It has been brought to my attention that yesterday's post may have portrayed me as some sort of highly efficient super mum.
This was not what I intended at all!
The average daily running of our house could probably best be described as organised chaos. The keyword being 'organised', and not just chaos, and that was the point I was trying to share yesterday.
When you first get married and become a mum, there are plenty books and articles out there about caring for your newborn, for helping you establish feeding routines, for getting to grips with weaning, for tips about helping your baby to sleep, for how to deal with your toddler's behaviour, right through to how best to deal with teenagers.
What there is a lot less of is how to manage your house. Nobody, unless you are very fortunate, sits you down and gives you advice about the best way to try and keep your house in order and get dinner on the table. Throw one or more children into the mix and there is even more to juggle. Add a part time or full time working mum into the equation and, well, it just gets even harder and I admire those of you who are able to do so.
It's nearly 16 years since I first became a mum, at the age of 22, and 18 months into our married life. I soon found that even with one child it's quite a challenge fitting everything that needs to be done into one day. Add baby number 2 and instead of everything being twice as hard, somehow it's 20 times as hard! In many ways, actually, babies no 4 and 5 resulted in the least amount of changes in our house as by the time they were born the older boys were older and able to help more.
I didn't share my family organiser in order to say, 'look at how organised I am' but rather as a means to help others. I would absolutely hate for anyone to think that I think of myself as someone who has everything all together.
Far from it.
And I would equally as much hate for anyone to feel in any way inferior by anything I post.
My aim with yesterday's post was to encourage and to pass on some tips that I have learned over the years. It's been a large amount of trial and error with what works best for our family, and what works best for you may not be the same as for us.
By writing out our weekly schedule I am able to make sure that we never miss any of the boys' regular hospital appointments, I can keep track of what is on at which school, I can see when I need to be at toddlers early, I know well in advance what needs to be done for dinner in case I have a super clingy toddler who needs me more than usual and I can follow when my husband is working locally and when he needs to be in another city with work (which places the morning school run as my responsibility).
What it doesn't guarantee is that there won't be dirty socks on my teenager's bedroom floor, there won't be dishes left in the sink overnight, the ironing basket won't be overflowing and that my kitchen floor will be cleaned as regularly as it probably should.
I don't share the mundane mess in our daily lives as I don't think people really want to see my teenagers dirty socks.
What I do share is what I hope can encourage others, and the happier more fun parts of being a family. Not because I think that we are the perfect family and that I want to boast about us, but rather because when I am older and the nest is empty it's these moments that I want to sit back and remember.