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

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Se7en Ways to Rescue a Day That’s on the Brink of Failure…

April 28th, 2010 · 15 Comments

Sometimes a perfectly good day seems to head for the rocks before we have even got ourselves going… and a day that has been going perfectly well can suddenly turn upside down in the space of a minute, one comment from a stranger, one phone call and suddenly all that was fine is anything but… fine!!! When I started this post I could only think of how our days turn up-side down so quickly, but I needed to write it to remember just how to turn it around!!! Just remembering to have some fun is an achievement sometimes!!!

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  1. Finish Yesterday Before Today Begins: I make every effort to clean up everything at the end of the day, no dirty dishes, no lurking laundry. It helps to have a bunch of kids and everyone is assigned a quick pick-up job. We have usually tidied from our day before dinner. I usually clean as I go with dinner and as everyone leaves the table they pack their dish into the dishwasher. So really I just have to wipe the table and tidy the post shower bathroom.
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  3. Don’t Let Chores Mount Up: Chores are just that, meant to be quick and easy… If you let them mount up then your end of the day can be come simply unbearable. In fact any part of any day can be quite unbearable!!! Really the biggest chores in our house are:
    • The Dishes: As soon as we finish eating the dishes get sorted out (before you “sit” down for a read/nap);
    • The Laundry: Any item of clothing left anywhere will be scooped up by the current two year old and plonked in the washer, when the load is full it get’s turned on, when the machine beeps the washing gets hung out, when its dry it gets folded and packed away;
    • The Bathroom: Five boys (say no more)…teach them to use a mop and everyone gets one turn to mop every day.
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  4. Outside Criticism and Comparisons: You hear from a friend that she has taken her kids on an outing every day that week and they have still had time to bake. And you think, “Oh dear, I am a complete mother failure.” Or you are busy buying milk at the store and a complete stranger says: “Gosh all yours? I barely have time for my one, how do you love them all?” Oh my goodness does the mind spin!!! Suddenly you are reeling thinking was that whispered “Hope you have a good day” in each little ear when they wake up was enough to stand them in good stead. And all the negative thoughts build up till the father person walks in the door and you say: “I am a terrible mother and I don’t love my children enough and we didn’t do twenty million crafts, and we only read se7en thousand books instead of twenty and I haven’t taught at least half of them how to spell encyclopedia yet, so they will never ever get a job one day.” Why don’t we remember the compliments from friends… “Gosh, your kids are great.” “Oh I wish I had read to my kids more like you do.” I tell you box those negative thoughts away and stick with the positive. And there is no harm in avoiding the folk that drag you down, when you need to turn a day around you need to stay positive!!
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  6. A To Do List a Mile Long: Often our to-do lists are so long they are just a recipe for failure. Often things on the list are not actually urgent they are just there to keep you mindful of them. I don’t actually have to have to hack the hedge on my to-do list today… really I need to get through school and get dinner ready. I know the hedge is in need but there are things I have to do and only they get onto my list. Unless you have to do it today take it off the list. And if you still have a mighty long list interweave it with short quick fun things – we all need rewards for a job well done. Five minutes of blowing bubbles between two awful errands can really keep a day on the up and up!!!
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  7. Go Go Go All Day: Plan to take a break – be intentional about it. If you don’t have time for a break then you are doing too much. Don’t eat on the run, sit and savor it. It takes just as long to eat a sandwich if you are jamming it in as you quickly do five things as it does to eat it, enjoy it, and then do the same chores with your hands free. We have natural lull in our day after lunch, every day. Those days when we have to be on the run I push lunch earlier so we still get our rest, without making us late for everything.
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  9. The Telephone: I am sure that the telephone is the biggest contributor to days going awry… They are so invasive, there is no other way for something or someone to just interrupt you. You have just settled a couple of kids down with you for a pile of books and the phone rings – trust me even for a two minute call who knows where those kids will get to!!! And as for when you are making meals, well dinner on the floor or unsupervised supper is just not my thing. I just don’t answer ours unless I am free – it drives folks nuts when they can’t get hold of me but they don’t have to clean up the ensuing tornado.
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  11. Fear of Inconveniencing Friends: Sometimes we just need help, not enormous help, just a ten minute baby sit so that you can get some air. Someone to collect a parcel for you or return your library books. I know I am terrified of asking for help, just in case of inconveniencing others. Hello, that’s what friends are for. If you don’t ask you won’t get!!! I love helping friends out, and if they don’t ask for help I can’t help them. If I don’t have to guess what it is they need then that makes my job so much easier!!! Silly things like friends coming for dinner and asking them to collect something I forgot rather than making the entire meal late while I load up eight kids… It is a no-brainer really, we just don’t do it!!!
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    And the “se7en + 1th” thing:

  13. Expecting the Worst: Oh don’t I do this. By the time I have spent all my energy wondering about the “What if’s…” the reality is a breeze… Why do we do this??? Over thinking is often the beginning of the end of a good day… like criticism and comparison’s, get rid of all those terrible scenario’s we plan into our days!!! Seriously instead of expecting the worst we should be celebrating the little things that are really happening!!!

