se7en

The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en Ways to Find “The Time…”

March 10th, 2010 · 22 Comments

How often do I get asked “Where on earth do you find the time?” Frankly there are only twenty four hours in a day. And alas we have to sleep for some of them!!! I think what happens so easily is we try and do too much, we spread ourselves thin. And I have to say my mantra is “Slow and Steady Wins the Race…” and this is the key for us having time to do what needs to be done and then time to do a bit more as well!!! We don’t have to grasp every opportunity, we don’t have to go on every outing… We do need to be ready for whatever each day brings, predictable or unpredictable as that may be!!!

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  1. Where do you find the time to keep up with chores…

    We have a rhythm to our chores and they follow on after each other… When I get up in the morning I make the bed, as I leave the bedroom I make sure everything is picked up… as I leave the bathroom I make sure everything is as I would like to find it. I usually mop the floor for the first time as I leave the bathroom (five boys – trust me I am intimately acquainted with the bathroom floor)… As I leave the couch, we always read a few stories first thing, I make sure the lounge is picked up. We don’t start breakfast before everything is ready for visitors – even if we aren’t having any!!! Some folk like to dress up for the day, well we like to be ready for any interruptions in our day!!!

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  3. Where do you find time for big projects like household maintenance…

    There are huge projects, I try and tackle a big project a week. Most of them I can do slow and steadily, seriously fifteen minutes of focus a day is phenomenal!!! Sometimes you just have to do a project in a massive kind of a way. The best way I have found is to just start, don’t wait for “the baby” to sleep, trust me kids know you are up to something and they won’t nap for a week!!! Last week I tackled the garden, tossed a blanket in the shade and Hood #8 was content to roll about and keep an eye on me – and get totally exhausted!!! This week I am organizing school stuff on a grand scale and he has been playing with finger puppets under foot. Really just starting, trust me I would rather never start but somethings really must be done!!! Once you get rolling you can keep at it. Progress is very motivating!!! I think the secret here is to just have one BIG project going at a time, this is my fatal flaw, I really want to conquer everything in a day and need to remind myself to start one thing and not move on until it is finished!!!

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  5. Where do you find the time to do school and projects with your kids…

    This one I cannot answer, it is one of those mysteries of life. As I come to the end of any school vacation I wonder how on earth we will fit school into our days and yet we always do. Everyone has a clear idea of what they are meant to be doing for school and while I am training the little scholars that a page or two from each book is actually required my older kids know the drill and get on with it. My little little ones are happy enough to putter along beside us or sit in the middle of the table tossing markers – whatever!!! We will manage each event as it arises and plod on from meal to meal… for certain growing lads that’s all that really counts!!!

    I guess if you read our blog it looks like we are always doing projects and outings and we are… but seriously not every moment of everyday!!! We post one recipe, one craft and one outing a week… that isn’t really that much. I am not spending my days making pipe-cleaner people with my kids!!! That doesn’t mean my kids aren’t doing their own projects and getting stuck into new ideas… I am a firm believer in getting things done alongside them!!! My kids know I am their mother and not the actual entertainment!!! I am still on call to fill a cup, to pass a snack, to help with toileteering, to listen to a “he said/she said”… but this is alongside the things we are actually doing.

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  7. Where do you find the time to read a book…

    Kids are watching!!! And I must practice what I preach – seriously if they never see you reading why will they think you value it!!! And I do, value reading. I really want my kids to love reading. Books are the ultimate transporter and can literally take you anywhere. So while we read hundreds of books together, my kids are quite familiar with seeing me read a book for my own self – and not just Curious George!!! Also I grew up without a TV and our kids have no idea that there is actually a picture on that grey box in the cupboard, unless the father person is home on weekends. Really even if they knew I don’t think we would have time for TV because our days are full as it is!!!

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  9. Where do you find the time for one on one with each kid…

    I like my kids and I love spending time with them. I don’t have a stop watch to check that everyone gets exactly 27 minutes of my time each day, but I do spend time with each one… It might be a reading lesson in my lap, it might be hanging washing alongside another or watering their plants with them. I don’t spend time with just one child doing something and banishing every one else. I also don’t check to see that every one has exactly the same number of minutes. Mostly my kids know that time with me means work!!! I find if we are focusing on a job together it gives us a great opportunity to talk and just hang out with them.

