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I am just having so much trouble keeping my fragmented life together. And I have been trying different ways to get everything done. I have been perusing organizational books and sites hoping to find a system that works, but they don't fit my crazy life....

I am trying to get everything done BUT also cook at home, and do all the frugal things that help keep us out of money trouble...
Can I do it all?

I homeschool 2 children (one has already graduated). Work part time from home (takes on average 1-1.5 hours per day). I try to keep the house tidy, laundry done. Try to get some execise every day. Cook from scratch and bake as much as I can to keep the costs down.

My day idealy looks like this.

Breakfast 7:00
Work 8- 9:30
School until noon
Lunch 12:00- 1:00
School/practise on their own and house work and cooking and baking 1:00 to 3:00

Driving to activities and shopping for the rest of the afternoon and evening plus dinner 5:00-7:00 (Making and eating). I also do any errands during this time, including library stops etc.

Kids in bed or rooms by 10:00pm

Finish any work that didn't get finished, pay bills, plan school work, meals shopping etc for tomorrow. But usually I am to tired to to d anything well.
Bath and bed 11:00 to midnight..

The problem is I usually take more than an hour and a half in the AM for work because I was too tired the night before to finish the work. Then it bumps the school work to later, or the kids do more work on their own with less guidance from me (not ideal). The school work then runs into the afternoon, so I run out of time for housework and cooking... etc..
The schedule does not allow for any me time or excercise. And I am always too tired to get anything useful done after kids are in bed.

Then throw in a field trip, illness, party etc and I get so behind with work I get desperate.

My husband works long hours and volunteers at the kayak club and is essentially unavailable to help. My kids help with laundry, mowing the lawn and weed eating. Tidying and washing and vacuuming the car.

Do you have a similar schedule? How do you get it all done? Do you have any suggestions for me? I would love to hear your ideas... I am so tired of feeling behind all the time. HELP!
 
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Holly, I am totally exhausted just reading your schedule. You can do it all, just perhaps not all a once. I know there is a way to organize what you want to do - just don't know how to help you. I know that you won't give up, but please see what you can do to make even the littlest differene - those do add up!!
Good luck!!
 
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My husband works long hours and volunteers at the kayak club and is essentially unavailable to help. My kids help with laundry, mowing the lawn and weed eating. Tidying and washing and vacuuming the car.

... I am so tired of feeling behind all the time. HELP!
Depending on age of kids..............DELEGATE!!

Think I would request some help from your DH............he could cut the volunteer work for awhile. The boat is swamped at home!!
 

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My schedule looks alot like yours so I'm waiting to hear suggestions.
 

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How old is your child that is still at home/in school?

Can they get themselves to activities and/or run errands?

Can excercise be combined with school lessons (you can walk and talk at the same time for lectures, do books on tape or memorization during walks).

If your dh is out of the house volunteering all the time, he could do the errands coming or going from his travels.

From my perspective, the most important thing is that you get enough sleep. Frugal and from scratch isn't really helpful if you are doing it just because you think you should and you are exhausting youself in the process.
 

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Switch "Kids in bed or rooms by 10:00pm" to 9:00pm if they're not teens. That's what we did...shoot, my daughter puts her's to bed/room by 8 and has one graduating HS this Friday.
 

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I would suggest a little more delegating. DH needs to volunteer at home. And cook in big batches so at some point you can not cook everynight. Like i buy sandwich meat for dinner and they have sandwiches while i make 3 more dinners that I divide and freeze. When I worked i often made a casserole in at 6:00 a.m. and put laundry and dishes in to run. That would be an hour to work.
In order to do this though you have to menu plan and have bulk in the pantry.
EX. Get up at 6:00 a.m put in laundry,dishes, throw together noodles,tomato sauce w/ pre cooked hamb in the fridge. Set on porch w/ lid to cool. Shower. come back bag up dinner. Flip loads. I't prob. about 7:00 am. Do some work. GEt the kids up.
Should be no later than 8:00. Start them on school work. Put a cake in from a box. Now fold laundry while you monitor them.
 

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Can you add ´life skills´ to your homeschooling programme? That way your kids can do cooking, laundry, etc as school activities.

