When I had our first child we lived with my parents as we were saving money for our first house. That was good because I didn't have a household to run and life was incredibly simple. (Thanks Mom!) So I didn't have to recover and regroup to take care of anything but one little baby.
After wretched morning sickness, our second pregnancy was indecently easy and delivery was quick. I think I needed about one day to recover before I was managing my little household again. With my third I took maybe one week to recover. The forth was a ten pounder so it took a little longer for me to manage my home well again, about one month. It was all downhill from there. It took one year after the fifth , sixth, seventh and eighth. In fact with that eighth I was such an advanced maternal age, I am calling it two years to fully recover and manage my household well again!
Well, two years is nearly upon me so the post partum excuse is wearing thin and I am trying to re-organise and regenerate my systems. There are just too many people here for mom to be perpetually struggling to keep up with plans, paper work, cooking, school work etc. Many sources have been helpful in this endeavor, but I have pulled from so many friends and ideas over the years that I know I can't really give credit where credit is due.
I have been largely (get it?) influenced by Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman. I read the blog for a few years and am delighted that a book full of Kim's good, practical ideas has been published!
Since I love concise lists and tips, let me share a short list from the chapter on Teaching a New Chore [to the children]
- Tell them
- Show them
- Do it with them
- Supervised practice
- Independent practice
Another key concept I adapted from LFL is designating a day of the week for specific types of work.
- laundry day - every day is laundry day in a large family but you pick one day to really dig out, do the ironing etc.
- kitchen day - a day you cook and chop meat for the freezer, cook big batches of pasta sauce, bread for the week...
- office day - school planning bill paying, phone calls, paper filing
- town day - because you wrote out your shopping lists on office day when you were planning... you are ready to run errands, shop, go the post office, library etc.
- cleaning day - work with the kids and get it done
- deep cleaning/project/gardening day - depends on the season
- the Lords Day
These concepts have been quite successful in our household, and the whole book is such a practical resource. I highly recommend Large Family Logistics.
Menu planning has been another crucial area I am working on, hopefully I can get that posted soon and share some of my favorite helpful resources.