Need New Routines

Before we get started, I’d like to announce that anybody who says, “You need to get your kids to do more of that,” is automatically drafted to come live in my house for two weeks while I take a much-needed mental health vacation alone.  You get my kids to do that, and then you can show me how you did it.  Or you can run away screaming and never say that again, which is what most people do. The best I’ve been able to get on a good week is my kids doing maybe half what they are capable of doing, and most of that’s only if I stand over them, telling them exactly what to do and how.

It’s time to shake up my life again.  My health is doing some things that say my self and my body need more attention.  My gods are seeking my attention.  My home desperately needs more care to again become the haven it should always be.  And my budget needs more income.  My husband is having his second brain surgery in less than three months, and having good solid routines in place in a house that is clean and welcoming to him would be a huge blessing right now.  I need to find a way to maintain my health, mentally and physically; to cook healthy meals for myself and my family; to maintain my daily contact with deity; to devote necessary time to school and church commitments; to teach Kender how to read and stay on top of schooling for Jarod; and to declutter and clean my home and maintain it that way.

Last week, I worked really hard, but I couldn’t get much past the daily chores, laundry and dishes and cooking and such.  I spent 19 hours driving last week, which is not entirely unusual; although when my second-oldest is home she helps with the driving, she is gone for the next three weeks, and when she gets back she has her own job and school to deal with.

I have been on top of my game before, but things are always changing around here, so I am seeking crowd-sourced suggestions on new routines for getting things done.  The current skeleton parameters for my life are:

  • 8 hours of sleep per night for me, with an average wake time of 9am
  • I’m guessing an average of 5-10 hours a week of driving people around
  • At least two doctor or vet appointments per week, sometimes more (for reference, I see ten appointments for somebody other than myself on my calendar over the next month)
  • 2.5 hours of therapy for Kender on Fridays
  • Date night with my husband used to could be a weekly or monthly thing, but for his sake right now needs to happen at least twice a week, if not more

General household requirements:

  • Two loads of laundry every day
  • Two bathrooms to care for
  • One dog that must be thoroughly brushed, walked, fed, medicated, and trained every day
  • 5-6 cats with five litterboxes that need daily attention and medication
  • Dinner for eight every night (plus occasional guests, with planned leftovers to cover lunches and off days, requires menu planning and shopping time)

Here are the additional things that I need to add in just for me:

  • Time for nutrition logging and body monitoring (blood pressure, blood sugar, etc.)
  • An hour a day for exercise
  • Time for personal hygiene
  • Daily meditation and journaling
  • Daily time to create (knitting, crochet, sewing, whatever)
  • Time to pay attention to my household altars and shrines
  • Time for music, I have a harp and a piano here that are only getting played once every 2-3 months right now

Household additions that are needed:

  • 15-20 minutes per day decluttering and clearing
  • Regular time each day to balance the checkbook and pay bills
  • 1 hour a week of routine housecleaning
  • 15 minutes per day of deeper house cleaning
  • Regular time for home repairs (and time to learn how to do them)
  • Time for car cleaning
  • Time for yard work and gardening, so the outside looks welcoming and all my plants can survive

For my own seminary studies and volunteer work, I would like to have:

  • 2 hours a day of study time
  • 1 hour a day of volunteer time
  • Time to work on community commitments (writing rituals, prepping and holding regular sabbats, prepping workshops, maintaining my blog and social media pages)

For my kids’ homeschooling requirements, I need:

  • 1-2 hours a day working with Kender
  • Time to prep Kender’s school materials (the Brailler needs a complete overhaul, his books have to be brailled, things need tactile labels, etc.)
  • Time for field trips and park days with our homeschool group
  • 1 hour a day working with Jarod (with the rest of his to be done on his own, and reviewed during our time together)

I also need time for errands and things like:

  • Getting the car maintenance done (the little car has needed tires and alignment for two months now)
  • Giving gifts (bloody hell, I wish somebody else could do this for me, I love my peeps but I am a terrible gifter)
  • Sending thank you notes to people who have helped us (yeah, I know…)
  • Getting old clothes out to Goodwill, getting bottles out to the recycling center
  • Filling out paperwork for doctor’s appointments, A’Kos certification renewals, school forms

What I have found to work well in the past is to have strong routines, wherein the same thing happens every day.  This has been hard to maintain, especially since Kender was born and the doctor appointments started increasing, and since the older kids became teens and started doing so many things away from home.  I can’t even keep the doctor appointments away from the days we do other things, because (for example) our homeschool group does our weekly co-op/park days on Tuesdays, which is also the only day our retinal specialist sees patients.  Things like that.  I feel like every time I have tried to establish a regular routine over the past few years, it’s gotten shot in the face.  Nevermind how difficult it feels to me to be able to fit all these things in.  If I had all my wishes come true, there’d be money for a private school for Kender that would place him in kindergarten despite his age and adapt all his materials and teach him Braille, and there’d be a housekeeper coming in here once a week to do all the major cleaning.  Not sure anything else could be outsourced.

But anyway, there it is.  Give it a try.  Leave a comment here, or on Facebook, or come by and chat with me sometime.  I’m open to suggestions.

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About solinox

I am a Wiccan priestess, a libertarian mother of triplets plus three, a wife and homeschooling mom to blind and autistic children, a fiber artist, and a Jane of All Trades, always learning and seeking to help.

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