Review: Balancing Diapers and Deadlines

While I haven't had a kid in diapers for years, and will not have one in the foreseeable future, I do have deadlines. Piles and piles of monster deadlines. Deadlines with emphasis on that first syllable. And I do need balance. When things are so hectic you haven't slept in your bed for two nights, falling asleep at your desk instead, do you actually have time to go through an online course? you may ask. Well, if it's an online course like Balancing Diapers and Deadlines by Lisa Tanner Writing then you make time. Or at least you try to.


Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
Balancing Diapers and Deadlines is a self-paced course that helps bring some order into the chaos. Created by Lisa Tanner, a homeschooling mom of eight--yes, eight--kids, who has managed to build up a business that earns enough for her husband to move to a closer-to-home, lower-paying job. That's pretty awesome cred. The entire course covers eight units, broken down into 30 bite-sized lessons. As you go through the lessons--they are all text--you can click the 'Mark Lesson Complete' button to track your progress. Each lesson ends with an Action Step, and some lessons have downloadable worksheets or cheat sheets.

The units tackled in the course


You can actually zip through the material in an hour or so (like I did--I skimmed the lessons but don't mark them as completed until I really digest the information), but if you want to make the most of it, do what Lisa Tanner advises: take baby steps. For example, after the lesson on Making a Plan for the Day, your action step is to actually make one. Discuss with your kids what you need to accomplish for work, what appointments or commitments you all have for the day, what they would like to do, and what you need to accomplish as a family. And then as a family, you plan out your schedule for the day. This is done over breakfast.

I still need to get this working for me. Everyone in the family eats breakfast at a different time. Breeze, who wakes up earlier, usually gets her own breakfast while I do whatever it is I'm doing. I wait for The Hubby to get up and I have breakfast with him. Raine wakes up as late as possible, and by the time she's eating breakfast, the rest of us are off doing other stuff.  We come together during lunch and dinner. And just typing that, I see that I really need to get the girls together and discussing much earlier! We lose so much time in the morning.

Another issue of mine is maintaining the house. The best I do at the moment is get meals on the table, the dishes washed (The Hubby helps with these two), and get the laundry done weekly. The Hubby cleans the toilets weekly, and I try to at least sweep daily. But deep cleaning, decluttering, I really need intervention here. Lisa's advise is to tackle a room a day. Also, get the kids more involved. I realize that I need to be more consistent with this. Raine, for example, is supposed to sweep the upstairs, or at the very least, the loft area where our school space is. But since she gets up so late, I usually sweep it myself, or leave it for her to sweep, which she rarely does without prompting--and then I don't remind her and the upstairs remains unswept. I get so frustrated, actually. I feel that we have spoiled the kids, and they take for granted that the house runs itself, and when they are asked to pitch in, they grumble. We obviously need a lot of work in this area.

Learning about the basics


I do love Lisa's ideas for Morning Chores, Table Chores, and Afternoon Chores. Morning chores are what needs to be done in the morning before getting on with the 'main tasks of the day. For us, this would be sweeping, clearing the dishes drawer, cleaning the litter box, and watering the plants. Then Table chores are the tasks related to meal prep and kitchen work. She is s spot on when she says, "Between cooking, cleaning, and putting away food at least three times a day, a good chunk of every day is devoted to kitchen work." Lisa gets it. She knows what's happening here, and it makes me want to cry. Anyway. Afternoon chores are additional housework tasks that need to be done.

For each type, Lisa recommends making a list of tasks and dividing them, age-appropriately, among the kids. This is the part I am so stuck on. I need to list down those tasks, and I need to get the kids on board. Lisa has a Marble Jar System that motivates the kids to do their chores independently. I'm trying to think how to apply that to my own kids, because no motivation things we've done has really lasted long enough.

And while I have read most of the lessons, this is as far as I've gone really processing and digesting the material in the course. I need to take the time to sit and plan out the implementation of this.

Planning session needed: perhaps with a cup of freshly brewed tea

Other busy moms have also gone through  Balancing Diapers and Deadlines by Lisa Tanner Writing. Click below to read about their experiences.

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}
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