Time Management: What questions would you love to have answered?

I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently asking “How do you do it all?”

Well, the truth of the matter is that I don’t do it all — and that’s the only reason I can have three young children, homeschool, keep up with a large blog, stick to a budget — and still have time to read, have a clean and organized home (most of the time!), get enough sleep (most nights!) and go on dates with my husband.

I’m speaking some on balance and time management at The Relevant Conference next week (can’t wait to meet some of you there!) and since so many people are asking for my practical suggestions on time management and how I manage to accomplish what I do, I thought I’d share some of what I’ll be sharing at Relevant in a series on time management here, as well.

However, in an effort to make this series as helpful as it can be, I wanted to open up the floor for requests. If you had a specific question you’d like for me to address regarding time management, what would it be? Email me with your question or leave it in the comments here.

I plan to begin this series near the end of October and will be posting one post per weekday until it is finished (no making you wait a week or two or 15 for the next installment as I’ve sometimes done in the past!) No promises that I’ll have a great answer to your questions and am pretty positive I won’t be able to address everything regarding time management in the series, but I’m hoping to make this series as comprehensive and helpful as possible based upon what is working for me.

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Comments

  1. Brooke says

    When using coupons, is it necessary to have a coupon per each item, or can you use one coupon for multiple items?

  2. Laura says

    Crystal, I would like to know, not only how you structure YOUR day, but also how you structure your children’s day. I feel, for the most part, I do fairly well with getting my housecleaning and cooking done. (most days, at least). However, my biggest struggle is attempting to structure the day for my children (they are 2 1/2 and 1 1/2). By the way, I absolutely LOVE your blog. Definitely one of the best I’ve found. You have been an incredible inspiration to me!

  3. dee says

    I love reading all of your comments. I’m looking at this from the other end. My 5 kids (3 bio & 2 step that I acquired at ages 10 and 11) are all grown and gone.

    For the moms who would love a helper, but can’t afford one, what I did all those many years ago might help:
    When my youngest was still little, (my older kids were already in school) two other moms in the neighborhood and I took turns taking all of our kids for one morning a week. We each got two whole mornings a week to do whatever we needed to do. Granted, we had one crazy morning a week too. But the kids entertained each other. The mom on duty fed everyone lunch.
    When they were in preschool, we signed them up for the same school at the same time. We took all of the kids on our day.
    Then they went to half-day kindergarten. We did the same. The mom on duty put them on the bus.
    Obviously, we sent our kids to public school and didn’t home school. And, the kids had to get along. They spent a lot of time together. Thankfully, these kids adored each other.

    Also, a suggestion for “how do you read?” Audiobooks while you are driving, cooking, folding laundry, etc. Most public libraries have a pretty good selection.

  4. Allie says

    I have two little ones (5yrs and 18 months), work full time, am in graduate school (1 semester left!), and go to the gym at 5 in the morning to destress.

    I feel like I have three lives… the working me, the school me, and the Mommy me. How do I bring it all together? At times, I am so tired I feel like I am going through the motions instead of actually enjoying anything. How do you do it? (and yes, there should be a Housecleaning me too, but that falls to the bottom of the list). My husband works hard and is typically home around 8 pm each night, so he does what he can, but it isn’t much around the house.

  5. Sarah says

    Thank you! I’ve been hoping you would do a series about this for some time. I guess I would echo some of the other comments in that I would love to see a sample schedule. My biggest struggle with time management is trying to find a balance between “me” time and doing housework and other tasks. If I take a break, I seem to fall so behind in everything that needs to get done. I’d also be interested in knowing how to get more stuff done when my daughter is awake (not just during naps or after bedtime). I want to leave plenty of time for playing with her, but I’d love advice for how to incorporate some chores into our normal routine.

  6. Stephanie says

    In reading the comments about how much to pay a babysitter, do we have to hire someone of legal working age and pay them minimum wage? Is it illegal to have a 13 yo come over and help watch the kids while I clean or plan lessons and then pay her $6/hr ? Yikes!

    • says

      If you’re just having someone work for you for a few hours per week, you wouldn’t qualify as their “employer”. If, on the other hand, you were having a 13-year-old come over and work for you for 25 hours per week at $6 per hour, then that would be a different story!

