During the first few years of my marriage, I worked 100+ hours a week. Housework was fitted in on Saturdays and during annual leave but, probably not surprisingly, not done well or to a plan. Survival was the name of the game.
Once we had children, I worked fewer hours but often, although theoretically part time, over 40 hours a week. We went down the paid help route-sometimes good and sometimes less so.
Over more recent years things have changed, we have had more children, a move to a larger house in order that we could have an elderly relative live with us and have come to the conviction that I should come home.
The legacy of our previous lifestyle has been that I haven't had a proper agenda for keeping house and I haven't trained the children as well as I might otherwise have done. It isn't all complete chaos; we eat regularly and have clean clothes (just in case you were wondering!) but things could be better.
Last autumn, my friend Jennie Chancey visited and recommended a new book called "Large family logistics" It sounded great but was American and wasn't sold in the UK. I'm not anti-American, at all, I have good friends from the US but some books from across the Pond are so, well, American. You may know what I mean; the cookery books that ask for one package of yellow cake mix and two of brown. Cakes are made from flour, fat, sugar and eggs-aren't they?
Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered the book. It is great, really worth the hassle and expense of ordering from abroad.
Kim Brenneman has written the book in two sections: the first is about principles for being a Christian wife and mother and the second with very practical details. She suggests implementing in small steps. I've read the book once and implemented a home management book which so far contains a basic 28 day meal plan and a list of days of the week with their special tasks-just like my Mum used to do. There is so much more to do-we are working on regular tidy up times, making meals times more pleasant and an evening schedule. There are so many ideas-the book is A4 size and over 300 pages.
The book is mainly designed for large families but most of the principles apply to anyone. This book is a great help and is warmly recommended.
The complicated part: I spent a fair amount of time researching this! Large Family Logistics is available from Vision Forum and Christianbooks.com.
When I brought the book, it was cheaper from Vision Forum but their postage was more expensive so overall it was cheaper to buy from Christianbooks.com. It is worth checking both sites before buying for sales and shipping.
When I ordered, January 2011, it was not available in the UK.