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  11. Where do you find the time for friends….

    I have just recently learnt a truth about visitors and friends, for years I would gasp at the thought of folk coming round – getting school done before hand, the house picked up and so on. But “Lightbulb Moment” the house is pretty much picked up (we have a quick clean-up before each meal) and, as I said, school gets done!!! The thing about having friends over is that generally you stop and have a break with them!!! Lovely, why haven’t I noticed this before!!! If we don’t have visitors I am squeezing every last possible thing in until right before a meal and zooting off straight after. It is very hard to be content if you are always dashing onto the next thing. Visitors force me to get started timeously for meals and actually just enjoy a meal in my own home and linger a bit!!!

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  13. Where do you find the time to spend time with the father person…

    There are different plains and dynamics in a family, now while our kids are young we are able to have our own time “over their heads.” Taking the kids outdoors really helps, nothing keeps kids busier than a paddle in a river or a stroll at the beach and this gives us plenty of time to spend time together. Our kids go to bed pretty early and we have evenings with each other, often we work alongside each other and chat as we go… you can get a lot said in kid-free time!!! I still get taken out – but we like going out as a family and generally take our kids along with us!!! Yup it is expensive to take me out for coffee (!!!), shows great commitment when you have to buy a number of “Little Cups of Chinno’s” (capuchino) to go with it!!! But it can be done. We need a certain amount of oneness to parent and our kids have to know we are a team. We work best when we are up-to-date and generally we catch up each evening on who did what and what their latest tricks are!!!

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And the “Se7en + 1” th thing:

  • Where do you find the time for yourself…

    A huge chunk of my own time is spent blogging, I love it!!! If it ever feels like work I take a break from it… a blog does survive if you don’t post every moment of every day!!! Otherwise, I go to gym or run errands without kids – doesn’t sound too wild I know but lets just say the clear air and not having to listen to little voices for a stretch of time is all the break I need to feel recharged and to miss my kids and want to hurry straight back home to them!!!

I guess the secret to finding time is limiting yourself to the things that are really important to you and then getting on with them. We live in era where we must try everything, keep all our options open just in case of an opportunity!!! How many times folk say they can’t come over they are already doing four or five outings on a day – gasp!!! Slowing down has really worked for us. Starting things well in advance to prevent last minute panics… Seriously, “Less is so much More.” “Slow and Steady” really works for us!!!

P.S. If you did something fun with your kids or made a great link list then pop over and link it up to our Fabulous Friday Fun.

And if you would like to enter this weeks GiveAway then just follow the link.

This Post was hammered out as part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom. The photographs took a bit longer than usual I didn’t have any clocks in my flickr pool and couldn’t even find se7en around the house!!!

I popped this post onto the Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.

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Tags: Organizing Se7en

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nina // Mar 10, 2010 at 2:38 am

    great thoughts. I find it hard with just one – not being homeschooled – so I am very impressed with all you do.

  • 2 Amy Bowman // Mar 10, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Great post! You should link this up to “Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays” at New Nostalgia (my new weekly link party) Such great tips!

  • 3 KIM // Mar 10, 2010 at 7:11 am

    So many great tips! I love the cleanup before each meal. I need to make this more of a habit!

  • 4 se7en // Mar 10, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Hi N, I tell you but you won’t believe it, its easier with a bunch – because they are each others playmates!!! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a good day!!!

  • 5 se7en // Mar 10, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Thanks Amy, so glad you liked it!! Hope you have a good week!!!

  • 6 se7en // Mar 10, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Hi K, This has always worked for us and prevents a HUGE and overwhelming clean-up at some stage… Have a great day!!!

  • 7 Diane // Mar 10, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Great post! With only two little ones we tend to play and mess all day and then have a rushed tidy up before supper time. As they get older I’ll definitely look at more regular tidy-ups that they can help more with. Hubby and I also make sure to spend lots of time talking and I find it really helps us feel connected (and on the same page). It doesn’t hurt that we both work from home (me mornings only) and share an office so we chatter up a storm – it’s so critical.

