I am a big fan of Preschoolers and Peace. Kendra is my go-to girl when I have a question about balancing homeschooling with everything else in life. She has recently posted a short series called “Drowning in Home Management”. As a mother of 8 children and a homeschooler as well, she knows what it’s like to be surrounded by preschoolers or young elementary kids.
In the first post of the series she talked about a Rock List. You know how if you want to fill up a jar, you put the largest things in first and then fill it in with smaller things? Kendra explains that it’s the same with our day. If we can determine what five things we need to accomplish each day (the same things each day) then we can start to sort out our priorities. She said that there have been times in her life that she has only done those five things because she simply couldn’t fit in anything else. And the joy of it? That’s okay. There have been other times when she was able to do much more.
So I started thinking about my Rock List. I came up with a brief list. And then I asked Handsome what he thought my five things should be. Guess what? They were different.
On my list I had 1) time in prayer and Bible reading, 2) exercise, 3) reading aloud to children, 4)meal prep, 5)keeping kitchen/living area tidy.
I chose #1 because I know that when I start my day with the Lord, things run smoother. Maybe not easier, but I have the tools to deal with whatever happens. #2 is because I know that if I’m to run around with my three kids I need to be as healthy as possible. And all those endorphins are a good thing. #3 because if we do no other school work during the day I know that reading quality books aloud to my children is sufficient. #4 everyone has to eat! But I don’t include gourmet cooking here. This is just eating basic meals to survive. #5 because I know that everyone, especially Handsome, appreciates a tidy living area and it reduces the time spent looking for things.
Now. Handsome’s list for me - time with the Lord, educating the children, keeping kitchen clean, recording my expenses on our computer, and working toward some kind of alternate income source. Please note that his list did NOT include any kind of food. I asked him about this and he said “Michele, if I came home from work and you hadn’t done any dinner prep but you had done all the other things, I wouldn’t care. We’d all work together and get dinner done. ” In his mind the things he listed are things that only I can do (or are my responsibility to do). Food preparation is something he’s capable of but I’ve just always done it. (And don’t worry about the alternate income source, it’s just something we’ve been talking about. He’s not going to send me out into the coal mines. If there are even coal mines where I live.)
I found this to be a very interesting exercise. I believe that I need to talk with my husband about these kind of things because it’s my experience that he often sees my life in a different (and more positive!) light than I do. His opinion is highly valued and he can help me see what is really important and what I just fabricate in my head.
So what’s on your Rock List? If you could do just five things each day, what would they be?