I agree with the poster who said DELEGATE. We kids had our own tasks at home, like washing up every day, cooking at the weekend and we had a major houseclean every Saturday morning with the whole family.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
The kids are 18, 15, 12.

And they do a lot.
My eldest drives but does not have her own car and so she drives when I don't need the car. My son has just been told he will never be able to drive because of his poor vision and lack of peripheral vision.
My 18 yr old has a busy schedule. School (college course) working as a coach and training full time. But helps with driving, errands and does ALL the laundry, and takes care of the car.

My son does ALL the yard work except flower and vegetable gardening (we have 2 acres so it is a BIG job).

MY 12 year old, takes care of all the pets, and washes and cleans the main bathroom.

All kids pitch in to help with basic house chores.

Dh is unable to help and unwilling to at this time...

I like the idea of batch cooking... and do some when I can...
 

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Dh is unable to help and unwilling to at this time...
I'm guessing he could do something and the unwilling part wouldn't cut it with me. grr.

Meal planning and prepping food on the weekend will help free you up during the week. :)
 
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Discussion Starter #11
I'm guessing he could do something and the unwilling part wouldn't cut it with me. grr.

Meal planning and prepping food on the weekend will help free you up during the week. :)

Well it is complicated...

Seven years ago when he lost his job and went to school full time in a very difficult program... I took over everything and did it "ALL" because I had too. He couldn't afford to fail anything and not complete the program in time. He graduated 4 years ago. And we all had got used to me doing it all...
He does put in long hard hours at work. He did get involved in my kids sports and then got elected two years ago as head of the sport club that two of my children and himself are involved in. It is a huge undertaking, taking all of his time and then some. And you know how it is to sit on any "board" there are a few doers and mostly just shirkers... so the doers end up doing "it all". But it isn't like you can fire anyone... they are just volunteers LOL.
Anyways elections come up in late fall and my Dh will not be running for re-election. He is burned out and work has asked him to start studying to upgrade his qualifications, which means a pay raise (YES), but means he still won't have much spare time...:smhelp:

Oh I forgot to add, my 12 year old also takes care of the whole vegetable garden (she is very good at it!), after I help her with planting it. Which is another thing I need to do but the weather has been so bad.... lots of rain.
 

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Can you do all the errands and shopping during the week-end so you free up your afternoons? Also, do you have online banking available? You could set up most bills on automatic payments which should free up some time. If you do all the shopping on the week-end, then the 18 year old can take the other 2 to their activities during the week (you would not need the car) while you catch up on your stuff.
I know it sucks but multi tasking really works as someone else suggested. I work full time so on the week-end, I cook ( in large batches I can freeze) 2 or 3 meals and do laundry at the same time. I would delegate to your husband at least 1 or 2 tasks for the week-end (errands, shopping, etc.). He is also part of the family and not living in a hotel. We all are busy but having a family comes with some responsibility. It sounds like you are working 7 days a week. You need to make time for yourself every day if it kills you. Because otherwise this life style will kill you :). You need to take care of yourself first in order to care of the rest of your family.
If you have a hobby take half an hour to do just that. Dedicate that "Hollyhill" time. Make sure your family knows it and don't bother you during it. Relax and don't think of anything, just how wonderful this time is and how much you are worth it.
Sit down with your DH and explain you need help, just like you told us. He's working this hard for this family and you are a big part of it. Money is only as important as the things you can do with it. If you and him are too exhausted to enjoy it, what good is it?
I hope this helps. Good luck to you and your family. I will think of you.
Mea.
 

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just me. but

school/work m w f, i did it in college
then housework and shopping on t and th and the weekends are up to you

it really depends on when the activities are scheduled
 

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I just found this thread Holly. I've been there done that got the t-shirt. I homeschooled both my girls through to university. I did not, however, try to work at the same time...well...not after the first year. But i can tell you what worked for us...

