Thursday, January 6, 2011

Division of Labor

I guess I haven't shared this on the blog yet, but as of January 1st I have an actual "position" at my hospital. I am working a .5 (20 hours) a week and I have a block schedule. I never thought I would do this, as I loved being able to work whenever I wanted and as little or as much as I wanted - but things change.

1. I was working close to this anyway

2. I take a pay cut, but I will become benefit eligible (STD,LTD,Med,Dent, Retirement stuff) and will be getting PTO. All that is worth a lot more than the pay cut I am taking - but I am also losing my flexibility.

3. The medical benefits through the hospital SHOULD cover Lincoln's speech therapy, which is the biggest reason for the switch. (I say "should" because we couldn't actually get him preapproved until we made the switch, looking at the criteria though it seems like he will be covered).

But, this is coming at a time when our homeschool is also ramping up- simply because the kids are getting older.

Which is why we are now discussing "Division of Labor".

And then I read Navigating the Mothership's post about this same topic. I called Noah on the phone and asked if he had read it.

He had.

We talked about it.

He told me I was amazing.

Basically, up to this point I have been managing the laundry, the finances, the cooking (0n the weekdays), the cleaning, the homeschooling, the paperwork, the med/dent/speech appointments and paperwork, the mowing, the basic yardwork, the grocery shopping.

Now, that is not to say that he doesn't do anything.

He gets home from work late, helps me get dinner on the table, we have family time and then he helps put the kids to bed. He pitches in with kitchen clean up most nights, cooks on the weekends, runs erronds for me (it is much easier for him to stop at the post office to mail something then for me to take all four kids), and often fills up my van with gas. He also does the bigger projects around the house and yard. If I am folding laundry, he helps. If I am cleaning bathrooms in the evenings or sorting papers, he helps. If I give him a project, he does it.

But I am going to need more help now since I will be working more shifts in a row- which is when things fall apart.

I may hire a friend to watch the kids once a month for a couple hours so I have a little extra time to do bigger projects. I am also going to utilize the Y child care more, piggybacking my quiet time/Bible study time with my workout.

The other big thing I am implementing is "The home management binder". I had been intending to start one in the fall, but it just never happened. It is just a basic three ring binder, but I am hoping it is a life-changing one :) It is going to sit on the counter in the kitchen so it will be easily accessible (if I can find it under the thousand other things that sit on that counter!)

The first page is entitled "House projects". This is a spot that we can jot down things that need to get done such as "change light bulb", "finish bullnose in bathroom", "touch up living room walls". There is a side box for "needed supplies". Maybe the reason the light bulb hasn't been changed is because we don't have any. This way, when one of us is headed to Home Depot or Target, we have a list already made. The plan is to look at this list on Friday night and pick 1-2 things off of it to tackle on the weekend.

The second page is divided into 4 sections, one for each floor of the house. It lists all the jobs that need to be done monthly for each floor. One floor will be tackled per week of the month, but this way the list is right there and I can refer to it and check things off as I do them. And Noah can refer to it on my work weekend and see easily something that hasn't been checked off yet for him to do. I have done this in the past, but I tried to tackle the whole floor at one time instead of little jobs. Now if it is the main floor week, I can just look at that list and pick out a quick job when I have a few minutes. It is nice to be able to have a sparkling clean area all at one time, but it is not practical for my stage of life. It is much more efficient to glance at the list see that I need to clean out the fridge and do it in the 10 minutes that the kids are eating breakfast, instead of blocking out a whole evening to clean the whole kitchen from top to bottom.

The third page highlights different days of the week for things that need to be done weekly, for example Mon-laundry, Tues-papers, Bathrooms etc.

I also have a page for meal ideas.

The next pages are actually divided into a "calendar", 1/4th of a sheet for each day. I have boxes to check for blogging, exercise, school, my own reading time, quiet time, daily tasks, weekly tasks, calls and emails to make. I also have space for jotting down places I need to go and extra things that need to be done. I cross them off and at the end of the day the things that are left move on to the next day's list.

My biggest plan though? I will be leaving Noah notes of small jobs for him to take care of when I am sleeping in prep for work, at work and for when he comes home from Broomball.

And I think he will do them.


Navigating the Mothership said...

First of all, I'm always so surprised when I hear of a guy reading my blog. I would think it would be a big pile of cringe-worthy material for the gents :)

Second, I am also working to revamp and improve my household binder. I'm going to start a serious of posts on organization/time mgmt as that's my 2011 goal. Maybe we can keep exchanging ideas on this via blog post!

The Three 22nds said...

NtM, I don't think he always reads your blog. I think he reads it when the post title on my side bar catches his attention :)

I have a new time management ebook I am getting ready to load onto my ipod- I will be learning time management while running, what could be better?

Thia said...

The plans for your binder sound great. Remember that sometimes changes need to be made. I'm getting to reinvent mine. Again.