Tuesday, June 15, 2010

a request for advice from experienced parents

Recently I've been wondering about 2 things, and I'd love to hear what other families have done to make their lives run more smoothly.  Please post a comment or direct me to an article / blog post that outlines what works for your family.  Thank you!

#1 Laundry:  How do you do it?  I can wash and dry, but folding and putting away seem to be my kryptonite.  How many loads a day are tackled?  How often do you wash towels and linens?  Do you incorporate your spouse and kids?  If so, how?

#2  Daily Schedule:  Is there a set flow for your days?  (Right now we get up whenever, watch some PBS Kids while breakfast is served and everyone gets dressed.  Morning nap for Bennet usually happens, an errand is usually run or a friend is visited.  Then there's lunch, another nap for Bennet and the rest is pretty smudgey until dinner and bedtime.)  I'd like to have some more structured time.  More specifically, I'd like to have set times for chores, reading, arts/crafts/flashcards (learning kinda stuff), and prayer that go along with our nap times and errands.  I have no idea what this should look like for a 2 yr old, and I want this to be fun and helpful - not stressful!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks again!

9 comments:

  1. Here is one to consider:

    http://applecidermama.blogspot.com/2009/07/my-daily-rhythm.html

    If I have time this afternoon, I will type up mine (which is just a theory at this point - haven't actually started using it).

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  2. Bonnie, I am reading a really good book called "A Mother's Rule of Life" by Holly Pierlot.

    She addresses much of what you talked about above: order, motivation, etc. I am really learning a lot. She doesn't necessarily TELL you how to get things done, but she asks the questions to allow you to set something up that works for you and your family.

    Great book.

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  3. Katie mother of twin boys, you know who you are. I'm waiting for your response...

    I have nothing to add to this post, I have the same questions. Laundry: I thought I had a good plan -- wash a load overnight, dry it in the morning, fold it in the evening. But I haven't figured out how to put it away yet

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  4. my laundry strategy is to do one load a day, every day, unless we are gone. about once a week i end up doing two, because the hamper is just that full. but usually one load keeps it under control. i have a habit of throwing it in first thing in the morning and then getting around to the rest of the job at some point during the day. if it's folded on the same day, i consider that a finished load. the putting away happens more randomly, and with more struggle, as you implied it is at your house. the laundry is pretty much my only solo task. almost everything else i get help from nate, but for whatever reason the laundry is the thing i do myself.

    the schedule thing is much harder and i also feel like we are in very different stages b/c of our kids' ages. i can't even remember what it was like to have kids who nap, so i'll leave the advice in this area to those who are in situations closer to yours. but i will say, from reading your description, your day seems pretty structured right now. it shouldn't be too hard to add a couple things you'd like to do. like, you could do reading before bed, learning time after nap, prayer before nap and/or bed. just a thought. also, does lydia still nap?

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  5. The family I nannied for had a great laundry method. They washed according to bedrooms-if you shared a bedroom your clothes were washed together. Everything was in cold so whites and colors were all together. It made sorting MUCH faster because it was all going to the same place.

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  6. I'm eager to read everyone's comments too...

    On Mondays when I'm home with Avery and Brennan, I typically try to run all our errands in the morning. I let Avery watch Playhouse Disney or a Disney movie while I get ready for the day. After our errands we eat lunch then nap. The afternoon is reserved for coloring, painting, and playing outside. If we don't have any errands to run that day then we have arts and crafts in the morning while playing outside (weather permitting) in the afternoon. If it's raining, we'll have a "movie day" and watch a movie while coloring or some other activity so they're not glued to the TV all day. :)

    I hate doing laundry, so I'm not going to answer that part. :) I am addicted to presoaking all kids' clothes in Biz, which makes all stains go away...

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  7. Bonnie - these are really broad and hard questions. You will figure it out for your family. Everyone with lots of kids does it differently. You can get ideas, but you have to use what works for you. Check out the Fly Lady (http://www.flylady.net/
    ), Mother's Rule of Life, or Managers of Their Homes.
    What we do - several loads are done daily, some days I forget :) Older kids help fold. 3+ puts their clothes away to their abilities. My 9 year old is responsible for his own laundry, with a little helps from me.
    It is good to have a daily schedule, because you can always deviate, but you needs something to deviate from :) Over the years we worked different systems, from doing a 15 min schedule, to "pegs" to a checklist of things athat need to get done. As new babies arrive and get to different stages, it changes.
    Again, YOU have to find what works for you and your family. There is no 'secret one way' to do it. You will try and tweak and find waht works for you.

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  8. Hi Bonnie, that is a very broad question and there is no right answer. You will have to find what works for you and your family at each stage of life. It will change and that is OK. You can check out Fly Lady (www.flylady.net), Mother's Rule of Life, or Managers of Their Homes. All have good info even though they are very different.
    I can share what we do with 4 kids, but you have to pick and choose what works for you.
    Laundry - we do several loads a day and try to fold as soon as they come out. There is not as much then to do, it seems. My 9 year old is responsible for his own laundry, with a bit of my help if he needs it. All kids 3+ help fold, starting with diapers, towels then moving up to socks and other clothes. I help fold the younger kids clothes. They all put their own clothes away (3+ kids).
    AS for a schedule, we have tried different things over the years. YOu have to find what works for you. It help to have one, because then you have something to deviate from. :) We have done the 15 min schedule (color coded helps!) to the 'pesg' system, to a list with checkboxes that needs to get done during the day. It changes as our family changes. If there is a new baby, or if an older one can do something more.
    You just have to find what you think will work now. It will change, and that's OK. Get ideas from people, but remember that you are not them, and your day/life does not have to look like theirs. Find what works for you.

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  9. Finding a schedule is still a struggle around here, but I have A Mother's Rule of Life, if you'd like to borrow it.

    As for laundry, I let Jacob help me sort clothes every morning and load the washer if we have enough for a load. He helps me match up clean socks and fold towels. I also have a smaller laundry basket for the kids' clothes, and I let Jacob put away all of their clothes. I had to put things in lower drawers and baskets in the closets, but he really likes to be a part of things.

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