This season that I’m in right now, it’s a demanding one. If anyone ever told you that parenting teenagers was easy, they weren’t doing it right. I also have a baby and a husband home 24/7, a small farm and a large household to manage, and six of eight children to homeschool. Me time? It doesn’t exist.
I’m hanging on at the end of my rope by the skin of my teeth.
And lots of days – most days – it’s a challenge to keep up with even the most basic housekeeping tasks.
One day, not too long ago, I sat myself down and we had a talk. “What if,” I asked myself, “instead of worrying about all the things, you just committed to keeping up with three?”
“Three things?” I answered myself, with no small amount of hope and relief. “Why, anybody can do just three things!”
After a little bit of brainstorming, we came up with three things that would have the biggest impact on our well-being and peace of mind.
Make The Bed
A bed is a very large expanse of horizontal surface, and leaving it a mess of tangled sheets and discarded pajamas is visual chaos. It takes me five minutes to make the bed, pick up the laundry, and put our water glasses and coffee mugs in the sink. The payoff is one neat room I can step into throughout the day when I need a respite. Even just knowing it’s there is a balm to my weary soul.
Wash All the Laundry
There are ten of us in this house, and skipping the laundry for even one day means overflowing hampers and a heck of a lot of work for the laundress. It’s an easy one to let slide, though. I can often get it all washed and hung by 8AM, but sometimes, I’m hanging the second load at lunchtime and running my third “specialty” load in the afternoon. As long as it gets done by the time I have to start dinner, though, I don’t feel so harried.
Plan For Dinner
These people. These people! Three times a day, they want to eat! If I don’t check my menu plan in the morning and take meat out to thaw, then come three o’clock, I’m stressing and scrambling to think of something satisfying I can pull together using only pantry ingredients. I don’t mind doing that once in a while, but everyday, it becomes a draining task resulting in a less than nutritious diet. Since I had a plan when I made my shopping list, it’s a small thing to review that plan and select a meal, and without dinner hanging over my head, I have a better day.
That’s it. My Three Things. These are not the only things I do in a day, but these are the basic three I concern myself with each morning.
How about you? If you just committed yourself to just three things, would that ease your burden? What would your three things be?
(PS: I wrote and photographed this whole post in snippets on my iPod, because opportunities to sit down at the computer are scarce!)