Friday, February 12, 2010

Make Your Home a Haven: Errands

Happy Friday everyone! My home is feeling like more and more of a haven to me - how about you?

Our chores went well this week! I decided to try doing them at a set time every morning after we had finished school time. My children were either allowed to watch a short (30 min.) movie and have a snack or play outside and have a snack while I did a few chores. After that, we all piled on the couch to read together for the next 30 minutes.

It worked great! And, it has surprised me how much I can get done in 30 minutes when they have had my attention before and after that time. Now, on Home Blessing Day - my chores took longer and their needs were more as well. But, I still finished it in about 70 minutes even stopping to help my children.

This week has been a week where I've begun to see the fruit of these daily chores, little steps and implementing the Fly Lady concepts. Yes, I've seen benefits all along - but this week I saw how having a clean kitchen encouraged me to keep it clean, etc...

And, because I was feeling good about our home and my tasks - we even made room for more fun! A walk to the lake, a tea party, playing outside with bubbles and Valentine cookies! My feelings about our home being a haven and feeling more caught up helped me to say yes more and have a better attitude.

Ok, let's move on. This week - let's think about errands. I've been all over the map on this one.

When I was a mom to one, I'd spread my errands out and we'd go somewhere nearly every day! I've really always been one to take all of my children everywhere I needed to go and I always tried to do my errands while David was at work.

But, as I've tried some different things lately - I am definitely seeing the fruits of not doing my errands that way anymore! I don't always do it the same way - but here are a few recent observations:

* Ballet Day: On Monday afternoons both girls are in ballet back to back, so I have an hour and a half total (with only one girl with me at a time) that I could run a couple of errands. I don't always have anywhere I need to go and it isn't close to everything, but if I need to run to CVS - this is my time to make it happen.

* When we're out anyway: on the way home from ballet, I rarely stop anywhere. It is 6:00 - dinnertime, busy with lots of other people out, etc... But, if I really do need something that is on the way home (milk, for example) this is an ideal time to make it happen instead of making another trip. This past week we stopped at Walgreens on the way home and it was a big help to me not to have to get out again!

* Errand Day: I've designated Thursday as my errand day. It's the day the new Publix ad is released (my favorite grocery store) so it makes it a good day to go there and hit the sales while the stock is great. Plus Saturday is just so crazy at the store! Once or twice a month, I have a teenager from church come over on Thursday mornings while I do my errands. Another time, maybe David's mom will come over and stay with them and some days, like yesterday - we just all go together. I try to plan out as many things as I can for this time and hit the library, bank, post office, etc. With no children - I can get these things done in a lot less time and it is easier on them as well.

* Saturday: If I can't go on Thursday for some reason or don't want to take everyone with me - I can go on Saturday when David is home. He is very good about being willing to have me go out alone and get a few things done which I very much appreciate!

I mentioned above the benefits of the chores - and staying home is a big part of making that successful for me. When we're gone - I just get behind and frazzled feeling very quickly. We've been home every day this week except for Ballet and errands yesterday and it has felt great.

How do you accomplish your errands? Is it working for you? This week - build on what is working to make this an even better fit for you!


Julie said...

Oh, have I struggled with this area over the years. I have at least a 20-minute drive to any store, library, bank, or post office. Very few of the places I need to go are near each other.
When my son was very little, I could reasonably expect to get one thing done on any given errand trip. Now that he's four, I can usually combine two or three if they're quick errands. I still prefer grocery shopping alone, although he's gotten much better in the store.
I used to feel as though I was "dumping the kid" on my husband if I did errands while he was home to watch our son, but I gradually realized that he enjoys spending that one-on-one time that I get to enjoy every day.

Chrissy said...

You know me, Monica...I prefer to have all three children with me...that's just how I'm wired ;0). When they were very small, I took them everywhere with me. I knew it was going to be a time commitment but that was ok. As long as it didn't interfere with nap time or daddy coming home for dinner, we were up for anything! Good for you for experimenting and finding out what works best for your situation...the best way is whatever helps you and your babies feel peaceful and not stressed.

Michele said...

When my kids were little I tried to do an errand day when someone (Grandmama preferably)could spend time with them. They have fond memories of their time with Grandmama.

Nowadays I try to make the most of every trip into town since I live in the country. If I'm going to be coming home around supper time I try to plan a crockpot meal or something that takes very little time to prepare. I also try to time my errands so that I don't have to eat out since this just isn't in our budget.

Agnes said...

I do erran just one day a week. I have a grocery list that I follow and the grocery store has a post office inside. So I do not do anything else.
My DH drop and pick up of the children at school. we schedule the classes just after school so there is just one trip. We drop off the older children at their classes and I pick them up after work.
I just have morning activity for the little one: gym, library, swim.
I do not shop, if I need something I use the internet.

Lisa @ Simply Things Family said...

I try to use Thursday for errands. But I have started shopping st several stores to save money. This can be exhausting for a 4 year old. So, we sometimes divide it into 2 days, but I try to do this every other week.
Oh, how I miss when all of mine were so little that they weren't in school. We spent many days at home playing and learning.

angie said...

Now that my children are both in school full time, I have a block of time between arrival and dismissal times. However, I still find it the best use of my time to do all of my errands on one or two days, depending on the week. Usually, one day is reserved for grocery shopping and the stores near there. The second day is for local errands such as library, PO, deliveries to friends, and church business.

Ginger said...

Since my work day leaves me Exhausted with a capital "E," I try to do everything on the weekend. Occasionally I have to stop at Publix on the way home during the week, but I don't like to.

Tina Leigh said...

There was a time that the Fly Lady plan worked good for me but my schedule is so much more...unstable...that I cant stay with it any more.

I've got to regroup!!

Debra said...

I try to do all my errands on Fridays. It makes for a busy day but it seems to work. I sometimes have to do some errands on other days (like banking) but if I can hold out until Friday, I do. Like you, I don't like to shop on the weekends and I like to have the errands done before my husband gets home. I must be getting old as I don't like to go out at night much. :) Can't remember the last time I drove in the dark. I still like to do all my shopping without my daughter - it's quicker and she just doesn't need to be in and out of all the stores if there's nothing I really 'need' to get for her.

I must say that I feel really blessed to be able to schedule my errands when I want to do them instead of having to follow someone else's schedule.