8 AM everyone up for breakfast. We did the dishes and made beds etc. before sitting down to do schoolwork at ...
9 AM school till noon. Mostly group projects, one on one time with them, and bookwork.
noon lunch
1-2 PM Quiet Time. Everyone in their rooms being quiet. Could play or read or whatever. But quiet. This was my time to relax with a cup of tea or take a nap if I wanted.
2-3/4 PM we went on field trips or did crafts.
3/4 PM school ended...regardless. I would take a few minutes to jot notes on how the day went in my homeschool journal.
4 PM The kids went outside to play or on playdates and I planned the next day (I actually liked to plan units ahead of time on the weekends when we went to the library...and then have it all mapped out as to what I wanted to cover. I'd pick up the resources while we were at the library.)
5 PM Prepare for DH's homecoming and supper...picking up, etc.
6 PM supper with entire family present. The rule in our house.
7 PM kids outside activities.
9 PM start the bedtime routine...including laying out clothes for the morning, picking up room, reading stories together, etc.
10 PM Lights out!

Major housework and laundry was done on the weekends...Saturday morning. Everyone helped...including my reluctant DH. The sooner we finished, the more fun the rest of the weekend would be! The afternoon was our errand day for the week. Yes, we only went on errands once a week. No time to go more often. I became a master at keeping lists and planning ahead.

Sunday morning church. Then everyone gets to do what they want in the afternoon.

Have you seen the Polestar Press Family Calendar? It's a great organizational tool I used a lot...still do. It has a week at a glance on 8 1/2 x 11" pages. With sections for appointments, menus, and home activities. I had DH write in everything he was committed to as soon as he knew about it. I did the same for the kids and myself. We used initials to save time writing. Some people just use different coloured ink pens.

This planner also has a pocket for coupons, sections for phone messages, things to do, things to buy. And in the back are forms for noting what has been loaned or borrowed, important dates, notes in general, information for gifts for people you give to frequently.

This little planner saved my butt when I started homeschooling!

Another thing to consider is the fact your kids may simply be involved in too much. My girls came to me as a unit one day and told me they were over-extended, and could I please not sign them into so many things! I had some basic rules...a team sport and a group activity with someone other than me in charge. Other than that I didn't much care. So I let them choose their own activities to be involved in. When they chose nothing...I chose for them.

I think, too, as homeschoolers we often put ourselves under pretty high expectations. In the local public schools the teachers are taking every second Friday off for "Professional Development". Maybe you could take a day off every now and then and do work and errands. You can get a lot of errands done in a whole day!

Anyway, this is long and rambling. You're probably done your year now. Hope this has given you a few ideas for next year.

Take care,

ETA: You might also look at how much running around you're doing. Can you phone people instead of going places to check things out? Is there any way to streamline your errands?
 

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...

I think, too, as homeschoolers we often put ourselves under pretty high expectations. In the local public schools the teachers are taking every second Friday off for "Professional Development". Maybe you could take a day off every now and then and do work and errands. You can get a lot of errands done in a whole day!

...
I don't have kids, but would it work for them to have one day a week as independent learning day? Maybe even sign the 15 year old up for an online community college class? I had really poor study habits as a traditional college student. Taking some online classes has forced them to improve.
 

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I don't homeschool, but had a couple of suggestions in general.

Library day can be designated to one day a week. Ours is Sunday. We are on their email list so they actually email us 1 day in advance which books are due. (which is helpful if we've checked out many on different Sundays) We can also renew them online. Check this out as it can save that hassle. During super busy times I just renew everything, it wont let you renew if a book is on hold so I don't feel I'm keeping a book away from anyone. It also emails you if a book you have on hold has come in.

I'm not sure what shopping/errands you are running every day, egad I would go crazy with so many errands. My bills are paid online, I had my kids on the same dentist/doctor schedule (unless due to illness of course) so even those were one day events every..what, six months? I'm simply not understand what exactly the running around entails that it is consuming practically every day of the week.

I loved the schedule peanut suggested.

Hard work doesn't hurt kids but if the kids are watching dad not take responsibility for the family, thereby making them do more work than you possibly would have them do if he was helping, that can build resentment throughout the whole household. What are some things that you do specifically for the hubby that you can back off from to give yourself some more "relaxing kid time" or "relaxing me time"?

Volunteering is great, neglecting your family responsibilities is not.
 
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