What do you think of when you think about an effective homemaker? The first things I think of are home cooked meals and a tidy house. I picture clean dishes, made beds, folded laundry, and swept hardwoods.
I envision her home to be bright, uncluttered and cheerful. I imagine the people who live there to be comfortable and safe. Then, I imagine the homemaker herself. She is a thoughtful woman, who works to have selfless and joyful spirit. She is intentional about the atmosphere in her home and considers how she can bring happiness and comfort to those inside.
In Proverbs 31 we get the vision of the ideal home maker. The one the Lord has called us to be:
1. She is virtuous.
2. She is a help to her husband.
3. She is a wise shopper.
4. She is a faithful cook.
5. She grows her own food at home.
6. She is diligent.
7. She works on projects that will benefit her family.
8. She is full of compassion.
9. She is prepared.
But what makes her effective? We all know there is so much to get done and it’s hard to stay on top of it all! Cooking meals, keeping up with household chores, (and taking care of outdoor chores as well!) homeschooling multiple children, meal planning, grocery shopping, running errands, getting to church, doctor appointments, as well as trying to take care of ourselves! So how do some women get all of these things done & why do other women struggle? While we are all in our own season of health and motherhood, I believe the three most important things an effective homemaker needs is a loving heart, a desire to do excellent work and a great routine!
My schedule changes with my kids ages/stages, and seasonally, since we do a lot of work outside during the summer on the farm. But I try to keep a few things the same like wake up times and meal times. I get alot accomplished during my day and have been asked numerous times how I do so much. So I want to share with you my personal routine, and hope it will inspire you create one as well. While life still happens, (sometimes the laundry still gets a bit out of control, and every now and then I still get behind on housework) for the most part, everything runs smoothly, and I even have time for things like a sewing project or reading a book!
I get up early…5am to be exact. I feel waking early is absolutely necessary to any success I have in my day. I’m up before the kids and no one is asking me to do things for them right away. I have my coffee and spend time with the Lord.
This fills up my soul so that I’m not trying to pour from an empty cup all day. I have my “me time” until 7am, which is when I get the kids up.
Breakfast is at 7:30. We all sit down around the table because this is usually the only guaranteed meal we get together since my husband’s work hours vary.
After breakfast we clean up, and my husband heads off to work. I start a load of laundry. The children and I go out to take care of our chickens & goats & we feed the dogs. Come April, this will also include milking our goat who is now pregnant!
After outside chores, we come in and take care of our personal chores. This usually lasts from about 8:30-9:30. Olivia has her own list that is laminated and she can just go to it and mentally check off what she has done and what she still needs to do. We call it “The Big High 5” because there are 5 chores on her list! This keeps me from nagging and has been a lifesaver.
I do my chores which, in the morning, involve any dishes that need taken care of, a general tidy of the entire house (Yes, I do a general cleaning in every room, every day, which helps so much to keep everything clean. I have a daily “room focus” as well, and on that rooms day, I spend a little extra time there) and then give the floors a quick sweep.
Oakland has only just turned 3, so he helps Mommy during this time and when we are in his room, I just instruct him and he does what he’s asked. When Olivia is done with her chores, she asks if I need her to do anything extra. We all work together during this time to bless our home!
After getting our house in order, we start on homeschool lessons. These lessons last anywhere from 60-90 minutes and includes things like calendar time, Bible study, hymn singing, history, foreign language, copywork, phonics, math, board games, and art, as well as like skills like cooking, baking gardening or sewing. Lessons last from about 9:30 to 10:30-11:00.
After lessons we all go outside to play, but sometimes if the weather is nice we may have been outside with our lessons already! But we always leave plenty of free time to explore & use our imagination. The kids play on their swings, feed the fish in the pond, dig in the sandbox or build tree forts!
We have lunch (outside if possible!) around noon and we listen to an audio chapter book while we eat. After we clean up, we lay down for some quiet time. I’m super lucky that both of my kids still take naps with no problem! During this time, I’ll do some planning, organizing, baking alone (because baking with the kids can be a hot mess!) or catch up on a TV show that I want to see. Sometimes though, I just nap with them! They sleep/have quiet time from about 1:00-3:00.
This is one of my favorite times of the day and the kids as well. From about 3:00-4:00 we have what we call “Poetry Tea Time.” Before they wake up, I make a pot of herbal tea and set out a snack. It’s usually just something simple like cookies and fruit, or cheese and crackers. I light a candle & pull out our poetry books. We all snuggle around the table, read our poetry and drink our tea. I keep coloring sheets available for them so that they can color after they are done with their snacks while I read. It’s a time in our day when I feel like we all can refresh and reset!
After tea time, we go out to play some more. During the summer we swim and garden, but right now we just explore our property (always finding something new!) or go fishing and then get our evening chores done, which include feeding animals, gathering eggs, refilling water buckets and just spending time with our animals. I begin cooking dinner around 5:30.
We eat dinner around 6pm, maybe a bit later if my husband is going to be late. If he’s going to be very late, the kids and I just eat together and I save him a plate.
He usually comes home soon after dinner if he was late and he takes over with the kids for a bit. They play games, he talks with them about their day and looks at all the school and art work they want him to see. He also gives the kids baths for me. This is another time of day that I find crucial to everything running smoothly because I use this time to prepare for bedtimes and the following day.
I load the dishwasher and then I go around the house and turn down beds, turn on lamps and dim lights. I pick up any dirty clothes that have been left out and do a bit of tidying here and there as I go. Then I look at the weeks meal plan and pull out anything that needs to thaw for dinner the following night. I’ll pack any bags that I may need for any outings the following day. I lay out my clothes and my preschoolers clothes and find everyones shoes. (We once we’re always late because I could never find shoes & I would turn into a screaming lunatic over it!) I refill the coffee pot and I give the kitchen floor a final sweep before turning off the light; the signal that the kitchen is now CLOSED!
By now, kids are now getting out of the bath and my husband and I tag team lotion, teeth and hair brushing, and pajama wrangling! We all cozy in together for a bedtime reading, around 8pm, in one of the kids rooms and after that the kids go to their own beds and it’s bedtime for them at about 9pm.
After that it’s time with Hubbs for about an hour before we head to bed.
I usually go grocery shopping on Saturday morning and the kids stay home with Dad. They start farm chores while I’m gone and when I get home we all work together on whatever project is on that days agenda. We have our homeschool community day on Tuesdays and I schedule any appointments for Fridays only.
Of course, not every day or week goes according to plan, because you know… LIFE! I try to treat homemaking like a job, but also as my calling from God. Am I being faithful? Am I being obedient to Him? If I am making lazy excuses, than I’m not. On the contrary, if I am working diligently, building up my home (and those inside it) then I know I’ve pleased the Lord.
I try to keep a list of things that I really must try to get done every single day, even if Im busy, or tired, or sick. My husband can’t just tell his clients “oh I’m too tired, I can’t come today.” So I try to treat my day the same way! Just like in an organized home where everything has a place, it is so with an organized day; everything has a place as well! My schedule leaves time for cleaning, cooking, mealtimes, time spent with the kids, fun projects, reading, grocery shopping and everything else a day brings.
I pray this post inspires you to create your own home routine that works for your family. Once you get into a routine, it’s easy to stay in it and can be the difference in a struggling homemaker and an effective one! May your schedule bless you and your family!