Tuesday, January 30, 2007A Mother's Rule
On our booklist, you'll find many treasures for both adults and a link to our children's book recommendations. Every now and again, I think it's helpful to go into some detail about particular books that have either helped us as mothers or delighted us with our children.
Many of you know about Holly Pierlot's "A Mother's Rule for Life" because so many women, once reading and implementing it, are quick to want to share it's usefulness with others. I am one of these people.
The whole gist of the book is essentially creating a schedule and sticking to it. I had this down... even scheduling in nap time, errand time, exercise time, Mass time, play with kids time, etc. Everything. If you allow yourself a flexible window and include recreational things, your plan WILL work. Prior to living with a Mother's Rule, I was pretty disorganized; I'd do a little laundry, a little dishes, a little computer time etc... and nothing was getting done! Now, if I know that from 10-11, I do laundry (including PUTTING AWAY the clothes!), then I don't worry about laundry all day long or I don't worry about dishes until their scheduled time.
My children thrive on routines. Most kids do. They know if we have a particular order about our day, certain things are unreasonable at certain times. They know now that I WILL have time to play or color or walk with them after our napping hour so they don't bug me too much during my working hours in the morning. They know we do story-time at the library on Tuesday and go to the gym on Friday. Instilling in them a sense of when things happen has been essential in having a more peaceful home.
My good friend Steph just inspired me to extend my Mother's Rule even more by getting out of bed earlier. This has been a challenge for me to get up from my toasty bed into the cold room and dark house when my husband leaves for work around 6-6:30. But after I'm up and moving, I feel okay. I am able to say morning prayers and do all my computer work for this blog and for my classes I teach with Mother of Divine Grace before the kids even get up. Getting up this early helps me to justify taking my daily nap with the baby while my toddler naps and my oldest son plays quietly by himself.
The other thing that has been instrumental for us is creating a menu plan for a full month... and sticking to that when shopping. It's brilliant not worrying about what to make for dinner anymore! And it's been a huge help on our budget. I've organized the meals so the more expensive ones are spread out as are the cheaper meals to keep spending each week consistent. Plus, when I plot out the week, we aren't having three hamburger casseroles in a row! There are many online menu plans you can plug into... (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/ or http://www.savingdinner.com/ for example) or you'll just have to do what I did for my picky husband and figure out all the meals he'll actually enjoy (or at least tolerate: I even organize those! Having one "tolerable" meal a week and at least one really nice meal).
I found Holly Pierlot's blog... which exists to help women trouble shoot with creating their Mother's Rule. I've already gotten off-track reading many of those posts.
With three kids now, I can't logistically have my day mapped out to the half-hour like I used to. But I DO have it organized in segments. I have mornings for breakfast and housework and noons for lunch and naps; afternoons are for errands and walks or games; evenings are for dinner prep and being mentally and physically present for my husband and children. Sometimes errand time gets switched with housework time, but the point is that things all have their place.
The concept of ordering our lives can do wonders for our souls primarily, and also our selves and families too. I highly recommend "getting a grip" on life! You'll be so glad you did...