  7. Joy says

    I remember reading a post where you mentioned that you were working on “budgeting” your time. I’d love to learn more about that — do you sit down in the morning and allot a certain amount of time to chores, the blog, etc.?

    Others have been asking to see an example of a typical day’s schedule — I would like to see this too!

      • says

        @Crystal, I remember when you first mentioned budgeting your time, and although I don’t really know how that translates, I have taken this concept and have been amazed at how much it has helped me in identifying what to say no to , and what I can do. Turns out alot had to go, but I feel so much better! I can’t wait to read what you have to say on that topic!

  8. Lori says

    I’m curious what do you do with your other 2 children while you are homeschooling the oldest?

  9. Nicole says

    YAY! I’m so glad to see these questions and read other posts and I’m hoping to see just a basic time schedule of your day. I often wonder when you get time to take a shower :) I have 4 kids under 8 yrs old, and would love to hear how other moms designate their time for different things. Looking forward to your post!

  10. Tiah says

    @Nicole, On a similar strain to Nicole I would love to know where time is budgeted to maintain yourself – shower, hair, makeup, exercise, etc. It seems in my life my looks tend to take a back burner and this doesn’t help my self-confidence or the family.

  11. Elaine says

    I would be curious how you stay on top of the good deals without spending too much time on the computer. I only check 2-3 blogs on a regular basis but often feel like I am not managing this area of my time very well.

    • Lynn says

      @Elaine, I’m curious about this, too. How much time do personally spend posting the deals, etc. vs. writing articles and series? Obviously the essay type posts are your work, but the multitude of daily deal posts — do you actually spend the time posting all of them? How long does that take? You’ve shared in the past that you’ve come to the point where you can hire help to help with the blog (your friend Joy and your sister?). How many hours a month/week do they help out? Is it possible for someone to have this large of a blog and do it and everything else without help? I’m not trying to be critical of any outside help, but I want to be realistic.

      • says

        I have a team of six people in addition to myself. I work around 25 hours per week and write all the posts you see on the main blog unless it’s a guest post or it’s the weekly drug store deals, Target or Walmart deals (I edit those, but my sister formats them for). I also answer some emails personally that only I can answer and oversee my team/set goals and assign tasks, brainstorm, etc.

        My team takes care of much of the behind-the-scenes work: answering the bulk of my email (if you write in, you’re more likely to hear from someone on my team, than from me. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to answer 500 emails per day! ;)), all graphic design work, vetting and formatting guest posts, arranging giveaways/advertising, taking care of all the technical stuff — which there is a lot of! — and formatting all the store deals on the store deal section of the blog.

        It is not possible to have this size of a blog and not have help — unless you never want to sleep! :) Collectively, we put in around 70-90 hours per week. That number would likely be much higher if someone were to try and do it all themselves, because each person on my team has their own jurisdiction and they are really efficient and skilled at what they do.

        • Stephanie says

          @Crystal, Wow that means 5 hours a day is blogging, 1 hour is exercising…that is 6 hours out of your day gone if you don’t blog on weekends. That is a large chunk of time! Now I am really curious, how in the world do you do it all? I can’t imagine 6 hours of my day being gone, in addition to homeschooling, and all of the other household responsibilities! I’d love to see your daily schedule!

          • says

            I’ll share specifics in the series. I usually work 4-5 hours on Saturdays, and only 4 hours average on weekdays. So it’s really not that much as I usually get in at least 2+ hours of work before the children get up in the morning. And I truly enjoy blogging; it refreshes and energizes me to write!