Sometimes a day is just un-rescuable – call it off, cancel everything. Head outdoors, have pancakes for supper – change something. And the best cure for a miserable day is get some fresh air… just walking to the post box is often enough me. A little more like a walk on the beach would be fabulous but seriously fresh air helps!!! Grabbing a moment outdoors always makes me feel better.

If you have a tip for rescuing a day go ahead and share it, because I probably shouldn’t have taken this mid-morning moment to write a 30-minute post!!!

And, if you would like to enter this weeks GiveAway then follow the link to Games, Games and More Games and leave a comment!!!

This Post was hammered out as part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom. The photographs were taken from my flickr pool, so didn’t need load up time.

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Tags: Kids · Thoughtful Thursdays

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marci@OvercomingBusy // Apr 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    #2 and #4 on your list have been forefront in my mind lately. What a difference it makes in my day to just finish what I started and to not make a to-do list 3 pages long! I have to stop expecting too much of myself. Great list!

  • 2 Kara // Apr 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Wow – great list! No. 8 is the tricky one for me … I tend to head right into “worst case scenario” mode when things start going wrong or I’ve already had a rough day.

    Good reminders :-)

  • 3 se7en // Apr 29, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Hi M, Thanks for the comment!!! You are sure right about finishing what you start… and boy can that be a tricky one to sustain – keeping the concentration going to finish a task!!! I have found myself with heaps of projects “open” and even though I have been working all day I finish nothing and feel like a failure… Finish what you start is a great tip!!! Hope you have a great day!!!

  • 4 se7en // Apr 29, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Hi K, Nice to hear from you!! I have #8 in common with one of my kids and together we can spiral into a whirl wind of “What if’s” !!! It is always so serious when it’s in your head but once it is “out there” we see how crazy we sound and it can be good for a laugh!!! Hope you have a fun day!!!

  • 5 Olivia // Apr 29, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Oh, Thank You! Thank You. I need to read this list everyday. Been having a few melt-downs over the last few weeks. I blame hormones ( 15 days to EDD), but they’ve really been self-induced I see. Today I will only keep everyone fed, read to them and listen to them ‘with my whole face’.

  • 6 Debbie // Apr 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

    What good reminders. I used to viscously guard our afternoon rest but now that my boys don’t have naps every day I’ve let it slip. I’m encouraged to get back into it though – we all seem to function better for the rest of the day after a bit of down-time.

  • 7 se7en // Apr 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Oh O, When you have fifteen days to go just put your feet up and let it all go!!! Really how bad can it get… You do know when everything else stops mattering that your baby will arrive!!! Lots of love!!!

  • 8 se7en // Apr 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Hi D, My kids are not generally big day time sleepers, but after lunch somehow everyone ends up doing something quiet, mostly reading and I don’t enforce it but they tend to follow my lead and I head for a lie down with a book and suddenly I am surrounded by a number of little people with their own books!!! I do make sure that they know I am reading my book and if they are a little patient I will get to theirs and they have pretty much picked up that this is down time. Thanks for stopping by!!! Have a good day!!!

  • 9 Tweets that mention Se7en Ways to Rescue a Day That’s on the Brink of Failure… » se7en -- Topsy.com // Apr 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marci Goodwin. Marci Goodwin said: Se7en Ways to Rescue a Day That’s on the Brink of Failure ( http://bit.ly/bfyeLl ) […]

  • 10 Stephanie // May 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Your ideas are so wonderful, as always! Thanks for the reminders….it is SO easy to beat ourselves up at the end of the day. Good thing God gives us a brand new day to work with tomorrow!
    I think I may print out your advice here and post it up where I’ll see it. It seems like our days have been taking that downward spiral right from the very start these days. But oh yes, fresh air does wonders for all of us!

  • 11 se7en // May 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Hi S, Oh I love that line “Good thing God gives us a brand new day to work with tomorrow!” and what can I say – fresh air is indeed the answer to a number of ailments, isn’t it!!! Hope you have a fabulous week!!!

  • 12 Kara // May 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I love reading your blog, thanks for the (as usual) inspiring and uplifting thoughts you share!

  • 13 se7en // May 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Hi K, Nice to meet you, thanks for stopping by!!! Hope you have a fun weekend!!!

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