Figuring out this whole stay-at-home mom thing has been really tough for me.
I want to be organized, but strict schedules just don't fit with my personality or parenting style. I can't even tell you how many times I tried, and failed, to follow some google-found schedule another parent or guru created. Flylady.com has been helpful with the cleaning, but hasn't quite addressed other parts of my day. So, most of the time, I have been just plain frustrated.
Recently, though, I discovered the Waldorf philosophy on parenting and education, and it really resounds with me. I'm still learning the basics, but I love their idea of rhythm in the home.
A daily rhythm provides predictability to the day, but is also flexible enough to accomodate real life... unexpected events, illness, or just plain fatigue. I've realized that rhythm, or lack of it, is my main problem. I just don't naturally do things in a consistent, steady way.
It relies on the idea of breath. During the day, events are structured to expand or contract. And, there is an emphasis on maintaining a peaceful, unhurried pace to the day.
For the first time, I really thought about what was important to me in a day, what needed to happen every day, and how I could juggle the responsibilities of home, family, and my part-time work.
So, I finally have a routine! It's really simple, and based on times that I'm almost always home. I have a morning routine, a routine for each meal time, and a before-bed routine. I also have weekly rhythms... things I do on the same day each week most of the time. It helps me be more centered, balanced, and productive without feeling like a task master.