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Redesign Your Home Life

A Lifeline for Mama

No one jumps into the ocean who doesn’t know how to swim. But I imagine that’s how it feels right now for all you good mamas who dearly love your children, but lovingly planned for them to march off to the classroom this fall and be taught by professionals.

Now, after months of survival and hanging onto the hope that schools would open, you’re in crisis-mode: homeschooling, homemaking, and perhaps working from home.

I’m sorry. Really, I am. If you don’t have an older woman in your life… let me be the one to take your hand in mine, pat it, and say, “There, there. It’s going to be okay.” Really, it is.

I can’t help you with homeschooling, but maybe I can take some pressure off with a Redesign Your Home Life homemaking tool I call the Daily Quick List.

It was a lifeline that helped me keep up during a time of good crisis: Twenty-five years ago I was a single mom living in the city with three little girls, then married a farmer with four kids of his own. The Daily Quick List also helped me keep up during a bad crisis, when my youngest broke her jaw in an accident, and I had to nurse her around the clock for a couple of weeks, and then part-time for a little longer.

Your Daily Quick List won’t look exactly like mine, but it’s a place to start. Make one that works for you, and I think it will be a lifesaver during these challenging times.

5 little minutes: Make your bed. Not only does it look nice, it’s so comfortable getting into it at night.

20 little minutes: Gather, wash, dry, and fold one load of laundry—and put it away. I did two loads on a good day. (This doesn’t count the actual washing and drying time, but I figure you don’t stand there and watch your machine go around and around.)

2 long hours: Make meals and clean up. This isn’t the time to experiment with new recipes, but you can make anything as healthy as you want it to be: pizza, hamburgers, spaghetti, salad bar, tacos, tacos, and more tacos. Just cook and clean up.

20 little minutes: Pick up things in the common rooms of your home once a day. Before dinner. After dinner. After bedtime. Whenever it works, with whatever help you have.

20 little minutes: Stay on top of finances and paperwork. This is crucial. Take care of the emergencies and things that are urgent. Go through your mail.

Three hours out of twenty-four hours in a day to keep up with your housework. Try it for a couple of weeks. Write it down and put it on your fridge. And then let me know how it goes! And don’t forget to take a Sabbath day off (Mark 2:27).

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