  12. says

    I too have several littles and homeschool…..plus the hubs works a tough job and is a full time student. Hired help is out of the question for us at this point…and a few years ago I found myself becoming jealous and critical at my friends who could afford to hire a babysitter to go on a date, have cleaning help or just have the ability to pick up take out on tough days. The Lord really convicted me of this….and showed me that attitude, plus a plan, is key! Each afternoon, the baby sleeps and the older children have REQUIRED quiet time. For 2 hours, they can read/draw/rest…so long as they do not talk and come in the kitchen or my bedroom. During that time I can have prayer, quiet time or catch up on sewing. So, quiet time is not the same as a mother’s helper….but it has made a huge inpact on our days! My husband also had the wisdom to set a “finished” hour. At 7:30 in the evening….if it is not finished…it is not finished. No longer do I stay up till all hours folding laundry. We have family worship, get the kids in bed and spend some time together. It has really given me a sense of freedom having a “cut off” time for housework….and I better budget in the day what is most important to be accomplished. I think having my husband “evaluate” the way our home runs and give suggestions has really helped. Having him set the “cut off” hour also helps….I know he is not disappointed if the house is not perfect and dust free. He would rather me feel rested and have a sense of the work being finished, rather than have the hamster on the wheel effect!
    I think there are a lot of mommas who are raising their littles without any extra help, and an attitude of thankfulness to have those precious children entrusted to my care….has really helped me a lot!

  13. Sabrina says

    Do you have a daily routine you stick to, or try to? And if so, what is it? And are your kids on a daily routine? If so, what age did you start that, and what is it? Even with you having a mother’s helper 5 hours or so a week, that really isn’t much time at all. I have about 5 hours a week (maybe) of uninterrupted time, if I can manage to get up before the kids (20 month old and 2 month old), and I don’t get 1/4 of my to do list done! My husband works a lot (50+hrs/wk), so it’s just me cleaning, cooking, caring for 4 kids (my sisters kids too) and working 20 hrs a week at my job. Being home with the 4 kids all day means I am doing nothing but cleaning up after them, litterally. they make messes faster than I can clean them up. And sometimes I can wash their dishes before the next meal, but that’s rare.

  14. Mrs. B. says

    Another mother’s help question, please ( I forgot this last time—I apologize):

    Not sure how much to pay someone…..what advice can you provide? Thanks so much. Blessings!

  15. says

    I guess one of my biggest issues is when something not in our routine comes up. I can get our normal things done most of the time, but what happens when my husband needs a 10 page paper proofread or someone gives me a bag of clothes for the kids that need to be put away. Or like recently, when I need to switch out all of our clothes for cooler weather options. How do you plan for and fit in unexpected extras?

  16. Jaclyn says

    This is really noisy but I’d be curious to know what “things” you keep or like how many of something you have. When I look around my house I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the stuff (physical things and then things to do). That makes me feel like why even bother and I walk away. It has kinda changed recently – on a post you mentioned that you didn’t have side tables etc. b/c they are junk collectors. For the past two weeks I’ve been selling my coffee table/side tables and all the decor I bought to put on them. Just that one little thing has made me feel better and I made some money for our vacation jar. The one area I am avoiding is the kitchen. I have so many cooking items and I am afraid to get rid of something b/c I may end up needing it etc. A lot of what we have was gifted to us (we got married 2 years ago) and I keep thinking well “what if I need that melon baller”? I do feel like we have too many plates and maybe if we had less they wouldn’t pile up but I just don’t know. What do you think? I want to get rid of a lot of stuff but not too much to where I have to go buy it again.

    • Dani says

      @Jaclyn, Just chiming in here…. What works for me the best is the “have I used this in the last year?” method. If not pitch it. The things I know I use only once a year, for example the big santa tray for cookies, I put in the shed, but the daily things like the extra plates, if you haven’t used it in a year there is a good chance you won’t use it or if you do need it, something else could be used in its place. If you are only using it because its easier than washing the dishes at that time, then box half of them up and put them away somewhere. If a month or two passes and you realized thats the only reason you were using them, get rid of them! Same goes for clothes. Thats what I try to do. Even with the kids toys. The last time I went through my kids toys, I dumped everything on the floor (crazy I know!) and put the kids in the room. I kept checking every ten minutes and guess what, they played with the same few things. So, I got rid of most of the rest! (I did keep a few extra learning toys) To my suprise, not only did they not notice, they played with all the other toys. I learned that kids also get stressed by all the clutter from this day. Hope something from this helps! Good luck on your de-cluttering!

    • says

      @Jaclyn, We recently got rid of all of our kids plastic cups. We wanted to go with BPA free options, but we also got rid of them so that dishes don’t stack up as much. One of our neighbors said that they only have enough plates, bowls, etc. for one per person. Obviously this wouldn’t work if you have people over, but we have moved all of the extra tableware to a very high shelf. I’ve found that I’d rather take a minute to wash a plate than pull over a chair to get the other plates down. My next step is to limit the silverware that’s in the drawer to one of each per person.

