I get asked a lot how I can do all my swaps, make materials for the kids, cook homemade food from scratch, bake bread daily-every other day, clean, go to school full time, have a husband in school full time too & homeschool. Simple really…I don’t sleep. I’m an insomniac.
My husband, Ben, works 7 days a week. Every day. Has been for over 3 years. Before that he had about a 3-4 month break where he dropped down to 5-6 days but for the 4 years before that…7 days…and that’s better than the first 2 years where he worked 16’s normally 5 days a week. So…our relationship is in small doses that we simply hoard. I actually find it hard at times & I’ll feel myself grow jealous of the kids since we work to make sure they get as much time with him as we can. Wanna feel like a crappy parent? Be jealous of your kids.
So…basically I fill the void of Ben being forced at work with school or swaps. I’ve always been a hyper person so I’ve always been fully involved in things. I’m sure you’d be surprised to know I have ADHD.. NO! Shocker huh?! But, from an early age we discovered this and it’s forced me to become very organized. I’m a list maker. I create detailed plans of how things will happen. I preplan so I know how to handle something if it goes wrong. (A friend told me that at heart I’m a pessimist and doing things like this sets my mind at ease.) But, I can also throw my lists out the window and go with the flow. But, to go with the flow I have to be fully immersed or saturated.
I also HAVE to do certain things…my children have allergies. So either I pay 5 dollars on sale for a loaf of bread or I make bread. (Making bread is not good for a carb fiend…it’s how I’ve gained so much weight.) But, is there anything better than fresh made bread?
Oh..as to the bread making…I cheat. That’s right I cheat! I have a bread machine. Well…I HAD 3 bread machines…on to mix dough for noodles and two for loaves of bread. (yeah…we ate pasta nearly EVERY day…) But, when we put our house up to sell I decided I HAD to simplify, HAD to lose weight and as a carb fiend…I needed to stop making so much bread and pasta. So…out they went to Goodwill. I did keep one for the holidays when life becomes hectic. With the bread you 1 either dump it in & hit go or you 2 dump it in and hit dough! If you dough it you take it out after it’s finished rising (it’ll beep for you) and pop it into a hot oven under a stone artisan baking pan. I like to cover my dough with a stone lid so it gives it the artisan crust that’s steamed…crunchy but chewy…it’s perfect…Lord, I want some bread. A little while later…fresh bread that looks beautiful and smells DELICIOUS..and the taste!? GLORY BE!
School? It’s online…I take 1-2 classes every 8 weeks. Even though I’m full time I only have to focus on 1 or 2 classes at a time but I get my 2-4 in.
Bills? Big ol’ calendar up on the wall. Now…to share how important this is…Our calendar ran out in May. I didn’t buy a new one until last week. Why last week? Well because the power company called and said…hey…you haven’t paid us. I FORGOT THE POWER!!! Quickly looked to my calendar…that’s not there…saw what had happened and ran out to Staples….slim pickins’ right now. I have plans to make one that’s very pretty & hangs up like art. I’ve seen them but well…the one I wanted was almost 100$ and that’s a lot of materials I could buy for the kids schooling.
This year I’m not gardening. We didn’t put a garden out because we were selling the house. I didn’t know how well that’d go over with buyers so I didn’t put on out. I miss it and it only takes about 3-5 hours a week once everything is planted/established but putting it all up for the winter…that’s VERY time consuming.
So…I only mow & weed eat & I found that while it does waste gas…if I mow every other day the yard (over an acre) stays really nice & I can fly on that sucker. It’ll only take me 3 hours a week instead of mowing 1-2 times at 5-6 hours a week….unless it’s rained and then…I’m looking at 6-7 hours. But doing the mowing every other day keeps everything nice and manageable and I don’t have to rake up the grass for the compost.
When creating materials I bookmark new info I find that’ll help me on another subject later. I label/tag pictures as I come across them and I always immediately check with the photographer if I can use them. If they say yes I open up the bookmarked pages, dl them and add after the title how the artist wishes to have the image cited.
Now this one is gross…but anytime I get sick/have the stomach flu…I take my laptop with me. That’s right…I work, vomit & potty…TMI? But, it’s a great way to handle having to sit and do nothing but be miserable.
How do I print out everything I have to print out with Karen’s albums & the 6-9 ones? I open them up to print, pop in a full set of paper hit print and go clean/do something. I’ll pop in to check although normally one of the kids hollers to let me know it’s needing to be filled again. I keep doing that until things are finished printing. I put them in the page protectors during times when they want to help. Rhea and I developed a system to put them in. It worked!
I also have the kids scrub the tub, toilets, help clean, do dishes, sweep floors, hang laundry, wash laundry, separate laundry, fold it, wash windows, …everything. During the winter I have Tyler bring in the bags of pellets from the garage. It gives him some heavy work to do and I don’t have to haul my badonkadonk out in the cold. This year he also learned to empty the stove, load it and start it.
So, how do I do it? I fully involve the kids, I have a husband who works second shift and is gone a LOT, I’m an insomniac & hyper. It’s a deadly combination but I do have hopes of world domination some day. I just hope I don’t crash on that day. 🙂
Oh yeah…I also rarely condition my hair, I can’t remember the last time I wore makeup, I NEVER shave my legs…think the last time I did was before I got really big with Sunshine…but I’m a very fair haired person so you don’t see I’ve an inch long hair…some people can’t tolerate that. And, I brush my hair out and pull it up into a clip or a pony tail. The only beauticians I see are Sunshine and Rhea…and they cut me a deal by painting my toenails or doing my hair in some beautiful braids that never induce a migraine or make you wish someone would claw a chalkboard to stop the pain. 🙂 But, I also wear tshirts & jeans or sundresses (super easy summer wear) and I stay home a lot.
We’ve only one vehicle and since we’re working to save more money he’s now stopping at Kroger’s after work to pick up more of the basics. Instead of pineapple, melons & strawberries regularly we’ve gone down to apples, bananas & oranges as a staple. Unless Kroger has their organic fruits on sale we don’t venture out of that. Limiting & boring? yes, but it’s saving time, money & energy & after we sell the house and we have our new one…we’ll go back to eating entirely in season. Right now…Kroger organic basics is where we hang & it’s added a nice simple bit to our schedules.
I normally go to bed around 3:30 when Ben walks in and I’m up around 8ish with the kids. He works in a factory as an electrician so he’s always somewhere really really hot (like the dryers where it’s 140-150 degrees) so I let him sleep more 🙂 …I know…I’m nice like that! I’d rather have less sleep & cool temperatures.
So how do I do it? I’ve a husband that supports me and kids that know if they don’t help clean I’ll probably explode into a bunch of little chunks and THAT’d be REALLY REALLY messy!