Yesterday I had a real "Mommy meltdown" between feeling like a slave to 5 messy tyrants, Tim working 12 hour days, and an extremely painful mystery ailment I have had for the past 3 weeks. I ordered all the children to sit at the kitchen table and gave them an ultimatum: they could live in squalor, starve, and be uneducated while I stayed in bed with the covers over my head OR they could pitch in and help. Will, Mary, and Maggie gulped and said they would help, Timmy gurgled and smiled, and Charlie whispered, "Yes sir."
We made up a chart with times for each child to do a chore as well as making the rule that no child can put one foot on the steps unless they have brushed teeth and hair, gotten dressed, and made their bed. Prayers are at 8:20 and school begins at 8:30 promptly. Chores at 10, after lunch, and at 4pm. It is not overwhelming, but since I was doing it ALL while the older children curled up on the sofa all afternoon reading the change will be a big help.
I also made a weekly meal chart so I can easily figure out what we will have for each meal and to make grocery shopping easier. Our food trips have gone from once a week to 3 times a week and partly for this reason our food costs have doubled. The other reason is we have no local commissary.
Hopefully between our new charts and another trip to the doctor today I will get back on an even keel.