  17. LK says

    Crystal – I keep hoping you’re going to update us on your progress with the P90X exercise program, since keeping up with that much time exercising, 6 days a week has got to take a chunk out of your schedule for other things. Will you update us on that and your progress with it, how it’s working for you, too?

    I ask since I am considering starting the same program. :)

    • says

      I stopped with the updates because people were complaining about me talking about it so much. And I fell off the bandwagon this week because I’m prepping for Relevant. So I kinda gotta get back with it before I can sincerely tell you how it’s going for me. But it *was* going really well! :)

  18. peever says

    I’m excited for this series. I think all of us struggle with all the hats we have to wear. I feel like I can either be a really good housekeeper or a really good mom and it’s hard to find a good balance between the two.

    I have one in school and a 3 yr old at home. She’s down to just napping about twice a week so I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to trying to get stuff done around the house while she’s awake. I feel like I’m constantly trying to think of things to do to keep her occupied, other than watching tv, but of course she wants me to play with her. I try to do at least one educational activity with her every morning, but some days it’s hard when I need to be cleaning, or running errands, or meal prep, etc. Lately I’ve found that we do most of our educational activities in the car – like working on spelling her name, playing “the car game” to work on her colors, playing the “ABC game” to find letters on signs, listening to books on CDs, etc. Do you have any more creative ideas for still being productive and helping her learn at the same time? How do you handle your homeschool schedule? Do you have a set thing that you do at a set time on a set day? Like Mondays at 10am we always have music, Tuesdays at 9am we always do art, etc.? I’m not homeschooling, but I’d still like for her to learn as much as possible before she starts preschool next year.

    Like everyone else, I’d like a glimpse into a day in your life and what your schedule looks like. I’d like to know what things are priorities for you and what things you let go. I’d like to know how you stay on top of everything and stay motivated.

    Thanks for all you do!

  19. Bonnie says

    I agree with LK that a P90X update would be appreciated :) Also, would you mind taking pictures of the different mix and match outfits you make with your minimalist wardrobe? I’m sure you’re probably so sick of questions about your clothes, but we are similar in size (and close in age), and we seem to have the same tastes, so it would be fun to see different outfits!

    • says

      @Bonnie, She did a vlog about her wardrobe just recently. You should be able to find in the archives!! It was really neat to see it, but I wouldn’t even know where to start to get mine pared down that far. My husband would love that though, especially the shoes!!! ;)

  20. A says

    I suppose I am hoping that the jist of this series is encouragement. I think comparing our lives and schedules can be much like comparing apples and oranges. :) I think most women might do best just to ask themselves– Am I applying myself diligently to the tasks before me? Am I wasting time on things I know are not important? Have I made room to put people first and things second? Am I taking restorative, deep-breathing-Sabbath rest? What might I surrender for the time being, accepting that I am God’s child and that my essence is one of “sonship?” God delights in us, and I think our ceaseless toil to be best in every category under the sun must be wearisome to Him. :) In addition to tiring to one another…heavens! I need authentic, life-giving, honest, sharpening relationships; women attempting superwoman status need not apply. Ha.

    One factor that I think varies widely from family to family is the amount of time dad is available at home for an extra set of hands. My husband works long hours– from about 7 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. on *most* days. He is also compensated well. Therefore, I have surrendered myself to the truth that it is best for my family to have a joyful, rested, contented mother and homeschool mom…and I DON’T coupon too much, spend hours finding the best deals, worry about generating more income, prepare every meal from scratch, etc. I also don’t necessarily hold to the belief that anyone is more righteous for doing “more.” I imagine that attempting to be the most-frugal, most-volunteering, most-scheduled, most-clean, most-organized, most-fit, best-dressed, most-creative-homeschooler IN ADDITION TO wife-of-the-year and supermom might be miserable for everyone in my life…including me.

    I find tremendous peace in the Titus 2 responsibilities for women, to be “busy at home, loving your own husband and children.” Clearly, even early church leaders knew that women had a special– and completely busy!– role to fulfill at home.

