Life seems to be moving really fast right now!  I am struggling with some of my goals, but one area that I am proud of is teaching Asher (5) to help around the house more.

I have given him jobs before, but I often get busy with something else, and he just ends up with a big mess (that he’s quite proud of).

"Look, Mommy, the bubbles are spilling over."

Recently, I made a decision to spend time each week training him to help with laundry. The thought occurred to me, “What if he could help me with laundry?” Like, really help? Laundry is such a battle for us, so it seems like it would be well worth my time to teach him.

So, I am coaching him through one load of laundry per week. He brings his clothes downstairs (throwing some over our upstairs balcony for added fun), turns on the washer, puts the detergent in, sorts and stuffs the clothes in the washer.   I fully supervise each step at this point.  He then transfers to the dryer when they are finished.  He has a harder time with folding and putting up the clothes, but we can keep working on that.

Teaching takes time now, but if it means less laundry for me later, it will be worth it!

More thoughts on kids and chores:

Simple Mom: Preschooler’s chore chart and how she uses the chart

Quirky Momma: Lists several blogs discussing kids and chores

An important part of each week for me is making a fresh list of what needs to happen that week. I prepare a Weekly List on Sunday night that includes everything I must do for the upcoming week and anything that did not get done the previous week.

I put “Work” tasks on one side of the page and “Home/Personal” tasks on the right side. Seeing everything on one page, helps me have a good grip on where I’m going for the week ahead.

Here are some questions to ask as you make a Weekly list:

1. What must be done? Write down everything you can think of that needs to happen in the upcoming week.  Think about the main areas you are responsible for and list what needs to happen in each of those areas (list each class you’re taking, each project you are over at work, etc) You may not get to every item, but if something comes to mind write it down, so you don’t forget about it. Don’t forget to include items related to goals you are working on.

2. What is the most important? Which tasks have the most pressing deadlines? What didn’t happen last week that needs to happen soon? Put a star by these items, so you can focus on these first. (I see way too many stars on my list this week.)

3. How will I accomplish this? Will my regular routine allow me to accomplish this?  Will I need to be more focused at certain times or find extra work time this week? When I wrote my list this week, I realized I needed to get started on some things Sunday night instead of waiting until Monday.

Taking just 15 or 20 minutes to think through the week will put you so ahead on Monday morning.  You may still have a lot to do, but you’ll have a sense of clarity about where you’re going.

Anyone else have thoughts on how you plan your week?

I started a blog about goals and productivity and then had a week of getting NOTHING done.  I had a five-day stomach virus and root canal this week. It’s been rough, but I’m finally better today, and the weather is beautiful!

Josh has been amazing with the kids, putting all three to bed every night, getting juice, snacks, everything. Last night Elisha let his balloon go to the top of our high ceiling, but Josh and the boys shot it back to safety with the Nerf guns.  Bad week for me, but sweet to watch Josh and the boys play.

Here are some recent pics:

Just when you think you’re getting somewhere…I woke up with a stomach virus on Sunday and have a root canal scheduled for tomorrow.  The excitement over goals and a new routine is fading.

I know setbacks happen, so I’m trying to embrace this week without falling too far behind.

Some things I’m thinking about that might make it better:

  1. What absolutely has to happen this week?  I’ll let everything else wait for next week.
  2. What can I ask someone to help me with?
  3. Where are the bright spots? What is God doing in the midst of this?
  4. How long is the recovery for a root canal? I’ve heard it’s not that bad.  I’ll take the pain meds, and this not-so-good week will be over soon.

Ok, I said in my previous post that one of my goals right now is to have more time for focused work. Well, I’m also adding some fun in there – date nights with my hubby. I hired a sitter for this too, so that we could enjoy a couple hours each week of time alone together.

How are we paying for these sitters?  Well, I honestly wanted to do this bad enough that I was willing to tweak something in our budget or believe God to provide extra money. Shortly after I made our date night goal, one of the amazing girls from our church told me she was praying for us, and felt like God wanted her to organize volunteer (meaning FREE) sitters for Josh and I to have a date night once a month! Amazing.  She had no idea this was a goal.

Goals are great, but I absolutely LOVE that it is not just up to me to make them work.  When God backs up our effort with His provision, life gets really fun!

For the past few years, I’ve relied on goals to help sort out our busy life with three kids and ministry.  Goals help me decide where to put my focus for the coming season and help me not be buried in the chaos of everyday life.  I enjoy being engaged in lots of areas at once, so goals help in deciding what is the most important.

I tend to write goals by asking questions like these:

  1. What am I currently frustrated about? Are there areas in my life that are just not working right now?
  2. Where do I experience repeat amounts of stress and hardship?
  3. What do I want in my life that I currently do not have?

So, what is my biggie for this year? MORE TIME FOR QUIET, FOCUSED WORK

One of the things that motherhood does not offer is extended amounts of quiet space to get work done. I have been continually frustrated about not having time in front of a computer to work without interruptions.  So, instead of remaining in this frustration until my kids are older, I hired a babysitter for two afternoons/week this semester. She started this week, and the kids LOVED her. She played cards, Connect Four, and hide and seek – wow! I got to sit at a coffee shop and work on a grant for an upcoming conference.

I love that goals can help you address areas of frustration that just don’t have to be there.

I’m excited about sharing some thoughts here this year. I am a wife, mommy of three (5, 2, and 11 months), and work in ministry with my hubby.  I want to write about the everyday journey of trying to make these areas work together while continuing to enjoy life, avoid stress, and build good relationships with those around me.