Hello! My name is Bridget Courtney and I’ve been asked to write a little about my system of being a homemaker with a 6-year old, 5-year old, 2-year old, and 6-month old baby while keeping my house clean at all times, homeschooling, cooking all meals from scratch, and never feeling overwhelmed.
Keeping to a Schedule is Key
Make your own schedule by looking at what you want from your life.
For me, cooking whole food meals and going to a gym were priorities as our health is a gift from God we are charged with preserving. You might want to make time for gardening, blogging, crafting, or date night! Make a list of your priorities and decide how many hours you need to accomplish your goals. Then make your schedule around that.
My weekdays are pretty similar and Saturdays are for errands, a family outing, and an outside chore (cleaning out the car, mowing the lawn, etc.) and Sundays are for rest.
Before I Started This System I Was a Mess.
My house was always messy, every task seemed overwhelming, and homeschooling seemed impossible. I tried different schedules and quickly felt defeated. I looked at other homemakers and wondered how they did it.
Eventually I realized it wasn’t that I had too much to do. It was simply that I filled my day with things that did not benefit my life.
I had three television sets, so I could watch mindless television shows wherever I was. We had an upgraded cable package so there were always many shows and movies that interested me. And I had a steady list of “hobbies” that didn’t give me much joy but I preferred over housework.
So one day after a week of getting nothing done, (the kind of week where you have to wash a plate if you want to eat) I approached my husband. I told him I didn’t want to live this way:
- We got rid of cable and two out of three television sets
- We purged our house
- I got rid of all my hobby supplies that I wasn’t enjoying in the first place
- I set up organization systems around my home
- I joined a gym
- We started eating only real food
My husband (and mother in law because it was obvious I needed help!) gifted me with Homemaking 101 and then Homemaking 201 when it was released and I started surrounding myself with homemaking blogs and YouTube videos.
Everyday I surrounded myself with my goals instead of my distractions. And very rapidly my life become manageable and then it became easy!
Here’s the schedule that works for me. I hope it helps you!
7:00 am – Hubby and kids wake up, I stay in bed for a bit to nurse the baby then go downstairs and change diapers, ask the kids to get dressed, and make breakfast.
8:00 am – Make sure hubby is set for work and kiss him goodbye. Take a moment here and appreciate your life. Your husband is working hard for you and you are blessed with a family that needs you. Take a breath before the business starts and get excited for all that you’re going to get done with this day you’ve been blessed with.
Time for the children and you to do your everyday morning chores! Clean up after breakfast, sweep and mop where needed, unload the dishwasher, wipe down all bathroom counters and toilets, make beds, and everyone fold their own laundry from the load you put in the dryer before bed.
I fold my husband’s and my clothes and my towels. My 6-year old folds hers and her baby sister’s clothes. My 5-year old folds his and his toddler brother’s clothes. My 2-year old folds wash clothes, kitchen rags, and diapers. The baby sits in the laundry basket and gives us joy in our work with her sweet coos and giggles.
All this takes no more than half an hour when we all pitch in.
9:00 am – You’re now sitting in a clean house with fed and happy children. At this time I pull out some paper and crayons and the children color while I do some planning. Whether it’s writing a grocery list, making a schedule, or planning a curriculum, every mother needs a planning hour!
You can not be successful if you don’t have a plan! (We fit in some writing practice here as my 2 older ones help write the menu and grocery list). Once you’re done, do an art project or play with your children.
11:00 am – We play and take a bit of a break.
12:00 pm – Lunch time! Now my 6-year old makes lunch most days, as I usually drink a green juice and nurse the baby.
1:00 pm – After lunch the 2 youngest take a nap and it’s the perfect opportunity to home school.
3:00 pm – Snack time. (after each meal, make it a habit for everyone to put their plates in the dishwasher and wipe down their area. My two year old will wipe up any spills that he makes now)
4:00 pm – Zone cleaning. Every day we spend 15-30 minutes deep cleaning a small area:
- Cleaning out a closet
- Wiping out the dishwasher
- Cleaning a ceiling fan
If you do this same area every 4-6 weeks they are very quick to accomplish. My children and I truly enjoy this every day. We talk about how nice we’ve made the house, I thank them for being helpful, and we talk about how happy we are making daddy when he comes home to a clean house. (Zone Cleaning schedule can be found on the YouTube channel: “How Jen Does It.”)
5:00 pm – After we finish zone cleaning to about 6:30 we rest, watch a show, documentary, or play. We have a small snack as soon as daddy gets home and head to the gym.
6:30-8:30 pm – Gym time! The kids get to play with other children and be physically active while mommy and daddy become stronger and spend time together.
8:30 am – Dinner and bedtime prep (I usually have dinner cooking in the crock pot all day or we throw together a salad).
9:00 pm – Bedtime! My husband and I watch a movie together or he works and I read whatever novel I’m working on. Before I go to bed I start the dishwasher, wipe down the kitchen counters, and start the washer. We don’t have hampers so dirty clothes go straight into the washer and I’ll move them to the dryer right before I go to sleep, so I wake up to a clean house.
Now depending on what I need to get done I might make school time putting on a documentary while I scrape the popcorn ceilings or paint the bathroom. Or we might spend a good bit outside. But we follow this most days. And on Wednesdays I do my whole house cleaning and wash sheets.
Also Here Are Some Sources & Tips that I Believe Would Help Any Homemaker:
- Look up How Jen Does It. Her cleaning schedule is amazing. Your house will always be clean with what feels like minimal work
- Declutter! The less you have the less you have to clean!
- Be appreciative in everything! Praise God for dirty dishes, piles of laundry, and wonderful children to tend to. Your attitude is everything!
- With small children a couple hours of school time is plenty. We use many tasks to educate our children. They have to do math to bake a double batch of bread, we read history books before bed, and I quiz them while we do our daily chores.
- Order Homemaking 101 and 201!!! If you have trouble getting motivated, put the DVD’s in and play them until you start moving!
From Jennifer: Wasn’t that an encouragement? Thank you, Bridget, I know you’ve blessed many! Ladies, if you have any questions on anything specific, just leave a comment below, and as always…