    Can’t we just ask ourselves:
    Are you doing the best you are able, where you are planted?
    If not, where do things need to change (gently, gently?)
    Is the goal to get more, more, more done or to do a few things really, really well?

    • Laura says

      I think you make a good point here. However, I would still be interested in seeing Crystal’s schedule and how she manages her time. I also realize that my lifestyle may be different from hers and some of the things she does may not work for me. But… i don’t think that is Crystal’s point. I don’t think she is trying to get everyone to do things the way she does them. I think that by her doing this I’ll be able to take some good ideas (that work for me) from it. So, I agree with what you posted… (we all need to pray and evaulate those things in our lives) but, I think God can also use other people to help us. I’m excited about seeing her ideas… I may not implement them all in my life, but God may, as he has done many times before, use another person’s life to show me areas for improvement.

    • says

      I totally agree and I think you just might be surprised that I won’t be encouraging women to do more, but to do less and *be* more. ;) That is what true time management is all about to me: focusing on the big picture and the most important priorities — and letting the other stuff go! Stay tuned!

      • A says

        @Crystal, That sounds lovely! And thank you…I am not meaning to sound at all grumbling, and I realize that allowing others to analyze your schedule must take a LOT of deep breaths. I’m just hoping women guard themselves and truly want to be Christ-like, not Crystal-like. (And honey, I think you are just lovely, so please don’t take that as a slight! I’m talking big picture here!)

        And Laura, I agree with you, as well. However, I think we ladies have an overwhelming tendency to look to other women as models, rather than looking to God’s word. I think we are terribly severe on ourselves, and become “list-checkers” to the max. Our seasons and situations are all so very different, and I think we are all hoping for the magic bullet that will launch us from reasonably capable to perfection. I am reading “Sabbath” right now, and the author mentions again and again that Jesus wasn’t much concerned with a daily to-do list or schedule, would often go off into solitude with announcing his intentions, and yet didn’t leave a single important thing undone. :)

        Blessings to you both.

        • says

          I absolutely 100% agree. One of the reasons I stopped blogging on my other blogs and sharing so much about our personal lives was because I was very concerned that so many people were holding me up and seeking to emulate *me* — a fallible, very imperfect person — instead of seeking the Lord and seeking how they could follow His unique plan for their life. I’m constantly praying that the Lord would use things I write to point people to Christ, not me. And if there’s anything good in me, it’s only *Christ* not me — any loveliness, anything. Without Him, I’m nothing.

  21. Tenille says

    Wow-wee, I think you opened a big can of worms. You’ll be posting for weeks!

    I am seriously considering homeschool for my 4 kids. 3rd grade in public school has already taken an ugly turn for my oldest. So, can you spend some time talking about how you manage homeschool with the different ages? Any info would be great. Thank you so much for all of your posts, they are truly a blessing to me!

  22. Aleda says

    I feel a little out of place here as I’m a mom and grandma with just my husband and myself at home. I was laid off permanently in mid June and am trying to strengthen my at home alterations business. Part of my dream is to have time for the grandkids and I will be spending 10 days with 2 of them at the end of the month while their mom and dad have a week of crazy schedules. My question on time management is how to balance the sewing, cleaning (the house has to be “good enough” for customers), and “me” time? My husband has a 45 minute commute one way so he’s not much help before he leaves or after he gets home. Another question I have: does anyone know of a blog for me? I love this one but wonder if there’s anything that’s a good fit for me.

  23. Stephenie says

    I enjoy reading your blog, and also am new to couponing. I have three children 10 months, 3 years and 5 years. I homeschool also. I have been trying to keep up with deals, but I find myself spending lots of time clipping and organizing coupons, and looking online at blogs… I just wonder how you organize your time to organize your coupons and how you budget your time to find deals. I think a lot of things will improve as I get better at using coupons, but right now it seems like I spend a lot of time clipping and do not have enough return on my time investment. It takes a lot to pull me away from just the basic needs of my husband and children… as I’m sure you’ve experienced, too. Do you set a time limit? Is there a system that seems to work for you, i.e. which day of the week/time of day you look for deals and clip coupons? Any input on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  24. Tracy says

