Friday, November 30, 2007

A Mother's Rule of Life- Chapter 2

A Rule of Life:

A Rule of Life should lead one to holiness through following our God given vocation, by responding to God's will for our lives. "To do God's will because He asks it of us, out of love for Him is to advance on the road to holiness, to seek perfection."

Bl. Mother Teresa's Mission of Charity followed a Rule of Life that was in line with their calling from God, to love God and love their neighbor. The basic schedule saw that those two important priorities were done each and everyday along with the necessities of life. Holly thought that she, and us, could follow their example by ordering our lives around our priorities.

Holly learned from a priest "...that every woman called to be a wife and mother has certain obligations that must be fulfilled; true duties in that they can't be ignored nor neglected."

Those priorities are:
  • Prayer

  • Person

  • Partner

  • Parent

  • Provider

After determine her priorities Holly set up her basic daily schedule. She also set up a "maintenance mode" to be done on days when her regular schedule was not possible but cautions that the "bare bones" schedule should not become the norm.

After setting up this Rule, blessing started to show up. The house was in order, her life was becoming more balanced and she was no longer relying on her husband to help with the house work. She scheduled times for all her household needs plus things such as Perpetual Adoration and Confession. She also saw that her children were thriving by having scheduled high quality leisure activities.

There were also spiritual benefits of following the Rule. She was starting to understand the meaning of following God's will. She believes that there are three main things God wants from us:

  1. to love and obey Him

  2. to do our daily duties according to the state of life we've been called to

  3. to be open to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives

In following her daily Rule she knew that she was doing her best to live for God. "... a Mother's Rule is sanctifying, because by it we do what we ought to do. It's a great means of mortification."

Now is the time to start setting up our own Rule. Start by making a list of all your daily activities, the things that need to be done. Then write down a time slot in your day when each of these things should get done. For me it is:

4:00 am- wake, dress, bring down laundry & start dishwasher

4:30 am- Morning offering, Scripture reading

5:00 am- exercise

5:30 am- exercise

6:00 am- shower & dress

6:30 am- make breakfast

7:00 am- wake & dress children

7:15am- eat breakfast & prayer & Saint stories with children/breakfast cleanup

7:45am- make beds / swish & swish swipe

8:15am- walk DS to school

11:30am- make & eat lunch

12:00pm- lunch clean up

12:30pm- get DD settled in for nap

1:00pm- Rosary

2:45pm- get DS from school

3:00pm- snack & homework

4:00pm- Play Outside

4:45pm- come in & wash up/ set up children with activity while I make dinner

5:00pm- make dinner

6:00pm- eat dinner/dinner cleanup

6:30pm-family walk

7:00pm- tubbies, stories & tuck-ins

7:30pm- spend time with DH

8:15pm- Wash up for bed

8:30pm- evening prayer/read

9:00pm- LIGHTS OUT!!!

The above is my very basic schedule I don use a more detailed schedule and will post it later.

Hope this helps get everyone thinking!


Blondie said...

I love your schedule, Erika. I really like the way Holly teaches to make prayer central in our scheduling. I need to do this. I have a pretty good morning schedule, but the afternoons are much less scheduled. I would love to start scheduling in a time for praying the Rosary. I'm not sure if that's something I want to do wtih my kids, or alone.

For now my schedule is:

6:00 Up, shower, dress, hair & makeup

6:30 Morning offering, prayer, Bible & catechism reading. Sometimes I go online and read the readings of the day and the daily devotion from One Bread, One Body.

7:00 Kids get up (they have alarms) dress & groom, make their beds; I start preparing breakfast. Also, I unload the dishwasher, make my bed (hubby is getting up now), and start a load of laundry.

7:30 Breakfast & cleanup; kids brush their teeth and gather their books. I clean the kitchen, switch the laundry, wipe down the bathrooms, etc. The kids begin on seatwork while they wait for me. I give them assignments the day before to specifically do at this time. It is usually a math page and a spelling page, sometimes a reading assignment.

8:00/8:30 Begin homeschooling. AJ - lessons w/me, Sky - practice piano, Emma - silent reading, table activity, computer time. When AJ's lessons are over, then he practices piano and I teach Sky. When AJ finished practicing, Emma practices and then I teach her. I am all done with their lessons usually by noon. The kids will still be doing their seatwork/homework, and I then begin preparing lunch. We usually eat at 12:30. I let them take a 45-minute break, and then they finish their homework.

This is really where we don't have much of a schedule. The kids' homework load varies, so there is never a set time that they finish. My afternoons are filled with chores and running errands. I usually exercise in the afternoons before I prepare dinner. Sometimes I will go jogging at night with hubby. I am not a morning person and exercising in the mornings just does not work for me!

Looking at my schedule, I feel I really need to focus more on prayer. I start the day off right, but I want to find time to pray the Rosary, involve my kids more, and I really need to at least end my day with an examination of conscience.

Tracy said...

I don't have a clear cut schedule for each day, I never have and I'm always behind in all my work. I don't home school and at this time I only have one left at home and yet I still feel like I get very little done before the older three come home, I need to really sit down and write out a new schedule and see if I can stick to it... that is the hardest for me, how do I stick to it?

Blondie said...

Sorry this is off-topic, but does Faithful Catholic come here anymore? I have always enjoyed reading her blog, but now it is "invite only." I would like to ask her if she would allow me access, but I don't know how to contact her. I thought maybe someone here would, or perhaps she would see my comment.

Faithful Catholic said...

Hi Blondie,

"Faithful Catholic" here. I put my other blog "on hold" because I wasn't feeling quite right about it. I haven't written anything there in a long while, mostly because I wasn't sure where I was being led.

I'm following here but haven't commented much. This post is particularly interesting to me even though I don't have children or a husband. I care for my two elderly parents and have found that I am frequently overwhelmed with the multiple tasks that must be accomplished. I've been following along to see if I can pick up some hints. I guess mostly it's that I lack the discipline to actually follow the schedules I create! Anyone have any suggestions?

Blondie said...

Thank you, FC, for getting back to me! I'm glad to see your still around. I understand about the blog.

As for the discipline to follow a schedule - my advice is, if it's what you really want to do or think you need, as the Nike slogan says "just do it." :) I've found that's what it comes down to in just about anything, whether it's getting up earlier, or exercising, or sticking to a schedule. In the beginning, you make yourself do it. After a few weeks, it becomes automatic, and if you skip it, you feel as if something is wrong.

I suggest you sit down and make a list of everything you would like to accomplish in a day, including your hours of sleep, how much time each activity takes, and then add up the hours. When I first did this several years ago, I found I wanted to accomplish 29 hours of activities in a day. Talk about a major reality check! I had to then proritize and decide how to fit the things I wanted to do daily, in addition to giving myself some wiggle room. Then I was able to create a schedule.