Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls:

Scroll down to read it as a blog post!

NOTE: There is a five minute recap of my experience doing the James and Avila study with a bunch of strangers in this podcast episode!

I have been a mess lately. A happy mess, but a mess none-the-less. Adjusting to five kids has been logistically more difficult than I imagined. With nap schedules and feeding the baby… I often lose track of time or what I should be doing next when I do get a pocket of time.

The other day I was going to get two kiddos to carpool for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and as I was driving down our street, I realized I don’t have enough car seats anymore! My husband had been taking them but this week he was working. I had to back up, kick one of the kids out, hope my parents weren’t going anywhere and continue on. She was safe and sound, I promise. But it was a rough moment.

I’ve had a lot of those… running around being reactive instead of proactive and that is definitely not how I like to live my life. So I finally decided to sit down and just think about this problem.  We don’t carve out enough time to just sit and think about things. We’re always go-go-go or an exhausted slump.

I woke up before the kids and gave myself 20 minutes to think about this problem. I knew that I had moved beyond being able to schedule out my week. Sure, there were some fixed appointments but it really was our hour-by-hour living that seemed so frantic.

Loops came to mind. The idea that ou have a list of things you want to get done and you simply move from one to the next without holding yourself to a time limit or a deadline and though loops had worked great for me before, they didn’t seem quite right for this stage.

Finally, I decided, what I really needed what someone to just tell me what to do all throughout the day so I wasn’t constantly asking myself, “Wait, what should I do next?”

I took out a blank sheet of paper and I decided that my energy and which kids were awake would determine what I should be doing.

Here are some examples:

When Violet and Forest, my 3-year-old and 18-month-old are sleeping, that’s when I get computer work done. My older girls can do art, play outside, or listen to an audiobook.

When everyone is awake, that is a great time to clean the downstairs. I seem to be able to sweep/vacuum/tidy/wipe down things when everyone is up and around.

When it’s later in the evening and I’m dog tired, I can read a book. I used to be too tired to read at night but now I enjoy the time without noise. I take notes about interesting things I read and I know that I’ll use my creative energy in the morning to think about how to share what I learned with all of you.

I will wake up an hour before the kids to read my Bible, get in some time on the recumbent bike and make a list of any appointments or To Dos that have to be done that day.

When all the kids have gone to sleep except Rose, our seven-year-old, then I can either do more computer work, spend time with my husband, or spend some quality time with Rose. I listed out examples of each of these activities.

So now, all I have to do throughout the day is to look at this piece of paper. I consider who is awake and whether I have high, medium or low energy and the chart shows me the types of activities I should do. Then I simply have to pick one.

It’s not perfect yet. I’m still refining it as I’m testing it out but I think this is a powerful way to take out all that questioning that moms experience throughout the day. It’s helped me to have more energy and to feel less frustrated because let’s face it, it’s frustrating as an adult to not even know what to do with your own day!

I will give it two more weeks and then I’ll email out a copy of my schedule so you can see where I landed. I imagine I will need to re-do this sheet every time someone’s nap schedule changes but that shouldn’t be that often.

I want you to go through this exercise. Think of what activities you have to do and what kind of energy you need to do them well. Then think of which kids get in the way of certain types of activities. For example, I know I can’t read a book when my 18-month-old is up. He wants to crawl in my lap, yank my book away, then I get frustrated and it’s really not his fault at all, it was just a poor choice of activity for that moment.

Don’t take too much time because you’re probably going to refine this as you go.

I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me!

Now I have a question for you! I want to spend more casual time with all of you but I’m not sure which way you would prefer. I’m always reading and learning things that I want to tell you but I don’t have time to do a formal Coffee & Pearls with a write up a second time per week.

Here are the choices:

  • Second casual Coffee & Pearls without the write-up.
  • Instagram Stories
  • Facebook live video
  • Detailed email

I’m up for any of those things but I’d like to hear from you what you’d actually like.  Comment below or shoot me an email!

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