    My oldest child is 11 now, and I have learned a lot about balance in the past decade. The biggest thing that we moms need to remember is that everyone’s needs and family is different. A while back I spent a lot of time obsessing about another woman who seemed to have the perfect life & managed to get 3x more things done that I did. But then I found out that she has insomnia and never sleeps, her husband is often out of town, plus she has health problems. Me – I’m an 8-to-9-hours-a-night kind of gal (my kids are old enough that this is actually possible now!), so sleep is a huge priority for me in order to stay well, feel good, and take care of my family the best that I can. So I give up doing other things in order to get in bed at a reasonable time for me. I also know that many of my friends hire cleaning people, but we do not. So that means that our house gets cleaned on my schedule, with help from my kids, and it is what it is. It’s all about your priorities and doing what you can. Comparison to others is the best way to make yourself feel lousy. I love it that Crystal is going to share her time-management ideas with everyone. We can all learn from each other and then ask God for guidance on how best to organize our own lives. I know He has been faithful when I have had doubts on where to spend my time. Hope this helps!

  25. Chris says

    This is not a time management question but another if you so decide to address it some time. I was wondering how cutting sugar out of your diet has affected your health (other than weight issues). Thank you

  26. says

    This is a major area of need in my life, so I’m very much looking forward to hearing HOW IN THE WORLD you do it all!! Thank you for all the sharing you do to encourage other moms. God has blessed you with this gift!
    I would love to see your schedule…details!! I’m trying to implement one here at home, but it’s hard to even know where to start to put one together when I’m feeling so overwhelmed.
    Also, how do you consistently get up as early as you do??? One busy weekend and I’m knocked off my schedule for days…it gets frustrating!
    Thank you in advance for all the work that went into putting this series together for us!

  27. Becky says

    I’d like to see something like “A Day in the Life Of…” Basic schedule, how much time you spend cleaning, blogging, homeschooling, etc.

  28. Jessica says

    I would love to hear how you do naps at your house. Juggling naps for different ages is a struggle at our house! What do you do with the older one(s) when you are trying to put the younger one(s) down for a nap?

  29. says

    I’d like to know how you limit your time on the computer. I just find it so easy to get sucked in to reading more interesting stuff. Or in tweaking things on my blog. Or doing things to try and get more readers. There’s never a definitive end, and you could always do more. How do you really make yourself stop once you’ve spent enough time. And early on, before your blog had steady readers, how did you find enough to build it up? And how do you feel at peace with what you are able to accomplish and stop wishing you could have done more?

    I second everyone else who wants to know what it is that you don’t do! I don’t even have kids (although I do work full time) and I’d be thrilled to accomplish half of what you do.

  30. says

    First of all, ditto to everything that’s been mentioned! :)

    In addition, though, how do you balance all of your errand-running needs? I find that I can spend half my week running here and there chasing deals – it ALWAYS takes longer than I think it will! Also, I find myself at the grocery store at least 2 or 3 times a week – even though I menu plan for a week at a time, and make lists! I just always seem to forget something!! Any ideas on that?

    Thanks! :) I’m SUPER DUPER excited about this series!!

  31. Mary says

    Looking forward to some tips in an area where I could use some help!! I am reminding myself that we can’t all be good at everything! Crystal is GIFTED in home management. The good Lord has blessed all of us with some pretty wonderful abilities. Don’t forget about the special gifts that each one of you has!!

  32. Erica says

    Looking forward to this series. It’s actually ironic you’re writing about this — I just had an article published in an association newsletter on practical advice on time management within my profession, because everyone always asks me at work “how I do it all”! But work and home are so different for me, so I can use some practical advice for home, even if I (usually) have it together at work. (If you’re interested, my article is online at http://bit.ly/ce2MAg.)

  33. says

    I plan to homeschool my kids (currently 3 1/2 and almost 2) but I’m curious what I will do with the younger (more active and needy) child while I’m trying to focus and teach the older one. How do you handle this?

    Thanks for a great blog! I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts in this series!

    (Now my husband is starting the dishes so I’d better get busy with something before my guilt kicks in!)

