I'll be the first to admit that some days being at home with my kids all day long is enough to make me loose my mind! One day will run so smoothly, where the children play well with one another, the baby isn't cranky and the house is in some order. And then-- BAM!-- the next day does a complete 180. No one listens to mom, the baby has a blow-out and the house looks like a war zone (well, a war zone that includes lots of laundry and dust bunnies, anyway).
So what are we moms to do? As hard as we try to keep some sort of semblance of order, it often backfires. We could face immense devastation each time this happens or we could take a deep breath, repeat "I'm too blessed to be stressed" in our heads and take a bubble bath (or have a cup of coffee or go for a run-- whatever helps de-stress).
Another thing we can do is try to plan ahead a bit. Now I say try because as hard as we do try, things don't always go according to our plans. But I am a firm believer that schedules are heaven-sent! Plans please! Routines rule!
Recently I switched the nap-time schedule around in our house a bit. I held off the baby for about 30-40 minutes past his normal nap-time (switched from 10ish to 11ish) and decided to lay my toddler daughter down early (at noon, instead of 1:30). I made these switches for a number of reasons.
1) The baby was ready for one nap a day instead of two.
2) My daughter was sleeping way too far into the afternoon, making bedtime a struggle.
3) I wanted an hour of alone time with my almost 5-year-old son so we could begin testing the homeschooling waters.
This new schedule has brought so much relief-- shifting our once hurried and disorganized day into one with more order and peace. In addition I implemented a few more simple changes that are really working out for us:
Because I am not a morning person and really struggle with this part of the day, I made a bunch of batches of pancake muffins and froze them. I also made a batch of baked oatmeal, cut it into pieces and froze that too. So now, in the morning, I just have to pull the items out of the freezer, pop them in the microwave and they're ready (and nutritious and tasty). I serve them with a glass of [almond] milk and a piece of fruit for a complete meal.
Set TV time
Immediately after their early lunch the kids head into my bedroom to watch a quick movie (15-20 minutes). By this time the baby is already napping so this gives me a short break to clean up some dishes or throw in a load of laundry or... blog (like now).
More outdoor time
Spring, glorious spring, has allowed our family to spend a lot more time outdoors expending our energy and soaking up vitamin D. This has made a world of difference and the kids are rarely complaining "I'm bored!!" I must come up with some creative idea of what to do this winter... but for now we're just going to enjoy the sun!
So while some days (weeks!) are harder than others for us moms, hang in there! Evaluate your days and see if you might be able to tweak them to meet your needs. Believe me, sometimes a tweak is all you need!