This was the first year all my kids were in school. I guess I’m starting to think through what exactly it is that I’ve learned in this first semester (sorry, I still think in semesters) of having all the kids in school. Of trying to structure this new era of my life. So here are my (more-than-7) Quick Takes on the matter:
1) I’ve learned that keeping up with the housework matters. It allows for everything else.
2) I’ve learned that I can do the housework in the afternoons, after helping the kids with their homework. It’s a discipline, of course, and it’s hard then, because I’m tired, but it’s really the best time of the day to do it, because housework doesn’t take lots of brain-power.
3) I’ve learned that if I put my workout clothes on first thing, that I exercise. That’s worth doing.
4) So is listening to the Bible and knitting almost every day, though it kind of fits best in my lunch hour. Quick lunch, then devotions.
5) Prayer first thing in the morning, though, and last thing at night.
6) Doing the dishes after dinner every night never sounds fun, but it keeps me sane, because whenever they pile up I get anxious. And it never does take as long as I think.
7) The kids are getting old enough that paying them to do some of the chores is actually worth it. They can do it, they learn responsibility and that work is rewarded, and I get some help. This is worth doing, even though I do still have to help them finish up sometimes.
8) I’ve learned that if I really want to be a WAHM (and I do), I have to treat the time that the kids are in school as work time. I have to treat it like what it is: a real part-time job. Clock in when they go to school, clock out when they come home.
9) I’ve learned that I love having my cranky cat and my loud, goofy dog as – if not coworkers – the company mascots. Animals are not human company, but they are real company, and I’m happier working at home with the wordless, furry company they provide.
10) I’ve learned that not every day is going to look like the ideal above. It’s important to make space for other duties: church stuff, friend stuff, family stuff. It’s important to realize that part of the price I pay for this flexibility is the possibility of interruption. I can’t remember one week where everything went according to an “ideal” schedule – in fact, I can’t remember one day like that.
But having an ideal schedule – and ordering my days so that the most important things are done first – means that everything doesn’t have to fall apart when the inevitable interruptions happen. I know where I left off, and I know where I’m going to pick up again. The loom will still hold the threads, even if I’m not sitting in front of it at the moment.
11) I’ve learned even that peaceful attitude is something I can’t find every day. No matter. I have to trust I’ll come back to it. I’m not going to trash my goals because I happen to feel crappy one day.
12) I’ve learned there’s a lot of virtue in just doing something. If I feel I can’t face the most important thing on my list, I just do something on my list. Then at least one more thing is done. It never hurts to do that, and it often helps get me moving again.
13) I’ve learned sometimes the most virtuous thing to do is to stop. If I’m getting sick, if I really haven’t had enough sleep, sometimes the best thing to do is stop, go to bed early, and start again the next day. Sleep really does knit up the raveled sleeve of care.
More Quick Takes can be found here, at Conversion Diary!
Peace of Christ to you,