  • 8 Mandy // Mar 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Great thoughts!

  • 9 Susan@improvamama // Mar 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Really great detailing (and does make having more than one way appealing!)…I’ve been so impressed with your blogging. I barely get one or two posts up a week and there’s just one little person in my life.

  • 10 se7en // Mar 10, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Hi D, thanks for stopping by!!! I just can’t do the mayhem of one big pick-up!!! Tidy as we go and a ten/fifteen minute grand pick-up before meals – food is the great motivator!!! Hope you have a great week with lots of chatting!!!

  • 11 Kristy // Mar 11, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Awesome ideas! I was wondering how you have the time to read all the Sonlight read alouds and history for all the cores you have going at once?
    This is my first year of Sonlight and I am just curious if you do all the suggested oral reading.
    Thanks!
    Kristy

  • 12 Jenn @ Beautiful Calling // Mar 11, 2010 at 2:58 am

    You’re a superwoman this week. Incredible post for 30 minutes and so full of great ideas.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • 13 se7en // Mar 11, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Hi K, We do indeed read all the read-a-louds etc… We have reading sessions in out schedule and a pile of readers for the week and I just start at the top and work through it each day. Here is a link to last years schedule and what worked for us then. It may all change now but we will continue to read away… no matter what, wouldn’t miss it!!! Have a great week!!!

  • 14 se7en // Mar 11, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Hay J, Thanks for popping over and commenting I just love 30 minute post days!!! Have a great week!!!

  • 15 Meeks // Mar 11, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing a little bit about your family life with us! I can relate to a lot of things that you posted. I have realised that I haven’t picked up a book since I nice fiction since I finished the twilight series (boy did the kids see me read then! haha). So I think I need to make another trip down to the library! Thanks for the inspiration! By the way, have you posted about how you deal with dinners and snacks etc in your household?

  • 16 se7en // Mar 11, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Hi M, Good to hear from you!!! I recently read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, took a while to get into it and then couldn’t put it down… it can be quite gruesome but very exciting!!! At the moment I am reading “The Help” and loving it!!! And since you asked I have written a post on “How to Feed Se7en” – quite a while ago but it is pretty much the same still!!! And I have solved the sock monster too (in case you are asking…) but I think I will save that for next week!!! Have a good week the end is insight!!!

  • 17 Stehanie // Mar 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Happy post!
    I found myself nodding and yupping about priorities and the flow of the family, and wanting to be with the babies and missing them after five minutes or so. 🙂
    xxoo
    Steph

  • 18 Annie @ SisterWisdom // Mar 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    (belated 30-minute post commenter)
    This was a great post, se7en, thanks for sharing these tips. I just had a revelation about getting the house ‘company ready’ every day – this week – when one of my dear friends came over. I worked a little harder & quicker than usual and by 9:30ish had dinner mainly prepped, laundry going, kids decent (mine are all too young to really help yet, though they’re in training) and the house neat & clean. and i thought – geez, why don’t I do this every day? It feels great!
    I really enjoy your blog. you are continually inspiring & encouraging to me! thanks!

  • 19 se7en // Mar 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Hay S, You stopped by what a lovely surprise!!! I must say the father person and I aren’t really mad about “date nights” we would much rather be with our kids, they aren’t going to be around forever – in just a few years our eldest will be out the door and then the next one and then… Meanwhile, we so enjoyed your science fair – thank-you so much for motivating us… Definitely helped to steer us back into the scientific mode!!!

  • 20 se7en // Mar 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Hi A, Thanks for the great comment!!! It works really to just get up and get going… It does feel so much better!!! Hope you have a good weekend!!!

  • 21 Karyn // Feb 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Yes, yes, you make such good sense! 🙂 I feel the same way about date nights, me time and missing my kids. Feels empty without them. Hubby and I are learning the art of having wonderful romantic diinners at home once a week. Sometimes the kids even like to help set up our “restaurant”. Thanks for inspiring me as usual with your common sense humorous approach!

  • 22 se7en // Feb 11, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Hi Karyn, So good of you to stop by!!! So sweet that your kids help out with your romantic dinners… I think kids are all for their parents having a great time!!! Hope you have a fun weekend!!!

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