplish this every day. Do you need to discuss what he wants or expects to be done ~ what standard is he relying on? If you work all day (at an outside job) your evening is going to look different than mine. If you are blessed with little ones running around ~ you may be doing good to have groceries in the house and have put on clothes that day. Talk to your husband and set some priorities ~ its not his job to keep you on task, thats where your self control comes in.
Many books and blogs will tell you to clean, cook, etc. while your baby is napping ~ not me. That was my time everyday...cross stitch, being online, reading a book, sewing, relaxing. When littles are up you can accomplish a great deal. Train them to entertain themselves and then later to "help" you. Amy was the only one of mine that would play in a playpen. And she was happy the whole time, as long as she was in the same room with us. With older brothers and tiny lego pieces or knex or boy scout projects, that was the safest place for her to be when I couldn't watch every second. It takes longer to accomplish something when you've got littles "helping" but its great training for them for life. Get your children miniature "real" tools to work with...a safety knife for the kitchen, a tiny rake & shovel, a little broom and dustpan, etc. They love to have their own things to work with. Find little buckets/bins to store their supplies and teach them to put them back in the same place everytime they are through with them ~ and they do learn by example, you put yours up too.
Work on a grocery list and a weekly menu. Know what you are going to fix and when. Have the items you need. We all know that its very rare to run into the grocery for 2 items and not come out with 10 or 12 or more. But also, be flexible. You can mix up your dinners...its ok to serve Mondays dinner on Wed. or Wed. on Sat. I would also have some "quick fix" items on hand ~ spaghetti sauce, a frozen lasagna, hot dogs & chips, etc. Life happens ~ no one expects Super Woman every day. If you know that Wed. are church night ~ don't plan an elaborate meal that nigh...you will just end up feeling rushed and tired. That would be a great crockpot day.
Don't let others make you feel guilty for non participation in events ~ you don't have to teach Bible School, you don't have to attend every homeschool meeting or event, you don't have to be at everything/all the time....your priority is your own home and family. Take care of that first and then you can add other things! Those little children the Lord has blessed you with are your Mission Field ~ nurture their bodies and souls & share the Bible to them in ways they can understand. Little ones are especially adept at learning scripture and singing songs!
What are your distractions? Maybe you get lost in a book and lose track of time....set a timer! A timer would be great for anything that could draw you away from what needs to get done. Give yourself 20 minutes to have fun on pinterest, or check up on facebook or emails. But you control them, don't let them control you or your day.
And lest anyone think I've got it all together.....you would be wrong. I am learning. And now that we are done with homeschooling, I am relearning. Find some like minded folks, so you can encourage each other or hold each other accountable. Ask your husband for his help or advice. Don't try to live up to an unattainable standard ~ Martha Stewart has an army of helpers (she does have some cool craft and decorating ideas!). Don't compare yourself to other people ~ you won't do exactly what your mother or grandmother did, but look to their example for how to get it done.
Most importantly, rely on the Lord for his strength & guidance. Spend time in His word everyday ~ post some bible verses around your home ~ play praise music on the cd player ~ pray!