  34. Brianna says

    I’d like to know how you define a clean house! I always hear various bloggers writing about how they keep a clean house–but they never say what that means to them. Does it mean laundry and dishes done, floors swept daily and vacuumed and mopped weekly, bathroom scrubbed weekly and everything else (windows, fridge and oven cleaning, washing walls, scrubbing baseboards, moving furniture to vacuum under, etc.) gets done once in a blue moon? Or does it mean everything is spic and span at all times, and every bit of the house gets deep cleaned weekly and your drawers are full of clothes that are neatly folded and organized by colour? Or something else? I guess I always imagine you and other bloggers I read to have houses that are constantly completely deep-cleaned, and that that is what it means to have “a clean and organized house”. I’d love to know what your standards actually are.

  35. Mandi says

    I am excited for the upcoming time management series as this is something I have been trying to figure out in my own life. My husband is in medical school and we have 2 kids so I feel as though I can kind of relate to where you were a few years ago! Here are a few things I would love to hear about in your upcoming series on time management.

    1. Schedule: What is your daily schedule? I have always wanted a glimpse into someone’s home. I would love to be a fly on the wall! Seriously, I think it would be great to see a REAL schedule for an entire week from someone who has 3 kids.

    2. Mothers Helper: You have talked about a mother’s helper. Can you tell us more about that? At what point in your life did you start using one? Is your mother’s helper young or old? What does she do? Are you home? How did you go about setting it up?

    3. Kids: How much time do you spend playing with your kids vs having them entertain themselves? How long do you spend out of the house with the kids ie: zoo, parks, museums, rec centers? What do your kids do while you are working or cleaning?

    4. Church: How do you help prepare your kids for church? I have 2 kids and trying to keep them quiet during church is a little daunting! What do you do? Do you spend time throughout the week preparing? (so I know this isn’t very much of a time management question – but I am sure it can relate in some way!)

    • says

      You can read more details on my mother’s helper in the comments above. I just started using one after I had my third child & PPD and I’m normally home & working with the girls, etc. when she’s here.

  36. says

    Crystal,

    I’d love to know more about how you manage your computer time in the day. Do you leave the computer open during the day and glance each time you go by, or do you have certain times you are on the computer? I struggle so much with getting “sucked in” to what’s on my email, reader, etc.

    Also, how do you maintain friendships with other women right now? Do you plan playdates together and socialize with other moms then, or do you make a point to have coffee or something (away from your children) with female friends often? How do you work friendships into your life at this busy stage?

    Thanks for your honesty and openness in this upcoming series. I’m really looking forward to it and think it will provide a lot of help for me!

  37. Tara says

    I’m very interested to read this series. I’m always looking for ways to get
    “everything” done. I have a 4 & 5 yr. old, one in all day Kindergarten, one in 1/2 day pre-K. there is a lot of driving back and forth because they don’t start or end at the same time, and i feel like i’m always interrupting a project to stop and get in the car. One poster said something about trying not to emulate someone else, but be the best God wants us to be (i’m paraphrasing). While I think that’s true, I also think it’s helpful to have specific details about how other people get things done. It may not all fit into your life or schedule, but there may be that one thing that you try and it could make all the difference in the world to you. When my youngest was about 5 months old, I was feeling very overwhelmed and couldn’t seem to get anything accomplished. I asked my neighbor , who had 2 kids that were the same age difference, 20 mos, but older, how she did it? how did she get things done? how did she spend enough time with both kids? Her answer was , “you just do it.” I asked other moms and even my own mom and i got the exact same answer, “you just do it.” I cried my eyes out, thinking “just do WHAT?” I struggled for a long time until I found a routine that worked for me. But i still feel like I don’t accomplish all I could in a day. So I’m looking forward to your series and like others said, I’d like to see a daily schedule and see how much time you spend on the computer. Like others, I intend to check for one thing on the computer and then oops, an hour has passed and now my day is completley off schedule.

  38. says

    Looking forward to it. Not because you’ll have all the answers for MY family but because it’s always exciting to hear what works for others in order to glean ideas.
    In response to some of the above: Concrete examples are always fun to see/read as long as on the receiving end we don’t try and force ourselves to follow something designed for another. It also doesn’t matter who you are or how organized and scheduled you are, you’ll have areas you struggle in! Crystal does, I do and every other blogger out there does. No one has all the answers :)