Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some Tips

my downstairs on a project day—I know there are ways of cleaning up as you go, but that really interferes with progress, I find.

I've received some queries, mostly from friends living far away who haven't visited us since we had kids, about how "I manage to do it all." Ah, isn't that the question? How do we mothers manage to raise our children, run businesses, cook, clean, drive our kids around, homeschool, and churn out fantastic creative projects, all at the same time? I thought I'd post my answer here, in case you were wondering the same thing.

Here's how I manage to "do it all." By way of example, I'll talk about the weeks during which I sewed the log cabin quilt. During that time:

  • I did not clean my bathroom. Not even once. And if you know what kind of things go on in our bathroom, you'd be deeply, deeply shocked.
  • I burnt approximately 8 meals
  • The fridge developed a peculiar odour, which we called "essence de fridge"
  • The children refused to drink milk, because it tasted like essence de fridge
  • The baby learned to say "shit"
  • "homeschooling" devolved into listening to A.A. Milne and Narnia on CD, hour after hour
  • Willie learned to select youtube videos on my laptop
  • We ate popcorn for lunch.
  • Baby learned to open the un-openable pantry cupboards, and empty them.
  • I embraced a holistic approach to education, hoping that the virtues of perseverance, industriousness, thrift, and problem-solving, which they saw their mother practicing by the hour, would sink in. Inspire them. Make them forget about those irritating habits, such as cleanliness, organization, and prioritization, which so often interfere with a really worthwhile project.
You see? You could do it, too! It's so easy, once you know how.
That said, I don't want to push my luck. After putting up with my quilt and fabric all over the living room for 4 weeks, not to mention the above-mentioned neglect of housework, Will has requested a little bit of household peace. So this week I'm back to routine again. That is, I'm trying to confine my sewing to those little golden moments when everyone else is constructively occupied—or sleeping. And I'm trying to brush up on those irritating habits like organization and prioritization. I might even break out some bleach.


  1. That sounds like my regular round o' duties lol, except I don't homeschool anymore and I have teens to do chores (but they don't - not lol). People are too clean anyway - remember that next time you have to make something big. Hope you liked your log cabin when it was done. :-)

  2. yeah, my house gets so messy so quick i kind of thought about the montessori thing where they keep what they're doing on a mat and then have to put that up when they want to do something else. that's just way too much work for me. i feel like i would have to be there watching everything they do, like their shadow. i would never get anything done. so yes, cleanliness is def overrated.....but is also kind of nice.

  3. just happened upon your blog and i love it! funny and real.

  4. Oh, I'm much stricter with the children! I try to stick to the basic routine of cleaning up their activity before moving on to the next. Also, the golden rule of our home is that "everything has a home." (Each thing in its right place)....I just have to move out of my present hypocrisy and adopt a Montessori approach for myself!

  5. Oh, you have made me so happy to read this. Thank you so much!! :)